Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Dick Tracy Show (1961)

As mentioned in our post on the 1960 episodes for The Mr. Magoo Show, the UPA animation studio was in dire financial straits after its failed Mr. Magoo feature film 1001 Arabian Nights in 1959. The Magoo disaster prompted then UPA owner Steve Bosustow to sell the enterprise to producer Henry G. Saperstein, who attempted to reverse the studio's financial fortunes by focusing on television, first with The Mr. Magoo Show and the following year with a series based on comic-strip hero Dick Tracy. But what UPA wound up producing bears little resemblance to the comic strip on which it was supposedly based because the Tracy character (voiced by respected character Everett Sloane in a complete waste of his talents) basically serves as a dispatcher and clean-up man who delegates each case to one of his four subordinates--a British bulldog named Hemlock Holmes who sounds like Cary Grant, the cartoon equivalent of Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi named Joe Jitsu, an overweight policeman named Heap O'Calorie who sounds like Andy Devine, and a low-budget version of Speedy Gonzales named Go Go Gomez. Tracy has no role in bringing the criminals, all but one taken from the original Tracy comic strip, to justice, as if he has been kicked upstairs to a desk job after decades on the street.

The savage reviews the series has received on imdb.com are well-deserved: the episodes, like those for The Mr. Magoo Show, appear as if written by the 5-year-old audience for which they are intended and are based on the premise that repetition and slapstick are the foundations of humor. Thankfully each episode is just under 5 minutes in length, but UPA churned out a staggering 130 episodes for the 1961-62 season. As a syndicated series, these episodes could be aired at the station's discretion, presumably collated with cartoons from other sources on a single children's program with a local host. Each of the four crime-fighters has a signature gag that is repeated in every episode. Hemlock Holmes is "assisted" by a group of bumbling policemen dubbed The Retouchables (an obvious dig at the popular Untouchables) who behave like the Keystone Kops, always dashing off on their assignment without Holmes who has to run after them pleading with them to stop, grab on to the back of the car or helicopter they are using, and then crashing through the window of said vehicle when they finally do heed his call to stop. Joe Jitsu's gag is to use his jujitsu skills to slam villains on the ground while saying "Excuse please" and "So sorry." Heap O'Calorie constantly tries to steal fruit from Tony's market before consulting nonverbal beatnik Nick for the location of the criminals he is after, and then subdues the crooks by bouncing them with his large belly. Go Go Gomez, who did not appear until the 62nd episode in the series, simply runs fast.

As has been documented elsewhere, not only does the Hemlock Holmes character mimic Cary Grant, but several of the villains also impersonate well-known Hollywood voices: Flat Top resembles Peter Lorre, B.B. Eyes imitates Edward G. Robinson, and The Brow is a vague James Cagney. But the spoofs on popular culture on The Dick Tracy Show seem rote compared to other programs like The Flintstones and Rocky and His Friends--they provide little entertainment for adults other than a glint of recognition and lose their punch by being repeated in every episode. Even one-time gags such as a jewelry store named Tiphoney's instead of Tiffany's seem to be throwaways.

Trying to make a comedy out of the comic-strip Dick Tracy is an odd choice. Though Tracy would grow to be a favorite with young readers, the original Chester Gould strip could be graphic and somewhat realistic in its depiction of violent criminals. In Gould's prototype for the strip, Plainclothes Tracy, the mob boss uses a blow-torch to burn the feet of a double-crosser in order to get him to talk, and in the initial story that debuted in 1931 Tracy and his fiance Tess Trueheart witness her father murdered by a pair of robbers who invade the Trueheart delicatessen. But in the UPA cartoon, no one ever dies despite being blown up repeatedly, tossed off high buildings, or involved in head-on collisions. Bullets never penetrate flesh. Like any other children's cartoon of the era, violence has no permanent consequences, suggesting to impressionable minds that violence is only a gag in which no one ever gets hurt. Tracy and comedy also failed to gel in Batman creator William Dozier's unused 1966 live-action pilot, though Dozier insisted the series would not have the camp factor that made the Caped Crusader so popular.

The other element working against the animated Dick Tracy is the brevity of each episode, which prevents any real plot development and constricts the episode to a series of slapstick gags. While series such as The Flintstones had its share of gags, its 30-minute format allowed for some semblance of story development, and Rocky and His Friends, later renamed The Bullwinkle Show, used a serial format that broke a longer story into bite-size installments that were sequenced through multiple 30-minute episodes that included shorts with their other rotating cast of characters Dudley Do-Right, Sherman and Peabody, and Fractured Fairytales. In short The Dick Tracy failed to take advantage of any of the original comic strip's strengths and settled for cheap laughs that became cheaper through constant repetition. Gould's upright crime-fighting hero deserved better.

The opening and closing theme for The Dick Tracy Show was composed by Carl E. Brandt, who was profiled in our 1960 post on The Mr.Magoo Show.

The entire series has been released on DVD by Sony/Classic Media.

