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William S. Hart

William S. Hart

An interesting footnote, the famous prohibition lawman (also once a bodyguard for the President Of The United States) "Two Gun Hart" changed his name to that of this famous actor and in some ways patterned his life after him. The real-life lawman Two Gun Hart seldom revealed his birth name, which was James Vincenzo Capone. He was the older brother of infamous gangster Al Capone (see "Capone: The Man And The Era" by Laurence Bergreen).

As part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California, William Hart's former home and 260-acre ranch in Newhall is now William S. Hart Park.

Donated his estate to the City of Los Angeles, on the condition they install a fountain and use the park for the arts. Today, the internationally renowned Actors Studio has its West Coast branch at the William S. Hart Park, in West Hollywood, in Hart's old estate.

Hart High School located in Newhall, California is named after him. The entire school district is also named the William S. Hart school district. [William S.]

His mansion in Newhall, California, is now a museum and has been preserved with its original fixtures and furnishings intact.



In March of 1923, Hart, already being sued for divorce by wife Winifred Westover, was accused by her of fathering a child by another woman. This hurt his already declining career and by 1924 and 1925 he would release only two more films before retiring.

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1975.

Was a friend of legendary wild west lawman Wyatt Earp, and along with fellow silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix, was a pallbearer at Earp's funeral in 1929.

While living in semi-retirement in Newhall, he was disturbed by a plane which kept flying over his house. The plane was being piloted by Amelia Earhart, and they ended up becoming good friends after he invited her to dinner in order to complain about the noise her plane was making.


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