IN SEARCH OF THE SUNDANCE KID’S WIDOW

By Bartee Haile

Was Eunice Gray, who burned to death in the Jan. 26, 1962 fire that destroyed the Fort Worth hotel she had run for the past four decades, in reality the woman of western mystery known as Etta Place?

Yes, she could have been the widow of Harry Longabaugh, the Old West outlaw known as “The Sundance Kid.” For the better part of a century, Gray has been considered the leading candidate, but other promising contenders, each with her own committed sponsor, continue to nip at her heels. Most of what the public knows about Etta Place comes from the 1969 motion picture Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford with Katherine Ross as the love interest. Fortunately screenwriter William Goldman and director George Roy Hill stuck to the facts, sparse as they were, in making one of the most popular westerns of all-time.

 

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