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I Was That Masked Man Paperback – October 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Clayton Moore was the actor who fixed a burning image in millions of baby boomer minds and whose TV character spawned uncountable little white suits, cowboy hats, and black masks on children all over the world. Moore portrayed "The Lone Ranger" in the original TV series between 1949 and 1957. He became a modern immortal with the signature tune of Rossini's "William Tell" overture and his catch line "Hi Yo Silver!" This biography, written with Frank Thompson, author of Lost Movies, details Moore's career before and after his years with Tonto (he began as a trapeze artist), sketches in his personal life (three marriages), and relates how his fans were outraged when, in 1979, Moore was legally forbidden to wear his famous mask in public appearances. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this plainspoken autobiography by the man who played the Lone Ranger on TV from 1949 to 1957, Moore professes to have followed the principles of the hero he portrayed, to have tried his best "to live up to the standards of honesty, decency, respect, and patriotism that have defined the Lone Ranger since 1933." A divorce or two notwithstanding, he seems to have kept his pledge, working most of his career in the lower echelons of show business?in serials and TV?as a professional and personal straight arrow. This may be admirable, but it makes for mostly dull reading, despite the writing help of film scholar Thompson (Lost Films). Brushes with more colorful characters, such as Bela Lugosi and Marilyn Monroe, are dispensed with quickly: Lugosi was "nice to work with"; Monroe had "a spectacular figure." Most of Moore's own difficulties, e.g., when he was removed from the TV series only to be asked back again, are also given short shrift: Still, there are passionate passages here, including Moore's fond memories of his lifelong friendship with Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto, and his embittered account of the five years in the early 1980s when he was forbidden by court order to appear in public as the Lone Ranger. There are also amusing anecdotes about the making of low-budget productions, and, bizarrely, a brush with the Manson family. This memoir is likely to appeal exclusively to avid fans of The Lone Ranger and of old movie serials. The text features a foreword by Leonard Maltin and lists all of Moore's film and TV appearances. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; New edition edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878332162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878332168
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Clay Jr. on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Clayton Moore's book is a treat for aging baby-boomers who still return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Even with his respectable work product as a B movie actor in the '40s, Moore ("Jack" to insiders) was relatively unknown when he first appeared as The Lone Ranger in TV's version of the classic radio series. The best parts of the book are the behind the scene details of the famous TV show. Moore recalls his friendship with Jay Silverheels, a full-blooded Mohawk whose real name was Harold J. Smith. Tonto's dialogue both annoyed and amused Silverheels. Silverheels joked about it with Moore, but he also worked to improve the film image of Native Americans. Two horses portrayed Silver. We also learn the story of Lone Ranger Rock, featured in the opening sequence of the show. For decades, Moore made personal appearances in character. Wherever he traveled, everybody loved him for what he meant to Western folklore and us. He was careful to preserve the integrity of the image in his private life. In a conspicuous public relations blunder, The Wrather Corporation, because of a new movie (circa, 1980), took Moore to court to prohibit him from wearing the mask in public. Loyal fans united in protest and stayed away from the box office in droves. After the film flopped, Moore got the mask back. Moore says he knew there was a private person besides the public image, and that he was careful to keep the two identities separate. Regardless, Clayton Moore was that masked man. Recommended reading for nostalgia buffs and generations of loyal Lone Ranger fans. ;-)
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Kelpin on August 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
At the outset, I must admit to a bias. I was born and raised in Chicago. I attended Hayt Elementary School (as did Clayton Moore) and I was told by my 8th grade teacher (Hetty Reichow) that I had been assigned to the same desk the Lone Ranger had once sat in. I was able to picture the buidling and the gymnastic equipment the author fondly remembers. I enjoyed the book for other sentimental reasons as well. Along with Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger was one of my favorites. I was particularly interested in his legal battle over his wearing of the mask. And, it was important to learn that Clayton Moore tried to live out the ideals of the Lone Ranger. You can never be sure about hollywood types these days. I have a copy of the Lone Ranger's Creed framed and hanging on the wall in my home. Two of my prized possessions are autographs from Roy Rogers and Clayton Moore. Buy the book - If you grew up with the Lone Ranger, you will enjoy the book.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Steele on October 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A easy read in a weekend or a rainy day. Clayton Moore takes all of us Boomers back in time with a wonderful recollection of the show, the characters, the actors, locations, and his own personal history. When you're finished you will truly understand the title. Read this book, you owe yourself the pleasure.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By tzefirah on August 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like most of the others here, I'm a lifelong fan of the Lone Ranger, and Clayton Moore was my favorite Lone Ranger. I have a signed lithograph hanging in my living room.

I am also a huge fan of Hollywood biographies.

My biases being clear, I have to say that like everyone else, I loved Clayton Moore's story. He's a genuine good guy, has nice things to say about everyone he worked with, and always tried to find the good in people. People responded to him in kind, even in the days of hippie rebellion.

Clayton Moore's relationship with the character of the Lone Ranger is unique. He was typecast, but wanted to be typecast. After playing the Lone Ranger, it's the only character he ever wanted to play. Even Jay Silverheels had no intention of being Tonto forever. Moore spent the rest of his life going to schools, shopping malls, etc., portraying either the Lone Ranger or portraying himself as the Lone Ranger. He spent the rest of his life trying to embody the Ranger Creed. No other actor was as closely tied to a character as was Moore. Even his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame says both Clayton Moore and the Lone Ranger.

Even the stories of being fired for Season 3 of the TV show, being called back for Season 4, and the legal wrangling over the use of the mask were downplayed in favor of discussing his relationship with his fans, some of whom he met at both 5 and 50 years of age. His comment? The adoration in their eyes for the Lone Ranger was the same at any age.

If you were ever a fan of the show, the photos alone are worth the price of the book.

Also, if you need large print books, the print in this edition is quite large. No need to look for a large print edition.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a child I could never get enough of the Lone Ranger. As an adult, I'm even more obsessed with going back to "the thrilling days of yesteryear". Clayton Moore lived a dream, and is truly the last american hero! His book dwells into the origin of the character and how he lived the life of the character on and off the TV screen. Whether you are a Lone Ranger fan or not, this book is a must read! It will also make you long for the return of a time when hero's really did wear white, and you could tell the "good guys" from the "bad guys". Clayton Moore is a true legend, and his book gives a sincere account of his life as he lived it, as "The Lone Ranger".
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