Hoyt Axton played the part of Aaron Southworth, Miss Ellie's dad and founder of the Southfork Ranch, in the 1986 CBS-TV movie "Dallas:The Early Years".
Hoyt Axton
General Information
Birth Name: Hoyt Wayne Axton
Born: (1938-03-25) March 25, 1938 (age 80)
Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died: October 26, 1999(1999-10-26) (aged 61)
Deathplace: Victor, Montana, U.S.
Occupation: Actor, voice actor, Country/Folk music singer/songwriter
Years active: 1960–1999
Appeared on/in
(or involved with):
Dallas:The Early Years (1986 TV movie)
Appeared as: Aaron Southworth, Miss Ellie's father

Country/folk music singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton (born Hoyt Wayne Axton March 25, 1938-died October 26, 1999), also a veteran film and television character actor, appeared as Aaron Southworth, the founder of the Southfork Ranch and the father of Miss Ellie Ewing in the 1986 CBS-TV movie

Dallas:The Early Years.

Life and careerEdit

Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, Hoyt was raised in nearby Comanche, Oklahoma. His mother, Mae Boren Axton, had her own spot in popular culture history and co-wrote the classic rock 'n' roll song "Heartbreak Hotel", which became the first major hit for Elvis Presley. Some of Hoyt's own songs were also later recorded by Elvis. Hoyt served in the US Navy aboard the USS Princeton (LPH-5), before pursuing a music career.

He began singing folk songs in San Francisco nightclubs in 1958. He became prominent in the early 1960s, establishing himself on the West Coast as a folk singer with an earthy style and powerful baritone voice. As he matured, some of his songwriting efforts became well known throughout the world. During this time, he released a folksy album titled Greenback Dollar (recorded at the legendary Troubadour), whose title song became a 1963 hit for The Kingston Trio. In the early 1970s, Axton composed "Joy To The World" and "Never Been To Spain" for Three Dog Night. These songs reached #1 and #5 respectively, on Top 40 charts. Axton released numerous albums well into the 1980s, changing somewhat with the times but always retaining an honest, down-home and fairly "country" approach to his music.

Acting careerEdit

His face became well known in the 1970s and 1980s through many TV and film appearances, such as in the movies Gremlins (1984) and The Black Stallion (1979). He sang the jingle "Head For the Mountains" in the Busch beer TV commercial ads in the 1980s (and also "The Ballad of Big Mac", touting McDonald's Big Mac onscreen in a 1969 commercial he filmed for the hamburger franchise). In 1985 he did a commercial for Pizza Hut.


Axton died of a heart attack in Victor, Montana, on October 26, 1999, at the age of 61,[1] after suffering a severe heart attack two weeks earlier.[2]


  1. Hinckley, David (October 27, 1999). [ axton-boney-fingers "Songwriter Hoyt Axton Dead At 61 In Montana"]. New York Daily News. axton-boney-fingers. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  2. Burke, Brad (October 27, 1999). "Axton, Hoyt Wayne (1938-1999)". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 

Additional reading/External linksEdit