James Bush
born: 14 October 1907
Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio,
United States of America
died: 09 April 1987
Van Nuys, California,
United States of America
(age 79)

American actor. His brother was Orland Bush.
The family moved from Ohio to Los Angeles about 1912. His Mom, May Brown (1873-1959), was a "stage Mother" and his manager. One newspaper account says she had been a successful stage actress "back East" and another says she had wanted to become an actress. She enrolled him in the Egan Dramatic School where he received his primary education and performed at churches, social clubs and civic events as "the boy soprano". Newspaper interviews mention him acting as a "kid" in films and one said he was a "protege' of Mary Pickford for productions she did with Paramount" but no films are named. He sang, danced, acted and played violin all the way through his 4 years at Los Angeles High School. He became a prolific stage actor performing everything from fairy tales; musicals; comedy; drama and Shakespeare.
After graduating high school he played assorted parts in a wide variety of plays for various amateur groups for a few years, eventually getting a starring role in 1926 with the esteemed Pasadena Community Theater. He worked steadily for the next several years with the Duffy Players and Morosco, playing a season in St. Louis and one in Seattle/Portland while resisting movie offers. Invariably he received good reviews for his performances even when the play or other actors were below par and developed his own following before he was 22 years old.
In 1932 he signed with Paramount for 2 pictures and from then on, played everything from leading men, supporting roles and bit parts in major and minor motion pictures, working steadily into TV series' in the 1950's.
In his early 20's he raised goldfish commercially. His multi-acre ranch on Laurel Canyon Road was all white: house, barn, furniture, fences, chickens, rabbits, horse and bulldog.
In May 1935, James was a pallbearer for 2 funerals in 2 days. Jackie Coogan's Dad was driving to their ranch on a mountain road outside San Diego at high speed (possibly intoxicated) and ran off the road, rolling over several times into a rocky ditch. All were killed except Jackie who was riding in the rumble seat and miraculously escaped with minor injuries. All were friends of James. One was 19 year old up-and-coming movie actor, Junior Durkin and the other friend was 25 year old Robert J. Horner, an up-and-coming radio writer/actor (not to be confused by the producer of "low-rent" western movies).

*His birth record shows no middle name or initial but a number of newspaper "blurbs" say "James H." or "James Henry" Bush.
Real name: James Henry Bush
Height: 6'1"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.



A-Haunting We Will Go
Joe Morgan

Henchman Jimmy O'Grady

The Big Noise

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/93764097 (Findagrave birth and death dates)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPMH-1NF (1987 Death and Mother's name: CA Death Index)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MLF9-M97 (1910 Census Cincinnati, OH. James H. Bush)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH74-DVB (1920 Census LA James H. Bush)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCJ1-TJX (1930 Census LA James H. Bush actor, motion picture)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9HG-MCS (1940 Census LA James Bush actor, on call: age 28)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380172854/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1914 Dec. Egan Dramatic School plays 5 parts)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380147658/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1915 Feb photo playing violin)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380522704/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1916 Mar 9-year-old boy soprano w/photo)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380563586/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1916 Apr James Henry Bush w/Mrs. W.D. Bush)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380524548/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1916 May James Henry Bush as Puck photo)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380360728/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1917 Apr in Rip Van Winkle play photo)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380651133/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1918 Feb is protege of Mary Pickford)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380470678/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1918 Apr has "stage mother")
https://www.newspapers.com/image/156454744/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1921 Nov performs solo dance act)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380570435/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1922 Jul in Pilgrimage Play outdoor extravaganza)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380644024/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1924 Sep in play running 32 weeks)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380644024/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1926 Apr lead part play w/ Pasadena Comm Players)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380625563/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1926 May James Henry Bush interview pt.1)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380625590/ (1926 interview pt.2)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380490060/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22&match=2 (1928 Feb interview: Mom was actress)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/385492281/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1929 Jul raises goldfish)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380482791/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1932 Oct signs movie contract)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380487412/?terms=%22JAMES%2BBUSH%22 (1935 Feb all white ranch)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380457424 (1935 May pallbearer for Junior Durkin)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380457844/?terms=%22ROBERT%2BHORNER%22 (1935 May pallbearer Robert Horner)
Jim Jarvis (research and information)

This page was last updated on: 05 May 2019