The Actors

Everett Sloane

Born in Manhattan, the son of an insurance broker and cotton merchant, Everett H. Sloane caught the acting bug at age 7 after playing Puck in a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. After completing high school, he attended the University of Pennsylvania for two years before dropping out to join the Hedgerow Theatre repertory company led by Jasper Deeter until unfavorable review notices comparing his acting to Harpo Marx led him to leave the theater and take a job as a runner for a Wall Street stockbroker. He worked his way up to the position of assistant to the managing partner at a salary of $140 per week until the stock market crash of 1929 resulted in his salary being cut in half, so he returned to acting, this time on radio. As a voice actor Sloane progressed from playing villains on The Shadow and Buck Rogers to having regular roles on The Goldbergs and Bulldog Drummond. But his future would forever be altered when he joined the stalwart cast of the historical-based series The March of Time on which he played a variety of characters, including Adolph Hitler. Working on this series was where Sloane met Orson Welles and would later join his Mercury Theatre on the Air and appear in the famous War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938. But before that his success in radio allowed him to resume acting on the stage as well, making his Broadway debut in Boy Meets Girl in 1935. Sloane's association with Welles led to his being cast in the latter's first feature film Citizen Kane in 1941, portraying the title character's right-hand man Mr. Bernstein. Immediately after filming Kane, Sloane appeared in Welles' landmark Broadway production of Richard Wright's Native Son. Sloane would appear in three more Welles features--Journey Into Fear, Lady From Shanghai, and Prince of Foxes--but he reportedly quit Welles' production of Othello, in which he was to play Iago, because the filming was taking too long, and the two never worked together again, with Welles making disparaging remarks about Sloane on several occasions thereafter, even after Sloane's death. During the 1940s he also continued to appear on radio programs such as Inner Sanctum Mysteries and The Mysterious Traveler as well as more Broadway theatrical productions such as A Bell for Adano. Despite his break with Welles, Sloane was never at a loss for work. In the 1950s he added television to his repertoire, portraying the painter Vincent Van Gogh in an episode of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse as well as appearing on a number of other drama anthology series. He received an Emmy nomination for his appearance in Rod Serling's drama Patterns, which was presented on Kraft Television Theatre in 1956. He also began making guest appearances on a number of shows, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Joseph Cotten Show, and Climax! In 1957-58 he had a recurring role as an investigator on Official Detective and appeared as Andres Felipe Basilio in four 1959 episodes of Zorro. He reunited with Serling in the Season 1 episode of The Twilight Zone titled "The Fever" and also appeared in episodes of Thriller, Route 66, and The Loretta Young Show in 1960. That same year he tried out his skills as a lyricist by writing the words to The Andy Griffith Show theme "The Fishin' Hole"; though they were not used on the TV show itself, Andy Griffith sang them on the soundtrack LP that was released in conjunction with the program. Given his extensive experience as a radio actor, it is no surprise that he was chosen to voice iconic detective Dick Tracy on the 1961 animated program. He would reprise the role in an episode of the 1965 Mr. Magoo reboot The Famous Adventures of Mister Magoo.

In the years after The Dick Tracy Show, Sloane continued making guest appearances on TV shows such as Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza. He did some voicework for Jonny Quest in 1964 and appeared in a pair of Jerry Lewis features The Patsy and The Disorderly Orderly in 1964. However, in 1965 he feared that he was going blind and took his own life by overdosing on barbiturates at the age of 55 on August 6, 1965. He had just completed filming an episode of Honey West which was aired posthumously.

Benny Rubin

Born in Boston on February 2, 1899, Rubin attended a reform school in Shirley, Massachusetts and by 1914 was performing at an amateur night where he knew legendary comedian Fred Allen. He had learned to tap dance by watching children performing on the streets while growing up. He was part of a touring group for a year, worked on a showboat, and also worked in burlesque before teaming up with Charlie Hall for a vaudeville act. In 1923 he began performing solo at the Alhambra with a routine that included tap dancing, a trombone solo, and a stand-up shtick that was a broad Jewish stereotype that some found offensive but nevertheless proved very popular. However, he was apparently difficult to work with, getting fired from a 1925 Ziegfeld revue. His first film appearances came in 1928 in the short Daisies Won't Yell and the feature Naughty Baby, and in 1929 he moved to Hollywood, though he still performed in New York, serving as M.C. at The Palace and performing in a duo with Jack Haley. In 1932 he was afflicted with appendicitis and had to skip a performance with Haley at the last minute. A young comic named Milton Berle was nabbed to fill his place, and the rest is history. From 1928-32 he appeared in dozens of shorts and features but reportedly missed the chance for a lucrative contract with Fox when he refused to get a nose job. By 1938 with the Nazis rising in Europe he was pressured to abandon his Jewish stereotype routine, but he continued to find work playing ethnic characters on film, though over the years his parts declined to playing unnamed cab drivers, waiters, and the like. 

His first television appearance came in 1949 on the Oboler Comedy Theatre but his best-remembered role was as an annoyed help-desk employee on The Jack Benny Program whose catch-phrase was "I dunno!" He was also a regular comic foil on The Red Skelton Hour and had bit parts in dozens of TV comedies from The Bob Cummings Show to The Joey Bishop Show to I Dream of Jeannie. Likewise he showed up in several silly feature films such as The Patsy, The Disorderly Orderly, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, and How to Frame a Figg. On The Dick Tracy Show he provided voices for Joe Jitsu, Pruneface, and Sketch Paree. His last feature film was the 1979 sex comedy A Pleasure Doing Business which also included comedians such as John Byner, Tommy Smothers, and Phyllis Diller. He died of a heart attack on July 15, 1986 at the age of 87.

