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Pat Brady (actor)

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Pat Brady
Robert Ellsworth Patrick Aloysius Brady

December 31, 1914
DiedFebruary 27, 1972 (aged 57)
Other namesBob Brady
Occupation(s)Actor, musician

Robert Ellsworth Patrick Aloysius Brady (December 31, 1914 – February 27, 1972) was an American actor and musician best known as the "comical sidekick" of the popular cowboy film and television star Roy Rogers on his eponymous radio and television series.[1]


Brady was born on December 31, 1914, in Toledo, Ohio. He was the son of John Edward Brady and the former Lucille Brewer. Both parents were in show business.[2] He first appeared on stage at the age of four, in a road-show production of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.[3] From that initial stage appearance until his death, his life was dedicated to the world of entertainment as a musician and actor, almost exclusively in comedic roles. In 1935, while working as a bassist in California, Pat struck up a friendship with a young country-and-western singer named Leonard Slye, a member of the popular Sons of the Pioneers.[3] When Len Slye was elevated to screen stardom as Roy Rogers, he recommended Brady as his replacement in "The Sons". However, as Bob Nolan, an original member of The Sons, was referred to as "Bob," and The Sons thought one "Bob" was enough, "Bob Brady" then became "Pat Brady".[1]

Making the transition to films in 1937, Brady played comedy relief in several of the Charles Starrett Westerns at Columbia Pictures. In the early 1940s, he moved to Republic, where he played zany camp cook Sparrow Biffle in Roy Rogers films.

Brady served in the U.S. Army and was at the Battle of the Bulge with Patton's Third Army. He was awarded citations and two Purple Hearts.[3]

The Roy Rogers Show radio program had Brady as a regular cast member.[4] When The Roy Rogers Show moved to television Brady played himself from 1951–1957. While most of the others on the show rode horses, Brady at first rode a mule until Rogers decided to have him drive a drove a 1946 CJ-2A Willy’s Jeep called "Nellybelle." The jeep's bad brakes gave the show one of its catch-phrases; when trying to stop it, Brady would yell "Whoa, Nellybelle!" or "Whoa, Nelly!"[5] Nellybelle was later sold by Christie's for $116,500.[6]

In 1962 Brady provided humor on the musical variety series The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show.[7]


Pat Brady died at the age of 57 in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado.[3] He was survived by his wife Carol and one-year-old son Patrick.[8] At his funeral on March 1, 1972, Hugh Farr and Lloyd Perryman, both members of the Sons of the Pioneers, sang "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "At the Rainbows End".[1]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rothel.
  2. ^ Comic and Singer Pat Brady, Roy Rogers' Sidekick on TV, The Miami Herald, February 29, 1972, page 84
  3. ^ a b c d "Pat Brady, Film. Cowboy, Dies; Roy Rogers's Sidekick Was 57", obituary, The New York Times, New York, N.Y.; retrieved October 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Dunning, John, Tune in Yesterday, page 526, Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1976
  5. ^ "Roy Rogers' sidekick Pat Brady and his jeep Nellybelle". The Denver Gazette. June 17, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2024. When he started out Brady rode a stubborn, big-ole mule alongside star Rogers on his awesome palomino Trigger. Then Rogers changed Brady's steed to the star's own 1946 CJ-2A Willy's Jeep Nellybelle... The jeep was as cantankerous as Brady was funny...the jeep's brakes never quite worked, even when Brady uttered the catch phrases "Whoa, Nellybelle" or "Whoa, Nelly."
  6. ^ "Nellybelle". Christie's. July 15, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2024. NELLYBELLE Price realised USD 116,500 Estimate USD 20,000 – USD 30,000 Closed: 15 Jul 2010
  7. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 – Present, Ballantine Books, 1979, page 539.
  8. ^ Movie Cowboy Actor Is Dead, The Odessa American (Odessa, Texas), February 28, 1972, page 2

Further reading[edit]

  • Rothel, David. 1984. Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey. ISBN 0-8108-1707-1

External links[edit]