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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jock Mahoney
Jacques Joseph O'Mahoney

(1919-02-07)February 7, 1919
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 14, 1989(1989-12-14) (aged 70)
Alma materUniversity of Iowa
Occupation(s)Actor, stuntman
Years active1946–1985
Lorraine O'Donnell
(m. 1952; div. 1968)
Autumn Russell
(m. 1969)

Jacques Joseph O'Mahoney (February 7, 1919 – December 14, 1989), known professionally as Jock Mahoney, was an American actor and stuntman. He starred in two Action/Adventure television series, The Range Rider and Yancy Derringer. He played Tarzan in two feature films and was associated in various capacities with several other Tarzan productions. He was credited variously as Jacques O'Mahoney, Jock O'Mahoney, Jack Mahoney, and finally Jock Mahoney.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • RANGE RIDER! Full episode restored with Jock Mahoney, Dickie Jones and guest star Karen Sharpe! WOW!
  • Yancy Derringer | Season 1 | Episode 1 | Return to New Orleans | Jock Mahoney | X Brands
  • La Vida y El Triste Final de Jock Mahoney
  • RANGE RIDER! Full episode! Can Jock Mahoney handle a bullwhip better than Lash? You be the judge!


Early life, education, and military service

Mahoney was born in Chicago, Illinois and reared in Davenport, Iowa. He was of French and Irish descent, the only child of Ruth and Charles O'Mahoney.[1] He entered the University of Iowa in Iowa City and excelled at swimming and diving,[1] but dropped out to enlist in the United States Marine Corps when World War II began. He served as a pilot, flight instructor, and war correspondent.[citation needed]


After his discharge from the Marine Corps, Mahoney moved to Los Angeles, and for a time was a horse breeder. However, he soon became a movie stuntman, doubling for Gregory Peck, Errol Flynn, and John Wayne. Director Vincent Sherman recalled staging the climactic fight scene in his 1948 film Adventures of Don Juan and could find only one stuntman who was willing to leap from a high staircase in the scene. That man was Mahoney, who demanded and received $1,000 for the dangerous stunt.

Most of Mahoney's films of the late 1940s and early 1950s were produced by Columbia Pictures. Like many Columbia contract players, Mahoney worked in the studio's two-reel comedies. Beginning in 1947, writer-director Edward Bernds cast Mahoney in slapstick comedies starring the Three Stooges. Mahoney had large speaking roles in these films, and often played his scenes for laughs. Often cast alongside heroine Christine McIntyre, he appeared in the Stooge films Out West (1947), Squareheads of the Round Table (1948) (and its 1954 remake, Knutzy Knights), Fuelin' Around (1949), and Punchy Cowpunchers (1950). In the Stooge films, Mahoney—striking a heroic pose—would suddenly get clumsy, tripping over something or taking sprawling pratfalls.

Beginning in 1950, Columbia management noticed Mahoney's acting skills and gave him starring roles in two adventure serials, Cody of the Pony Express (1950) and Roar of the Iron Horse (1951). Mahoney succeeded stuntman Ted Mapes as the double for Charles Starrett in Columbia's The Durango Kid Western series.[2]

The Durango Kid wore a mask covering much of his face, enabling Mahoney to replace Starrett in the action scenes. Mahoney's daring stunts made it seem that the older Starrett grew, the more athletic he became. Mahoney contributed so much to this series that he was awarded featured billing and major supporting roles as well, first as villains and then as sympathetic characters. By 1952 Columbia was billing him as Jack Mahoney.

When Charles Starrett's contract ran out in the spring of 1952,[3] Columbia decided to replace him with Mahoney, opposite Starrett's sidekick Smiley Burnette. The first film was completed but never released; Columbia abandoned the series in June 1952,[4] bringing an end to its long history of B-Western production.

Cowboy star Gene Autry, then working at Columbia, hired Mahoney to star in a television series. Autry's Flying A Productions filmed 79 half-hour episodes of the syndicated The Range Rider from 1951 to 1953. In 1959, a lost episode was shown six years after the series ended. He was billed as Jack Mahoney. The character had no name other than Range Rider. His series co-star was Dick Jones, playing the role of Dick West.

In the 1958 Western film Money, Women and Guns, Mahoney played the starring role. The film also starred Kim Hunter.

For the 1958 television season, he starred in the outdoor-adventure seriesYancy Derringer for 34 episodes, which aired on CBS. Yancy Derringer was a gentleman adventurer living in New Orleans, Louisiana, after the American Civil War. He had a Pawnee companion named Pahoo Katchewa ("Wolf Who Stands in Water"), played by actor X Brands. In his role as Pahoo, he did not speak and used only sign language to communicate. Pahoo had saved Derringer's life, and therefore, due to his convictions, became responsible for Derringer.

Jock O'Mahoney starred in 64 feature films.

