By 1961 Have Gun -- Will Travel had reached the apex of its popularity, ranking #3 in the Nielsen ratings for the third consecutive season. The only change in the show's presentation was moving the producing, writing, and directing credits to the beginning of the episode rather than at the end. But the show was about to experience a dramatic tumble, as it slipped to #29 in the ratings for the 1961-62 season while Bonanza moved into the top 3 alongside Wagon Train and Gunsmoke. The drop is perplexing, particularly since its lead-in show on CBS for Saturday night changed from the unranked Checkmate to the #26-ranked new legal drama The Defenders.
Perhaps part of the show's luster was tarnished by a 3-part TV Guide profile of star and sometime director Richard Boone in the first 3 January 1961 issues in which author Richard Gehman described Boone thusly: "Few other stars are so earnestly, piously, and vehemently hated." Gehman goes on to describe Boone's complete dominance over every aspect of the program, not only in the selection of scripts and casting of supporting actors but even down to wardrobe decisions. Author Gaylan Studlar, in his book about the series for the Wayne State University Press TV Milestones Series, also describes how Boone shredded producers who tried to provide any input contrary to his vision, and how he had many of his series' episodes shot at remote locations to prevent interference. While his own film crew was quite content with his treatment of them, everyone else from network executives to guest actors were not as pleased but were willing to endure him as long as the series was successful. It appears that Boone fostered an us vs. them dynamic between his regular crew and the rest of the world, but this would not have affected the loyalty of the show's fans. Gehman also documents the flip-side of Boone's personality in charitable appearances in which he was extremely generous and genuinely moved when, for example, he made an appearance at a children's hospital. And yet there were other times when he tried to avoid autograph seekers and others who wanted a piece of his time or a personal connection.
But what was more likely the cause of the show's declining popularity was Boone's insistence on addressing controversial topics in the show's plots, particularly America's deep-seated racism. Studlar describes the networks' and sponsors' aversion to anything controversial that might alienate any portion of the viewing public. Other westerns of the era would not directly portray white America's racism against blacks and would generally have few if any black actors or characters because any interaction with whites could be construed as some sort of racial commentary. Instead, they dealt with the topic of racism by showing certain white characters' mistreatment of Chinese, Mexicans, or Native Americans, all certainly founded in actual events in this nation's history, but none likely to raise the ire of an entire section of the country whose ancestors took up arms against their own government.
Boone had already had a prominent black character in the 1960 episode "Killing of Jessie May" in which actor Hari Rhodes plays a ranching partner to William Talman and ends up saving Paladin's life when they are attacked by wanted killer Jessie May Turnbow. But his two 1961 episodes centered around black characters pushed the envelope much farther. "Long Way Home" (February 4, 1961) also includes Talman, this time playing a sheriff who sends for Paladin to help bring in a wanted black man Isham Spruce, played by Ivan Dixon, who killed a white man while working at a logging camp. By the time Paladin arrives in the sheriff's locale, the latter tells him he has already deputized four other men who are a bit wild, and if they find out Paladin is trying to claim the same $5000 for bringing in Spruce they will likely kill him. He suggests that Paladin return home, but Paladin is undeterred and says he plans to bring Spruce back alive. Since Paladin has never seen Spruce, he then asks for a photograph so that he can identify him. The sheriff and his trigger-happy deputy just laugh, telling him he won't need a photograph, the implication being that he's black. The story then takes a nonsensical turn in having Spruce approach Paladin from behind at a water hole with no apparent motivation only to have Paladin wrestle his gun away and take him captive. As they are camping overnight Paladin asks Spruce about his background. He says he was a former slave but after he was freed the union troops just returned home, leaving all the freed slaves to starve. He eventually found a job at a logging camp but the other loggers just couldn't leave him alone and he finally had to "raise his hand" against one who afterward never got up. Paladin wants to trust Spruce now that he understands his story, but Spruce will make no promises not to try to escape. So when Paladin is bitten by a snake at their next watering hole and passes out, Spruce manages to help him get a tourniquet around his arm but then leaves him, though he does send a message to the sheriff through a small boy about Paladin's whereabouts. However, by the time they find and rescue Paladin, it is clear that the trigger-happy deputy, who earlier had made the sheriff nervous in wanting to try out his new rifle and was told to go shoot a rabbit to get it out of his system, has shot and killed Spruce, though he is not eligible for the reward since it was done as part of his job. Conflating a wanted black man with a hunted rabbit and shooting him without the possibility of earning a reward demonstrate the deputy's racism, while Paladin feels sympathy toward Spruce even after killing one of his own race and tells his dead body that he is sorry before heading back home in disgust. Spruce is clearly portrayed as being justified in killing his antagonist, while the deputy is shown as being racist for shooting a wanted killer, even though he has acted perfectly legally. Surely this contrast could not have sat well with a certain demographic of television viewers. And yet there has been no documented blowback that I have seen from this episode. It aired in the middle of the 1960-61 season, and Have Gun still ended the season in 3rd place in the ratings.
