Probably the most famous of Western-movie sidekicks of the 1930s and 1940s, Hayes was born May 7, 1885, in Wellsville, New York. As a young man, George Hayes worked in a circus and played semi-pro baseball. In 1902, at the age of 17, he ran away from home and joined a touring stock company. He married Olive Ireland in 1914 and the pair became quite successful on the vaudeville circuit. Retired in his 40s, he lost much of his money in the 1929 stock market crash and was forced to return to work. Although he had made his film debut in a single appearance prior to the crash, it was not until his wife convinced him to move to California that he began working steadily. He played scores of roles in Westerns and non-Westerns alike, finally settling into an almost exclusively Western career. He gained fame as Hopalong Cassidy's sidekick Windy Halliday in many films later alternating between whiskered comic-relief sidekicks and clean-shaven bad guys. By the 1930s, he worked almost exclusively as a Western sidekick to stars such as John Wayne, Randolph Scott and of course, Roy Rogers.