Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - Archives

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Archives

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
      - Warren Oates
      - Ford Rainey
      - Ward Bond
      - William Mims
      - James Gregory
      - Guy Wilkerson
      - Frank Ferguson
      - Al Ferguson
      - Mort Mills
      - Slim Whitaker
      - Le Roy Mason
      - Kenneth MacDonald
      - Nestor Pavia
      - Steve Clark
      - Pierce Lyden
      - Bud Geary
      - Lyle Talbot
      - Rayford Barnes
      - I. Stanford Jolley
      - Don Harvey
      - Bruce Dern
      - Ian MacDonald
      - Bob Kortman
      - Bob Wilke
      - Denver Pyle
      - Jack Ingram
      - Jan Merlin
      - Neville Brand
      - John Anderson
      - John Milford
      - Lee Marvin
      - Trevor Bardette
      - Morgan Woodward
      - Michael Pate
      - Fred Kohler
      - Mari Blanchard
      - Dick Alexander
      - Hank Worden
      - Marie Windsor
      - Edmund Cobb
      - Gregg Barton
      - Douglas Fowley
      - Walter Burke
      - Budd Buster
      - R. G. Armstrong
      - Gregg Palmer
      - Rex Holman
      - Ernie Adams
      - Robert Ryan
      - Ted de Corsia
      - Scott Marlowe
      - Lee Roberts
      - James Coburn
      - Victor Jory
      - Kenne Duncan
      - Stephen McNally
      - Wallace Ford
      - Earle Hodgins
      - Douglas Kennedy
      - DeForest Kelley
      - George Macready
      - Terry Frost
      - John Doucette
      - Riley Hill
      - James Seay
      - Richard Devon
      - Harry Lauter
      - James Griffith
      - Myron Healey
      - J. Farrell MacDonald
      - Jean Willes
      - Hank Patterson
      - L. Q. Jones
      - Tom London
      - Leo Gordon
      - Holly Bane/Mike Ragan
      - Dan Duryea
      - John Cason
      - Dennis Moore
      - Lee Van Cleef
      - Jack Elam
      - Roy Barcroft
      - William Fawcett
      - Byron Foulger
      - Gerald Mohr
      - Tom Bay
      - Lafe McKee
      - Paul Sorenson, Ben Welden, William Watson, George Barrows
      - Strother Martin
      - Carl Stockdale
      - Edward J. Peil
      - George Wallace
      - Claude Akins
      - Al Taylor
      - Henry Silva
      - John Dehner
      - Donald Curtis
      - Steve Brodie
      - John Merton
      - Lyle Bettger
      - Ted Adams
      - John Cliff
      - Marshall Reed
      - Barton MacLane
      - Al Bridge
      - Warner Richmond
      - Charles Stevens
      - Ethan Laidlaw
      - Chris Alcaide
      - Tris Coffin
      - Noah Beery Sr.
      - Frank Ellis
      - Zon Murray
      - Lane Bradford
      - Morris Ankrum
      - Harry Woods
      - Charlie King
      - Glenn Strange
      - Forrest Taylor
      - Bud Osborne
      - Dick Curtis
      - George Chesebro

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Circus Cowboys
    - Archives

Radio Range Riders
    - Archives

Rangeland Elegance
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Subscribe to Western Clippings


Western Clippings Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips
    - Page 1 (1910-1949)
    - Page 2 (1950-1979)

Sunday Comic Strips
    - 1907-1990


Miscellaneous Collectibles


Lobby Cards

Movie Posters



Michael Pate is an Australian who conquered the screen Wild West by playing vicious killers and bloodthirsty Indians. As a matter of fact, at one time or another Pate portrayed every true life Indian chief there was—Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Victorio, Quanah Parker, Geronimo—as well as a lot of fictitious ones, Strongbow, Yellow Robe, Sleeping Dog, Blue Horse, Kotana, Sankeno, Toriano, Chato, Buffalo Calf, Running Horse, among others.

Michael Pate fulfilling a childhood dream to play an Indian as he did here with John Wayne in "McLintock" ('63).Pate was born February 26, 1920, in Drummoyne, a harborside suburb of Sydney, Australia. His father, Barney Pate, was a talented and well known horsebreaker, trainer and Royal Easter Show reinsman who later became a master pastry cook and baker. Schooled at home by his maternal Grandmother and his parents, Michael could read and write by the time he entered kindergarten. A lover of Western movies as a child, he thoroughly enjoyed dressing up for year end concerts as an Indian chief or a cowboy, never realizing as an adult he would continue to fulfill these childhood dreams.

