b. John Nicholas Foran, 18 June 1910, Flemington, New Jersey, USA, d. 10 August 1979, Panorama City, California, USA. Foran, the son of a US senator, studied geology at Princeton University. He worked briefly as a Pennsylvania Railroad investigator, before a desire to sing in films led him to Hollywood. In 1934, he made his debut in Gentlemen Are Born and in 1935, he appeared with Shirley Temple in the musical Stand Up And Cheer. He first appeared as a singing cowboy (complete with his palomino, Smoke) for Warner Brothers in Moonlight On The Prairie, late in 1935, thus becoming the second of the genre (Gene Autry beat him when Tumbling Tumbleweeds was released two months earlier). Between 1935 and 1937, Foran, Warner's only singing cowboy, starred in 12 B-westerns, including Cowboy From Brooklyn (1937), before moving to Universal in 1938, where he appeared in a variety of roles and two western serials, Winners Of The West (1940) and Riders In Death Valley (1941). The same year, he appeared with the Sons Of The Pioneers in the radio series Ten-Two-Four Ranch. His successes as a singing cowboy were few when compared to Autry, but his acting ability saw him in various roles in well over 100 films, the last being in 1967. During the 50s, he also appeared in many television productions. Although he had had operatic training, his singing was readily accepted by his western audiences.
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