But Boone returned to deal with the treatment of blacks in the Season 5 episode "The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs" (November 4, 1961), an episode that Boone himself directed. Folk singer Odetta, often called "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement," guest stars as Sarah Gibbs, wife of Aaron Gibbs, who is sentenced to die for his role in a payroll robbery that led to a mine collapse and the death of 13 miners. Paladin comes upon her on his way back to San Francisco when her old, reliable mule collapses and is about to die. Paladin is immediately sympathetic to her plight, even taking over the unpleasant task of putting the mule out of its misery by shooting it, and then harnesses his horse to her wagon to accompany her to the mining camp at Dunbar, Oregon. Sarah only wants to see her husband one last time before he is hanged, but the entire mining community is against it because they did not get one last visit with the 13 miners before they met their demise. There is never any overt racism displayed in the mining residents' argument against Sarah seeing her husband. His two other conspirators are white, but they have no relations trying to visit them. The marshal is afraid that if he grants her visit, the community will resort to mob mentality and tear the condemned men limb from limb, but after Paladin keeps working on him, he eventually relents and says that he once had a yellow retriever he had to put down and that he even allowed that dog to see its kin before he shot it. Once again, it is a deputy who is most vehemently against sympathetic treatment of a black human being, but the rest of the community witnesses the tender farewell between Sarah and Aaron, who explains that the mine collapse was an accident and that while trying to steal the payroll was wrong, it was their dire financial circumstances that drove him to it. After Aaron is hung, Sarah wants to take his body back to Georgia to be buried next to their deceased son, but again the deputy tries to step in and stop her, arguing that he was not afforded the same courtesy for his brother who was buried in the mine collapse. But none of the rest of the community will follow his lead, and one of the widows of the miners gives Sarah her shawl in which to wrap her dead husband's body. Rather than depicting the senseless tragedy wrought by racism in "Long Way Home," this episode shows blacks and whites treating each other with empathy, all except the raging deputy, that is.
While it is pure speculation to suggest that Have Gun -- Will Travel declined in popularity because it dared to portray blacks sympathetically and hold whites accountable for their racism, it would be interesting to study whether there was any correlation between ratings and particular episodes. Studlar has observed that some southern television stations would refuse to air certain episodes of any program that they deemed too controversial for their market, so it is not even certain that these particular episodes aired in the south. There could have been any number of other reasons why the show's audience fell off in its last two seasons (it also ranked 29th for 1962-63). Other programs rose and fell over the course of their tenures for whatever reasons, but none of them depicted black characters the way Have Gun -- Will Travel did or addressed racism as bluntly. While Boone may have had other foibles, his refusal to be cowed by the threat of controversy or the loss of popularity shows that he was a man of courage.
The entire series has been released on DVD by CBS/Paramount.
