In Hollywood, it’s mainly the big stars — just like the pitchers and quarterbacks in baseball or football — who get all the glory. But just as great pitchers and quarterbacks couldn’t set records on the playing field without a dependable infield or offensive line to support them, so, in the movies, lead actors and actresses couldn’t really shine in front of the camera without talented and reliable supporting players to back them up. Often, supporting cast members play the role of a “foil” — a lesser version of a main character — and with their help, through comparison and contrast, we come to appreciate more acutely the main character’s virtues or flaws. Some of the faces on screen that are the most familiar to us are, in fact, those of supporting actors and actresses, who rarely, if ever, star in vehicles of their own. From the era of classic movies, for example, think of Walter Brennan, Alan Hale, Sr., Edna May Oliver, even Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. In the Western genre of movies and television shows, one of the most ubiquitous and trusted supporting actors was the popular Jack Ging.
Jack Ging was born in 1931 in Alva, Oklahoma, and with his rugged Midwestern good looks and pioneer physique became a popular man on the University of Oklahoma campus and a starting halfback for the Sooners. With a humble but bluff personal style, and rough rural mannerisms through which a sensitive interior always managed to shine, the young collegiate seemed a natural for a career in Hollywood.
Wildest Westerns had the rare privilege recently of conducting an exclusive interview the now-retired Jack Ging, who lives a quiet and private life, away from Hollywood’s bright lights, in Palm Springs, California. During our conversation, Jack reflected on his earliest movie experiences after moving out to Southern California in the late 1950′s after a stint in the Marines. While working as a car salesman and struggling to survive financially, he received his very first acting opportunity…………………………….