Horden film star rides into sunset

A FORMER pitman who swapped the mines to become a Hollywood cowboy has ridden into his final sunset.

John Alderson, who left Horden to become a hit on the silver screen, has died in Tinseltown at the age of 90.

Born the son of a miner in East Durham, John, known to many as Basher, became a close friend of the stars, including screen legend John Wayne, and had more than 150 film and television credits to his name.

In 2002 he travelled back to England, wearing a trademark stetson, to pay a nostalgic visit to the colliery village he left behind and told staff in the chip shop he was a "Limey cowboy".

Like most teenage boys did in those days, John initially followed his dad down the mines, but after just two weeks decided it wasn't the life for him.

He lied about his age to get into the army where he rose through the ranks to become a major and on leaving headed for the U.S. where he married a general's secretary and embarked on a 50-year acting career.

John became well known for playing the villain in some of the best-loved films and television programmes and rubbed shoulders with a host of leading ladies from Audrey Hepburn to Catherine Zeta Jones.

Some of the most memorable films he played roles in were Blazing Saddles, My Fair Lady, Evil Under the Sun and Young Guns II.

He also appeared in some of TVs favourite shows including Bonanza, Quincy, The Onedin Line, Boon and Dr Who and will also be remembered as Sergeant Bullock in the ITV show Boots and Saddles.

John's film fame was highlighted in a book about Horden which was written by Paul Stradling and published to mark the Millennium.

Coun Jean White, chairwoman of Horden Parish Council, said: "I know I speak for everyone when I express my sadness at John's death."

She said she would be speaking to her council colleagues about the possibilities of a permanent tribute to one of the village's most famous sons.

Fifty years' acting in films and television

JOHN "Basher" Alderson's acting career spanned over five decades during which time he appeared in some of the best loved films and television programmes.

1951 – John's first role was playing a British soldier in The Highwayman.

1953 – He had an uncredited role in The Desert Rats.

1955 – John had a role as a detective in To Catch A Thief which starred Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

1962 – The former pitman had a role in The Untouchables.

1959-1962 – During these years John appeared in four episodes of the television hit show Maverick.

1964 – John joined the cast of the famous musical My Fair Lady.

1965 – Basher had a role in an episode of The Man from UNCLE.

1966 – John returned to England to play the part of Wyatt Earp in an episode of Dr Who.

1970 – He starred in a TV episode of Mission Impossible.

1974 – The lad from Horden took up a role in the film epic Blazing Saddles.

1975 and 1976 – John had roles in two episodes of Little House on the Prairie.

1978 – John was back in the UK again to play the part of Randy in The Wild Geese. 1982 – He played a policeman in the Agatha Christie classic Evil Under the Sun.

1990 – John's last film role was in Young Guns II.

where he married a general’s secretary and embarked on a 50-year acting career.

John became well known for playing the villain in some of the best-loved films and television programmes and rubbed shoulders with a host of leading ladies from Audrey Hepburn to Catherine Zeta Jones.

Some of the most memorable films he played roles in were Blazing Saddles, My Fair Lady, Evil Under the Sun and Young Guns II.

He also appeared in some of TVs favourite shows including Bonanza, Quincy, The Onedin Line, Boon and Dr Who and will also be remembered as Sergeant Bullock in the ITV show Boots and Saddles.

John’s film fame was highlighted in a book about Horden which was written by Paul Stradling and published to mark the Millennium.

Coun Jean White, chairwoman of Horden Parish Council, said: “I know I speak for everyone when I express my sadness at John’s death.”

She said she would be speaking to her council colleagues about the possibilities of a permanent tribute to one of the village’s most famous sons.

JOHN “Basher” Alderson’s acting career spanned over five decades during which time he appeared in some of the best loved films and television programmes.

l 1951 – John’s first role was playing a British soldier in The Highwayman.

l 1953 – He had an uncredited role in The Desert Rats.

l 1955 – John had a role as a detective in To Catch A Thief which starred Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

l 1962 – The former pitman had a role in The Untouchables.

l 1959-1962 – During these years John appeared in four episodes of the television hit show Maverick.

l 1964 – John joined the cast of the famous musical My Fair Lady.

l 1965 – Basher had a role in an episode of The Man from UNCLE.

l 1966 – John returned to England to play the part of Wyatt Earp in an episode of Dr Who.

l 1970 – He starred in a TV episode of Mission Impossible.

l 1974 – The lad from Horden took up a role in the film epic Blazing Saddles.

l 1975 and 1976 – John had roles in two episodes of Little House on the Prairie.

l 1978 – John was back in the UK again to play the part of Randy in The Wild Geese.

l 1982 – He played a policeman in the Agatha Christie classic Evil Under the Sun.

l 1990 – John’s last film role was in Young Guns II.