Height of Ray “Crash” Corrigan
The height of Ray “Crash” Corrigan is …m.
1. Where did Ray “Crash” Corrigan come from ?
In 1937, Corrigan purchased land in the Santa Susana Mountains foothills in Simi Valley and developed it into a movie ranch which name is “Corriganville”. The movie ranch was used for location movieing in movie serials, feature movies, and television shows, as well as for the performance of live western shows for tourists. Bob Hope later bought the ranch in 1966 and renamed it “Hopetown”. It is now a Regional Park and nature preserve.
2. What could we know about Ray “Crash” Corrigan besides his height ?
Corrigan’s Hollywood career began as a physical fitness instructor and physical culture trainer to the stars. In the early 1930s he did stunts and bit parts in several movies, billed as Ray Benard. Many of his early acts were in ape costumes, for example, as a gorilla in Tarzan and His Mate (1934) and an “orangopoid” in the first Flash Gordon serial.
3. What are the projects of Ray “Crash” Corrigan ?
In 1936, Corrigan got his screen breakthrough with starring acts in two Republic serials, The Vigilantes Are Coming and in The Undersea Kingdom, which evoked memories of Universal’s first “Flash Gordon” serial. His character in “The Undersea Kingdom” was known as Ray “Crash” Corrigan, and he adopted it as his screen name.
4. Somme collaborations with Ray “Crash” Corrigan ?
On the basis of this, Republic signed him to their standard Term Player Contract, running from May 25, 1936 to May 24, 1938. He was cast as one of the trio in the Three Mesquiteers series of westerns, starring in 24 of the 51 “3M” movies made by the studio. He later left Republic in 1938 over a pay dispute. Over at Monogram Pictures, Corrigan began a new series of feature westerns, The Range Busters, cheap knock-offs of The Three Mesquiteers, with a series character that used his name; between 1940 and 1943, he acted in 20 of the 24 movies in this series.
Following this, his on-screen work largely returned to appearing in ape costumes, such as the acts in Captive Wild Woman (1943), Nabonga (1944), White Pongo (1945) and as a prehistoric sloth in Unknown Island (1948). The original gorilla “mask” seen in movies like The Ape (1940) was replaced with a subtler design with a more mobile jaw. Corrigan later sold his gorilla suits in 1948 and provided training in using them to their new owner, Steve Calvert, a Ciro’s bartender. Calvert stepped into Corrigan’s paw prints starting with a Jungle Jim movie. Despite reports to the contrary, Calvert and Corrigan never appeared together on-screen in an ape costume. Since both Corrigan and Calvert eschewed screen credit playing gorillas, their movie credits are often confused; any appearance of the “Corrigan suit” after 1948 is by Calvert.
In 1950, he had a television show which name is Crash Corrigan’s Ranch. He also planned a television series which name is Buckskin Rangers with his old associate Max Terhune. His final theatrical movie was playing the title act in the science fiction movie It! The Terror from Beyond Space, according to bio information given to visitors at the Thousand Oaks, California, Corrigan Steak House and Bar that he once owned.
In 1937, Corrigan was on a hunting trip with Clark Gable when he had an idea to purchase land in Simi Valley, California and use it as a Western-themed ranch similar to Iverson Movie Ranch. He paid a $1,000 down payment, then a thousand dollars a month until the $11,354 price was paid. He developed this into Corriganville, a location used for many Western movies and TV shows. The location featured many different types of terrain for producers such as lakes, mountains, and caves. Not merely set fronts, Corriganville contained actual buildings where movie crews could live and store their equipment to save the time and expense of daily travel from studios to an outdoor location.
Corrigan profited well from renting this location to movie studios and from paying visitors. In 1949, Corrigan opened his ranch to the public on weekends for Western-themed entertainment. The weekend attractions included stuntmen shows throughout the day, a Cavalry fort set, an outlaw shack, a full western town with saloon, jail, and hotel, live western music, Indian crafts, stagecoach rides, pony rides, and boating on the ranch’s artificial lake. It was common for movie and TV personalities to appear in person for photos and autographs, attracting as many as 20,000 people on weekends.
Examples of feature movies and TV shows that were movieed at Corriganville:
Hollywood cowboy stars who movieed there include: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Buster Crabbe, John Wayne, Smiley Burnette, Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, Charles Starrett, Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele, Tex Ritter, and Corrigan himself.
Corriganville was eventually sold to Bob Hope in 1966, becoming Hopetown. Today, what remains is known as Corriganville Park and features some of the old landmarks. Signs along a hiking trail point out the historic features.
The origin of the “Crash” nickname is from his football-playing days. This was verified by Corrigan himself when he was a contestant on the June 11, 1959 episode of You Bet Your Life starring Groucho Marx. When asked how he got the name “Crash”, Corrigan told Groucho, “When I would go to tackle somebody or instead of fighting them with my fists, I would just take off and dive at them head first and that’s how I acquired the name ‘Crash'”.
His first starring act using the name professionally was in the Republic Pictures’ serial The Undersea Kingdom (1936), in which his screen character was also named “Crash Corrigan”. The serial was created to capitalize on the popularity of Universal Pictures’ Flash Gordon serials, and the nickname may have been appropriated by Republic’s publicity department to create a similarly named hero.
Following his death from a heart attack at age 74 on August 10, 1976 in Brookings Harbor, Oregon, Ray “Crash” Corrigan was interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California. More than four decades later, his grave still remains unmarked with a headstone.
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