Broncho Billy Anderson - The First Cowboy Western Movie Star
Broncho Billy Anderson
Marker opposite First United Methodist Church
Gilbert Maxwell Aronson – The First Cowboy-Western Movie Star
Max Aronson was born at 713 Center Street, (a house formerly located across the street), on March 21, 1880, to Esther and Harry Aronson, a Jewish dry goods salesman. The Aronson family relocated to Pine Bluff, Arkansas in the 1890’s. Aronson’s first film role was in the 1903 super hit Cowboy-Western, The Great Train Robbery. Co-founding the Essanay Film Company with George Spoor in 1907, Aronson directed, produced and acted in 140 Westerns for Essanay, achieving worldwide fame as cinema’s first cowboy film hero, “Broncho Billy Anderson”. In 1915, Charlie Chaplin made several of his “Little Tramp” comedies for Essanay. The great comedic team of Laurel and Hardy’s first film together, The Lucky Dog, was produced by Aronson. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Aronson an “Oscar” in 1958 for his contributions to cinema.