Broncho Billy Anderson

Anderson c. 1913, George G. Fraser Studio, San Francisco, Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-127541

Birth Name: Maxwell Henry Aronson

Date of Birth: March 21, 1880

Place of Birth: Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.

Date of Death: January 20, 1971

Place of Death: South Pasadena, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Broncho Billy Anderson was an American actor, writer, film director, and film producer. He was also known as Gilbert M. Anderson.

Broncho was the first cowboy movie star, the first Jewish American movie star, and possibly the first American movie star in general (depending on the definition of the term “movie star”). He played three roles in the famous silent short film The Great Train Robbery (1903), and headlined many other films in the subsequent 20 or so years.

Broncho was born Maxwell Henry Aronson, and was the son of Esther (Ash/Asch) and Henry Aronson. Broncho Billy’s father was either a German Jewish immigrant, or was born in New York, to German Jewish parents. Broncho Billy’s mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. His sister was silent film actress and singer Leona Anderson.

Broncho was married to Mollie Louise Schabbleman, whose parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. The couple had a daughter.

Sources: Genealogy of Broncho Billy Anderson –

Broncho Billy Anderson on the 1880 U.S. Census –
Broncho Billy Anderson on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Broncho Billy’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

1 Response

  1. andrew says:

    AKA Gilbert M. Anderson

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