For the biographies of Richard Boone, Kam Tong, and Lisa Lu, see the 1960 post for Have Gun -- Will Travel.
Notable Guest Stars
Season 4, Episodes 17 & 18, "A Quiet Night in Town, Parts 1 & 2": Sydney Pollack (shown on the left, directed They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Tootsie, and Out of Africa) plays troublemaker Joe Culp. Fredd Wayne (Sgt. Bill Hollis on Code 3) plays his brother Ben. Kevin Hagen (John Colton on Yancy Derringer, Inspector Dobbs Kobick on Land of the Giants, and Dr. Hiram Baker on Little House on the Prairie) plays his friend Jory Selzer. James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays their friend Ry Smith. Robert Carricart (Pepe Cordoza on T.H.E. Cat) plays sheepherder Joselito Kincaid. Robert Emhardt (Sgt. Vinton on The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.) plays restaurateur Ray Remy.
Season 4, Episode 19, "The Princess and the Gunfighter": Arlene Martel (shown on the right, played Tiger on Hogan's Heroes and Spock's Vulcan bride on Star Trek) plays runaway Princess Alisna Sarafina. Shirley O'Hara (Debbie Flett on The Bob Newhart Show) plays her chaperon Duchess de Bernal. Hal Needham (Hollywood's highest-paid stuntman who invented numerous stunt devices, was a double for Richard Boone and Burt Reynolds, and directed Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and Cannonball Run) plays one of the princess' two guides.
Season 4, Episode 20, "Shadow of a Man": Kent Smith (shown on the left, starred in Cat People, This Land Is Mine, Hitler's Children, Curse of the Cat People, Nora Prentiss, The Spiral Staircase, and The Fountainhead and played Dr. Robert Morton on Peyton Place and Edgar Scoville on The Invaders) plays cotton grower John Sutton. Dianne Foster (starred in Night Passage, The Last Hurrah, and The Deep Six) plays his wife Marion. Walter Burke (starred in All the King's Men, Jack the Giant Killer, and Support Your Local Sheriff! and played Tim Potter on Black Saddle) plays instigator Andy Miggs. Mike Kellin (appeared in At War With the Army, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, The Boston Strangler, and Midnight Express and played C.P.O. Willie Miller on The Wackiest Ship in the Army) plays cattle rancher Logan Adcock. Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays store owner Farley Dyson. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays one of Adcock's henchmen.
Season 4, Episode 21, "Long Way Home": Ivan Dixon (shown on the right, starred in A Raisin in the Sun, Nothing But a Man, and A Patch of Blue and played Sgt. James Kinchloe on Hogan's Heroes) plays wanted fugitive Isham Spruce. William Talman (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Perry Mason) plays a sheriff offering a reward for his capture. Rayford Barnes (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays his trigger-happy deputy. John Milford (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays bounty hunter Hutton.
Season 4, Episode 22, "Tax Gatherer": Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays rancher Lewt Cutter. Harry Carey, Jr. (shown on the near left, starred in Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Mister Roberts, and The Searchers and played Bill Burnett on The Adventures of Spin and Marty) plays cattle rustler Jess Turner. Hal Needham (shown on the far left, see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays his son Ham. Raymond Hatton (starred in Oliver Twist (1916), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Lord Jim, played Marshal Sandy Hopkins in 28 westerns and Rusty Joslin in 7 other westerns, and played The Mole on Dick Tracy) plays Mayor Trevor of Bad Dog. Olan Soule (Aristotle "Tut" Jones on Captain Midnight, Ray Pinker on Dragnet (1952-59), and Fred Springer on Arnie) plays the Hotel Carlton desk clerk.
Season 4, Episode 23, "The Fatal Flaw": Allyn Joslyn (shown on the right, appeared in Only Angels Have Wings, My Sister Eileen, Heaven Can Wait (1943), and Titanic (1953) and played George Howell on The Eve Arden Show and Colonel Harvey T. Blackwell on McKeever & the Colonel) plays famously upright Marshal Lyle McKendrick. Royal Dano (appeared in The Far Country, Moby Dick, and The Outlaw Josey Wales) plays elusive criminal Curley Ashburne.
