Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dennis the Menace (1961)

By the second half of its second season Dennis the Menace had proved a hit for CBS, rising to the #11 spot in the ratings for 1960-61. The producers astutely recognized that the main reason for its popularity was due to the antics of constantly exasperated, pompous windbag George Wilson, Dennis' next-door neighbor, whom Dennis considers his best friend though the feeling is definitely not mutual. There were minor cast changes from the second half of Season 2 through the beginning of Season 3. When Gloria Henry went on maternity leave, Kathleen Mulqueen was added as Dennis' paternal grandmother who comes to stay with Henry and Dennis, but like Dennis' mother Alice, she is a mere prop for the interplay between Dennis and Mr. Wilson. Henry Mitchell gets a new antagonist in Charles Brady, obnoxious father of equally obnoxious Johnny Brady, who becomes Dennis' chief antagonist. Dub Taylor's general-purpose character Opie Swanson is replaced by Chubby Johnson's locksmith/junk dealer Buzz in Season 3. Ronnie Howard's character Stewart, a friend of Dennis' who understands even less than he does, is replaced by Robert John Pittman's Seymour as Howard's time was consumed playing Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. And even Jeannie Russell's portrayal of Dennis antagonist and suitor Margaret is greatly reduced--she appears in 8 episodes but always as just another one of his friends he is trying to press into service for one of his schemes. She no longer tries to get him to play house or speaks of a future marriage. Man-hungry spinster Miss Cathcart has one episode devoted to her, "Miss Cathcart's Friend" (January 22, 1961), in which Dennis overhears his mother telling another lady over the phone that it would be good if Cathcart had a companion, so Dennis decides to get her a dog while she thinks he is recruiting her a husband. She has a supporting role in "Dennis' Tool Chest" (March 5, 1961) when we see her trying to woo an insurance salesman who is all business while her cat gets stuck in the trunk of Wilson's car and forces him to strip it down to its bare bones to try to get rid of the squeak he does not recognize as a meow. She also babysits Dennis in "Dennis' Obligation" (April 2, 1961) and makes a brief singing performance in "Dennis the Campaign Manager" (January 15, 1961).

However, for most of the episodes that aired in 1961, the show could have been renamed The Constant Humiliation of George Wilson because each installment went to great lengths in putting Wilson's character in ever-more ridiculous predicaments. But over time, Wilson's troubles came to be more of his own making rather than Dennis', and Dennis actually begins saving Mr. Wilson from his own worst impulses. In "Dennis' Penny Collection (January 8, 1961), Wilson runs into trouble by entrusting Dennis to put a penny in a parking meter outside a bookstore which winds up with Wilson getting a parking ticket, and then leaves Dennis alone in front of the bank while he dashes inside, which results in Dennis thinking an armored car guard has given him permission to look through the pennies in the back of his truck, which Wilson dashes out to try to prevent but only makes it look like he is trying to break into the armored car. Wilson is taken down to police headquarters before the misunderstanding is straightened out, but Dennis manages to charm the other policemen, who let him trade his current rolls of pennies from some newly taken out of parking meters, resulting in Wilson finding a rare 1914 penny he has wanted for his collection for years.

In "Dennis the Campaign Manager" (January 15, 1961), Dennis charms a TV producer into doing an interview with Wilson after he decides to run for Parks Commissioner because the producer thinks it is a human interest story that a little boy would campaign for candidate for public office. Of course, Wilson botches the entire interview and decides to drop out of the race due to the humiliation. In "Dennis' Birthday" (Februrary 19, 1961) Wilson has overpromised his lodge that he can come up with a celebrity to appear at their annual fundraiser, but Dennis bails him out by befriending TV star Spring Byington when he meets her babysitting the baby sister of his friend Herbie. And in "Dennis and the Camera" (May 7, 1961), Wilson has been tasked with getting a photograph of the rare night-blooming cereus plant by nature club president Mr. Timberlake but winds up falling asleep in the middle of the night; fortunately Dennis is camping in his back yard with his father and wakes up at the right time to rush inside and grab his own camera to snap the elusive cereus. He even delivers the photo to newspaper editor Mr. Krinke in time for the next morning's edition, but Wilson does not escape unscathed because Dennis' photo also shows Wilson sleeping on the job. The list goes on and on--many more episodes from late Season 2 have Wilson getting into a predicament, sometimes caused by Dennis' overzealousness but just as often from Wilson's stupidity, often ending with Dennis providing some sort of silver lining.

In Season 3, the producers decided to up the ante on the ridiculous quagmires Wilson gets dragged into. The season's first episode, "Trouble From Mars" (October 1, 1961) has Wilson getting a stripe of hair shaved off the back of his head when Dennis and his friends frighten Wilson's barber, followed by Wilson foolishly trying on Dennis' toy space helmet, only to get it stuck on his head, and then gets himself trapped in his second-story bathroom without his pants from which he has to be rescued by the fire department with all of his neighbors watching in addition to a magazine photographer who has shown up to profile him in an article about placid retirement. The next episode, "Best Neighbor" (October 8, 1961) has Wilson again getting into trouble in the pursuit of fame when he learns he is a candidate for Best Citizen of the Year from the local garden club and therefore figures he needs to be nice to Dennis to avoid a bad reputation, so he agrees to help Dennis join the Junior Pathfinder club by camping overnight atop the town's cold and drafty mountaintop. Needless to say, Wilson winds up falling out of a tree and getting rained on so that he catches a cold, but he still manages to win the award. In "The School Play" (November 5, 1961) Wilson is forced into taking part in Dennis' school play when he is accidentally handcuffed to Dennis' friend Tommy, which includes wearing a ridiculous fake beard, a hat that is much too small for his head, and being carted around in a red wagon. After being humiliated by the laughter of all the school parents and running out of the theater in the middle of the play once the locksmith unlocks the handcuffs, the newspaper review says casting him in the role was comedic genius and he is invited back to give a repeat performance the next afternoon for charity.

The humiliation of Wilson is such a central theme of the program that the inclusion of the other adult supporting characters is solely to ridicule him. George Cisar's police Sgt. Theodore Mooney delights in ribbing Wilson as a hardened criminal when he is brought in for the armored car fiasco in "Dennis' Penny Collection." And he enjoys giving Wilson a ticket for raising livestock inside the city when Dennis brings over an incubator full of eggs that he is keeping at home until the power goes out in a thunderstorm that miraculously spares Wilson's house. Irene Tedrow's character Lucy Elkins is a notorious gossiper who goes out of her way to sully Wilson's reputation when she sees him run off Dennis who has disturbed him while he is trying to compose a letter protesting his property tax in "Pythias Was a Piker" (January 29, 1961). She foils his attempt to win a 5-minute shopping spree at Mr. Finch's drugstore in "The Fifty Thousandth Customer" (November 12, 1961) by refusing to move ahead of him in line when he realizes that he will enter the store too soon to win the contest. And in "Mr. Wilson's Inheritance" (November 26, 1961) she threatens to spread the bad word about him amongst all the cat-loving societies when he refuses to donate any money to support the construction of a new cat hospital.

Speaking of Mr. Finch, he enjoys also trying to foil Wilson's attempt to clean up if he were to win his contest by repositioning all the best merchandise onto higher shelves to make them harder to reach. When Dennis bails out Wilson by letting him keep a pair of earrings he bought for his mother but hides at Wilson's house only to have Martha find them and think they are a surprise from her husband, Finch takes particular pleasure in steering Dennis to the most expensive replacement gift knowing that Wilson will be paying for it in "The Going Away Gift" (March 12, 1961). Grocer Otis Quigley, played by Willard Waterman, also savors any chance to take a poke at Wilson. In "The Fifteen-Foot Christmas Tree" (December 24, 1961) Quigley is convinced that George is going to botch his attempt to cut down a live pine tree for Dennis, so much so that he gives him the phone number for the nearest hospital that Wilson will have to visit after chopping off his toes, and he saves the small white Christmas tree Wilson pushes Henry to return because he knows the Mitchells will need it later after Wilson mangles the tree he has cut down himself.

