PALM DESERT (Calif.) – The desert hideaway of one of America’s best
loved cowboy-actors, William Boyd aka “Hopalong Cassidy,” is being
auctioned June 2 by Pacific Auction Exchange.
“This is a great opportunity to own a piece of TV western history,” said
Mario Hernandez, a Rancho Mirage contractor and owner of TileCare
Company, who restored Boyd’s home to the glamour of yesteryear. “The
house is basically white and black, just like Hoppy’s black western garb
and his white horse Topper.”
Hernandez now owns the two-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,892-square-foot home,
which served as winter retreat for Boyd and his wife Grace from 1955 to
1971. Boyd was 77 when he died in 1972. Boyd was honored with a hiking
trail named for him in the foothills of Palm Desert.
Besides the house auction, more than a chuck wagon full of western and
personal memorabilia from Boyd’s home will be on the auction block June
4 at Bonham & Butterfields Auctioneers in Los Angeles. To view Hoppy’s
house and memorabilia online, visit www.hoppyhouse.com.
Many of the 35 plus historic items, including authentic saddles that
were mounted atop bar stools William Boyd’s home here, will be available
for sale. The saddles honor some of America’s cowboy heroes such as Roy
Rogers, John Wayne, Gene Autry, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Calamity
Jane. Other items include bolo ties, vintage radio and exercise bike,
bass violin, brass horse door knockers, a coffee cup with Hoppy’s
portrait, furniture and artwork from the estate home.
“I’m very proud to be able to offer Hoppy’s memorabilia to his many fans
around the United States,” Hernandez said. “Hoppy was a great role model
for kids and adults when he was making movies. He never swore, didn’t
drink, rarely kissed girls,” Hernandez said with a laugh. “He had a
squeaky cleaning image.”
Hernandez, whose father Emilio was Boyd’s landscaper in 1957-58, said he
was intrigued with Boyd’s house as well as Boyd’s career as Hoppy.
The auction is expected to bring in as many as 400 people, according to
Steve LaRocque, owner of the Pacific Auction Exchange/AlynnRock Group,
Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif.
The house will be sold with no minimum bid and no reserve. It will sell
to the highest bidder regardless of price. Auction previews at the house
will take place on May 19, from 4:07 p.m. to 6:07 p.m., May 26, from
11:07 a.m. to 1:07 p.m. and June 1, from 6:07 p.m. to 7:07 p.m. A
Bidder’s Information Seminar will be held at 7:07 p.m. on June 1. The
auction will be held at 12:07 p.m. June 2. The public is welcome at all
Prospective buyers must bring a cashier’s check for $20,000 which will
serve as a part of the deposit if they are successful in the auction.
Absolute auction, meaning the highest bid will be accepted, according to
LaRocque. The $20,000 cashiers’ checks will be returned to unsuccessful
bidders. LaRocque can be reached at (877) PAX-2BID or 925-600-7766. Go
to www.paxbayareaauctions.com to request auction information. Some of
the memorabilia will be auctioned during the house auction, Hernandez
“I plan to make a donation to some charities, specifically the Boys &
Girls Club of the Coachella Valley and the Michael J Fox Foundation for
Parkinson’s disease research,’’ Hernandez said. Boyd died from heart
failure brought on from Parkinson’s disease.
Hopalong Cassidy was the hero of 28 western novels written by Clarence
Mulford in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s.
Boyd, a star of the silent movies under contract to Cecil B. DeMille,
brought Hopalong to the screen in a feature produced by Paramount
Pictures. Paramount made 34 more pictures with Bill Boyd as Hoppy and
United Artists produced 31 others, also with Bill Boyd. On June 24,
1949, Hoppy became the first network Western television series, airing
on NBC. Boyd starred in 52 half-hour TV programs and 104 radio shows.
Steve La Rocque, CEO/President
Pacific Auction Exchange, AlynnROCK Group, Inc.
(877) PAX-2BID (729-2243)