Season 4, Episode 24, "Fandango": Andrew Prine (shown on the left, starred in The Miracle Worker, The Devil's Brigade, Bandolero!, and Chisum and played Andy Guthrie on The Wide Country, Dr. Roger Helvick on Dr. Kildare, Timothy Pride on The Road West, Dan Costello on W.E.B., and Wayne/Wyatt Donnelly on Weird Science) plays wanted killer Bobby Olson. Jerry Summers (appeared in Surf Party, Coogan's Bluff, and Hickey & Boggs and played Ira on The High Chaparral) plays his friend James Horton. Karl Swenson (Lars Hanson on Little House on the Prairie) plays their victim's brother Lloyd Petty. Robert Gist (directed multiple episodes of Peter Gunn, Naked City, and The Richard Boone Show and was Agnes Moorehead's second husband) plays Texas Sheriff Ernie Backwater. Rodolfo Acosta (Vaquero on The High Chapparal) plays his deputy Sanchez. Leonid Kinskey (appeared in Duck Soup, Les Miserables (1935), Ball of Fire, and Casablanca and played Pierre Quincy on The People's Choice) plays Hotel Carlton guest Yevgeny.
Season 4, Episode 25, "The Last Judgment": Harold J. Stone (shown on the right, played John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays self-appointed judge Elroy Greenleaf. Leo Gordon (Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays his deputy Moley. Robert Stevenson (bartender Big Ed on Richard Drum and Marshal Hugh Strickland on Stagecoach West) plays juror Cutler.
Season 4, Episode 26, "The Gold Bar": John Fiedler (shown on the left, appeared in 12 Angry Men, That Touch of Mink, The World of Henry Orient, Kiss Me, Stupid, Girl Happy, The Odd Couple, True Grit and played Emil Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show and Woody on Buffalo Bill) plays bank teller James Turner. Val Avery (appeared in The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, and Donnie Brasco and played Lt. Al Costello on East Side/West Side) plays bank owner B.J. Throckton. Robert Stevenson (see "The Last Judgment" above) plays a police patrolman.
Season 4, Episode 27, "Everyman": David White (Larry Tate on Bewitched) plays store owner Cus Mincus. Barry Kelley (shown on the right, starred in The Asphalt Jungle, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Love Bug and played Mr. Slocum on Pete and Gladys and Mr. Hergesheimer on Mister Ed) plays gunfighter killer Danceman. Vic Perrin (was the narrator on Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, was the control voice on The Outer Limits, and did voicework on Jonny Quest, Star Trek, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, and Mission: Impossible!) plays drunkard Philpotts. Roy Engel (Doc Martin on Bonanza, the police chief on My Favorite Martian, and President Ulysses S. Grant on The Wild, Wild West) plays the Temple City sheriff.
Season 4, Episode 28, "The Siege": Robert Karnes (see "Shadow of a Man" above) plays Phoenix-area rancher Ezekial Tyler. Perry Lopez (starred in Mister Roberts, Taras Bulba, Kelly's Heroes, and Chinatown and played Joaquin Castaneda on Zorro) plays captured outlaw Bobby Joe Brent. Mike Kellin (see "Shadow of a Man" above) plays his brother Alvah. Hal Smith (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays mermaid manager Sol Werner.
Season 4, Episode 29, "Long Weekend": Roy Barcroft (see "Tax Gatherer" above) plays mountain man Shep Montrose. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays Sunshine Creek elder Otis Woodward. Ned Glass (MSgt. Andy Pendleton on The Phil Silvers Show, Sol Cooper on Julia, and Uncle Moe Plotnick on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays fellow elder Clyde Tatum. Dallas Mitchell (Detective Fisher on The Asphalt Jungle) plays a pool-playing cowhand. Clegg Hoyt (Mac on Dr. Kildare) plays a bartender. Ralph Moody (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays Montrose's father-in-law-to-be Valentine Collins.
