Berry Stapp Earp
Born: March 19, 1849; Monmouth, Illinois
Died: January 13, 1929; Los Angeles, California
Portrayed by: Kurt
When Wyatt arrived in Tombstone, he did become part owner of the Oriental Saloon
as depicted in the film, but he also worked as a shotgun guard for Wells Fargo,
which is omitted in the film. The sequence of Town Marshal Fred White's fatal
shooting at the hands of Curly
Bill Brocius happened much as it was portrayed with Wyatt running up and
knocking Brocius over the head with the butt of his pistol following the 'accidental' shooting of White..
The tensions between Wyatt and Ike Clanton may have actually arisen from the
fact that he may have cut a deal with the Earps concerning some stagecoach robberies
and rustling by some of the Cowboys. He may have feared that his dealings with
the Earps would be revealed. Much of the other tension came from the fact that
Virgil was part of the law as a Deputy Federal Marshal from the time that he
arrived in town. The new Cochise County Sheriff John Behan rarely took any action
against the Cowboys, while Virgil and the Earps did investigate the Cowboys' activities.
The events surrounding the gunfight at the O.K. Corral were very close to being
true to history. However, the Cowboys revenge afterwards was spaced out. Virgil
and Morgan were not shot the same night, but rather several weeks apart. Wyatt
was shooting pool with Morgan and was narrowly missed by a shotgun blast on
the stormy night that Morgan was shot. The vendetta against the Cowboys was
close to accurate. The death of Curly
Bill as portrayed is the version of events that Wyatt claimed. Curly Bill simply disappeared, so his fate is still up for debate.
The death of Johnny
Ringo is much more of a mystery that the film portrays. Though he was found at the foot of a tree as the film depicted, the general accepted
cause is suicide. Some do believe Wyatt's own claim that he and Doc Holliday
returned to Arizona, even though they were now wanted men in the territory, and were involved in Ringo's death. Wyatt and Doc actually parted ways only months after the events in Tombstone. Wyatt never even visited Doc at the sanitarium. He did not learn of Holliday's death until seven
years later. Wyatt did marry Josephine Marcus in later life and they moved to Hollywood where Earp became friends with early Cowboy actors.
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