Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lester Cuneo -- The Shootin' Fool

silentgents.com
Cuneo (born  in Chicago, Illinois on October 25, 1888) carved out a niche as an actor in independent Westerns beginning in 1921 with a starring role in the Capital Film Company five-reel silent The Ranger and the Law.  His other films include Blazing Arrows (1922), Silver Spurs (1922), Fighting Jim Grant (1923), Ridin' Fool (1924), Western Grit (1924), Range Vultures (1925), and Two Fisted Thompson (1925).

The Western star had been drinking heavily for several weeks when he returned to his Hollywood home at 1741 Crescent Drive to visit his estranged wife (actress Francelia Billington) and two young children. A few days earlier, Billington had filed for divorce, charging that her husband of five years had slapped her, and called her a "grafter and a thief."  After heatedly arguing with his wife on November 1, 1925, the 37-year-old actor picked up his children and kissed them goodbye, telling them, "Daddy's going away."  Cuneo then pulled a revolver from a closet, barricaded himself in the bedroom, and blew his brains out.

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