Season 4, Episode 30, "El Paso Stage": Jeremy Slate (starred in The Sons of Katie Elder, The Devil's Brigade, and True Grit and played Larry Lahr on The Aquanauts) plays legal scholar Frank DeWitt. Karl Swenson (see "Fandango" above) plays his saloon owner father Sam. Buddy Ebsen (shown on the right, played Sgt. Hunk Marriner on Northwest Passage, Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones on Barnaby Jones, and Roy Houston on Matt Houston) plays Bracketville Marshal Elmo Crane. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank on Gunsmoke) plays Frank's friend Judge Robbins.
Season 4, Episode 31, "Duke of Texas": Scott Marlowe (shown on the left, played Nick Koslo on Executive Suite, Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives, and Michael Burke on Valley of the Dolls) plays Austrian Price Franz von Pishin. Eduard Franz (starred in The Thing From Another World, Lady Godiva of Coventry, The Jazz Singer (1952), Sins of Jezebel, and The Indian Fighter and played Gregorio Verdugo on Zorro and Dr. Edward Raymer on Breaking Point) plays his advisor Ludwig Donner. Robert Carricart (see "A Quiet Night in Town" above) plays fake Mexican General Pablo Mendez. Roberto Contreras (Pedro on The High Chapparal) plays one of his supposed soldiers.
Season 4, Episode 32, "Broken Image": Kenneth Tobey (shown on the right, starred in The Thing From Another World, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, and It Came From Beneath the Sea and played Chuck Martin on Whirlybirds and Russ Conway on I Spy) plays Bog Oak town hero Tim Decker. Johnny Eimen (Monk on McKeever and the Colonel) plays his son Larry. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays the Bradley Gang lookout.
Season 4, Episode 33, "Brother's Keeper": Karl Swenson (see "Fandango" above) plays the Prairie Orchard sheriff. Wright King (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Wanted Dead or Alive) plays the town bartender Cull. Betsy Jones-Moreland (Judge Elinor Harrelson in 7 Perry Mason TV movies) plays his girlfriend Topaz. Ed Nelson (Michael Rossi on Peyton Place and Ward Fuller on The Silent Force) plays telegrapher Rack.
Season 4, Episode 34, "Bearbait": Martin West (starred in Freckles, The Man From Galveston, and Lord Love a Duck and played Dr. Phil Brewer on General Hospital and Don Hughes on As the World Turns) plays wild ranch hand Bunk Commerson. Judi Meredith (shown on the left, played Bonnie Sue McAfee on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and The George Burns Show, Monique Devereaux on Hotel de Paree, and Betty Cramer on Ben Casey) plays waitress Sally. Ralph Reed (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Commerson's friend Burt. Richard Rust (Hank Tabor on Sam Benedict) plays Commerson's friend Sim. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays their boss Kincaid. Stephen Roberts (see "Long Weekend" above) plays the Deerfield sheriff.
Season 4, Episode 35, "The Cure": Norma Crane (shown on the right, appeared in Tea and Sympathy, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!, and Fiddler on the Roof and played Rayola Dean on Mister Peepers) plays renowned trick shooter Martha Jane Conroy, aka Calamity Jane. Olan Soule (see "Tax Gatherer" above) plays hotel manager McGinnis. Craig Duncan (Sgt. Stanfield/Banfield on Mackenzie's Raiders) plays a bartender.
