● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
Hondo is alive and well and living in Placerville!
Not John Wayne of the 1953 western film, but Ralph Taeger, of the 1967 television series based on the aforementioned flick. Yes, the hardworking unassuming owner of Taeger’s Firewood, Ralph Taeger, was a Hollywood actor from 1959 to 1980 when he moved to Placerville.
TV aficionados will probably be familiar with all three series Taeger starred in: Klondike, with James Coburn; Acapulco with Coburn and Telly Savalas; and Hondo, which was based on the John Wayne film. Under contract to three different studios, Taeger also had lesser roles in several movies, such as A House is Not a Home starring Shelly Winters.
During his Hollywood days, he also made more than 50 guest appearances on other TV shows, including Twilight Zone with Wally Cox. “I got my feet wet in summer theater at the well-known Cragmore Playhouse in upstate New York,” says Taeger, who hails from the same state. “I was in Little Foxes off Broadway and then had roles at the Beverly Hills Playhouse when I moved to California.”
But the Hollywood scene never felt secure to Taeger, who decided starting his own business in Placerville was a more stable and secure route to follow in the ‘80s. He and his son have been supplying firewood to locals ever since, as he exchanged the bright lights for firelight.
For more about Ralph Taeger, and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – El Dorado County Foothills edition. Click on the Get Your Copy link on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations; click on the Subscribe link on this Web site to become a regular subscriber, or to order a copy of this issue or one of our back issues, please email email@example.com, or call 916-988-9888.