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Justus D. Barnes

Justus D. Barnes
Great train robbery still.jpg
Justus D. Barnes, as outlaw leader, "Bronco Billy Anderson", from The Great Train Robbery (1903), the first western on film
Born (1862-10-02)October 2, 1862
Little Falls, New York, U.S.
Died February 6, 1946(1946-02-06) (aged 83)
Weedsport, New York, U.S.
Resting place Weedsport Rural Cemetery
Occupation Actor

Justus D. Barnes (October 2, 1862 – February 6, 1946) was an American stage and silent film actor. Barnes is best known for his role as an outlaw in the 1903 short silent Western, The Great Train Robbery.

Justus Barnes was born in Little Falls, New York. His father was an immigrant from Scotland, while his mother was born in New York. He was a veteran stage actor before he made his film debut in 1903 in The Great Train Robbery, one of the first American films to emphasize narrative. In a memorable scene, Barnes as an outlaw points his pistol at the camera and fires all six shots at the viewers. The Great Train Robbery became one of the most successful and best known commercial films of the early silent screen era.

In July 1908, Barnes was hired as an actor in the stock company of the Edison Manufacturing Company, the film production company owned by Thomas Edison. In 1910, he signed on with the Thanhouser Company in New Rochelle, New York. Between 1910 and 1917, Justus appeared in more than seventy films for the Thanhouser, usually in the role of a villain. He played Ham Peggotty in David Copperfield, the earliest known film adaption of the 1850 novel by Charles Dickens. He also played supporting roles in Nicholas Nickleby (1912), Aurora Floyd (1912), and A Dog of Flanders (1914).

In 1917, he was released from the Thanhouser Company due to the company's financial issues. Barnes made his final onscreen appearance for the Edison Studio in Cy Whittaker's Ward, in 1917.

After retiring from acting, Barnes moved to Weedsport, New York where he worked as a milkman. He later owned a cigar store.