While the plots during this period of the program are entirely predictable, there is a certain enjoyment in seeing a know-it-all receive his come-uppance, but Dennis the Menace perhaps came to rely too heavily on the humiliation of George Wilson and in particular Joseph Kearns' portrayal of such because when Kearns unexpectedly died during the filming of Season 3, the show didn't have a leg to stand on, and despite Gale Gordon being brought in as Wilson's brother to give Dennis a new adult to pester, the chemistry was never the same and after a fourth and final season failed to crack the top 30 in the ratings, the show was canceled.

The Actors

For the biographies of Jay North, Joseph Kearns, Gloria Henry, Herbert Anderson, Sylvia Field, Billy Booth, and Jeannie Russell, see the 1960 post for Dennis the Menace.

Mary Wickes

Born Mary Isabella Wickenhauser in St. Louis, MO, Wickes' father was a banker and both her parents were theater buffs who began taking her to performances at an early age. She graduated two years early from high school at age 16 where she had been a member of the debate team, and then moved on to college at Washington University in her home town. Though she majored in English and Political Science and considered a career as a lawyer, her English professor, who had cast her in one of his theatrical productions, suggested she pursue acting, so she joined the Saint Louis Little Theater and continued appearing in local productions while working as the University's Assistant Publicity Director. One of her performances at the Little Theater caught the attention of visiting director F. Cowles Strickland, who invited her to join his playhouse in Stockbridge, MA, where she spent several seasons. Her work there drew the attention of actress Ina Clair, who wrote her a letter of recommendation that led to her first Broadway appearance in a cast with Henry Fonda in 1934. During this time she also became a member of Orson Welles' radio troupe and made her feature film debut in his 1938 production Too Much Johnson. But her film career really took off when she was cast as Nurse Preen in the film version of The Man Who Came to Dinner in 1942 after playing the same role on the stage. She would appear in support of Bette Davis again later that year in Now, Voyager and found steady work in supporting roles throughout the 1940s and 1950s in films such as June Bride, White Christmas, and Destry. She made her television debut in a 1945 episode of the drama anthology NBC Dramatic Sustainer and in 1949 played the title role in the early TV version of Mary Poppins on Studio One in Hollywood. Her first recurring TV role came as Alice the housekeeper on the 1954-55 sitcom The Halls of Ivy. She appeared 21 times as Liz O'Neill on Make Room for Daddy between 1956 and 1958 and played the maid Katie on the Walt Disney serial Annette in 1958 before being cast as man-hungry spinster Esther Cathcart on Dennis the Menace beginning in 1959.

Concurrent with her 10 appearances over 4 seasons on Dennis, Wickes played supporting character Maxfield on the Gertrude Berg sitcom Mr. G. Goes to College in 1961-62, which garnered her an Emmy nomination. Wickes become good friends with Lucille Ball and after appearing in a single episode of I Love Lucy playing a ballet instructor in 1952, she appeared 9 times in various roles on The Lucy Show between 1963-67 and in 9 more episodes of Here's Lucy between 1969-74. She had five appearances as Ida Goff on the historical western Temple Houston in 1964, played Melba Chegley 8 times on Julia between 1969-71, Mrs. Bullard 4 times on The Jimmy Stewart Show in 1971, Aunt Zelda in 25 episodes of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters in 1973-74, Nurse Beatrice Tully 14 times on Doc in 1975-76, and Marie Murkin 42 times on Father Dowling Mysteries in 1989-91. These recurring roles were in addition to numerous guest appearances on many other programs at the same time. Nor did her feature film work wane during this time either--she played nuns in the Disney comedies The Trouble With Angels (1966) and its sequel Where Angels Go Trouble Follows! (1968) and pulled the same stunt 25 years later playing Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993). Over her 50-year career she also appeared in The Music Man, Postcards From the Edge, and the 1994 production of Little Women. Her last roles were providing the voices of Grandma on the Louie Anderson animated series Life With Louie and Laverne in the Disney animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Wickes suffered from numerous medical ailments late in life and broke her hip while staying in the hospital, then died from surgical complications on October 22, 1995 at the age of 85. Like Miss Cathcart, she was a spinster to the end and bequeathed her $2 million estate to set up a library fund at her alma mater in her parents' names.

Willard Waterman

Willard Lewis Waterman was born in Madison, WI, where he attended the University of Wisconsin. Though he studied electrical engineering there, his experience in theater productions and the campus radio station persuaded him to pursue an acting career. He moved to Chicago after graduating in 1936 and quickly found work as a radio actor, appearing on such programs as Chicago Theater of the Air, the comedy Harold Teen, and the soap operas Girl Alone, The Guiding Light, Lonely Women, The Road of Life, and Kay Fairchild, Stepmother. While working in Chicago radio, he met fellow actor Harold Peary and took over his role on The Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters. He also co-founded the American Federation of Radio Artists in 1937, which later became the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and served on its board until 1990. He made his debut in film in 1949 and after a few uncredited roles appeared in Flame of Youth and Free for All later that year. His film roles tended to be minor, often uncredited, even in major productions such as Father of the Bride and Three Coins in the Fountain until his breakthrough role playing opposite Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame in 1958. But his move into television was tied to his old friend Geary, who had spun off the character of bombastic politician Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve from the 1930s radio program Amos 'n' Andy into his own program The Great Gildersleeve. However, Peary wanted to take advantage of a capital gains loophole being offered by CBS in the late 1940s, so he decided to leave NBC, but the show's sponsor Kraft refused to follow his lead and instead replaced him with Waterman in the title role. He continued to play Gildersleeve when the program was adapted to TV as a syndicated sitcom which ran from 1954 to 1956. After Gildersleeve's cancelation, Waterman found steady work doing guest spots on a number of series that included playing the semi-recurring role of magician Mac MacGinnis on The Real McCoys and Carl Foster on The Eve Arden Show. In 1959 he made the first of 14 appearances as grocer Otis Quigley on The Dennis the Menace, his longest-running TV role after Gildersleeve.

He continued to find occasional TV guest work after Dennis' cancelation, but he found greater fame in the theater, appearing in both the Broadway 1966 original and 1983 revival of Mame, the 1973 Broadway revival of The Pajama Game, and the national touring productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His last credit on film was the 1972 feature Hail. He received a Clio award for a radio commercial he made for Sony in 1980. He was awarded a star on the Radio section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died from bone marrow disease on February 2, 1995 at the age of 80.

Irene Tedrow

Born in Denver in 1907, Tedrow began appearing in theatrical productions as a teen before attending college at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh from which she graduated with a B.A. in 1929. She studied acting under B. Iden Payne, was a member of Maurice Evans' New York theater troupe, as well as a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre group. She was a founding member of the Old Globe Theater in San Diego and appeared in several Broadway Shakespearean productions in the 1930s. At the same time she was building a prolific career as a radio actor. Besides appearing in a 1937 production of George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuseleh, she had recurring roles on Meet Corliss Archer as Mrs. Janet Archer from 1943-56, as Jessie Ward Calvert on Aunt Mary from 1944-61, and on shorter-lived series such as The Gallant Heart, Jonathan Trimble, Esquire, and My Friend Irma. Her feature film career began in 1940 with We Who Are Young, but most of her roles were minor, uncredited parts, the exceptions being The Cincinnati Kid and Empire of the Ants. She broke into television playing Margaret Ruggles on The Ruggles in 1949 and continued playing Janet Archer when Meet Corliss Archer was adapted for TV in 1951. However, though her guest work on TV was extensive throughout the 1950s, she did not win another recurring role until being cast as Mr. Wilson nemesis Lucy Elkins on Dennis the Menace beginning in 1959, a role in which she appeared 26 times over the program's duration.

