Clayton Moore's hearty "Hi-yo, Silver" resounded on television throughout the 1950s and he personally identified so strongly with the Lone Ranger character that he refused even in old age to give up being a western hero. Moore's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, placed in 1987, is the only star that includes the name of the actor and his major character.
Already an experienced actor, he first appeared as the Lone Ranger in 1949, when the popular radio program of the 1930s and '40s gave rise to a visual version in television's infancy.
Moore played the champion of justice from 1949 to 1952 and again from 1954 to 1957. But even after leaving the show, he continued appearing as the Lone Ranger in rodeos, parades and other public events, firing blanks from his twin Colt .45s and preaching to his young fans about honesty, law and order, and respect.
"I believe, truly and always, in the Lone Ranger's Creed," Moore reiterated in 1996 during a book tour for his autobiography. The creed includes such lines as "I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one" and "I believe that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world."
He first appeared in films in 1938, playing bit parts and performing stunts in serials including "Dick Tracy Returns" (1938) and "The Perils of Nyoka" (1942). Nicknamed the "King of the Serials" for all the cliffhanger episodes he helped churn out to encourage return visits to movie theaters, Moore first donned a mask in the 1949 serial "The Ghost of Zorro."
His acting career, interrupted by World War II when he served three years in the Army Air Force, included more than 70 feature films. Among them was "Black Dragons," the very first World War II film, starring Bela Lugosi as a German doctor who altered the faces of Japanese spies to look like American industrialists and Moore as the handsome American hero who got the girl.
A fan of the Lone Ranger radio series since its inception in 1933, Moore beat out 75 actors to become television's version of the classic hero. When producer George Trendle told him the good news, Moore said he replied: "Mr. Trendle, I am the Lone Ranger."
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