Jerry Hausner

Hausner provided the voice for Hemlock Holmes and for villains Stooge Viller, Itchy, The Mole, and The Brow. See the biography section of the 1960 post for The Mr. Magoo Show.

Mel Blanc

Blanc provided the voice for villains Flat Top and B.B. Eyes. See the biography section of the 1960 post for The Flintstones.




Paul Frees

Frees provided the voice for Heap O'Calorie and Go Go Gomez. See the biography section of the 1960 post for Rocky and His Friends.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tales of Wells Fargo (1960)

If it were cast today, Tales of Wells Fargo might depict crooks and con men working inside the fabled company that began as a guaranteed transportation venture based out of San Francisco, but in the 1950s American television landscape, Wells Fargo agents were the good guys. The series ran for 6 seasons on NBC from 1957-62, the first five as a 30-minute black-and-white program with a single star--Dale Robertson playing special agent Jim Hardie, who travels alone throughout the west usually investigating robberies and murders perpetrated against the assets and agents of his employer. In this role, Hardie is a kind of combination private detective and lawman. The format and stories are hardly distinctive in the western TV genre, overlapping with earlier and later series such as Stories of the Century, Cheyenne, Pony Express, and Shotgun Slade, but due to Robertson's folksy charm and beefcake good looks, it shot to #3 in the ratings during its initial season and still placed #7 in its sophomore year before falling out of the top 30 in its final four seasons. The series was conceived by producer Nat Holt, who had directed Robertson in his first credited film role in Fighting Man of the Plains, and was based very loosely on the career of Fred J. Dodge, who worked as a special undercover agent for Wells Fargo  in the 1870s and 1880s throughout the west before settling in Texas in 1890 and working openly for the company from then on. The television character Jim Hardie, however, always openly announces his role as a Wells Fargo agent, many times preceded by his reputation when he enters a town to work on a case, though he occasionally goes undercover impersonating someone else, such as imprisoned killer Bill Stampel in the episode "The Canyon" (February 1, 1960) and wanted horse thief Rattlesnake Jim in the episode "Vasquez" (May 16, 1960).

Holt and his writers also expanded Hardie's chronological reach beyond Dodge's by setting some episodes as early as 1865, when the real-life Dodge was only 11 years old, and had him encounter real-life western legends that Dodge never dealt with, while avoiding one of Dodge's closest friends, Wyatt Earp, since the latter was then the star of another western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, on a competing network--ABC. The real-life Fred Dodge had even helped Earp land a job with Wells Fargo in Tombstone, Arizona, where he would later have his famous shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. But in the fictional world of Jim Hardie, the episode "Escort to Santa Fe" (December 19, 1960) depicts Hardie assigned to escort Mexican President Benito Juarez to a meeting with U.S. officials in Santa Fe on the day that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The episode "Cole Younger" (January 4, 1960) tries placing Hardie in the midst of the famous James-Younger Gang botched robbery of the North Minefield, Minnesota bank, which led to Younger's capture and imprisonment, though the real-life Dodge had no involvement in the event. Likewise, in the highly chauvinistic episode "Pearl Hart" (May 9, 1960), Hardie helps capture the notorious female stagecoach robber by playing on her vanity, which Hardie says all women are guilty of, by luring her into a shooting contest in Deming, New Mexico since she is so proud of her skill. After he bests her and takes her to Tucson for trial, he narrates that after serving a light sentence she went straight and even got married. The story of the real Pearl Hart is a bit more complicated, having married an alcoholic, abusive husband when she was 16, sending her two children to live with her mother in Ohio while she pursued various occupations, even possibly operating a brothel, and eventually turning to stagecoach robbery ostensibly to support her then-ailing mother. She was actually acquitted of the robbery but later arrested for tampering with the U.S. mail, escaped from prison but later recaptured in Deming, and after serving her sentence in Yuma Prison was later charged with receiving stolen property while running a Kansas City cigar store but acquitted of that charge as well. Needless to say, the arc of her real-life story did not follow the tidy redemptive trajectory depicted on Tales of Wells Fargo, but this episode's version is consistent with the overall moral sermonizing found elsewhere in the series.

"Frightened Witness" (December 26, 1960) depicts an eye witness to a murder being unwilling to testify against the perpetrator after being threatened by the perpetrator's gang members. However, after being shamed by his young son as a coward and then receiving a lecture from Hardie about what society would look like if killers were allowed to walk free without repercussion, the witness decides to stand up to the bullies threatening him and is so invigorated by his new-found backbone that he pummels one of the bullies in a fistfight. In "The Bride and the Bandit" (December 12, 1960) a former saloon girl posing as a schoolteacher who hopes to marry an upstanding Wells Fargo agent receives admonishment from Hardie to let the agent make the decision about whether her past is a deal-breaker rather than pretending to be something she's not and then running away once her cover is blown. And in another highly chauvinistic episode, Hardie literally takes over his knee and spanks precocious 17-year-old Stephanie Carrie in "A Study in Petticoats" (October 17, 1960) after she relentlessly tries to get him to marry her and then lies to her brothers, claiming that he took advantage of her when they were alone, in order to try to force a shotgun marriage upon him. After he administers the spanking, the brothers thank him and say they should have done the same a long time ago. Granted, the paternalistic tone of Tales of Wells Fargo was fairly common for the era but also helps demonstrate why this series failed to stand out from its competition.

