Back in the days before the Screen Actors' Guild mandated that no two members could use the same name, there were two William Boyds, and one of them brought a tidal wave of trouble down on the other...
One was William Stage Boyd, an actor who adopted that odd middle name to emphasize his experience on the legitimate, New York stage, and the other, of course, the future B-movie cowboy... In 1931, William Stage Boyd was arrested on gambling and liquor charges, (Prohibition, remember?) and the newspapers ran the wrong Boyd's picture. RKO mistakenly cancelled the above guy's contract and he was on the skids for a few years. Until 1935, when names and faces were apparently either straightened out or the incident forgotten, and he landed the lead in a low budget western. (Title: Hop-Along Cassidy.)
Boyd completely changed the persona of Hopalong Cassidy, incidentally. As written in the books by Clarence E. Mulford, Cassidy was a tough, hard drinking character who spit tobacco and swore a lot. Boyd's Cassidy was a pillar of virtue, never swore or spit or touched liquor, and always let the bad guy throw the first punch. Mulford hated it.
And the money just kept rolling in... Radio, TV, comic books, lunch boxes, cowboy outfits, and a thousand little Hopalong Cassidy doo-dads. He was a marketing guy, you gotta give him that.
William Boyd was 77 years old when he died of heart failure on September 12, 1972. Grace died on her 97th birthday, September 21, 2010, and they are interred next to each other in Glendale, California. She spent her last days doing volunteer work at the hospital where her husband died.
Interesting trivia: William Boyd had a small role playing himself in Cecil B. DeMille's 1952 circus movie, The Greatest Show on Earth. And DeMille reportedly wanted him -- not Charlton Heston -- to play Moses in The Ten Commandments, but Boyd felt he was too much identified with Hoppy, and turned it down. Didn't need the money by then, anyway.
Oh... William Stage Boyd, the Prohibition scofflaw? He died of liver problems, age 46, in 1935. His wife Margaret later married Harry Frazee, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, the man who sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920 and started the Curse of the Bambino...