Tarzan films and television series

In 1948, Mahoney auditioned to play Tarzan after the departure of Johnny Weissmuller, but the role went to Lex Barker.

In 1960, he appeared as Coy Banton, a villain, in Tarzan the Magnificent, starring Gordon Scott. Mahoney's strong presence, work ethic, and lean (6 foot, 4 inch, 220 pounds) frame impressed producer Sy Weintraub, who wanted a "new look" for the fabled apeman.

In 1962, Mahoney became the 13th actor to portray Tarzan when he appeared in Tarzan Goes to India, shot on location in India. A year later, he again played the role in Tarzan's Three Challenges, shot in Thailand. When this film was released, Mahoney, at 44, became the oldest actor to play the jungle king, surpassing Weissmuller and P. Dempsey Tabler, a record that still stands. Dysentery and dengue fever plagued Mahoney during the shoot in the Thai jungles, and his weight plummeted to 175 pounds. He needed a year and a half to regain his health. Owing to his health problems and the fact that producer Weintraub had decided to go for a "younger look" for the apeman, his contract was mutually dissolved.

Mahoney made three appearances on the Ron Ely Tarzan series--The Ultimate Weapon (1966), The Deadly Silence (1966) (a two-part episode, later edited into a feature film), and Mask of Rona (1967).

In 1981, Mahoney returned to the Tarzan film series as the stunt coordinator on the John Derek-directed remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man. He was billed as Jack O'Mahoney.

Television guest roles

Mahoney was cast as an engineer, Andy Prentis, in the 1954 episode, "Husband Pro-Tem," on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. In the storyline, Prentis is hired by a railroad executive, Alonzo Phelps (Howard Negley) (1898–1983) to negotiate a private agreement with the Indian Chief Black Hawk (Lane Bradford) so that a railroad can be constructed across Indian lands. In his assignment, Prentis soon romantically tangles with Phelps' daughter, Evelyn (Gloria Marshall). In February 1953, Mahoney co-starred with his wife Margaret Field in the Death Valley Days episode "Swamper Ike".[5]

In 1960, Mahoney guest-starred in the Rawhide episode "Incident of the Sharpshooter". He also appeared in television guest-starring roles on such series as Batman, the Ron Ely Tarzan series, Hawaii Five-O, Laramie, and The Streets of San Francisco. In 1973, he suffered a stroke at age 54 while filming an episode of Kung Fu.

Later career and death

In the 1980s, Mahoney made guest appearances on the television series B. J. and the Bear and The Fall Guy. During the final years of his life, he was a popular guest at film conventions and autograph shows. Mahoney died of a second stroke at age 70 on December 14, 1989, two days after being involved in an automobile accident in Bremerton, Washington. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.[6]

Personal life

Mahoney was married three times, with three children and five stepchildren. His first wife was Lorraine O'Donnell, with whom he had two children, Kathleen O'Mahoney and Jim O'Mahoney, before their divorce. He next married actress Margaret Field in 1952. Their daughter, Princess O'Mahoney, was born six months later. Margaret Field already had two young children, Richard D. Field and Sally Field, from her first marriage. Mahoney and Field divorced in June 1968. In her 2018 memoir, In Pieces, Sally Field wrote that Mahoney subjected her to sexual abuse throughout her childhood, up to the age 14.[1]

Mahoney's daughter, Princess O'Mahoney, later became a television and film assistant director.[7]

Partial filmography

Selected Television

Year Title Role Notes
1953 Death Valley Days Indian Sal, Swamper Ike and Joe Season 1, Episode 12, "Swamper Ike"
1958 Yancy Derringer Yancy Derringer 34 episodes
1961 Rawhide Captain Donahoe S3:E23, "Incident of the Phantom Bugler"

See also


  1. ^ a b c Field, Sally (2018). In Pieces. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5387-6304-9.
  2. ^ Freese, Gene (2013). Jock Mahoney: The Life and Films of a Hollywood Stuntman. McFarland. pp. 22–25. ISBN 9780786476893. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  3. ^ Variety, "Starrett Rides Away from Col and Durango", April 9, 1952, p. 29.
  4. ^ Ivan Spear, Boxoffice, "Columbia Not to Produce Jack Mahoney Westerns," June 7, 1952, p. 24.
  5. ^ "There were satisfactory performances by Jock Mahoney and Margaret Field. The 20-Mule Team Borax commercials were fairly good." Morse, Leon (February 18, 1956). "Death Valley Days (TV film)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Jock Mahoney". Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (2013). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 172–173. ISBN 9780521199186. Retrieved May 12, 2018.


  • Essoe, Gabe (1968). Tarzan of The Movies – A Pictorial History of More Than Fifty Years of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Legendary Hero. New York City: Citadel Press. ISBN 978-0-806-50295-3.
  • Field, Sally (2018). In Pieces. New York City: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5387-6302-5.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 September 2023, at 21:20
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