While Hardie's character was unambiguously upright on screen, Robertson's handling of the series behind the scenes, like Pearl Hart's actual biography, is a little more complicated. Before the series got off the ground, Nat Holt tried to sell Robertson on the idea of Wells Fargo for some time, but Robertson kept putting him off because he considered himself too busy with his work on feature films. Eventually Robertson felt he owed Holt a favor out of loyalty for having gotten him started in his successful career, though he was also drawn to television's shorter shooting schedule than that of feature films. To sweeten the deal Holt offered Robertson 50% ownership of the series, and as the game show says, the price was right. However, by the fifth season, according to an interview with Earle Lyon on westernclippings.com, Robertson felt that Holt, then 67 years old, was getting too old and forgetful to continue, so he invited Lyon to take over as producer for the remainder of the series. Though Holt opposed the move, Robertson, who was also an experienced horse trainer, got the backing of NBC and the show's financial backer, Universal, and Holt was "put out to pasture" with Lyon taking over in Season 5. However, Robertson himself eventually was ousted as well, when, according to Lyon, Lew Wasserman took over Universal and decided that Tales of Wells Fargo, which had been expanded to an hour for its final season and was being shot in color at a time when very few other series were, was too expensive and canceled the series despite Robertson and Lyon wanting to continue. Perhaps Robertson forcing Holt out was necessary as "just business," but it hardly sounds like the kind of thing Jim Hardie would have done.

The theme music for Tales of Wells Fargo was composed by Stanley Wilson, who was profiled in the 1961 post for Ripcord.

Timeless Media Group has released the first two complete seasons on DVD as well as a 6-disc Best of collection from the first five seasons and a 22-episode collection from the final season. The series is also currently airing on the Encore Westerns cable TV channel.





The Actors

Dale Robertson

Dayle Lymoine Robertson was born in Harrah, Oklahoma, 30 miles east of Oklahoma City and claimed to have Cherokee blood. He became an accomplished rider of horses by age 10 and was training polo ponies a few years later. In high school he starred in athletics and became a professional boxer after high school while attending the Oklahoma Military Academy. He was reportedly offered a lead role in the Columbia feature Golden Boy during this time but turned it down as he had no interest in acting. Once the U.S. entered World War II he was commissioned as an officer and stationed in Europe, where he was wounded twice and was awarded the Bronze and Silver Star medals. However, while stationed in San Luis Obispo, California, he and some friends decided to have photographs made to send home. The photographer who took his picture made an enlargement and posted it in his shop window, drawing the interest of numerous talent scouts. Taking the advice given him by fellow Oklahoman Will Rogers, Jr., Robertson never took acting classes in order to retain his natural folksiness. Many years later he said that the only reason he got into acting was to earn enough money to buy a horse ranch back in Oklahoma, which he eventually did. His first uncredited role came in the 1948 feature The Boy With Green Hair, and the following year he got his first on-screen credit playing Jesse James in Fighting Man of the Plains. By 1951 he had signed a 7-year contract with 20th Century Fox and was playing leading roles in such films as Take Care of My Little Girl and Golden Girl. Later Robertson estimated that about 70% of his roles were in westerns, such as The Outcasts of Poker Flat, Devil's Canyon, and Sitting Bull. He made his first television appearances on the drama anthologies Studio 57 and Schlitz Playhouse in 1956. His second appearance on the latter series was titled "A Tale of Wells Fargo," which essentially served as the pilot for the series he would help create, own, and star in the following year, Tales of Wells Fargo

Though his workload diminished in the first few years after Wells Fargo was canceled, appearing in a handful of feature films and a pair of TV movies, he was soon back on television in a leading role as Ben Calhoun in Iron Horse, which ran for two seasons from 1966-68. He followed that by replacing Robert Taylor as the host and narrator of the syndicated series Death Valley Days during its final two seasons in 1969-70. His acting career again went on hiatus through most of the 1970s except for a few TV movies, but he returned to television as oil wildcatter Walter Lankershim on the first season of Dynasty. The following year he appeared 5 times as Frank Crutcher on Dallas, and after another 5-year drought returned to a starring role in the short-lived J.J. Starbuck in 1987-88. Thereafter he had only a few credits--one on Murder, She Wrote, another TV movie, and two appearances on Lloyd Bridges' series Harts of the West in 1993-94. He and his fourth wife Susan settled on his long-sought horse ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma but eventually sold it and moved to San Diego, where he died from complications from pneumonia and lung cancer on February 27, 2013 at the age of 89.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 4, Episode 17, "Cole Younger": Royal Dano (appeared in The Far Country, Moby Dick, and The Outlaw Josey Wales) plays notorious outlaw Cole Younger. Patty Ann Gerrity (shown on the left, appeared in To Hell and Back, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Trouble With Angels and played Alice Holliday on This Is Alice) plays farmer's daughter Inger Hegelund. House Peters, Jr. (Sheriff Jim Billings on Lassie) plays Hanska Falls Sheriff Glisburn. Olan Soule (Aristotle "Tut" Jones on Captain Midnight, Ray Pinker on Dragnet (1952-59), and Fred Springer on Arnie) plays a telegrapher.

Season 4, Episode 18, "The Easterner": 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 Boston lawyer Mulvaney. Joanna Moore (mother of Tatum and Griffin O'Neal, appeared in Touch of Evil, Son of Flubber, and Never a Dull Moment and played Peggy McMillan on The Andy Griffith Show) plays stage passenger Arlene Howard. S. John Launer (Marshall Houts on The Court of Last Resort and the judge 33 times on Perry Mason) plays a Wells Fargo agent. 

