Please tell me about one of my favorite western stars, Allan “Rocky” Lane. How did he get the name “Rocky”?
—Ed Chrisman, Front Royal, Va.
Lane, born Harry Leonard Albershart in Mishawaka, Ind., gained fame in the late 1930s and early 1940s in Westerns and such serials as 'King of the Royal Mounted' and 'The Yukon Patrol.' He played Red Ryder in seven films in 1946 and 1947 and then galloped into more than 30 “horse operas” as Allan "Rocky" Lane beginning in 1947's Wild Frontier, where his character was given the name Rocky Lane. From that point on, the actor was billed as Allan "Rocky" Lane. The actor, who supplied the voice of Mr. Ed in the iconic 1960s sitcom about a talking horse, died of cancer in 1973 at age 64.