After Dennis' cancelation in 1963, Tedrow remained busy with scores of TV guest appearances and occasional feature film roles, but found no more recurring roles except for being a replacement for the Aunt Alex character on The Young Marrieds in 1965-66. However, her later TV work won her two Emmy nominations--for playing Eleanor Roosevelt's grandmother in the 1976 mini-series Eleanor and Franklin and as a special guest on a 1978 episode of James at 16. Other late-career notable performances were as Congresswoman Margaret Geddes in two episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, three appearances as Mrs. Foley on the short-lived Dorothy Loudon series Dorothy, and playing Garry Shandling's grandmother on an episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show in 1988. Her last credit came in the 1989 TV movie A Deadly Silence. She died from complications after suffering a stroke on March 10, 1995 at age 87. Her daughter Enid Kent also became an actress and played nurse Lt. Bigelow on M*A*S*H.

George Cisar

Born in Cicero, Illinois in 1912, not much has been published about Cisar's early life, but like Willard Waterman and Irene Tedrow, his work in radio eventually led to a career in film--he appeared in over 50 episodes of the radio anthology series Curtain Time in 1947-48 before getting his first feature film role as a policeman in Call Northside 777 in 1948. The following year he played opposite a young Mike Douglas, again playing a policeman, in the crime drama Stand by for Crime. In fact, Cisar could have had a prolific career just on the number of times he played policemen in movies and on TV. His most noted role was his 31 appearances as Sgt. Theodore Mooney on Dennis the Menace, but he also showed up playing cops on The Thin Man, The Untouchables, My Favorite Martian, and The Beverly Hillbillies. He also showed up on a number of other programs as bartenders, bailiffs, and other incidental characters. In feature films, he often went uncredited in bigger-name productions such as Somebody Up There Likes Me, Designing Woman, Jailhouse Rock, Some Came Running, and Elmer Gantry, but he also had larger roles in exploitation fare such as The Werewolf, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Vice Raid.

After Dennis was canceled, Cisar had moderate success playing Cyrus Tankersley on The Andy Griffith Show and its sequel Mayberry R.F.D., appearing on 4 episodes of each. He also played Donald Hollinger's father Harold in two episodes of That Girl. But after appearing in single episodes of Hogan's Heroes and Ironside in 1969 and the Jim Brown feature film ...tick...tick...tick... in 1970, Cisar retired from acting. He died June 13, 1979 at age 66.

Elizabeth Harrower

Though she appeared only 10 times on Dennis the Menace, first as nondescript neighbor Mrs. Johnson and later as Dennis' teacher Miss Perkins, Harrower's biography is in and of itself quite a story. Born Betty Louise Foss in Almeda, CA during the 1918 flu epidemic, Harrower's mother died six weeks after she was born and her father had a nervous breakdown, so the baby was passed from one relative to another until she was finally placed in a San Francisco orphanage because it was commonly believed then that babies transmitted the flu. She was eventually adopted by Scottish immigrants William and Jessie Harrower, but when William's salary was cut in half during the Great Depression, Jessie pulled young Elizabeth out of school to start her acting career. She landed her first role at age 17 in the 1935 feature film Becky Sharp, the first feature film shot entirely in color. In 1942 she married Harry Seabold, an Air Force cadet she met in the 5th grade, but he was sent off to war not long thereafter, though not before Harrower conceived a daughter Susan, who was born in 1943. The couple divorced after the war. Though Harrower would not appear in her next feature film for another 14 years, she eked out a career as a radio actor until appearing in two religious dramas The Pilgrimage Play and Life of St. Paul in 1949. Her feature film career thereafter was sparse, but she did have significant roles in Thunder Pass, Don't Knock the Twist, and True Grit. Her television career began with an appearance in a 1951 episode of Front Page Detective, though she was largely relegated to minor, one-off parts on series such as Racket Squad, Annie Oakley, and Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock

She made more appearances on Dennis the Menace than on any other show, but she continued receiving occasional roles until 1974, ending with appearances on Gunsmoke and The F.B.I. before moving to the other side of the camera to write for soap operas. Her daughter Susan Seaforth Hayes had been a cast member of Days of Our Lives playing character Julie Williams since 1970. Harrower joined the writing crew and by the late 1970s was head writer for the series, winning Emmy nominations for writing in both 1978 and 1979. In all she would write 270 episodes through 1980 and would go on to also write episodes for The Young and the Restless and Generations. However, after contracting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy in 2003, she joined the cast of The Young and the Restless as Charlotte Ramsey, appearing in 18 episodes before finally succumbing to cancer December 10 of that year at age 85.

Kathleen Mulqueen

Born Katherine Agatha Mulgreen in Philadelphia on August 6, 1899, the most extensive biography of Mulqueen is provided in The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy whose information is based on interviews with Mulqueen's foster son Kaier Curtin. When Mulqueen was only 12 she met "the love of her life" actress Hazel Dawn, then performing on Broadway in The Pink Lady. After writing Dawn a note, Mulqueen was invited backstage and went on to become like a younger sister to the actress for the next 40 years. Mulqueen was spotted by a Broadway talent scout at age 16 and eventually made her way to Broadway to star in musical comedies of the 1920s, where one critic dubbed her "the most beautiful girl on Broadway." During this time she met gay actor Paul Guilfoyle and the two became friends, attending many parties and other functions together. Curtin believes that family pressure about her still unmarried state prompted Mulqueen, then 30, to elope with a New York Times reporter but on her honeymoon realized her mistake and obtained a "quickie" divorce in Cuba a short time later. She then decided to marry Guilfoyle to give them both cover for their sexual orientation, and the couple was invited by Dawn to move to Hollywood, where Guilfoyle secured a contract with RKO. But Guilfoyle was caught in a homosexual encounter that received front page exposure in the late 1940s, which led to him being blackballed. So Mulqueen returned to acting, making her feature film debut in Journey Into Light in 1951. She made her television debut in an episode of My Little Margie the following year and continued to have relatively steady though modest work in both movies and TV throughout the 1950s. Her role playing Grandma Mitchell in 8 episodes of Dennis the Menace was her only recurring role, and once Gloria Henry returned from maternity leave, she would not appear in the series again.

Her half a dozen credits over the next four years included only one credited part in an episode of Arrest and Trial in 1964. Guilfoyle was caught in another compromising affair in the late 1950s and this time was blackmailed, which prompted him to turn to heavy drinking. He died June 27, 1961 at age 58. Mulqueen, though she would never have another role after 1965, lived to age 90, dying on May 10, 1990 in Los Angeles.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 2, Episode 15, "Dennis the Campaign Manager": Charles Watts (Judge Harvey Blandon on Bachelor Father) plays Parks Commissioner T.H. Thorndyke. Jane Nigh (Lorelei Kilbourne on Big Town) plays TV producer Miss Rawlings. Stuart Nisbet (Bart the bartender on The Virginian) plays an angry neighbor.

Season 2, Episode 16, "Miss Cathcart's Friend": Mel Blanc (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Flintstones) plays dog pound clerk Mr. Trinkle. John Zaremba (Special Agent Jerry Dressler on I Led 3 Lives, Dr. Harold Jensen on Ben Casey, Admiral Hardesy on McHale's Navy, Dr. Raymond Swain on The Time Tunnel, and Dr, Harlem Danvers on Dallas) plays dog owner Arthur Prylich. Paul Barselou (played various bartenders in 9 episodes of Bewitched) plays TV repairman Maurice.

Season 2, Episode 19, "Wilson Sleeps Over": Don C. Harvey (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Rawhide) plays a policeman.