Season 4, Episode 36, "The Road": George Kennedy (shown on the left, starred in Charade, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Dirty Dozen, Cool Hand Luke, and The Naked Gun and played MP Sgt. Kennedy on The Phil Silvers Show, Father Samuel Cavanaugh on Sarge, Bumper Morgan on The Blue Knight, and Carter McKay on Dallas) plays sleeping camp owner Preston. Trevor Bardette (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays prospector Fred Hensoe. Joel Crothers (Lt. Nathan Forbes on Dark Shadows, Julian Cannell on Somerset, Dr. Miles Cavanugh on The Edge of Night, and Jack Stanfield Lee on Santa Barbara) plays his son John. Perry Cook (Barney Udall on Hunter) plays his colleague Sibley. Gene Lyons (Commander Dennis Randall on Ironside) plays scavenger Merton. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays one of his accomplices.
Season 4, Episode 37, "The Uneasy Grave": Pippa Scott (shown on the near right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Mr. Lucky) plays recent widow Kathy Rousseau. Werner Klemperer (shown on the far right, starred in Five Steps to Danger, Operation Eichmann, and Judgment at Nuremberg and played Col. Klink on Hogan's Heroes) plays her husband's killer Leander Johnson. Shirley O'Hara (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays one of Johnson's defenders. William Bryant (McCall on Combat!, President Ulysses S. Grant on Branded, Col. Crook on Hondo, Lt. Shilton on Switch, and the Director on The Fall Guy) plays a man standing on the street who gives Paladin directions.
Season 4, Episode 38, "Soledad Crossing": Ken Curtis (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays farmer Tom Strickland. Walker Edmiston (Enik on Land of the Lost and voiced Dr. Blinkey and Orson Vulture on H.R. Pufnstuf, Admiral Scuttlebutt, Bela, and Big Chief Sitting Duck on Lidsville, Sebastian on Dumbo's Circus, and Sir Thornberry on Adventures of the Gummi Bears) plays hangman Phineas Gaunt.
Season 5, Episode 1, "The Vigil": Mary Fickett (Sally Smith and Dr. Karen Lovell on The Edge of Night, Liz Thorpe on The Nurses, and Ruth Martin on All My Children) plays nurse Adella Ligget. George Kennedy (see "The Road" above) plays murder suspect Deke.
Season 5, Episode 2, "The Education of Sarah Jane": Duane Eddy (shown on the right, popular guitar instrumentalist with hits like "Rebel Rouser," "Shazam," and "Ramrod") plays family feuder Carter Whitney. Peggy Rhea (Rose Burton on The Waltons, Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard, Ivy Baker on Step by Step, and Jean Kelly on Grace Under Fire) plays the Hotel Carlton charlady.
Season 5, Episode 3, "The Revenger": Tom Conway (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Betty Hutton Show) plays safari hunter Commodore Newcombe. Shug Fisher (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays insurance salesman Altman. Rayford Barnes (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays convicted killer Jelly. Harry Carey, Jr. (see "Tax Gatherer" above) plays his escort Sheriff Conlon. Russell Arms (vocalist who regularly appeared on Your Hit Parade) plays former army major Ralph Turner. Bud Osborne (played stagecoach drivers in dozens of westerns and in episodes of The Cisco Kid, Annie Oakley, The Range Rider, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Rescue 8, Zorro, Bronco, Law of the Plainsman, Johnny Ringo, Cheyenne, The Texan, Maverick, and Rawhide) plays their stagecoach driver.
Season 5, Episode 4, "Odds for Big Red": Hope Holliday (sister of Judy Holliday, appeared in The Apartment, The Ladies Man, Irma la Douce, and The Rounders) plays saloon owner Big Red. Virginia Capers (shown on the left, Tony Award winner, appeared in Lady Sings the Blues, Trouble Man, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and played Delia Bonner on Downtown, Bertha Griffin-Lamour on Frank's Place, and Hattie Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) plays saloon girl Ada. Richard Ney (appeared in Mrs. Miniver, Joan of Arc, Ivy, and Midnight Lace) plays gambler Guy Fremont. Robert Karnes (see "Shadow of a Man" above) plays card player Vern Potter. Perry Cook (see "The Road" above) plays card player Ernie.
