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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Si Jenks
Howard Hansell Jenkins

(1876-09-23)September 23, 1876
DiedJanuary 6, 1970(1970-01-06) (aged 93)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
Years active1922–1954
Lilian Hartford
(m. 1926)

Si Jenks (born Howard Hansell Jenkins; September 23, 1876 – January 6, 1970) was an American actor. He was involved in 224 films in a career spanning nearly two decades in vaudeville and films.[1] His best known appearances include The Village Blacksmith, The Rider of the Law, Oregon Trail, The Cowboy Star, Zorro's Black Whip and The Great Train Robbery.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • MY HERO: "THE HILLBILLY" Margo Woode, Si Jenks guest stars. 11-29-1952.
  • The Cowboy Star Western 1936 Charles Starrett, Iris Meredith & Si Jenks
  • THE RIDER OF THE LAW - Bob Steele - Free Western Movie [English]


Early life

Jenks was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1876, to parents John and Catherine Jenkins.[2] As a young boy, Jenks would enjoy watching his local champion baseball team. On one occasion, he was summoned to act as umpire after the crowd grew dissatisfied with the person who had been appointed to adjudge the game. Jenks accepted the challenge "with boyish alacrity", surrendering his seat on a soapbox and ultimately was accepted by the audience with his decision making.[3]

From April 1898 to October 1898, he served in the National Guard of the United States as a reserve volunteer.[2]


Jenks began his career sometime around the early 1890s in theatre, having run away from home and joined Diamond Jack's medicine show in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He later travelled over the United States with circuses and was associated with Professor Gleason, a noted horse trainer of that time.[4] He was a comedian with the 101 ranch in 1908 and later travelled with them to Mexico.[5]

He found early success on a Broadway theatre production of Get Rich Quick Wallingford,[4] playing the role of the rube bus driver for 55 weeks. Jenks later moved into Hollywood films and took vaudeville roles in movie comedies from around 1921. In 1924, he commented that his work as a comedian was "the hardest work in the world", having experienced dislocated knees, nearly being blinded by stage lights and having paint thrown at him.[5]

During the 1930s, he performed in films such as Naughty Marietta, Stand Up and Cheer! and Fighting Shadows.[4]

Personal life

He was married to Lilian Annie Jenkins[2] (née Hartford; 1882 – 1983), who he met during the 1920s and married in 1926 in New Jersey. She was born in Bury, Lancashire, England and began her stage career aged 4. She lived around Los Angeles since 1923.[6] They acted on stage together during the 1920s in the act of "Si Jenks and Lilian Hartford"[7] and later moved to a retirement facility in 1965. She was the first resident of the Motion Picture and Television Country Home and Hospital to become a centenarian. The couple had two daughters who pre-deceased Lilian Jenks, who died in June 1983.[6]

According to his World War I draft registration card, he was also earlier married to Victoria A Jenkins.[8] Jenks and Allen were described as "two excellent acts of vaudeville" by the Logansport Pharos-Tribune in 1920 and were known as "The Small Town Wise Crackers".[9]


On January 6, 1970, Jenks died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, of complications after suffering a heart disease. His gravesite is at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.[10]



  1. ^ Hal Erickson. "Si Jenks". AllMovie. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Spanish War Compensation, 1898-1934 for Howard Hansell Jenkins". February 6, 1934. Retrieved February 12, 2023 – via
  3. ^ "'Si Jenks' boyhood hit". The York Dispatch. November 17, 1909. p. 9.
  4. ^ a b c "Si Jenks, In Cast Of 'Stan', To Be Shown Here Sept 8". The Minden City Herald. September 3, 1937. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b "Being Funny Is Hard Job". The Oklahoma News. August 26, 1924. p. 10.
  6. ^ a b "Actress Lilian Jenks, 1st Centenarian at Movie Home, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. June 26, 1983. p. 579.
  7. ^ "Movie star to see in person". Battle Creek Enquirer. December 24, 1926. p. 12.
  8. ^ "Howard Hansel Jenkins in the U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918". September 9, 1918. Retrieved February 12, 2023 – via
  9. ^ "Two excellent acts of vaudeville offered". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. April 22, 1920. p. 8.
  10. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. pp. 79–80. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved February 5, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 August 2023, at 00:03
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