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Friday, July 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in California: Spokane actor dies in stagecoach fall during filming

From our archives, 100 years ago

Leslie Reed, a well-known actor in Spokane, died during a motion picture shoot near Santa Barbara.

Reed was filming a Wild West movie in the mountains when he attempted to jump from the top of a moving stagecoach. He slipped and died of his injuries.

Reed had spent most of the previous winter and spring in Spokane, as one of the leading members of the Baker Players, the resident theater ensemble at the Auditorium Theater and later with the Empress Stock Company at the Empress Theater. He was best known for portrayal of Steve, the cowboy accomplice of the villain Trampas in “The Virginian.”

From the mining beat: Henry Ridgley, 65, was shot in the leg while trying to defend his mine at Blewett Pass against five marauders.

Ridgley had earlier been appointed trustee of the mine by court order, and the five other men had vowed to take it away from him. The mine had been in litigation for years.

The five men showed up with axes the next day. They tried to batten down the door, but Ridgley ordered them away. Guns were drawn and a gun battle ensued in deep snow. Ridley shot one of the men, not seriously, but Ridgley was hit in the leg.

Ridgley extracted the bullet from his leg with a pocket knife and later was taken to the hospital.

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