Season 5, Episode 5, "A Proof of Love": Charles Bronson (shown on the right, starred in The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Valachi Papers, and four Death Wish movies and played Mike Kovac on Man With a Camera, Paul Moreno on Empire, and Linc Murdock on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters) plays lovesick Henry Gray. Shirley O'Hara (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays his mother. George Kennedy (see "The Road" above) plays his rival Rud Saxon. Jack Marshall (see the soundtrack paragraph in the 1960 post on The Deputy) plays a banjo player.
Season 5, Episode 6, "The Gospel Singer": John McLiam (appeared in Cool Hand Luke, In Cold Blood, Sleeper, The Missouri Breaks, and First Blood) plays Bugbear Mayor Harper. Roy Engel (see "Everyman" above) plays leading citizen Barber. Noah Keen (Det. Lt. Carl Bone on Arrest and Trial) plays gang leader Harry Durbin. Ed Peck (Officer Clark on The Super and Officer Kirk on Happy Days) plays Durbin henchman Sims.
Season 5, Episode 7, "The Race": Ben Johnson (shown on the left, starred in Shane, The Wild Bunch, Chisum, and The Getaway and played Sleeve on The Monroes) plays ranch owner Sam Crabbe. Michael Pate (starred in Face to Face, Julius Caesar, Hondo, and Tower of London and played Chief Vittoro on Hondo and Det. Sgt. Vic Maddern on Matlock) plays Indian Chief Tamasun.
Season 5, Episode 8, "The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs": Odetta (shown on the right, folk singer and civil rights activist known as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement") plays wife of convicted man Sarah Gibbs. Rupert Crosse (appeared in Shadows, Too Late Blues, and The Reivers and played Det. George Robinson on The Partners) plays her husband Aaron Jedidiah Gibbs. Roy Barcroft (see "Tax Gatherer" above) plays the Dunbar marshal. Barry Cahill (Capt. Curt Douglas on 12 O'Clock High and Buck Vernon on The Waltons) plays Gibbs accomplice Perrell. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays Gibbs accomplice Turner. Peggy Rea (see "The Education of Sarah Jane" above) plays a sympathetic widow.
Season 5, Episode 9, "The Piano": Keith Andes (shown on the left, starred in Project X, Clash by Night, and The Girl Most Likely and played Col. Frank Dawson on This Man Dawson, Keith Granville on Glynis, and voiced Birdman on Birdman) plays world renowned pianist Franz Lister. Antoinette Bower (Fox Devlin on Neon Rider) plays his girlfriend Sybil Lansing. Arny Freeman (brother of saxophonist Bud Freeman, played Lucius Minnow on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays his manager Freddie. Richard Reeves (Mr. Murphy on Date With the Angels) plays barfly Jerris. Roy Engel (see "Everyman" above) plays the piano thief.
Season 5, Episode 10, "Ben Jalisco": Charles Bronson (see "A Proof of Love" above) plays ex-con bounty hunter Ben Jalisco. Coleen Gray (shown on the right, starred in Kiss of Death, Nightmare Alley, The Killing, The Vampire, The Leech Woman, and The Phantom Planet and played Muriel Clifford on McCloud) plays his wife Lucy. John Litel (starred in Back in Circulation, On Trial, Murder in the Blue Room, four Nancy Drew films, and eight Henry Aldrich films and played the Governor on Zorro and Dan Murchison on Stagecoach West) plays her protector Sheriff John Armstedder.
Season 5, Episode 11, "The Brothers": Peggy Stewart (starred in Oregon Trail, Son of Zorro, and Desert Vigilante and played Cherien's mother on The Riches) plays vengeful widow Edna Raleigh. Buddy Ebsen (see "El Paso Stage" above) plays her husband's killer Bram Holden. Paul Hartman (shown on the left, played Albie Morrison on The Pride of the Family, Charlie on Our Man Higgins, Emmett Clark on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D., and Bert Smedley on Petticoat Junction) plays prospector Possum Corbin. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays a Holden henchman.