Season 2, Episode 20, "Dennis' Birthday": Spring Byington (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Laramie) plays herself. Vaughn Taylor (starred in Jailhouse Rock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Psycho, and In Cold Blood and played Ernest P. Duckweather on Johnny Jupiter) plays George Wilson's cousin Jim. Elvia Allman (Aunt Vera on I Married Joan, Jane on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Cora Dithers on Blondie, Mrs. Montague on The Bob Cummings Show, Elverna Bradshaw on The Beverly Hillbillies, and Selma Plout on Petticoat Junction) plays his wife Edna.

Season 2, Episode 21, "Dennis Goes to Camp": Mary Beth Hughes (appeared in Star Dust, The Ox-Bow Incident, Orchestra Wives, Inner Sanctum, Riders in the Sky, and Young Man With a Horn) plays a young camper's mother. Pat Rosson (played Jerry Karr on The Young Marrieds) plays Dennis' friend Kevin.

Season 2, Episode 22, "Dennis' Tool Chest": Roy Roberts (shown on the left, played Capt. Simon P. Huxley on The Gale Storm Show, Admiral Rogers on McHale's Navy, John Cushing on The Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Cheever on The Lucy Show, Frank Stephens on Bewitched, Norman Curtis on Petticoat Junction, and Mr. Botkin/Bodkin on Gunsmoke) plays insurance salesman Humphrey McDougall. 

Season 2, Episode 23, "The Going Away Gift": Charles Lane (Mr. Fosdick on Dear Phoebe, Homer Bedloe on Petticoat Junction, Foster Phinney on The Beverly Hillbillies, Dale Busch on Karen, Maxwell on The Phyllis Diller Show, and Judge Anthony Petrillo on Soap) plays druggist Mr. Finch. 

Season 2, Episode 24, "Dennis and the Fishing Rod": Charles Lane (see "The Going Away Gift" above) returns as druggist Mr. Finch. Stanley Adams (Lt. Morse on Not for Hire and Gurrah on The Lawless Years) plays coin dealer Jerry Richman. 

Season 2, Episode 25, "Dennis and the Good Example": Alan Hewitt (shown on the right, starred in That Touch of Mink, Days of Wine and Roses, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and played Det. Bill Brennan on My Favorite Martian) plays physician Dr. Alfred Simpson. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman, various autopsy surgeons and medical examiners in 12 episodes of Perry Mason, Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place, and Simon Benjamin on The Young Marrieds) plays pet shop owner Mr. Bergstrom. Harry Landers (Dr. Ted Hoffman on Ben Casey and was the spokesman for Taster's Choice coffee) plays TV exercise instructor Mike Duval. 

Season 2, Episode 26, "Dennis' Obligation": Stuart Nisbet (see "Dennis, the Campaign Manager" above) plays neighbor Mr. Wade. Paul Barselou (see "Miss Cathcart's Friend" above) plays returns as TV repairman Maurice. 

Season 2, Episode 28, "Woodman, Spare That Tree": Charles Watts (see "Dennis, the Campaign Manger" above) plays returns as Parks Commissioner Thornton. Maurice Manson (shown on the left, played Josh Egan on Hazel and Hank Pinkham on General Hospital) plays Nature Society president Mr. Timberlake. 

Season 2, Episode 29, "The Boy Wonder": Tyler McVey (Maj. Norgrath on Men Into Space) plays construction manager Mr. Erickson. Hal Hopper (Cpl. Clarke on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin and composed theme music for Circus Boy, 26 Men, Colt .45, and Bearcats!) plays a brick delivery man.

Season 2, Episode 30, "The Soapbox Derby": Laurence Haddon (shown on the right, played Ed McCullough on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the foreign editor on Lou Grant, Dr. Mitch Ackerman on Knots Landing, and Franklin Horner on Dallas) plays obnoxious father Charles Brady. 

Season 2, Episode 31, "Dennis and the Camera": Maurice Manson (see "Woodman, Spare That Tree" above) returns as Nature Society president Mr. Timberlake. Rickie Sorensen (Thomas Banks on Father of the Bride) plays a boy scout.

Season 2, Episode 32, "Dennis and the Miracle Plant Food": Will Wright (shown on the left, played Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays nursery owner Mr. Merrivale. Jonathan Hole (Orville Monroe on The Andy Griffith Show) plays garden club member Mr. Trumble. Lillian Culver (wife of the founder of Culver City, California) plays garden club member Mrs. Schooner. Paul Barselou (see "Miss Cathcart's Friend" above) plays garden club member Mr. Fizby.

Season 2, Episode 33, "Dennis' Newspaper": Charles Seel (played the bartender on Tombstone Territory and Tom Pride on The Road West) plays newspaper editor Mr. Krinke. Jimmy Hawkins (see the biographical section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays college student Chuck Long. Wallace Rooney (Andrew Winters on The Doctors) plays a raccoon coat owner. Dan Sheridan (see the biographical section for the 1960 post on Lawman) plays another raccoon coat owner.

Season 2, Episode 34, "Mr. Wilson's Paradise": Vaughn Taylor (shown on the right, see "Dennis' Birthday" above) plays Dennis' teacher Mr. Hubbard. 

Season 2, Episode 35, "The Fortune Cookie": Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays scam artist Mr. Sheldon. 

Season 2, Episode 36, "The Pioneers": Judson Pratt (Billy Kinkaid on Union Pacific) plays newspaper photographer Kowalski. 

Season 2, Episode 37, "Father's Day for Mr. Wilson": Willis Bouchey (Mayor Terwilliger on The Great Gildersleeve, Springer on Pete and Gladys, and the judge 23 times on Perry Mason) plays attorney John McRae. 

Season 2, Episode 38, "Dennis and the Picnic": Robert Bice (shown on the left, played Police Capt. Jim Johnson on The Untouchables) plays police detective Lt. Rockwell. Hal Smith (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays neighbor Frank Wade. Laurence Haddon (see "The Soap Box Derby" above) returns as obnoxious salesman Charles Brady.

Season 3, Episode 1, "Trouble From Mars": Forrest Lewis (Mr. Peavey on The Great Gildersleeve) plays barber Selby. Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays policeman Ted Quincy.

Season 3, Episode 2, "Best Neighbor": Lillian Culver (see "Dennis and the Miracle Plant Food" above) returns as garden club member Mrs. Schooner. Kate Murtagh (Iona Dobson on It's a Man's World and was the cover model for the Supertramp album Breakfast in America) plays nature explorer Crystal Bell.

Season 3, Episode 3, "Keep Off the Grass": Alma Platt (Mrs. Henehan on These Are My Children) plays a librarian. 

Season 3, Episode 4, "Mr. Wilson's Safe": Will Wright (see "Dennis and the Miracle Plant Food" above) returns as nursery owner Mr. Merrivale. 

Season 3, Episode 5, "Haunted House": Harvey Korman (shown on the right, played various characters on The Carol Burnett Show, the voice of The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones, Harvey A. Kavanuagh on The Harvey Korman Show, Leo Green on Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, and Reginald J. Tarkington on The Nutt House) plays realtor Bowers. Harold Gould (Bowman Chamberlain on The Long Hot Summer, Harry Danton on The Feather and Father Gang, Martin Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, Jonah Foot on Foot in the Door, Ben Sprague on Spencer, and Miles Webber on The Golden Girls) plays a tramp. 

Season 3, Episode 6, "The School Play": Chubby Johnson (Concho on Temple Houston) plays locksmith Buzz. Sherry O'Neill (shown on the left, played Sarabelle Jordan on The Young Marrieds) plays theater teacher Miss Gilbert. 

Season 3, Episode 7, "The Fifty Thousandth Customer": Charles Lane (see "The Going Away Gift" above) returns as druggist Mr. Finch. 

Season 3, Episode 8, "Dennis and the Pee Wee League": Chubby Johnson (shown on the right, see "The School Play" above) returns as Buzz, now a junk dealer. Laurence Haddon (see "The Soapbox Derby" above) returns as bragging father Charles Brady. Charles Seel (see "Dennis' Newspaper" above) returns as newspaper editor Mr. Krinke.

