History of William S. Hart Park William S. Hart started as a stage actor and starred alongside theater greats Helena Modjeska, Hortense “Madame” Rhea, Julia Arthur, and Lawrence Barrett. He transitioned to movies when he was 50-years-old, and within a few short years, he became one of the most popular and successful actors in the world, on par with contemporaries Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. He was beloved by countless fans around the globe, including US President Woodrow Wilson, and when he retired, he moved into a 10,000-square-foot dream home at the top of the hill on his Horseshoe Ranch in Newhall, California.
William S. Hart passed away peacefully in 1946 at the age of 81, and in his last will and testament, he bequeathed his Newhall home to the County of Los Angeles to be converted into a park and museum for the public. As he himself said: “When I was making pictures, the people gave me their nickels, dimes, and quarters. When I am gone, I want them to have my home.”
For more information about William S. Hart and his contributions to film, cowboy culture, and the City of Los Angeles, visit his Museum’s Official Website.