Season 4, Episode 19, "The Governor's Visit": Douglas Kennedy (starred in Adventures of Don Juan, I Was an American Spy, and Jack McCall, Desperado and played Marshal Steve Donovan on Steve Donovan, Western Marshal and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays Wyoming outlaw Clancy. Mari Blanchard (shown on the right, starred in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Destry, Son of Sinbad, and She Devil and played Kathy O'Hara on Klondike) plays saloon owner Kitty Flambeau. Joan Staley (Playboy Playmate who appeared in Cape Fear, Roustabout, Valley of the Dragons, Johnny Cool, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and played Hannah on 77 Sunset Strip and Roberta Love on Broadside) plays saloon girl Sally. Joan Granville (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Lock Up) plays saloon girl Tess. Tom McKee (Comrade Laylock Brisson on I Led 3 Lives, Captain Davis on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Fire Chief Tucker on Rescue 8) plays Wyoming sheriff Parker. Bob Steele (starred in Breezy Bill, Of Mice and Men, and The Big Sleep, played Billy the Kid in 6 westerns and Tucson Smith in 19 others, and played Trooper Duffy on F Troop) plays Clancy henchman Cole. Quintin Sondergaard (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Tombstone Territory) plays an unnamed Clancy henchman.

Season 4, Episode 21, "The Canyon": Bruce Gordon (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays outlaw community kingpin Len Garner. Andy Clyde (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Real McCoys) plays outlaw community resident Pop Brown. Jean Ingram (had an affair with James Edward Baker, aka Father Yod of The Source Family, who was convicted of killing her husband in 1963) plays embezzlement suspect's daughter Jane Kimball. 

Season 4, Episode 22, "Red Ransom": Frank DeKova (Chief Wild Eagle on F Troop and Louis Campagna on The Untouchables) plays Apache renegade Joe Black. John Alderson (Sgt. Bullock on Boots and Saddles and Wyatt Earp on Doctor Who) plays Wells Fargo agent Clay Arvin. Sarah Selby (Aunt Gertrude on The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, Lucille Vanderlip on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Miss Thomas on Father Knows Best, and Ma Smalley on Gunsmoke) plays his wife Clara. Larry J. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays Apache chief Akana. Pat Hogan (Black Cloud on Brave Eagle) plays argumentative townsman Todd Hoover. Grandon Rhodes (Mr. Vanderlip on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Dr. Stevens on Lassie, the judge 16 times on Perry Mason, and Dr. J.P. Martin on Bonanza) plays another townsman.

Season 4, Episode 23, "The Englishwoman": Adrienne Hayes (shown on the right, played Brooke Bentley on General Hospital) plays embezzlement suspect's daughter Vickie St. John. Wesley Lau (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Perry Mason) plays Wells Fargo agent Hank. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays the Morgan sheriff. George Cisar (Sgt. Theodore Mooney on Dennis the Menace and Cyrus Tankersley on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) plays newspaper publisher Whitey Lawson. John Beradino (Special Agent Steve Daniels on I Led 3 Lives, Sgt. Vince Cavelli on The New Breed, and Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital) plays gunslinger Larry Wills. Mason Curry (Deke Tuttle on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) plays general store owner Joe Jenson.

Season 4, Episode 24, "Forty-Four Forty": Peter Whitney (Sergeant Buck Sinclair on The Rough Riders and Lafe Crick on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays stagecoach robber Big Duggin. Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays stage driver Tom Olsen. Nancy Hale (shown on the left, played Helen Carter on Whirlybirds) plays his daughter Myra. Sam Flint (Mr. Armstead on Father Knows Best and Judge Jewett on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays Tucson doctor Ed Baylor. Owen Bush (Ben on Shane, John Belson on Sirota's Court, and Crimshaw on Our House) plays stage manager Hank.

Season 4, Episode 25, "The Late Mayor Brown": John Stephenson (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Flintstones) plays River Oaks resident Miles Rogers. George Mitchell (Cal Bristol on Stoney Burke) plays River Oaks Marshal Dan Fogarty. Vic Perrin (the narrator on Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, the control voice on The Outer Limits, and did voicework on Jonny Quest, Star Trek, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, and Mission: Impossible!) plays thief Ben Locust. Gail Kobe (Penny Adams on Trackdown and Doris Schuster on Peyton Place and produced over 200 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful) plays late mayor's widow Kate Brown. Charles Cooper (starred in The Wrong Man and played the sheriff on Father Murphy and Judge Robert Boucher on The Practice) plays Locust's friend Sonny Boston. 

Season 4, Episode 26, "Black Trail": Dianne Foster (starred in Night Passage, The Last Hurrah, and The Deep Six) plays former actress Elaine Griffon. Luis Van Rooten (appeared in The Hitler Gang, Champion, and Operation Eichmann and played Knobby Walsh on The Joe Palooka Story) plays bank president Cyrus Wilson. Ron Soble (Dirty Jim on The Monroes) plays stagecoach robber Burch. 

