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The Enigmatic Life of Smiley Burnette: From Cowboy Sidekick to Hollywood Star 

 March 28, 2023

The Enigmatic Life of Smiley Burnette: From Cowboy Sidekick to Hollywood Star

From the dusty plains of Texas to the dazzling lights of Hollywood, the life of Smiley Burnette is nothing short of fascinating. He started his career as a musician and songwriter and eventually became a beloved character actor. In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at the life and career of this enigmatic personality.

Who was Smiley Burnette?

Born Lester Alvin Burnette in 1911, Smiley was a musician and songwriter in his early years. He played the accordion, guitar, and harmonica and even wrote songs for Gene Autry. It was Autry who gave Burnette his first break in Hollywood, casting him as his sidekick in a series of cowboy films.

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Smiley’s Cowboy Career

In the 1930s, cowboy movies were all the rage, and Smiley was one of the most sought-after sidekicks in the industry. He starred alongside Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and other cowboy stars and quickly became a fan favorite. His unique personality and sense of humor added a new dimension to the cowboy films.

Smiley’s Acting Career

After his successful stint in cowboy films, Smiley ventured into character acting. He appeared in several films, including “Pollyanna” and “The Great Rupert.” However, it was his role as Charley Pratt, the lovable train engineer in the TV series “Petticoat Junction,” that won him nationwide recognition.

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Behind the Scenes

Smiley Burnette was not just a popular actor but a talented songwriter as well. He wrote several hit songs, including “Riding Down the Canyon” and “Oklahoma Hills.” In addition to his musical talents, he was also an inventor. He held several patents, including one for a mechanical device that played music on a harmonica.

Personal Life

Smiley Burnette was known for his easy-going personality and sense of humor. He was married twice but had no children. However, he was a devoted godfather to his niece.

Legacy

Smiley Burnette’s legacy lives on today through his music, films, and TV shows. He was inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for his contributions to music.

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FAQs

Q: What was Smiley Burnette’s real name?
A: Smiley Burnette’s real name was Lester Alvin Burnette.

Q: What was Smiley Burnette’s role in cowboy films?
A: Smiley Burnette played the sidekick to several cowboy stars, including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

Q: What TV series did Smiley Burnette appear in?
A: Smiley Burnette appeared in the TV series “Petticoat Junction” as Charley Pratt.

Q: Was Smiley Burnette a songwriter?
A: Yes, Smiley Burnette was a talented songwriter and wrote several hit songs.

Q: Did Smiley Burnette have any children?
A: No, Smiley Burnette did not have any children.

Q: What was Smiley Burnette’s legacy?
A: Smiley Burnette’s legacy lives on today through his music, films, and TV shows.

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Q: What patents did Smiley Burnette hold?
A: Smiley Burnette held several patents, including one for a mechanical device that played music on a harmonica.

Conclusion

Smiley Burnette’s life was full of surprises and accomplishments. He was not just a musician, songwriter, and actor but also an inventor. His unique personality and sense of humor made him a beloved character in the cowboy and entertainment industry. Despite his many talents and popularity, Smiley Burnette remained humble and down-to-earth. His legacy is a testament to his contribution to the world of music and entertainment.

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