Pate left school at 15 to get a job because it was not affordable for his family to send him on to University. Michael got a job as a junior cost accountant for several years. A few years later he quit a job as head accountant for an electrical firm when he met an influential young producer at the Australian Broadcasting Commission who, in 1938, mentored him into a career writing and broadcasting for radio. This led to radio acting, other parts on the stage and in films in ‘38 and ‘39. He became a young star of radio shows such as the “Colgate-Palmolive Youth Show” and “Lux Radio Theater”, appeared at the Minerva Theater, the Theater Royal and various little theaters in many plays and was then cast in the epic film of the Australian Lighthorse in Mesapotamia during WWI—“40,000 Horsemen”. Michael also wrote for several newspapers as a book and theater critic and had short stories published in Australian magazines and anthologies and in HARPER’S BAZAAR in the U.S.

WWII interrupted his burgeoning young career and he served in the S.W.P.A. of the Australian Army’s entertainment unit in various combat areas until 1946. From 1946-1950 Michael starred in various radio dramas, in the theatre, and in films in Australia. He also wrote theatrical plays. In 1950 he came to the U.S. for the film version of his play “Bonaventure” which was released as “Thunder On the Hill” in 1951 by Universal.

Subsequently, he began to work steadily in Hollywood (“Strange Door” ‘51, “Ten Tall Men” ‘51, “Face to Face” ‘52, “Black Castle” ‘52, “Julius Caesar” ‘53, “The Maze” ‘53) until his first western, “Hondo” (‘53 Warner Bros.), brought him into the cowboy and Indian mold he so dearly loved as a child. The role of Chief Vittorio instantly made Pate a recognizable western actor.

"A Lawless Street" lobby card.

On November 19, 1951, Michael married actress Felippa (“Flip”) Rock, daughter of noted Vitagraph comedian and later producer Joe Rock who, among other things, produced the first batch of silent Stan Laurel two-reelers. He also produced comedies with Chester Conklin, Slim Summerville and others. After winning an Academy Award in 1932 for “Krakatoa”, a three-reel short, he relocated to England and began Rock Studios, producing many features there. His daughter, Felippa, was in “Moss Rose” (‘47), “Kiss the Blood Off My Hands” (‘48), “Bride of the Gorilla” (‘51), “From the Terrace” (‘60), among others.

While continuing to act in film and on TV, Michael began teaching acting and lectured on film acting as well as writing screenplays (“Escape from Fort Bravo”, “Rawhide” TV episode, etc). In the theatre, he played two seasons of “Medea” in L.A. and Houston.

In 1968, after nearly 60 films and well over 200 TV episodes in the U.S., Michael elected to return home to write and co-produce “Age of Consent” (‘69). In Australia he acted in and produced shows in all areas, police dramas, musicals and variety series, one of which won four industry awards. He acted in over 250 TVers. For one, “Matlock Police”, he did a stint of over 192 episodes over four years, being honored with Australia’s coveted Penguin Award as Best Actor. He worked on some 15 films, also writing and directing.

Jock Mahoney holds Michael Pate at swordpoint in "California" ('63).

Never idle, Michael wrote three books between 1970-1986, including THE FILM ACTOR textbook, an illustrated children’s book and a book of his WWII experiences. In 1977, he wrote and produced “The Mango Tree” which featured his son Christopher, who, by the way, was also in a “Gunsmoke” episode, “The Whispering Tree”. In 1978 he wrote, produced and directed “Tim”, the film that launched Mel Gibson’s career and garnered Michael a Best Screenplay Award from the Australian Writer’s Guild. Son Chris was producer’s assistant for the film. In 1979 Michael was featured on Australia’s “This Is Your Life” as he continued to do theatre in Melbourne and Sydney. Michael and his son joined forces again from 1982-1984 to co-star and tour Australia on stage in “Mass Appeal”.

Michael Pate was Chief Vittoro in 17 episodes of TV's "Hondo" in '67 with Ralph Taeger playing the role John Wayne originated in 1953.Over the years since, Michael has done other legit plays, radio, voice-overs for TVmercials and narrations for various documentaries and corporate videos. He’s also continued to write an Australian movie column and since 1997 has contributed a bi-monthly column of his movie and TV remembrances for Boyd Magers’ WESTERN CLIPPINGS.

In 1997 Michael was awarded, by his government, a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services rendered to the arts and film industry.

The term “gentleman and scholar” never applied more to anyone I’ve ever known than Michael Pate. He passed away September 1, 2008, at Gosford Hospital in Sydney, NSW, Australia.