Season 4, Episode 27, "The Great Bullion Robbery": Joyce Taylor (shown on the left, played Mary McCauley on Men Into Space) plays Wells Fargo agent's daughter Anne King. Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays Weber Falls Marshal Emmett Clegg. Jan Merlin (Roger Manning on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Lt. Colin Kirby on The Rough Riders) plays ex-con Johnny Hogan. Ed Kemmer (Commander Buzz Corry on Space Patrol, Paul Britton on The Secret Storm, and Dick Martin on As the World Turns) plays blacksmith Joe Beecher.

Season 4, Episode 28, "The Outlaw's Wife": Mike Road (Marshal Tom Sellers on Buckskin, Lt. Joe Switolski on The Roaring 20's, and provided the voice for Race Bannon on Johnny Quest and Ugh on Space Ghost) plays robbery conspirator Clete. Patricia Huston (Addy Olson on Days of Our Lives and Hilda Brunschwager on L.A. Law) plays robber's wife's sister Marge Walker. Byron Morrow (Capt. Keith Gregory on The New Breed and Pearce Newberry on Executive Suite) plays a Wells Fargo agent. 

Season 4, Episode 29, "The Town": Mary Webster (shown on the far right, appeared in The Delicate Delinquent, Eighteen and Anxious, and Master of the World) plays Wolf Creek heir Lucy Potter. Rhys Williams (shown on the near right, played Doc Burrage on The Rifleman) plays train passenger Jim Cook. 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 Wolf Creek crook Clem Fallon. Bert Remsen (Detective Lawrence on Peyton Place, Mr. Pell on Gibbsville, Mario on It's a Living, and Jack Crager on Dynasty) plays Fallon's henchman Burkett. Robert B. Williams (postman Mr. Dorfman on Dennis the Menace  and Barney on Hazel) plays a hotel clerk. 

Season 4, Episode 30, "The Trading Post": Mort Mills (shown on the left, played Marshal Frank Tallman on Man Without a Gun, Sgt. Ben Landro on Perry Mason, and Sheriff Fred Madden on The Big Valley) plays bounty hunter Chase Robson. Paul Langton (Leslie Harrington on Peyton Place) plays trading post manager Frisbee. Peter Leeds (Tenner Smith on Trackdown and George Colton on Pete and Gladys) plays white man living among Indians Oscar Shipley. X Brands (Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays Osage brave Spotted Tail. Monte Blue (Sheriff Hollister on Sky King) plays his father Nicoma. 

Season 4, Episode 31, "Dead Man's Street": 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 lawless patriarch Dan Ferguson. George Kennedy (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 his son Joby. Robert Bray (Simon Kane on Stagecoach West and Corey Stuart on Lassie) plays his son Alec. Kelly Thordsen (Colorado Charlie on Yancy Derringer) plays his son Amos. Barney Phillips (Sgt. Ed Jacobs on the original Dragnet, Lt. Sam Geller on Johnny Midnight, Lt. Avery on The Brothers Brannagan, Doc Kaiser on 12 O'Clock High, Mike Golden on Dan August, and Fletcher Huff on The Betty White Show) plays Wells Fargo agent George Guinness. Wallace Ford (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Deputy) plays Paradise, CA marshal F.X. Murphy. Walter Sande (appeared in To Have and Have Not, A Place in the Sun, and Bad Day at Black Rock and played Capt. Horatio Bullwinkle on The Adventures of Tugboat Annie and Papa Holstrum on The Farmer's Daughter) plays bartender Healey. Herbert Lytton (Admiral Reynolds on McHale's Navy) plays store owner Benson.

Season 4, Episode 32, "Threat of Death": Robert Middleton (Barney Wales on The Monroes) plays store owner Jason Kreegar. King Calder (Lt. Gray on Martin Kane) plays a Dobie resident. William Campbell (appeared in The High and the Mighty, Love Me Tender, Dementia 13, and Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte and played Jerry Austin on Cannonball) plays Wells Fargo robber Johnny Crail. Elizabeth Allen (shown on the left, played Laura Deane on Bracken's World, Martha Simms on The Paul Lynde Show, Capt. Quinlan on CPO Sharkey, and Victoria Bellman on Texas) plays captive half-breed Ilona. Virginia Sale (Selma Plout on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) plays another Dobie citizen. 

Season 4, Episode 33, "Dealer's Choice": Patricia Barry (shown on the right, played Kate Harris on Harris Against the World, Lydia McGuire on Dr. Kildare, Adelaide Horton Williams on Days of Our Lives, Peg English on All My Children, and Sally Gleason on Guiding Light) plays wealthy heir Phyllis Randolph. Frank Wilcox (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays her father. Robert Lowery (starred in Criminal Investigator, Revenge of the Zombies, The Navy Way, The Mummy's Ghost, and They Made Me a Killer and played Big Tim Champion on Circus Boy and Buss Courtney on Pistols 'n' Petticoats) plays casino owner John Galena. Arthur Space (appeared in Black Beauty, The Cockeyed Miracle, and Target Earth and played Herbert Brown on National Velvet and Dr. Frank Weaver on Lassie) plays Wells Fargo manager Arnold Porter. Robert Carson (Mr. Maddis on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays Wells Fargo agent Houseman Ward. Ann McCrea (Midge Kelsey on The Donna Reed Show) plays casino hostess Sarah. Roy Gordon (Andrew V. McMahon on The Millionaire) plays card-playing Judge Donovan.

