Evelyn Finley

Douglas, Arizona, USA


Evelyn Ruth Finley was known as the most accomplished stunt rider in the western genre. Famous director William A. Wellman was one of many who regarded her as the best in the business. She worked with horses from early childhood and grew up a tomboy on her father's ranch. Her dad had promised 'to put her into pictures', but how she eventually arrived in Hollywood is unclear. Winning a beauty contest as 'Miss Albuquerque' might have helped. The year was 1936 and her first picture was as stunt double to Jean Parker. By 1940, Evelyn was under contract at Monogram where her skills in the saddle quickly promoted her to leading lady opposite the likes of Tex Ritter, Tom Keene, Johnny Mack Brown and Buster Crabbe. As blonde Eve Anderson, she got to star in one of the last serials made at Columbia, Perils of the Wilderness (1956). However, Evelyn preferred the stunt work to acting, often doubling on horseback for glamorous stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Loretta Young. She remained involved in her area of expertise, either actively or as technical adviser, well into the 1980's. When not working in the film industry, she toured as an equestrian performer at different circuses. Evelyn was inducted into the Stuntmen's Hall of Fame.