William Boyd was born in 1895 in Brookyn and was a star of the silver screen before he became indelibly marked as Hopalong Cassidy. In total 66 films were made of the cowboy hero.
Grace Bradley was born in 1913 and became a musician and dancer, then made the move to films. When she was a child, William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy had been her hero, so when she had a chance to meet him, she jumped at the opportunity.
A friend suggested to Boyd that he should meet Grace. When he called and introduced himself over the phone, she was sure someone was pranking her at first, because she had been such a fan. Then he laughed and she recognized his voice. She agreed to attend a beach party he was throwing. He went to her home to pick her up and when she came down the stairs to meet him, this is how she described the event in an interview with the Daily Pilot. " He instinctively held out his arms ,and I walked right into them."
Three days later, Boyd asked her to marry him. "He said, 'I would have proposed the first night except I was afraid I'd scare you to death,' " she recalled.
They were married in 1937, three weeks after they met. It was a first marriage for Grace and she was willing to take the chance in spite of Boyd's earlier failed marriages.
This one took and they had a happy life together for 35 years until his death in 1972. After William died, Grace retired from show business for herself but continued to keep the Hopalong Cassidy legend alive. She also became involved with volunteer work for the hospital where William spent his final days.
Grace died at the age of 97 in 2010. She is buried alongside her husband in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale California.