Season 4, Episode 34, "Pearl Hart": Beverly Garland (shown on the left, played Casey Jones on Decoy, Ellis Collins on The Bing Crosby Show, Barbara Harper Douglas on My Three Sons, Dorothy "Dotty" West on Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Ellen Lane on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Ginger on 7th Heaven) plays legendary outlaw Pearl Hart. 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 her henchman Hogan. Stafford Repp (Brink on The New Phil Silvers Show and Chief O'Hara on Batman) plays Deming, NM sheriff Henry Roseboro. Jean Inness (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Dr. Kildare) plays his wife Martha.

Season 4, Episode 35, "Vasquez": Cesare Danova (shown on the right, appeared in Tender Is the Night, Cleopatra, Viva Las Vegas, Mean Streets, and Animal House and played Actor on Garrison's Gorillas) plays famous desperado Tiburcio Vasquez. Jack Reitzen (Chopstick Joe on Terry and the Pirates and Flores on Not for Hire) plays his henchman Moreno. Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. (Luis Valdez on Viva Valdez) player henchman Chavez. Barbara Luna (Maria on One Life to Live) plays Vasquez's lover Rosita. Stuart Randall (Sheriff Art Sampson on Cimarron City, Al Livermore on Lassie, and Sheriff Mort Corey on Laramie) plays San Jose Sheriff Morris. C. Lindsay Workman (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays a telegrapher.

Season 4, Episode 36, "Kid Brother": Larry Pennell (shown on the left, see the biographical section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays Hardie's younger brother Ben. Henry Corden (Carlo on The Count of Monte Cristo, and Babbitt on The Monkees and did voicework on The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, The Atom Ant Show, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour and Return to the Planet of the Apes) plays New Orleans police inspector Dupre. Allison Hayes (see the biographical section for the 1960 post on Bat Masterson) plays saloon girl Marie. Kathie Browne (Angie Dow on Hondo and was Darren McGavin's second wife) plays saloon girl Madeleine. Joanna Lee (appeared in The Joker Is Wild, The Brain Eaters, and Plan 9 From Outer Space and wrote screenplays for The Flintstones, My Three Sons, Gilligan's Island, Nanny and the Professor, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and Room 222) plays saloon girl Antoinette. Howard Caine (Schaab on The Californians and Maj. Wolfgang Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes) plays the saloon manager.

Season 4, Episode 37, "Man for the Job": Harold J. Stone (John Kennedy on The Grand Jury, Hamilton Greeley on My World and Welcome to It, and Sam Steinberg on Bridget Loves Bernie) plays stagecoach shotgun messenger Phil Coughlin. Regis Toomey (starred in Alibi, Other Men's Women, The Finger Points, His Girl Friday, and The Big Sleep and played Joe Mulligan on The Mickey Rooney Show, Lt. Manny Waldo on Four Star Playhouse, Lt. McGough on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Bill Cochran on Shannon, Det. Les Hart on Burke's Law, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres) plays Wells Fargo agent Les Goslin. Ken Lynch (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Checkmate) plays prospective stage robber Parker. Dennis Cross (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Blue Angels) plays his partner Luke Lambert.

Season 5, Episode 1, "Day of Judgement": John Dehner (shown on the left, played Duke Williams on The Roaring '20's, Commodore Cecil Wyntoon on The Baileys of Balboa, Morgan Starr on The Virginian, Cyril Bennett on The Doris Day Show, Dr. Charles Cleveland Claver on The New Temperatures Rising Show, Barrett Fears on Big Hawaii, Marshal Edge Troy on Young Maverick, Lt. Joseph Broggi on Enos, Hadden Marshall on Bare Essence, and Billy Joe Erskine on The Colbys) plays vengeful Civil War veteran Wade Cather. John Lupton (Tom Jeffords on Broken Arrow and Frank on Never Too Young) plays wanted robber Eli Fisher. Doris Dowling (starred in The Lost Weekend, The Blue Dahlia, Bitter Rice, and Othello and played Irene Adams on My Living Doll) plays Fisher's lady friend Verna. 

Season 5, Episode 2, "Angry Town": Paul Birch (Erle Stanley Gardner on The Court of Last Resort, Mike Malone on Cannonball, and Capt. Carpenter on The Fugitive) plays Miles City Sheriff Paul Brick. Sydney Pollack (shown on the right, directed They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Tootsie, and Out of Africa) plays his brother-in-law Stan Riker. Paul Fix (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Rifleman) plays Hardie's old friend and physician Doc Howard. Guy Wilkerson (played Panhandle Perkins in 22 westerns) plays rancher Zeb Baker. Richard Tyler (appeared in It's in the Bag!, Father Was a Fullback, and Tea and Sympathy and played Henry Aldrich on The Aldrich Family) plays posse member Chris Warren. Ed Prentiss (Carl Jensen on The Virginian and Dr. Ralph Dunbar on Days of Our Lives) plays banker Harry Newhole.

Season 5, Episode 3, "Doc Dawson": Edgar Buchanan (shown on the left, played Uncle Joe Carson on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction, Red Connors on Hopalong Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean on Judge Roy Bean, Doc Burrage on The Rifleman, and J.J. Jackson on Cade's County) plays former outlaw and new dentist Doc Dawson. Stanley Clements (Stanislaus "Duke" Coveleskie in 6 Bowery Boys feature films) plays dead Wells Fargo driver's brother-in-law Clyde Simpson. 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 close family friend Joe Haynes. Douglas Spencer (appeared in The Thing From Another World, Shane, This Island Earth, River of No Return, and The Diary of Anne Frank) plays a Texas sheriff.

