Broncho Billy Anderson (1880-1971) was an American actor, writer, director, and producer, who is best known as the first star of the Western film genre. He directed and starred in almost 400 Broncho Billy films over a seven-year period. He was born Max H. Aronson to a Jewish family in Little Rock, Arkansas. He performed in vaudeville before joining forces with Edwin S. Porter as an actor and occasional script collaborator. In Porter’s early motion picture “The Great Train Robbery” (1901), Anderson played three roles. After seeing the film for the first time in a vaudeville theater and being overwhelmed by the audience’s reaction, Anderson decided the film industry was for him. He began to write, direct, and act in his own Westerns.
In 1901, with George Spoor, he formed the Essanay Film Company in Chicago. Anderson gained enormous popularity through a series of hundreds of Western shorts, playing the first real cowboy hero, “Broncho Billy.” The classic Westerner, Billy was a rugged plainsman, aligned with society out of sympathy for the weak, but nonetheless a product of the landscape in which he functioned. As an uncouth ruffian and notorious outlaw, Broncho Billy was inevitably fated to reformation by religion or the love of a woman.
Anderson traveled the western United States by train with a film crew shooting movies. With the closure of the bankrupt “Wild West” show in 1913, Essanay Film Company organized “Col. W.F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) Historical Pictures Company.” Not long after, in 1916, Anderson sold his ownership in Essanay and retired from acting. He returned to New York, bought the Longacre Theatre, and produced plays. Anderson came out of retirement for a cameo in “The Bounty Killer.” He died in 1971 in Woodland Hills, California.
(The Broncho Billy room features 1 King size bed, a single lavatory, & a shower. All rooms have wired and wireless internet & individual heat/ac.-Facing South towards the Mountains)