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The Lone ranger through the years.

Updated on July 11, 2015

The Lone Ranger movie

The beginnings of a legend.

How did the famous and legendary Lone Ranger began? Through a radio show back in 1933. There are mixed opinions and views on who created that character. One view is that George W Trendle, who was the radio station owner of WXYZ, created that character. Others think that Fran Striker, the show's writer was the creator. Either way, the Lone Ranger made its debut and soon after, gathered a multitude of fans.

It is believed that the Lone Ranger was patterned after the life of Bass Reeves. Bass Reeves was one of the first African-American to become a Deputy US Marshall. His record was exceptional, having arrested over 3,000 felons. He learned to be a crack shot and lived with the Indians for a season, learning to speak their many different dialects and languages. His story is enclosed in a link below.

How did the Lone Ranger hero came into being? He was a Texas Ranger, whose last name was Reid. He went with a group of rangers on a posse, looking for Butch Cavendish and his gang to bring them back to justice.On the way,they were ambushed by the outlaws.Leaving them for dead, the criminals fled the scene.

Meanwhile,Tonto, who happens to be in that area, find the bodies. As he walks by that site, he finds one who is, barely, alive. Nursing him back to health, he helps create his new identity. Thus, the Lone Ranger is born. Eventually, they go after Cavendish and his gang, bringing them to justice.

A little known fact that, some may not know, is that the Lone Ranger was the Green Hornets great grandfather. Britt Reid was the name of the Green Hornet, who was another great hero that had its start in the 30's. Another interesting fact is that the name Tonto had to be changed to Toro when it hit the Spanish market. Tonto means stupid in Spanish. So, we see a little humor in the Lone Ranger legend.

Back in the 30's and 40's, the only entertainment media was the radio. Exciting episodes would have the children on the edge of their seats and soon, the Lone Ranger series would be transmitted nationwide. In 1939, the series would air on the movie serials. Every week, the movies would air a 15 minutes episode that would end on a cliff-hanger. I have seen some of these and have enclosed a video link below for your enjoyment.

Lone Ranger Movie Serial.

The Lone Ranger comes to TV.

As technology advanced, the world of television would come on the scene. This helped paved the way for the Lone Ranger TV series. Clayton Moore would star in this timeless classic. Moore started out as a stunt man and would take bit parts in movies. He acted in B movies and served in the Army air force during WWII. While on active duty, he filmed movies for the armed forces. While filming the movie serial "Ghost of Zorro", he was finally noticed and approached to play the role of the Lone Ranger. Soon, Jay Silverheels would join him as his sidekick Tonto.

As a young kid, I remember my parents seeing the Lone Ranger. I have seen some of these episodes and I found it to be well-made for the time. The plots were outstanding with plenty of action. Moore and Silverheels did two full feature length Lone Ranger motion pictures. In 1958, the last episode would be filmed, but the Lone Ranger went on to star in commercials,TV guest spots and other show activities.

I will, always, remember Clayton Moore as the true Lone Ranger. With a voice that commanded respect and a strong body to back it up, he was, truly, the Lone Ranger. He, really, got into his role and when you heard him, no doubt you were listening to the Lone Ranger. Sadly, he passed away in Dec 28, 1999.

Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger!


Cartoons and the movies.

In the late 60's, the Lone Ranger came back to TV as a cartoon character. Me and my brother would watch these episodes. The artwork and plots were well-made with the usual action-packed storylines. I,even,had some Lone Ranger comics and used to look forward to reading the Sunday paper to catch up with the action-packed stories.

Then in the 1980s, they made a Lone Ranger movie. It was a disappointment for me and a box office failure. It would take many years before the Lone Ranger would make a comeback, Recently, Disney studios produced the Lone Ranger. The veteran actor Johnny Depp had a prominent role. I have seen the movie reviews and, sad to say, it did not live up to the expectations of the legend. Nevertheless, the legend remains and the Lone Ranger will be here to stay.

Lone Ranger in the movie serials.


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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      I still retain memories of being four years old and playing with my Lone Ranger action figures with my next door neighbor. The Lone Ranger back then was as big as Pokémon became for my own children. This revived talk of the Lone Ranger tugs at my heart strings. Thanks for your history and analysis of this great hero.


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