Season 5, Episode 4, "The Kinfolk": Richard Jaeckel (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays wanted killer Len Lassiter.

Season 5, Episode 5, "A Study in Petticoats": Whitney Blake (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Hazel) plays jewelry owner Norma Hoover. Diane Jergens (appeared in The Bob Mathias Story, Desk Set, High School Confidential!, and Island of Lost Women and played Francine Williams on The Bob Cummings Show and Susie Jackson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays infatuated 17-year-old Stephanie Carrie. Paul Genge (Lt. Burns on 87th Precinct) plays the Longshire Wells Fargo agent. 

Season 5, Episode 6, "All That Glitters": Barbara Stuart (shown on the left, played Bessie on The Great Gildersleeve, Alice on Pete and Gladys, Bunny on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Peggy Ferguson on The McLean Stevenson Show, Marianne Danzig on Our Family Honor, and Alice on Huff) plays bank president Meg Hollister. Ron Harper (see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays her brother Dan Haskell. Ken Lynch (see "Man for the Job" above) plays ex-con safecracker Joe Brass. Donna Corcoran (sister of Noreen Corcoran, appeared in Angels in the Outfield, Don't Bother to Knock, and Million Dollar Mermaid) plays his daughter Helen. Robert P. Lieb (Harry Thompson on Hazel) plays Wells Fargo agent Sam Tubs.

Season 5, Episode 7, "Run for the River": Ron Hayes (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Bat Masterson) plays Hardie's prisoner Ira Kyle. Bruce Gordon (shown on the right, see "The Canyon" above) plays Red Bluffs Mayor Carl Orleans. Forrest Taylor (starred in True Nobility, Big Calibre, Too Much Beef, and The Lost Planet and played Doc Brannon on Man Without a Gun) plays Ira's father Pop Kyle. William Boyett (Sgt. Ken Williams on Highway Patrol and Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12) plays bank clerk Bert. 

Season 5, Episode 8, "Leading Citizen": Robert Middleton (see "Threat of Death" above) plays San Tomas, TX mayor/sheriff/judge Bodie Seaton. Wesley Lau (see "The Englishwoman" above) plays outlaw Morgan Bates. Robert Carricart (Pepe Cordoza on T.H.E. Cat) plays Seaton henchman Coley David.

Season 5, Episode 9, "The Killing of Johnny Lash": Dennis Patrick (shown on the left, played Paul Stoddard on Dark Shadows and Vaughn Leland on Dallas) plays card dealer Nevada. Anne Helm (Molly Pierce on Run for Your Life) plays saloon showgirl Nell. 

Season 5, Episode 10, "The Wade Place": Robert J. Wilke (appeared in Best of the Badmen, High Noon, The Far Country, and Night Passage and played Capt. Mendoza on Zorro) plays Wells Fargo manager Mike Ross. 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 store owner Seth Wade. Russell Thorson (Det. Lt. Otto Lindstrom on The Detectives and William Kennerly on Peyton Place) plays his brother, saloon owner Joe Wade. William Henry (appeared in Madame X, The Way of All Flesh, Mister Roberts, and The Alamo and played Andrew on The Living Christ Series) plays outlaw Tracy Harkins. Marianna Hill (appeared in Roustabout, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, The Godfather: Part II, and High Plains Drifter and played Rita on The Tall Man) plays informant Maria.

Season 5, Episode 11, "Jeff Davis' Treasure": John Dehner (see "Day of Judgement" above) returns as Wade Cather. John McLiam (appeared in Cool Hand Luke, In Cold Blood, Sleeper, The Missouri Breaks, and First Blood) plays robbery accomplice Henry Moore. Leo Gordon (Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays accomplice and blacksmith Adam Kemper. Paul Langton (see "The Trading Post" above) plays accomplice Leo Summers. 

Season 5, Episode 12, "The Bride and the Bandit": Myron Healey (Doc Holliday on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays holdup man Tip Rollins. Dabbs Greer (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays Wells Fargo agent Ben Wilson. Jan Clayton (starred in Sunset Trail, The Wolf Hunters, and This Man's Navy and played Ellen Miller on Lassie) plays former showgirl Ellen Stevens. Ellen Corby (Henrietta Porter on Trackdown and Esther Walton on The Waltons) plays hotel clerk Kate Wiggam.

Season 5, Episode 13, "Escort to Santa Fe": Gregory Walcott (see the biography section for the 1961 post on 87th Precinct) plays saboteur Kyle Gentry. Linda Lawson (shown on the left, played Renee on Adventures in Paradise, Pat Perry on Don't Call Me Charlie, Laura Fremont on Ben Casey, and Mrs. Paganini on That's Life) plays saloon girl Kate Fallon. 

Season 5, Episode 14, "Frightened Witness": John Milford (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays captured killer Walt Corbin. Garry Walberg (Police Sgt. Sullivan on Johnny Staccato, Sgt. Edward Goddard on Peyton Place, Speed on The Odd Couple, and Lt. Frank Monahan on Quincy M.E.) plays key witness Chris Matson. Michael Burns (Howie Macauley on It's a Man's World and Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays his son Billy.