Hoot Gibson stood apart from the rest. As one of Hollywood's "big five" western stars of the 1920s, he graced the screen not only as an actor but one who was able to perform his own stunts, thanks to his upbringing.
Gibson was born in Tekamah, Neb., on Aug. 6, 1892. The nickname "Hoot" dates from his boyhood, when he developed a particular passion for hunting owls.
Hoot went from the ranch to stardom when he became one of Hollywood's first stuntmen, performing such feats as riding a motorcycle off a 23-foot drawbridge.
Director John Ford, his lifelong friend, made Gibson a star in 1920 with the advent of the full-length western action film. In the great decade of silent films, Gibson ranked with Rom Mix, Buck Jones, William S. Hart and Harry Carey as top cowboy stars.
Gibson played a part in 1913's "Squaw Man," Hollywood's first feature film, and in 310 other pictures, starring in more than 200 of them before his retirement in 1946.