A dark-haired, durably handsome and dependable cowboy actor equipped with a strong stance and taciturn seriousness both on and off camera, Dennis Moore was cast as both hero and villain in his three-decade-long career. A player in well over 200 "B"-level oaters and serials during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Moore never reached the rugged heights of top-flight stardom but did manage to find steady employment until only a few years before his death at age 56.
Moore was born Dennis Price Meadows on January 26, 1908, in Fort Worth, TX, the son of Texas-born Dennis Wesley Meadows and Tennessee-born Bessie Bebe Price Meadows. His initial interest in show business may have been sparked while employed as an usher at a movie theater. He eventually learned the tools of the trade performing on the dramatic stage in Texas and in stock companies in the early 1930s. His film career began in 1932 with uncredited appearances for a time in a variety of cliffhangers and westerns as various henchmen and cowhands, and he even worked as a stuntman on occasion. Billed first as Denny Meadows, he changed his stage name to the more catchy, marquee-friendly Dennis Moore by 1936, and legally changed his last name to Moore in the early 1950s. An avid flyer (he was once a transport pilot and flight instructor), a few of his roles reflected this passion. He played a pilot in the Tailspin Tommy (1934) serial and, while signed at Warner Brothers for a time, played Humphrey Bogart's flight engineer in China Clipper (1936).
By the 1940s he was freelancing at various minor studios and was occasionally given the action lead, such as in Fangs of the Wild (1939). He also appeared opposite stalwart cowboys Gene Autry, Buster Crabbe and Buck Jones, among others, and was seen in both the "Three Mesquiteers" and "Rough Riders" series.
Moore hit his peak in films during WW II when many of the big stars had enlisted or been drafted into the military (serious injuries incurred in a plane crash rendered him ineligible for military service). During this productive period he co-starred with Ray Corrigan and Max Terhune in the "Range Buster" series at Monogram Pictures and then co-starred with Tex Ritter and Jimmy Wakely in some of their popular western entries. He also was front and center in the Raiders of Ghost City (1944) and The Purple Monster Strikes (1945) serials, among others.
In mid-career, Moore turned from granite-jawed heroes to black-hatted bad guys and henchmen in many "Poverty Row" westerns, yet still snagged a couple of leads and co-leads in serials every now and then, including Perils of the Wilderness (1956) and Blazing the Overland Trail (1956). He also was seen quite frequently on TV western series (Tombstone Territory (1957), Sky King (1951), The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954), Bat Masterson (1958)) in standard guest spots. One of his last was a recurring part in Disney's The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957) on the "Mickey Mouse Club" series. He pretty much hung up his gun belt shortly thereafter.
A highly private man who was considered a loner by nature, little is known about his private life. He was married more than once, perhaps up to four times according to surviving relatives. His final marriage, in 1947 to Marilyn Mason, produced one daughter, Linda, and lasted until his death. He subsequently moved to Big Bear Lake, CA, where he operated a gift shop for the last few years of his life. He died on March 1, 1964, at age 56 of rheumatic heart disease combined with circulatory problems.