Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mrs. Hopalong Cassidy

Grace Bradley Boyd passed away recently on her 97th birthday, the widow of the movie star with whom she had a schoolgirl crush. A mutual friend in Hollywood, where she was an actress, told William Boyd, "There's a girl you should meet." Hopalong Cassidy (as he was later to be known) was 45 and she was 23. It lasted 35 years.

She initially studied to be a concert pianist and at 15 played Carnegie Hall. She went on to act, sing, and dance on the Broadway stage. While performing at the Paradise nightclub in Manhattan in 1933, the dancer was discovered by a Paramount Pictures director and signed for films.

She was a petite and extremely lovely blonde film actress who crossed paths with Bill Boyd, who became (literally) her Prince Charming on a big white horse. Three days after their first date, Boyd asked her to marry him. ‘He said, “I would have proposed the first night except I was afraid I'd scare you to death,”’ she recalled.”

When Hoppy married Grace, he acquired a new white stallion. He asked his wife to name the horse. Grace was reading a series of books called 'Topper.' Thus, Grace asked Bill to name the horse after her favorite book, and that's how Topper got his name!

She stayed in the background during his career, but when his young fans asked who she was (since “Hopalong” supposedly had no wife or family), she would respond, “I’m Hoppy’s mother." (Info from Internet sources.)


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