Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Terva Gaston Hubbard (1902-1977)

Aka Trevor Bardette
Author, Actor
Born November 19, 1902, Nashville, Arkansas
Died November 28, 1977, Los Angeles, California

Actor Trevor Bardette spent over three decades in front of the camera playing more than 200 roles in movies and television, yet information on his life is scarce and in some places just plain wrong. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) claims his name at birth was Abraham Lincoln. shows him as a graduate of Oregon State University (based on a yearbook page that may be labeled incorrectly). Internet sources claim his death date as either November 2 or 28, 1977, and no one has found his obituary despite years of looking. Even his family knew little of him, and then only after he died. And to top it all off, sources on Weird Tales include him with the magazine's female authors.

Bardette was actually born Terva Gaston Hubbard, son of Marshall and Olive Perilea Hubbard, in Nashville, Arkansas, on November 19, 1902. The Hubbard family split early in their son's life. Marshall Hubbard remarried, while his ex-wife set out for parts west (presumably with her son in tow) and lived in California for decades. Terva Gaston Hubbard attended Oregon State University but graduated from the University of Oregon in June 1925. While at the University of Oregon, Hubbard appeared on stage in student productions. (1) A source on the Internet says that Hubbard also studied at Northwestern University and planned on a career in mechanical engineering. (2) However Hubbard might have spent his youth, by the early 1930s, he was going by the stage name Trevor Bardette and had begun acting on the East Coast. By 1936 or 1937, he had made the move to Hollywood.

The IMDb lists Hubbard's first credit as the Hopalong Cassidy feature Borderland (1937). Over the next thirty years and more, Bardette became a familiar face in the movies and on television, especially in westerns such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train, and Cheyenne. He also appeared on film in the genres of detective, fantasy, and science fiction, including in The Adventures of Superman, in which he played "The Human Bomb." Bardette lived in Green Valley, Arizona, late in life and died on November 28, 1977, in Los Angeles.

When Trevor Bardette was still going by the name Terva Gaston Hubbard, he authored a single story for Weird Tales. Its title was "The Phantom Photoplay" and it appeared in the August 1927 issue. The title of Hubbard's story suggests that he was involved in show business as early as the late 1920s. Hubbard's first name, Terva, evidently sounding feminine, has landed him in lists of Weird Tales' women writers. That's just one of many pieces of misinformation on his life. I hope this blog entry can be a start to correcting them.

Terva Gaston Hubbard's Story in Weird Tales
"The Phantom Photoplay" (Aug. 1927)

Further Reading
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has a long list of Trevor Bardette's credits and a brief biography. Movies and television shows in which he appeared are readily available on video.

(1) A fellow student actor was Oregon native Norvell Thompson. At the time of the 1930 census, Thompson was lodging with Bardette and his wife in Manhattan, on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village. Bardette was an actor. Thompson was a theatrical artist. There were other artists in the area, too, while next door was newspaper reporter Nathan Einhorn, a noted Communist and later believed to have been a spy. At the time of the 1940 census, Trevor and Dorothy Bardette were living in Los Angeles. Bardette gave his income as more than $5,000 per year and indicated that in 1935, he had lived in Mexico City.
(2) In 1931, he was married and living in Evanston, Illinois, as a student.

Actor and author Trevor Bardette (1902-1977).
Bardette appeared in the 1941 serial Jungle Girl with Frances Gifford as the title character, Nyoka. Nyoka the Jungle Girl was based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs and later appeared in comic books.
Bardette was also in Universal Pictures' Monolith Monsters (1957), one of the most unusual and memorable science fiction films of the 1950s.

Updated and revised August 24, 2016.
Text and captions copyright 2011, 2016 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Bardette's SSDI entry gives Pima County, AZ as place of death.

  2. I remember Trevor Bardette and his wife Dorothy. They lived across the canyon from where I grew up in San Clemente, California. I remember him as a quiet reserved person and his wife was a joy to be around. They moved to Del Mar and Dorothy opened a shop that sold painted rocks that Trevor collected on the beach. Dorothy would paint them with scenes and did one for us with our deceased family dog on it. I never knew what happened to them after that.