Ken Maynard (July 21, 1895 - March 23, 1973) was an American motion picture stuntman and actor.
Born Kenneth Olin Maynard in Vevay, Indiana he was an accomplished horseman. As a young man, he performed in rodeos and was a trick rider with Buffalo Bill 's Wild West Show and a circus rider with Ringling Brothers. During World War I, he served in the United States Army.
He first appeared in silent motion pictures in 1923 and in addition to acting also did stunt work. Maynard became one of the first singing cowboys with Columbia Records and was also one of the first to make a star out of his white stallion named "Tarzan". With his white cowboy hat, fancy shirt, and pair of six-shooters, from the 1920s to the mid-1940s, Maynard appeared in more than 90 films. However, his alcoholism severely impacted his life and his career ended in 1944. He owned a small circus operation featuring rodeo riders but eventually lost it to creditors. The significant amount of money he had earned vanished and he lived a desolate life in a rundown mobile home. More than 25 years after his last starring role, Maynard returned to two small parts in films in 1970 and 1972.
Ken Maynard died penniless in 1973 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California. He was interred Forest Lawn Cypress Cemetery in Cypress, California.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Ken Maynard has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6751 Hollywood Blvd.
See also: Other notable figures in Western films