A Year: Day to Day Men: 12th of November


November 12, 1920 was the birthdate of American B-western film star Sunset Carson.

Born Winifred Maurice Harrison, Sunset Carson became an accomplished rodeo rider in his youth, working for a time in a western show owned by early cowboy actor Tom Mix. In 1940, Carson traveled to South America, where he competed in rodeos for two years. After he returned to the States, he appeared in a small role in the 1943 “Stage Coast Canteen”, a film featuring many celebrities of that time. In the next year, Carson had a role in the 1944 film “Janie”, under the name of Michael Harrison.

Carson caught the attention of Lou Grey, an executive of Republic Pictures, who signed him to a contract, giving him his own series of B-westerns and the stage name of Sunset Carson. He was given a horse named “Cactus” and had a succession of popular western genre films. Carson was in the 1944 “Bordertown Trail”, followed in the same year by “Code of the Prarie” and “Firebrands of Arizona”, playing opposite comic western actor Smiley Burnette.

Sunset Carson’s peak year was in 1945, appearing in seven western films. He appeared in his own name in “Sheriff of Cimarron”, “Bandits of the Badlands”. “The Cherokee Flash”, and four other hour-long films. Carson began the year of 1946 strong, starring in five films including “The El Paso Kid” and “The Red River Renegades”. By the end of 1946, however, Republic Pictures and Carson were having disputes. Carson claimed it was over his contract; the studio claimed that Carson was fired after attending a studio function while intoxicated and accompanied by an underage girl. At the end of the year, he and the studio parted company.

In 1948, Sunset Carson starred in “Sunset Carson Rides Again” produced by Oliver Drake. In 1949 he starred in “Rio Grande” and in 1950 the film “Battling Marshal”, his last role as the main character. For the next several years, Carson just obtained small bit parts. He played the lead once again in the B-movie “The Marshall of Windy Hollow”, a 1972 that costarred many old-time western actors. Then Carson had bit parts in two movies during the next thirteen years: “Buckstone County Prison” in 1978 and the 1985 sci-fi “Alien Outlaw”, his final movie role.

Sunset Carson retired to Reno, Nevada and died in a Reno hospital on May 1, 1990 of an apparent heart attack. He died one day after winning a settlement in a three-year old lawsuit over money earned from some of his old films.

Note: The image above is reblogged with many thanks to a great instagram site that I follow, having a “green thumb” and an inclination towards hot guys. The site is

Leave a Reply