Rex Allen was the last of the terrific cowboys at Republic Studios of the late ’40s and early ’50s. Born in Wilcox, Arizona, in 1922, Allen started out in radio and the rodeo with his faithful horse, Koko. When Allen broke into films, he quickly became popular, possessing a handsome visage and striking an imposing figure in trendy fringe and cowboy buckskin. Also, he wore his six-shooters reverse-style like Wild Bill Elliot, and could sing rather well!
Of all the contemporary cowboy greats to grace the covers of Dell comic books, including Gene, Roy, Johnny Mack Brown, Hoppy, and Paladin, one of the more colorful of the bunch was Rex Allen himself, in his resplendent Western attire. His wildly decorated shirts, striped piping dress trousers, boots, Stetson and the gaudy neckties, topped off with belt buckles that an Indian chief would be proud of, made him the quintessential model for the singing cowboy.
Allen carved out another career in the 1960s with Walt Disney, when he narrated numerous wildlife adventure specials for TV and film. In 1973, Allen also starred in Hanna & Barbera’s kiddy classic motion picture, Charlotte’s Web.
Sadly, Rex Allen was accidentally struck by a moving vehicle that brought a poignant end, in Arizona, to one of the all-time Silver Screen Cowboys. His son, Rex Allen, Jr., carries on the family tradition of music.