Stunt horseback rider and actor Ed Tomei died of natural causes Feb. 11 in Fallbrook, Calif. He was 91.
Born in Port Angeles, Wash., he moved with his family to Los Angeles where as a child he met early Western movie star William S. Hart when he and his brother “found” the actor’s horses in a field.
In 1928, he began working as a horse wrangler in films, doing stunt work and bit parts in addition to wrangling. He worked on films including “Cimarron,” “A Day at the Races,” “Stagecoach,” “Gone With The Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” His final movie was “Harrigan’s Kid,” filmed at Louis B. Mayer’s Hemet ranch in 1942. He often played a wagon driver, playing Cossacks, Chinese, jockeys, Indians and Cavalry as the story demanded.
After retiring from films, he worked as a rodeo judge and in the construction business.
He is survived by his wife Betty, a daughter, two stepdaughters and several grandchildren.