Season 5, Episode 12, "A Drop of Blood": Martin Gabel (starred in The Thief, Marnie, and Lady in Cement) plays Jewish rancher Nathan Shotness. Mike Kellin (see "Shadow of a Man" above) plays his future son-in-law Faivel Melamed. Milton Selzer (shown on the right, played Parker on Get Smart, Jake Winkelman on The Harvey Korman Show, Abe Werkfinder on The Famous Teddy Z, and Manny Henry on Valley of the Dolls) plays their rabbi Reb Elya. Noah Keen (see "The Gospel Singer" above) plays Shotness antagonist Billy Buckstone. Snub Pollard (prolific silent-movie comic actor who appeared in Keystone Cops comedies, dozens of Harold Lloyd shorts, Laurel and Hardy and Andy Clyde shorts, a series of his own shorts, and as Tex Ritter's sidekick Pee Wee in several 1930s westerns) plays a messenger.
Season 5, Episode 13, "A Knight to Remember": Hans Conried (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Rocky and His Friends) plays quixotic estate owner Don Esteban Gutierrez Caloca. Wright King (see "Brother's Keeper" above) plays his son Alejandro. Lane Chandler (see "Ben Jalisco" above) plays landlord Bender. Robert Carricart (see "A Quiet Night in Town" above) plays his Indian worker Dirty Dog. Susan Brown (Nancy Pollock Karr on The Edge of Night, Martha Ferguson on Bright Promise, Constance MacKenzie Carson on Return to Peyton Place, Maggie Malone on Mariah, Adelaide Fitzgibbon on As the World Turns, Dorothy Lane on Santa Barbara, and Gail Baldwin on General Hospital) plays Paladin's love interest.
Season 5, Episode 14, "Blind Circle": Hank Patterson (shown on the right, see "El Paso Stage" above) plays hit man Jess Larker. Gerald Gordon (Dr. Nick Bellini on The Doctors, Felix Morger on Highcliffe Manor, and Skip Franklin on Valerie) plays Cattlemen's Association president Hughes. Woody Chambliss (Captain Tom on Yancy Derringer and Lathrop on Gunsmoke) plays his associate McCormack. Ellen Atterbury (wife of Malcolm Atterbury, played Mrs. Bixby on Wagon Train) plays boarding house owner Mrs. Madison. Bob Jellison (Waldo Binney on The Life of Riley and Bobby the Bellboy on I Love Lucy) plays one of her clients Mr. Parsons.
Season 5, Episode 15, "The Kid": Jacques Aubuchon (starred in The Silver Chalice, The Big Boodle, and The Love God? and played Chief Urulu on McHale's Navy) plays slacker Moriarity. Flip Mark (shown on the left, played Flip Rogers on Lassie, Brook Hooten on Guestward Ho!, and Larry Walker on Fair Exchange) plays his son Silver Strike. Roy Engel (see "Everyman" above) plays bartender Rudy. Eleanor Audley (Mother Eunice Douglas on Green Acres and Mrs. Vincent on My Three Sons) plays a school teacher.
Season 5, Episode 16, "Squatters Rights": Warren Stevens (shown on the right, starred in The Frogmen, The Barefoot Contessa, Deadline U.S.A., and Forbidden Planet, played Lt. William Storm on Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers, and was the voice of John Bracken on Bracken's World) plays cattle rancher Costigan. Carlos Romero (Rico Rodriguez on Wichita Town, Romero Serrano on Zorro, and Carlo Agretti on Falcon Crest) plays his scout Juan Quintos. Robert Stevenson (see "The Last Judgment" above) plays squatter Clemenceau. Hal Needham (see "The Princess and the Gunfighter" above) plays Costigan henchman Sim. Sandy Kenyon (Des Smith on Crunch and Des, Shep Baggott on The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Reverend Kathrun on Knots Landing) plays cattle rustler Jeb Turner.