Saturday 12th October 1940
Tom Mix, the highest-paid actor in silent films of the 1920s, and unquestionably the best-known cowboy star of the era, perished in a car accident in Arizona (US) at the age of 60. Driving his beloved bright-yellow Cord Phaeton convertible at about 80mph, Mix lost control of his car after hitting a dry wash, and was instantly killed. Many took solace in the fact that Mix died in the Old West that he had depicted in film so many times, still wearing his cowboy costume from a performance the previous day. Mix was smacked in the back of the head by one of the heavy aluminum suitcases he was carrying in the convertible’s backseat. The impact broke the actor’s neck and he died almost instantly. Today, the dented “Suitcase of Death” is the featured attraction at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.