William Boyd starred as the silver-haired western hero Hop-Along Cassidy who championed the cause of justice in the Old West. He was assisted by sidekicks Gabby Hayes/Andy Clyde in his “B” movies (reedited for TV) and Red Connors (Edgar Buchanan) on the television series HOP-ALONG CASSIDY/NBC/1949.
Hoppy derived his nickname from his creator, New York writer Clarence E. Mulford (1883-1956) who originally conceived his hero in the novel “Bar-20” (1907) as a tough, tobacco-chewing, hard-drinking cowboy with a limp, hence “Hop-Along.”
However, when William Boyd took the reigns of the character, he cleaned up the foul-mouthed western star and transformed him into a pristine cowboy hero dressed in black who rode tall in the saddle atop a white horse named Topper. About the only thing he didn’t discard was his name “Hop-Along.” The limp was explained away with a simple healing of his leg.
Note: William Boyd purchased the rights to his own films in the 1940s and subsequently received seventy million dollars when he sold his feature film rights to television.