Season 3, Episode 9, "Mr. Wilson's Inheritance": Gordon Jones (shown on the right, appeared in The Green Hornet, Flying Tigers, My Sister Eileen, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and McLintock! and played Mike Kelley on The Abbott and Costello Show, Pete Thompson on The Ray Milland Show, Hubie Dodd on So This Is Hollywood, and Butch Barton on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays house foundation repairman Mr. Bierschmidt. Lennie Weinrib (the voice of H.R. Pufnstuf on H.R. Pufnstuf, Moonrock on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, and Scrappy-Doo on Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo amongst many others) plays a truck delivery driver.

Season 3, Episode 10, "Dennis Is a Genius": James Millhollin (shown on the left, played Anson Foster on Grindl) plays child intelligence expert Mr. Heydon. 

Season 3, Episode 11, "The Lucky Piece": Henry Beckman (Commander Paul Richards on Flash Gordon, Mulligan on I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, George Anderson on Peyton Place, Colonel Harrigan on McHale's Navy, Capt. Roland Frances Clancey on Here Come the Brides, Pat Harwell on Funny Face, Harry Mark on Bronk, and Alf Scully on Check It Out) plays a tobacco store clerk. David Bond (Tremblay on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays a hobo. 

Season 3, Episode 12, "The Fifteen-Foot Christmas Tree": Pat McCaffrie (Chuck Forrest on Bachelor Father and Dr. Edgar Harris on Outlaws) plays a bus driver. Bill McLean (Dave on The Jim Backus Show) plays a drunk bus passenger. 

Season 3, Episode 13, "Dennis' Bank Account": Paul Maxey (Matt Brockway on Lassie and Mayor John Peoples on The People's Choice) plays bank president Dudley Yates. John Fiedler (shown on the right, 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 Mr. Clute. Lauren Gilbert (appeared in X-15, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and The Fortune Cookie and played John Olcott on Fairmeadows, U.S.A., Tom Craythorne on Love of Life, Harry Lane on The Edge of Night, and Harry Noll on Hazel) plays businessman Mr. Bishop. Harry Swoger (Harry the bartender on The Big Valley) plays bank customer Bickerstaff.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cheyenne (1961)

By the time 1961 rolled around The Cheyenne Show consisted of the rotating dramas Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, and Bronco and was still a top 30-rated program, just making the cut at #28 for the 1960-61 season. But changes were afoot. Though star Clint Walker had returned to work after staging a one-man strike over his unfavorable contract during the 1958-59 season, which resulted in Warner Brothers creating the Bronco series to replace him, Walker already felt his titular role had been played out and was causing him to be typecast, according to Tim Brooks and Earle F. Marsh's The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. But since the series was still a ratings winner, Warner Brothers had no interest in changing anything. Sugarfoot was another matter: though it had placed in the top 30 its first two seasons, by 1961 it had fallen out of the ratings. Perhaps to goose interest in the series' lead character, Warner Brothers staged the crossover episode "Duel at Judas Basin," which aired January 30, 1961, with all three stars working together to scope out and shut down an illegal operation running guns to the Indians. Since the episode aired under the Cheyenne banner, his character is the main hero with the other two acting in supporting roles. Bronco Layne at first appears to be an antagonist in cahoots with the gun runners until we learn that he is actually working undercover as a U.S. marshal. But Sugarfoot comes off as the weakest of the three, getting set up as the fall guy for a murder and thrown into jail, which requires Cheyenne breaking him out, and then basically hiding amongst a group of cattle drovers Cheyenne is leading until the latter lures the gun runners to his camp for a final shootout. If this episode was intended to renew interest in Sugarfoot, it sure didn't do much to make the title character appear heroic, and the series was canceled at the end of the 1960-61 season.

Walker was correct in claiming that the Cheyenne character had pretty much played itself out by this time--the stories are often predictable, and his drifting lifestyle and constantly changing employment status grows more tenuous each passing week. While it's true that real-life western icons like Wyatt Earp moved frequently and held a number of different occupations over their careers, Cheyenne's nomadic existence seems extreme. From showing up for a friend's wedding in "Incident and Dawson Flats" (January 9, 1961), to working as a cattle ramrod in "Duel at Judas Basin" to working as a small-town sheriff in "The Return of Mr. Grimm" (February 13, 1961), to serving as a bank messenger in "The Beholden" (February 27, 1961), Cheyenne apparently can't keep a steady job for more than a week. He's back to working as a cattle ramrod in "The Frightened Town" (March 20, 1961) and even tries his hand at raising his own cattle in "Winchester Quarantine" (September 25, 1961), but he quickly gives that up when a cattle fever sweeps the Texas town where he lives, making him available to be hired by a husband and wife team driving a herd to market in Abilene. He has several more stints working as a lawman--always in a different town, works for the army as a scout, and sometimes gets embroiled in a skirmish just by drifting by a ranch looking for a meal, as in "The Greater Glory" (May 15, 1961). Perhaps the most salient episode in terms of his ever-changing location and work status is the curiously named "Storm Center" (November 20, 1961) in which he is just drifting along when he comes to a fork in the road with one arrow pointing toward Angel's Way and the other to Devil's Gorge. Typical of his demeanor he flips a coin to decide which trail to take, and typical of his affinity for finding trouble it comes up Devil's Gorge, where he has to foil a bank robbery the moment he rides into town and thereby gets enmeshed in an orphan's search for his biological father and a pair of bank robbers trying to recover their take from a successful heist 12 years ago. Even his lone romantic interlude with widow Cora Ainslie in "Retaliation" (November 13, 1961) turns out to be a ruse to get him out of town, where he is working as the sheriff, so that Cora's fellow citizens can rob the bank as payback for its miserly owner who has driven them all into debt so that he can legally seize their property. And after cleaning up a corrupt bunch of deputies in "Trouble Street" (October 2, 1961), Cheyenne is told by the wealthy, unattached, and attractive female landowner that Colton City is going to be a nice town again and that a man has to settle down sometime, as close to a proposition of marriage as Cheyenne is likely to receive, but he brushes it aside by replying that he will keep that in mind when the time comes. Of course, the time will never come because Cheyenne is an archetype representing the male fantasy of unrestricted freedom rather than a flesh-and-blood man who recognizes the advantages of a stable existence with a reliable partner.

But while Cheyenne's character and wandering lifestyle seem a bit foreign to the modern viewer, the series occasionally delves into relevant themes that are still apropos today. The last episode of Season 5,"The Greater Glory" (May 15, 1961), explores the topic of religious faith in a manner that initially surprises even if the episode ultimately settles for a pat resolution. This is the episode in which Cheyenne gets involved in a fight over ranch land that might contain silver and gold simply by wandering onto the owner's property looking for a meal. He is met by the owner's wife Mary Wiley pointing a shotgun at him because she at first suspects that he is part of the gang who caused a cattle stampede that has gravely injured her husband in the hopes that it will force him to give up his land to his greedy mortgage holder. Once she determines that she can trust Cheyenne, Mary explains that she and her husband are Mormons who not only need to sell their cattle herd to earn enough to pay off their mortgage but they also believe they must have their marriage certified in the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City for them to be able to spend eternity together in heaven. Even though her husband is severely injured and is in no condition to travel, Mary's faith tells her they must make the journey and put themselves in the Lord's hands in order to enjoy eternal happiness. The surprise is that Cheyenne is the skeptic despite his heroic status in the series. He finds it particularly hard to believe that the antagonists who tried to kill her husband and continue to plague them on their journey in order to prevent them from making the last mortgage payment on time are also God's children. But then the story takes a turn to the ridiculous as they stumble upon an injured Indian and help him return to his tribe, which then intervenes twice on their behalf when it appears the antagonists are going to stop them. And while Cheyenne is off fending off the antagonists, Billy the Kid rides up to Mary in her wagon and at first plans to rob her but seeing that she is transporting her injured husband has pity on her, joins Cheyenne in keeping the villains at bay, and winds up accompanying them on the rest of their journey. Of course Mary interprets these coincidences as evidence of divine intervention, while Cheyenne and Billy at first consider them highly unusual but eventually conclude that one should never doubt Mary. Not that the producers intended to have Cheyenne undergo a religious conversion, but it is interesting to note that in the second episode of Season 6, "Trouble Street" (October 2, 1961), Cheyenne is carrying a mini Bible on his person, which comes in handy as a place to hide money he uses to bail himself out of jail.

Another potentially volatile topic that is broached briefly before being swept back under the carpet is gun culture in "The Young Fugitives" (October 23, 1961). Cheyenne pays a visit to an old friend and former lawman Frank Collins, who has become paralyzed from the waist down after taking a bullet in the back while apprehending and killing the son of the town patriarch, who has not forgiven or forgotten. Collins is disturbed that his own son Gilby is fascinated with guns and continues to practice obsessively. Collins launches into a tirade on the evilness of guns and makes Gilby promise to get rid of his, but Cheyenne counters that guns have no moral character in and of themselves, that it all depends on the person using them. While that may be the official stance of gun advocates, the way the story plays out offers a somewhat contrary subtext. When Cheyenne goes into town that evening he finds that not only has Gilby not gotten rid of his gun but he is dreamily staring into the window of the local gun shop eyeing more rifles he would like to own. Cheyenne offers to buy him a ticket to the local carnival, but Gilby chooses to go see the sharp-shooting exhibition rather than any of the other attractions. The town patriarch is in attendance with his still living sons and he goads Gilby into accepting the challenge of competing against the featured sharp-shooting performer. However, Gilby winds up winning the contest when the disgruntled female assistant moves slightly when the sharp-shooter tries to hit a cigarette she is holding in her mouth, which earns Gilby a brand new rifle of his choosing. Outside the venue the female assistant Nita thanks Gilby for speaking to her kindly during the contest because she has received nothing but abuse from her employers. When the sharp shooter Pat Kinsey finds her talking to Gilby, he strikes her, prompting Gilby to defend her, Kinsey to draw his gun on Gilby, and Gilby to shoot him dead. Figuring that he will never receive a fair trial in a town run by the patriarch who holds a grudge against his father, Gilby takes it on the lam with Nita, and Cheyenne has to track them and try to persuade Gilby to come back and face a trial in which he can plead self-defense rather than being caught by the patriarch's lynch mob. While the surface narrative deals with the importance of allowing the criminal justice system to arbitrate disputes and mishaps, and Gilby finds a partner for life when he eventually decides to propose to Nita for sticking by him, it's also clear that he never would have been in the predicament in the first place had he heeded his father's request and gotten rid of his gun.

The viewer also is given a head fake in the ostensible origin story "Legacy of the Lost" (December 4, 1961, which appears to amend Cheyenne's backstory we discussed in our post for the 1960 episodes, particularly "The Long Rope" (September 26, 1960). The original story is that Cheyenne's parents were murdered by Indians but he was taken in by the Cheyenne tribe (thus his name) and raised until he was rescued and adopted by the Pierce family. But in "Legacy of the Lost" he is sought out by detective Dennis Carter hired by the ultra wealthy Abbott family to prove that Cheyenne is the presumed dead eldest son John, whose father was not killed in the massacre that took his mother. Carter even has Cheyenne return to the Cheyenne chief who saved and raised him, White Cloud, to confirm salient details and give to him a locket worn by young John Abbott when he was supposed to have been killed. Cheyenne is then able to win over the Abbott patriarch Lionel, who welcomes his long lost son home to inherit his vast estate and enterprises to the apparent dismay of his second son James, who Lionel has always berated as weak and inferior to the lost boy. Only the whole set-up is a hoax initiated by James to exorcise the ghost of his lost brother by bringing him back to life, having his father accept him, and then having Carter assassinate him in the hopes that his father would then finally value his lone remaining son James. The plan gets messed up when James actually comes to like John/Cheyenne, who is sympathetic to his troubles, and tries to call off the hit by Carter, who is having none of it because he knows James can't pay him his agreed-upon fee of $50,000 unless he inherits his father's estate. We also learn that White Cloud was in on the fix with the promise that his tribe would have a sizable parcel of land returned to them if he helped convince Cheyenne that he was Abbott's son. The episode also ends ambiguously with Cheyenne trying to reconcile the lifelong adversaries Lionel Abbott and White Cloud, each of whom have killed members of the other's family, but after Cheyenne arranges them meeting each other face to face for the first time, Abbott and then White Cloud ride back to their respective homes without exchanging any meaningful words of truce. The only thing settled is that Cheyenne is not going to morph into Bonanza. Given the trajectory the two shows would take in the next few years, perhaps Warner Brothers missed a golden opportunity.

The Actors

For the biography of Clint Walker, see the 1960 post for Cheyenne.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 5, Episode 6, "Incident at Dawson Flats": Jock Gaynor (Deputy Marshal Heck Martin on Outlaws and Dr. William Scott on The Doctors) plays Cheyenne's friend Johnny McIntyre. Joan O'Brien (shown on the left, starred in Operation Petticoat, The Alamo, It Happened at the World's Fair,  and It'$ Only Money) plays his fiancĂ© Selma Dawson. Morris Ankrum (starred in Rocketship X-M, Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, and The Giant Claw and played the judge 22 times on Perry Mason) plays her father Cyrus. Hampton Fancher (Deputy Lon Gillis on Black Saddle and co-wrote the screenplay and was executive producer on Blade Runner) plays her brother Jasper. Gerald Mohr (narrator on 19 episodes of The Lone Ranger, Christopher Storm on Foreign Intrigue, voice of Mr. Fantastic and Reed Richards on Fantastic 4) plays her former suitor Elmer Bostrum. Mort Mills (Marshal Frank Tallman on Man Without a Gun, Sgt. Ben Landro on Perry Mason, and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays Dawson Flats Sheriff Ed Graves. Grady Sutton (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Lawman) plays the town photographer. 

Season 5, Episode 7, "Duel at Judas Basin": Ty Hardin (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Bronco) plays undercover federal marshal Bronco Layne. Will Hutchins (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Sugarfoot) plays surveyor Tom "Sugarfoot" Brewster. Alan Caillou (Jason Flood on Tarzan and The Head on Quark) plays rancher Ian Stewart. Max Baer, Jr. (shown on the right, played Jethro and Jethrine Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays cattle drover Pete. Phil Tully (Charlie the bartender on The Deputy) plays cattle drover Ben. Clyde Howdy (Hank Whitfield on Lassie) plays an unnamed cattle drover. Sheldon Allman (Norm Miller on Harris Against the World) plays trading post owner Charlie Lutz. Ken Mayer (Maj. Robbie Robertson on Space Patrol) plays his brother Hank. Jacques Aubuchon (starred in The Silver Chalice, The Big Boodle, and The Love God? and played Chief Urulu on McHale's Navy) plays trader Pike Hanson. Ed Prentiss (the narrator on Trackdown and played Carl Jensen on The Virginian) plays Fort Benton commander Major Grant. Terry Frost (Sgt. Bruce Moore/Morse/Morris on Highway Patrol) plays Judas Basin Sheriff Hoag.

Season 5, Episode 8, "The Return of Mr. Grimm": R.G. Armstrong (shown on the left, played Police Capt. McAllister on T.H.E. Cat and Lewis Vendredi on Friday the 13th) plays mine owner Nathaniel Grimm. Myron Healey (Doc Holliday on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays foreman Wesley Mason. Sherwood Price (Gen. Jeb Stuart on The Gray Ghost) plays Grimm gunman Hardy Russell. Maurice Manson (Frederick Timberlake on Dennis the Menace, Josh Egan on Hazel, and Hank Pinkham on General Hospital) plays Mayor Stanley. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays Judge Miller. Jericho Brown (popular singer married to Pamela Baird) plays Grimm gunman Red. Anita Sands (later became astrologer to the stars and a self-help guru) plays saloon girl Grace Evans. Orville Sherman (Mr. Feeney on Buckskin, Wib Smith on Gunsmoke, and Tupper on Daniel Boone) plays Grimm's attorney Robert Garrison.

