Monday, May 26, 2008

Circus Folk Blood-line

This has nothing to do with UFOs or the paranormal; not directly. But I often say I come from circus folk, in the context of those critics of UFOlogy for being too circus like. It's true; I do come from circus folk. My grandfather on my father's side was Duke R. Lee, actor, stunt man, impersonator, circus performer. My grandmother, Louise Gladstone Lee was one of the "Gladstone Sisters," performing in Vaudeville, before joining the circus. My father was in the Tom Mix circus when he was a kid.

Here are some of the films Duke Lee, Sr. appeared in:

1. My Darling Clementine (1946) (uncredited) .... Townsman
2. Mountain Rhythm (1939) (uncredited) .... Rancher
3. The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939) (uncredited) .... Deputy [Ch. 1]
4. Stagecoach (1939) (uncredited) .... Lordsburg sheriff
5. Feud of the Range (1939) (as Duke Lee) .... Sheriff
6. Santa Fe Stampede (1938) (uncredited) .... Townsman
7. Overland Stage Raiders (1938) (uncredited) .... Henchman
8. Marie Antoinette (1938) (uncredited) .... Coach Driver
9. The Soldier and the Lady (1937) (uncredited) .... Peasant
10. The Plainsman (1936) (uncredited) .... Trooper
11. The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) (uncredited) .... A Sergeant
12. Desert Guns (1936) (as Duke Lee) .... Steve Logan
13. Swifty (1935) (uncredited) .... Duke (posse rider)
14. The Phantom Empire (1935) (uncredited) .... Tom Baxter - chap. 1-2
15. The Lottery Lover (1935) (uncredited) .... Knife Thrower
16. Judge Priest (1934) (uncredited) .... Deputy
17. Adventures of Texas Jack (1934) .... Steve Parson/Colonel Cody
18. The Whirlwind Rider (1934) (as Duke Lee) .... The Sheriff
19. Man of the Forest (1933) (uncredited) .... Jake, a henchman
20. The Fighting Texans (1933) (uncredited) .... Marshal
21. Deadwood Pass (1933) (as Duke Lee) .... Deputy
22. When a Man Rides Alone (1933) (uncredited) .... Replaced by Al Bridge, billed 3rd on posters as Duke Lee
23. Flaming Guns (1932) (as Duke Lee) .... Red McIntyre

Sadly, I don't have any photographs except for one with Buffalo Bill; I think one of my siblings has a couple of other photos of the circus, etc.

Then there's character actor (deceased) Akim Tamiroff, on my mother's side (by marriage.) He wasn't circus folk, but he was theater/movie folk, and his wife, my great aunt, Tamara Shayne, and her brother Konstantin Shayne and so on . . .

So yes, it's true. I really do come from circus folk. And that's why I defend the Contactees, and denounce efforts to create a UFOlogical Guild, Congress, Organization, -- any Official UFO Anything that would strive to keep the clowns out, and the self-appointed arbiters of Holy UFOlogy in.

Sometimes I think I'll write a book about all this; but it's not as glamorous as it might sound. Duke Lee died when I was little; Louise was working as a live-in cook in some millionaire's house in Beverly Hills when I was growing up, and I only met the the people on my mother's side a few times when I was young.

Still, it's in my blood, which probably explains a lot of things . . .



fodderbutwiser said...

Family history can be so cool.
One of my favorite lines of all times is Bogart to Tamirov...
"Shut up, Hakim! Stop speaking through your fez!"

Dassia said...

I was delighted to come across your blog today. I have been trying to find the relatives of Akim and Tamara Tamirov, who were very close friends with my great uncle, Boris Chaliapin. I'd love to chat by email: