Glenn Strange, fixin' to do some ambushing at "Glenn Strange Rock" in "The Lone Ranger"
Something's happening this month that will be of interest to fans of the Iverson Movie Ranch, "The Lone Ranger" and perennial Western bad guy Glenn Strange — Glenn is having a rock dedicated in his name.
Glenn Strange as Sam the Bartender on "Gunsmoke"
You might remember Glenn as Sam Noonan, the gruff but lovable bartender on "Gunsmoke." But before he mellowed out enough to tend bar in Dodge for 12 seasons, most of his characters were harder to love.
Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's Monster
Sometime after Boris Karloff decided he was sick of being typecast as Frankenstein's Monster — and after brief, not entirely successful stints as the Monster by horror icons Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi — it was Glenn Strange who stepped up to the plate.
Swedish poster for "House of Frankenstein" (1944)
The lack of recognition for Strange's work as the Monster went global, as in this example from Sweden, where, as usual, Strange's name is nowhere to be found — even though his face is prominently depicted.
Red "X" poster for "House of Frankenstein"
The studio made a point of marketing the sex angle. Here it's Anne Gwynne's character who's depicted in peril, although Gwynne's name is kept out of it — as is Glenn Strange's, yet again.
Anne Gwynne — World War II pinup girl
This is what Anne Gwynne — no relation to "Herman Munster," Fred Gwynne — looked like in the flesh. She was one of the most popular pinups among U.S. servicemen during World War II.
Two monsters share a tender moment in "House of Frankenstein"
Karloff and Strange — the former Frankenstein's Monster and the new one — are featured in a promo still for "House of Frankenstein." Karloff, who reportedly had health problems related to the heavy makeup, appears to be checking on how Strange is feeling under all that greasepaint.
"House of Dracula": Glenn Strange has another go at the Monster
Strange apparently didn't mind the makeup, the anonymity or other inconveniences of playing the Monster, tackling the role two more times — in "House of Dracula" in 1945 and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" in 1948.
Onslow Stevens and Glenn Strange in "House of Dracula" (1945)
By the time of "House of Dracula," Boris Karloff had seen enough of Universal's monsters and bowed out of the franchise for the time being, opening the door for Onslow Stevens to slide into the role of the Mad Doctor.
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948)
It was only a matter of time before Universal brought in Abbott and Costello to take the series in a whole different direction — and once again, Glenn Strange was on board in all his green glory.
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein": Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange
Strange wound up working with all three of the movies' "Big Three" classic horror icons — Karloff, Chaney and Lugosi. Here he has a scene with Bela in "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."
Glenn Strange in his "Abbott and Costello" monster makeup
The movie may have played the monster thing for laughs, but Glenn was as terrifying as ever.
"The Lone Ranger," episode one: "Enter the Lone Ranger" (premiered Sept. 15, 1949)
Still, the scene that cemented Glenn Strange's place in TV history and the annals of Western bad-guydom took place one year after Glenn wiped off the green goo for the last time, and it took place on the Iverson Movie Ranch.
Glenn Strange Rock in modern times
The rock where Strange made TV history back in 1949 remains in place today on the former Iverson Movie Ranch. The rock is on public land and is easy to get to, so "Lone Ranger" fans can visit the spot whenever they want.
Stan Laurel stands atop the famous laundry pile in "The Flying Deuces"
In fact, Glenn Strange Rock apparently had a hand in that famous laundry scene — it's probably the source of the telltale bump noted here. (You can read all about the Laurel and Hardy laundry scene by clicking here.)
Valley Relics Museum founder Tommy Gelinas shows off the old Iverson Movie Ranch sign
The event is a fund raiser for the Valley Relics Museum, which is doing much-needed work to preserve the history of the San Fernando Valley. Some readers may recall that earlier this year I discovered an old sign for the Iverson Movie Ranch at the museum.
I hope to see some of you there next week! For more about Glenn Strange Rock and the "Lone Ranger" ambush, including a map to the site, please click here to see my post from 2015.