Season 5, Episode 9, "The Beholden": Don Megowan (Captain Huckabee on The Beachcomber) plays Winslow Marshal Tom Grant. Patrice Wymore (appeared in She's Working Her Way Through College, King's Rhapsody, and Ocean's 11 and played Rhoda on Never Too Young) plays saloon girl Harriet Miller. Robert Foulk (Ed Davis on Father Knows Best, Sheriff Miller on Lassie, Joe Kingston on Wichita Town, Mr. Wheeler on Green Acres, and Phillip Toomey on The Rifleman) plays saloon owner Jake Scott. John Hubbard (shown on the right, starred in One Million, B.C., The Mummy's Tomb, and What's Buzzin', Cousin? and played Mr. Brown on The Mickey Rooney Show, Col. U. Charles Barker on Don't Call Me Charlie, and Ted Gaynor on Family Affair) plays Winslow Mayor John Mercer. Sheldon Allman (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays bank robber Elijah McGuire. Max Baer, Jr. (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays his brother Bert. Robert B. Williams (postman Mr. Dorfman on Dennis the Menace  and Barney on Hazel) plays bank manager Mr. Smaller. 

Season 5, Episode 10, "The Frightened Town": Andrew Duggan (shown on the left, played Cal Calhoun on Bourbon Street Beat, George Rose on Room for One More, Major Gen. Ed Britt on 12 O'Clock High, and Murdoch Lancer on Lancer) plays small-town marshal Ben Delaney. Angela Greene (Tess Trueheart on Dick Tracy) plays his wife Harriet. Robert Dunlap (Dennis on Peyton Place) plays their son Mark. Lane Chandler (Tom Pike on Lawman) plays trail boss Joe Cooper. James Griffith (Deputy Tom Ferguson on U.S. Marshal) plays drover Gorrell. Gregg Palmer (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays drover Dillard. William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays cattle team cook Luke. Tim Graham (Homer Ede on National Velvet) plays livery man Jeb Conroy. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays drover Andrews.

Season 5, Episode 11, "Lone Patrol": Robert McQueeney (Conley Wright on The Gallant Men) plays army supply expedition commander Capt. Duquesne. Harry Holcombe (appeared in The Fortune Cookie, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Foxy Brown, Escape to Witch Mountain, and Empire of the Ants and played Frank Gardner on Search for Tomorrow, Doc Benson on My Mother the Car, Mr. Kendricks on Barefoot in the Park, and Dr. J.P. Martin on Bonanza) plays his commanding officer Maj. Prewitt. Stacy Keach, Sr. (Carlson on Get Smart) plays expedition member Sgt. O'Bannion. Joseph Gallison (Dr. Neil Curtis on Days of Our Lives) plays cowardly trooper Jerry Dailey. Dawn Wells (shown on the right, played Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island) plays massacre survivor Sarah Claypool. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays Trooper Yawkey.

Season 5, Episode 12, "Massacre at Gunsight Pass": Jack Elam (shown on the left, played Deputy J.D. Smith on The Dakotas, George Taggart on Temple Houston, Zack Wheeler on The Texas Wheelers, and Uncle Alvin Stevenson on Easy Street) plays Russian nobleman Count Nicholas Potosi. Dee Carroll (Adele Winston Hamilton on Days of Our Lives) plays missionary Eva Hopkins. Robert Knapp (Ben Olson on Days of Our Lives and SAC Noel McDonald on The F.B.I.) plays conspirator Frank Thorne. Sherwood Price (see "The Return of Mr. Grimm" above) plays payroll robber Johnny Eldorado. Allan Lane (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Mister Ed) plays his jailer Sheriff Milton. X Brands (Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays Shoshone chief Powder Face. Hank Patterson (Fred Ziffel on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and Hank on Gunsmoke) plays stage shotgun rider Sunset. Robert Foulk (see "The Beholden" above) plays stage relay station owner Joe Stone. Kathie Browne (Angie Dow on Hondo and was Darren McGavin's second wife) plays his wife Molly. Paul Mantee (starred in Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Blood on the Arrow, and A Man Called Dagger and played Det. Al Corassa on Cagney & Lacey and Commander Clayton on Hunter) plays her old Shoshone friend Jimmy.

Season 5, Episode 13, "The Greater Glory": Ray Stricklyn (shown on the right, played Dr. James Parris on The Colbys and Senator Pickering on Wiseguy) plays Billy the Kid. William Sargent (Jerry Carter on Peyton Place) plays ranch owner Roy Wiley. William Phipps (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays gunman Smiler Jones. Mickey Simpson (Boley on Captain David Grief) plays henchman Big Blue. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays henchman Jim. Ruth Terry (starred in Call of the Canyon, My Buddy, Pistol Packin' Mama, and Smoky River Serenade) plays Wiley's neighbor.

Season 6, Episode 1, "Winchester Quarantine": Susan Cummings (shown on the left, played Georgia on Union Pacific) plays cattle rancher Helen Ransom. Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Program and Sheriff Abbott on The Virginian) plays her husband Ernie. John A. Alonzo (cinematographer on Vanishing Point, Harold and Maude, Lady Sings the Blues, Chinatown, Scarface, Steel Magnolias, and Star Trek: Generations) plays her ranch hand Rico. Terry Frost (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays ranch hand Charley. William Fawcett (see "The Frightened Town" above) plays her cook Uncle Luke. Denver Pyle (Ben Thompson on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Grandpa Tarleton on Tammy, Briscoe Darling on The Andy Griffith Show, Buck Webb on The Doris Day Show, Mad Jack on The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazzard) plays cattlemen's association president Nate Weyland. Robert Carson (Mr. Maddis on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays cattle rancher Jack Ballister. Steve Brodie (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays hired gun Steve Maclay. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays Cheyenne's ranch hand Reese.

Season 6, Episode 2, "Trouble Street": Patrick McVey (Steve Wilson on Big Town, Lt. Col. Wesley Hayes on Boots and Saddles, Ben Andrews on Manhunt, and Dr. Hansen on The Doctors) plays Colton City Marshal Bailey. James Coburn (shown on the right, starred in The Magnificent Seven, Charade, Our Man Flint, and In Like Flint and played Jeff Durain on Klondike and Gregg Miles on Acapulco) plays his pushy deputy Kell. Lee Van Cleef (starred in High Noon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) plays Kell's partner Braden. Mala Powers (starred in Cyrano de Bergerac, Rose of Cimarron, and Tammy and the Bachelor and played Rebecca Boone on Walt Disney's Daniel Boone and Mona on Hazel) plays Colton City's leading citizen and landholder Sharon Colton. Frank Sully (Danny the bartender on The Virginian) plays her bartender. Tom Drake (starred in Meet Me in St. Louis, Mr. Belvedere Goes to College, and The Sandpiper) plays imprisoned carpenter Randall. Ahna Capri (Mary Rose on Room for One More) plays his daughter Mary. Roy Wright (Callahan on The Islanders) plays general store owner Mr. Nolan. Gilman Rankin (Deputy Charlie Riggs on Tombstone Territory) plays another disgruntled citizen Price. Richard Reeves (Mr. Murphy on Date With the Angels) plays chain gang guard Crowley.

