A true character.
He was born Andrew Vabre Devine in 195 in Flagstaff, Arizona, a child of the “wild west.” A childhood injury left him with a unmistakably high pitched, gravelly voice that amplified his roly-poly looks, resulting in a long screen career — lasting more than a half century — as a genial supporting player.
Devine migrated to Hollywood during the silent era, appearing in various shorts until making his mark in the early Thirties. He was among the newcomers, playing a fireman, a a popular Universal serial, 1931’s Heroes of the Flames. (Other fresh faces in the picture were Walter Brennan and Bruce Cabot.)
A former athlete and pretty fair horseman, Devine soon found his nitch in westerns. It is believed that John Ford pick Devine to play Buck, the stagecoach teamster, in 1939’s Stagecoach, because he actually experience handling horse teams.
Devine had parts in some pretty good pictures, in fact a half dozen best picture Oscar nominees including 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days and 1962’s How The West Was Won.
And, of course, Ford picked him to portray a town marshall in 1962’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, costarring James Stewart and John Wayne. Both stars become close friends with Devine and were conspicuously attended his funeral in 1977.
In his later years, Devine successfully shifted his benign and likeable screen presence to television, He is perhaps best remembered for his appearances as Guy Madison’s sidekick in the 1951 series, Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. He rode a horse name “Joker.”
A character to the end.