Odd too, somehow, to think of him living in Los Angeles. But he did that as well, and he was 80 when he died there in 1929. (The death certificate reads, "chronic cystitis.")
Strictly for the money, he spent his last days trying to get a book about himself published, and trying to get a movie made about his life. (Would have been a silent, of course.) Neither idea panned out, but he made some interesting friends.
The 1926 Packard Wyatt stands beside in the top photo is thought to have belonged to Hart; Mix liked flashier cars, ragtops and fast, expensive roadsters. (Come to think of it, he died in one.)
William S. Hart, Tom Mix, and Wyatt Earp were truly The Three Amigos. They hung out together, had frequent lunches together, went out on the town together, and read the classics together. (Wyatt told Tom Mix one time, "Hamlet sure was a talker. He wouldn't have lasted long in Kansas.") Hart, who was a fanatic about realism, used Wyatt as a consultant on several of his pictures.
Still annoys me: I read in a magazine interview one time that John Ford (the big name director of so many of John Wayne's movies) also claimed to have known Wyatt Earp. Met him on the sound stages when he (Ford) was just a gaffer or script boy or something; said he spent a lot of time with Wyatt on the set, and that he talked to him extensively about his days as a lawman in Tombstone. (This alone rings untrue because Wyatt never liked to talk about those days to anyone.) When he went to make a movie about the events in Tombstone, (My Darling Clementine, 1946) Ford said that he understood it all better than anybody after getting it straight from Wyatt, and that out of pure respect for a man he revered, he made sure every tiny detail about the so-called "gunfight at the OK Corral" was true and correct. Well, I thought. that's a movie I've gotta see... So it comes up on Netflix or The Westerns Channel or something, and I position myself expectantly in front of the TV. And what a crock. A total letdown. Nothing in the movie was historically accurate, least of all the gundown on Fremont Street. Let's just say it was the end of any respect I may have had for John Ford.
January 13th, 1929... Wyatt Earp died in a small, rented bungalow at 4007 West 17th Street in Los Angeles... He was the last of the Earp brothers, and the last surviving participant of the most famous stand up gunfight in American history. His funeral was held at the Congregational Church on Wilshire Boulevard a few days later. The pallbearers...
Wife Josephine had his remains cremated and buried in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California, near San Francisco. In 1944, her ashes were interred alongside his.
And a fitting last word: In 1926, famed writer Adela Rogers St. Johns met Wyatt at some function or other. In a magazine piece, she later wrote, "He was straight as a pine tree, tall and magnificently built. I knew he was nearly 80, but in spite of his snow white hair and mustache, he did not seem or look old. His greetings were warm and friendly. I stood in awe. Somehow, like a mountain, or desert, he reduced you to size."