Season 6, Episode 3, "Cross Purpose": Michael Forest (starred in Ski Troop Attack, Atlas, and The Glory Guys and was the voice of Capt. Dorai on Street Fighter II: V and Olympus on Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue) plays accused murderer Capt. Robert Holman. Joyce Meadows (Lynn Allen on The Man and the Challenge and Stacy on Two Faces West) plays his wife Madeline DeVier. Walter Brooke (shown on the left, appeared in The Graduate, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and The Nude Bomb and played D.A. Frank Scanlon on The Green Hornet and Clarence Johnson on The Waltons) plays her brother Edward. Frank Gerstle (Dirk Gird on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and voiced Raseem on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour) plays his secretary Hammond. Frank De Kova (Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop and Louis Campagna on The Untouchables) plays Comanche chief Spotted Bull. Francis De Sales (Lt. Bill Weigand on Mr. & Mrs. North, Ralph Dobson on The Adventures of Ozzie& Harriet, Sheriff Maddox on Two Faces West, and Rusty Lincoln on Days of Our Lives) plays army Surgeon-Major Sam Cantell. Mickey Simpson (see "The Greater Glory" above) plays fur trapper Renant. Sam Flint (Mr. Armstead on Father Knows Best and Judge Jewett on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays a minister. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays an army trooper.

Season 6, Episode 4, "The Young Fugitives": Dayton Lummis (Marshal Andy Morrison on Law of the Plainsman) plays former lawman Frank Collins. Richard Evans (shown on the right, played Paul Hanley on Peyton Place) plays his son Gilby. Don Haggerty (Jeffrey Jones on The Files of Jeffrey Jones, Eddie Drake on The Cases of Eddie Drake, Sheriff Dan Elder on State Trooper, and Marsh Murdock on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays sharp-shooting hawker Sam Kinsey. Anne Whitfield (Barbara Harris on Days of Our Lives) plays his assistant Nita. Trevor Bardette (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays town patriarch Lige Crawford. Richard Rogers (Walter Tell on William Tell) plays his son Alfred. Paul Langton (Leslie Harrington on Peyton Place) plays the Clairmont sheriff. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays Crawford gunman Caldwell. Lane Chandler (see, "The Frightened Town" above) plays posse member Proudhomme. Barry Cahill (Capt. Curt Douglas on 12 O'Clock High and Buck Vernon on The Waltons) plays posse member Ransom.

Season 6, Episode 5, "Day's Pay": Rodolfo Acosta (Vaquero on The High Chaparral) plays wanted bank robber Luis Boladas. Harry Harvey (Sheriff Tom Blodgett on The Roy Rogers Show, Mayor George Dixon on Man Without a Gun, and Houghton Stott on It's a Man's World) plays Prairie Junction Mayor Squires. Joseph Gallison (see "Lone Patrol" above) plays Cheyenne's replacement as sheriff Billy Fipps. Ellen Burstyn (shown on the left, starred in For Those Who Think Young, The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and Same Time, Next Year and played Julie Parsons on Iron Horse, Ellen Brewer on The Ellen Burstyn Show, Dolly DeLucca on That's Life, Bishop Beatrice Congreve on The Book of Daniel, Nancy Davis Dutton on Big Love, and Evanka on Louie) plays Three Corners ambassador Emmy Mae. Willard Waterman (Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve on The Great Gildersleeve and Mac Maginnis on The Real McCoys) plays Three Corners barber Purdie. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays the Prairie Junction hotel clerk. Trevor Bardette (see "The Young Fugitives" above) plays Three Corners usurper Clem McCracken.

Season 6, Episode 6, "Retaliation": Randy Stuart (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays widow Cora Ainslie. Kevin Brodie (son of Steve Brodie, wrote and directed A Dog of Flanders) plays her son Bart. Jason Evers (starred in The Brain That Wouldn't Die, House of Women, The Green Berets, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Pitcairn on Wrangler, Prof. Joseph Howe on Channing, and Jim Sonnett on The Guns of Will Sonnett) plays hotel owner Andy Clark. John Anderson (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays bank owner Thackeray Smith. Percy Helton (Homer Cratchit on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays Smith's lawyer Matthew Beasely. Kelly Thordsen (Colorado Charlie on Yancy Derringer) plays Smith henchman Brown. William Lally (Tommy Clifford on My Son Jeep) plays Smith henchman Chester. Guy Wilkerson (played Panhandle Perkins in 22 westerns) plays the undertaker.

Season 6, Episode 7, "Storm Center": Dorothy Green (Lavinia Tate on Tammy) plays saloon owner Lily Mae Nelson. Mario Siletti (appeared in The Great Caruso, When in Rome, and East of Eden and played Charlie Carlotti on Hazel) plays her confidante Pepe. Robert Crawford, Jr. (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Laramie) plays orphan Frank Garcia. Simon Scott (John Riggs on Markham, Gen. Bronson on McHale's Navy, Chief Barney Metcalf on Mod Squad, and Arnold Slocum on Trapper John, M.D.) plays Devil's Gorge Sheriff Riley. Don Megowan (see "The Beholden" above) plays Lily Mae's ex-husband and convict Matt Nelson. Jack Hogan (starred in The Bonnie Parker Story, Paratroop Command, and The Cat Burglar and played Kirby on Combat!, Sgt. Jerry Miller on Adam-12, Chief Ranger Jack Moore on Sierra, and Judge Smithwood on Jake and the Fatman) plays his former accomplice Garson. Richard Reeves (see "Trouble Street" above) plays his other former partner Hendricks. George Petrie (Freddie Muller on The Honeymooners, Harv Smithfield on Dallas, Don Rudy Aiuppo on Wiseguy, and Sid on Mad About You) plays the prison warden.

Season 6, Episode 8, "Legacy of the Lost": Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays dynasty patriarch Lionel Abbott. Peter Breck (shown on the right, played Clay Culhane on Black Saddle, Doc Holliday on Maverick, and Nick Barkley on The Big Valley) plays his son James. Jolene Brand (Anna Maria Verdugo on Zorro) plays James' wife Lorna. James Hong (Barry Chan on The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, Frank Chen on Jigsaw John, and Doctor Chen Ling on Dynasty) plays Abbott house servant Suchin. William Windom (appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Americanization of Emily, and Escape From the Planet of the Apes and played Congressman Glen Morley on The Farmer's Daughter, John Monroe on My World and Welcome to It, Larry Krandall on Brothers and Sisters, Frank Buckman on Parenthood, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt on Murder, She Wrote) plays private detective Dennis Carter. Rusty Wescoatt (Joe the bartender on Trackdown) plays Lionel's muscle Benton. Richard Hale (starred in Abilene Town, Kim, San Antone, Red Garters, and To Kill a Mockingbird) plays Cheyenne chief White Cloud. X Brands (see "Massacre at Gunsight Pass" above) plays one of White Cloud's braves.

Season 6, Episode 9, "The Brahma Bull": William Reynolds (shown on the left, starred in All That Heaven Allows, The Big Beat, and The Thing That Couldn't Die and played Pete Kelly in Pete Kelly's Blues, Sandy Wade on The Islanders, Capt. Jim Benedict on The Gallant Men, and Special Agent Tom Colby on The F.B.I.) plays bounty hunter Johnny Tremayne. George Wallace (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays wanted outlaw Blaney Hawker. Owen Orr (Wally Blanchard on No Time for Sergeants) plays his brother Harrison. 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 newspaper editor Joseph Moran. Tommy Farrell (appeared in At War With the Army, Singin' in the Rain, and North by Northwest and played Cpl. Thad Carson on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Chet Holliday on This Is Alice, Jay O'Hanlon on Bourbon Street Beat, Riff Ryan on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and Fred on Room for One More) plays hotel clerk Dooley Wade. John Milford (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays vengeful former Confederate Floyd Pillow. Clyde Howdy (see "Duel at Judas Basin" above) plays Cheyenne's friend Sam Varney. Tom London (starred in Six-Shootin' Sheriff, Song of the Buckaroo, and Riders in the Sky) plays an old man hanging wanted posters.