Love at first sight for William ‘Hopalong Cassidy’ Boyd

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Grace Bradley Boyd, who died Tuesday at age 97 at her home in Dana Point, was a 23-year-old Hollywood actress when she met the love of her life, William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd, in 1937. Boyd proposed to her three days later, and they were married three weeks after they met.

The marriage lasted 35 years, until William Boyd’s death at age 77 in 1972.


During a 1995 appearance at the Lone Pine Film Festival, Grace Boyd recalled how quickly she discovered that Hoppy’s appeal was not just to the young fans of his westerns.

“Believe me,” she said, “I used to have to fight the women off with a club. They’d be crawling under the bed in hotels because he really was a very handsome man. He had skin like a baby and very high coloring on his face, and his eyes were that light, piercing china blue — with black eyebrows and platinum-colored hair. He started to turn gray when he was 19. It was one of those family traits. In the old days, they used to put brown makeup in his hair.”

Read the full obituary of Grace Bradley Boyd.

Also available is the Times obituary of William Boyd from 1972.

— Dennis McLellan