Remembering Wally: The Silver Screen Star That Came Home to Wyoming
He was born Floyd Taliaferro Alderson, but in Hollywood, they called him Wally. Wally Wales was a silver screen legend, who was born on a ranch just outside of Sheridan. 39 years ago today, he passed away in the same place, having returned to his home state after his acting career was over.
Wales appeared in over 220 films between 1921 and 1964, making him one of the few actors to successfully make the transition into the "talkies." He was born in Sheridan in 1895, where his family had a ranch near the Montana and Wyoming border. He worked as a cowboy, and for the Bufallo Bill Stage line before heading towards Los Angeles to work as a wrangler for the movie studio Universal.
He was most successful in old Westerns, probably due to his experience in the subject matter, and he was the star of over 20 silent films before taking successively smaller roles until his retirement from acting in the 1950s. He returned to his family ranch, where he spent his golden years painting landscapes. The family ranch is now on the Historic National Register.
Wales passed away on February 10, 1980 in Sheridan, Wyoming from complications of pneumonia.