Bobby Byles – By Buddy Maggio

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While a student at NSU, Bobby drew this cardboard advertisement of a play to be presented at the Fine Arts Auditorium. Bobby is shown far right driving the car. It was an adaptation of the 20th Century Fox movie starring Steve Martin.

Former Natchitoches Mayor Ray Scott proclaimed “Bobby Byles Day” Tuesday, March 19, 1964. It was the Louisiana premier of “War is Hell” showing at the Don Theater. “There will be searchlights and on-the-spot broadcasts by KNOC at 5:45 p.m. Bobby has a minor star role in the Korean war film.”

One may ask why was Bobby so honored? It is because Bobby, a local boy, had gone to Hollywood, Calif., and performed well in the motion picture and the television industry. Bobby was born in Shreveport May 12, 1934. His parents were Ross C. Byles and Madeline Burkehalter Byles Maggio. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School and Northwestern State University.

While at NSU he was a member of the college theater and a member of the Davis players. He was president of Alpha Omega, and associate editor of NSU’s yearbook “Potpourri.” He was also in the Newman Club, an organization of Catholic culture and fellowship.

His filmography consisted of parts in “Hide,” “The Guns of Will Somett,” (TV series), “A Garden of Cucumbers” (motion picture starring Dick van Dyke), “Caption Nice” (TV series), Death Valley Days (TV series), The Rounders (TV series), “Tall Hart, Short Temper,” “Count Me In, Count Me Out,” “Lady of the Plains,” “The World,” “ Color it Happy (TV movie), “The Neighbor,” “Bonanza” (TV series), “A Real Nice, Friendly Little Town,” “Hey Landlord” (TV series), “From out of the Past Comes the Thundering Hoofbeats,” “Bewitched” (TV series), “Then There Were Three,” “The Cora Wilbam Show” (TV Series), “Will Cora’s Success Spoil Frank Bridges,” and “War is Hell” (motion picture).

In the summer of 1962 he returned to NSU for a role in the play “Pygmalion” with New York actress Eugenia Rawls presented at Hodges Gardens. It was the first production in a series presented at the Gardens.

Bobby died Aug. 26, 1969, in Hollywood and is buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Natchitoches