We talk a lot about Joseph Taulman and his wife, Arminta McClellan Taulman. Now, we can share about Arminta’s sister, Livonia Mildred McClellan Roach and her daughter, a Hollywood movie star! While Arminta stayed in Hubbard (and is buried here), her sister Mildred moved to Los Angeles and she married to a Edward Roach. They had a daughter, and if you have watched Westerns of the 1940’s, you have seen Nell (Roach) O’Day!
She began acting as a child in the 1920’s (while her mother worked in photography studios – no doubt skills taught to her by her brother-in-law, our Mr. Taulman). By the 1940s, O’Day was becoming a regular in Western films and started to receive starring roles in them, typically opposite the likes of Johnny Mack Brown, Ray “Crash” Corrigan, Max Terhune, and John ‘Dusty’ King. Thanks to her experience as a talented equestrian, she signed a contract with Universal and fulfilled a recurring cowgirl role in a series of horse operas opposite star Brown and his sidekick, Fuzzy Knight. She would also appear in Westerns for other studios, including Republic and Monogram. Her last starring Western role would be in Boss of Rawhide (1943).
Though O’Day occasionally performed on stage, she retired in 1945 after performing in the Broadway’s Many Happy Returns. She made one more movie, a non-Western, entitled The Story of Kenneth W. Randall M.D. (1946). O’Day then devoted her time to writing. One of her successes was the play The Bride of Denmark Hill, which was later turned into a BBC-TV production.O’Day would write and grant interviews until the end of her life at age 79.
She died from a heart attack on January 3, 1989, in Los Angeles, California. Her burial location is unknown. Today, there are few tributes to O’Day that remain. We can remember, here in Hubbard, that her Aunt and Uncle are buried here. Another Hubbard Hollywood connection!