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.
On the sitcom SANFORD & SON/NBC/1972-77, Howard Platt played Officer “Hoppy” Hopkins during the 1972-76 seasons.