The Lone Ranger - Frequently Asked Questions
Home
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
FAQ
Interview
Links
Meet Clayton
More Moore
email

Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions
about The Lone Ranger, Tonto,
Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels





Question: How and when did Clayton Moore pass away?

Answer: Clayton died at 9:20 a.m. PST Tuesday, December 28, 1999 in the emergency room of a Los Angeles area hospital. According to a hospital spokesman, Clayton died as the result of a heart attack. He was 85.


Question: Was Jay Silverheels a real Indian?

Answer: Yes he was. Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto on the show, was a full-blooded Mohawk Indian from the Six Nations Indian Reservation in Ontario, Canada. Jay played in the entire Lone Ranger TV series as well as the two feature length motion pictures "The Lone Ranger" and "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold." He passed away March 5, 1980. His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered over the Six Nations Reservation where he was born 62 years earlier.


Question: What was the name of Tonto's horse?

Answer: Scout.


Question: What is The Lone Ranger creed?

Answer: The Lone Ranger creed was written by the shows original writer Fran Striker. Here is what it says:

"I believe that to have a friend, a man must be
one. That all men are created equal and that everyone
has within himself the power to make this a better
world. That God put the firewood there but that every
man must gather and light it himself. In being
prepared physically, mentally and morally to fight when
necessary for that which is right. That a man should make
the most of what equipment he has. That 'This
government of the people, by the people and for the people'
shall live always. That men should live by the rule of
what is best for the greatest number.
That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle
with the world and make payment for what we have
taken. That all things change but truth...and
that truth alone...lives on forever. In my
Creator...my country...and my
fellow man."


Question: Why did Clayton Moore have to give up wearing the mask of the Lone Ranger back in the 1970's?

Answer: The Wrather Corporation, which owned the rights to the Lone Ranger character, was in the process of making a brand new movie called "The Legend of The Lone Ranger." In it would be a new Lone Ranger and Tonto. Apparently, the Wrather Corporation thought there would be too much confusion in the mind of the public if Clayton Moore was still out making personal appearances as The Lone Ranger and the star of the new movie, Klinton Spilsbury, was also out making personal appearances. In an effort to disassociate themselves from the past, the Wrather Corporation ordered Clayton to quit wearing the mask during public appearances. But that didn't stop Clayton. He purchased pairs of "ski" type sunglasses and wore those instead of the mask. An outpouring of sympathy and support for Clayton followed. The movie made in the late 1970's was not a success. In fact, does anybody know where Klinton Spilsbury ended up? As Jack Wrather, owner of The Wrather Corporation, fell ill and felt his days were few, he gave permission to Clayton to wear the mask once again.


Question: Who were the original sponsors of the Lone Ranger TV show?

Lone Ranger for CheeriosAnswer: Tootsie Roll Tootsie Rolls "America's Favorite Candy" and General Mills, makers of Cheerios and other cereals were two of the early sponsors. They would alternate weekly sponsorship identification on the show.

Most people can probably recite the opening of The Lone Ranger by memory. Can you?

Here's how it sounded and looked:

With the sound of The William Tell Overture in the background, we see The Lone Ranger riding Silver and then the announcer says...

"The Lone Ranger!"

The Lone Ranger pulls out his gun and fires one shot.

And then there was a sponsor identification. For example:

"Presented by Tootsie Roll."

Two more shots

"America's favorite candy."

More shots are fired and The Lone Ranger rides up to a rock formation and reins up on Silver

"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty hi-yo Silver. The Lone Ranger!"

Then the first commercial would be shown

Following the opening commercial the next thing we see is a wheat field. The announcer says

"And now, our Lone Ranger adventure."

In the generic opening, used when the program was shown in syndication, and in later years, we would not see the wheat field or the title of the episode. Instead we would next see The Lone Ranger riding down the trail while the announcer says

With his faithful indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!

However, in the early episodes, there was another opening shown.

The first year of the series (1949-1950) the program opened with a picture of a flag waving over a wheat field and the words "General Mills" on the flag. As the opening notes of the Lone Ranger theme song began, the flag scene faded to a shot of a wheat field and then the words "General Mills presents The Lone Ranger" would be shown. Not the scene of The Lone Ranger riding Silver and firing his gun that we're used to seeing.

This would be followed by the scene we're all familiar with. The Lone Ranger rides Silver down the trail and up to the rock formation, while the announcer says...

"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty hi-yo Silver. The Lone Ranger!"

After The Lone Ranger reins up on Silver, the scene fades back to the wheat field as the announcer says...

"Before we present tonight's exciting adventure, we have a message of interest for you all."

Then the first commercial would be shown.

Following the first commercial, we see an extreme closeup of The Lone Ranger with the episode title superimposed over the bottom part of the screen.

Then the announcer says

"This is a story of one of the most mysterious characters to appear in the early days of the west. He was a fabulous individual. A man whose presence brought fear to the lawless and hope to those who wanted to make this frontier land their home. He was known as The Lone Ranger."

Then the episode would begin

The second commercial would be shown a few minutes into the show following either a shot of a wheat field or the Lone Ranger's hat, mask and bullet laying on a table and the words

"We'll return to our Lone Ranger adventure in just a moment."

During the first few seasons, the wheat field shot was used. The mask, hat and bullet were used when the show switched to color episodes.

The third commercial would follow a few minutes later.

The final commercial would be shown at the end of the show after The Lone Ranger and Tonto ride away from the camera to the words of "Hi-yo Silver Away!" After this commercial, The Lone Ranger and Tonto would be riding along a trail and right up to the camera. The Lone Ranger touches the brim of his hat while an announcer said

"Will The Lone Ranger triumph as he fights on for justice, law and order? Be sure to be with us again next week at this same time when General Mills (or Tootsie Roll) brings you another thrilling adventure with The Lone Ranger!"

The closing credits would roll and then the final sponsorship identification would be given.

In the syndicated, or non-sponsored, programs the close would be given as The Lone Ranger and Tonto ride along a trail.

Be with The Lone Ranger and Tonto same time next week for new dangers in another thrill packed adventure. The Lone Ranger rides again!


Question: Why did The Lone Ranger wear two different types of masks during the show? In some episodes he had on a small mask. In other episodes he wore a large mask.

Answer: Actually, Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, wore more than two different masks. In the first season of the TV show, he wore a smaller mask that was a purple color. That's because it would show up different on a black and white TV set, which is all there was at the time. Later on, it's suspected that the producers wanted more flexibility with the actor who portrayed The Lone Ranger, so they had him wear a larger mask that covered more of his face. That's so another actor might be brought in and, supposedly, no one would know the difference. Then when the show went to color episodes, another mask was worn, this one black, and smaller, as it was in the first TV episodes.


Lone Ranger collage



Just for making it all this way, here's a special Fascinating Fact: The Encyclopedia Britannica states that John Reid, who of course becomes The Lone Ranger, was born in 1850! That would have made him nearly 100 years old when The Lone Ranger with Clayton Moore premiered in 1949!




1