Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Real McCoys (1961)



Well into its fourth season when the year 1961 dawned, The Real McCoys had risen to #5 in the ratings for the 1960-61 season and the producers obviously decided to leave well enough alone by trotting out familiar plots and recycling stories from previous seasons. But they were dealt an unexpected blow when filming the second show of the year, "The Horse Expert" (January 19, 1961), when actress Kathy Nolan was thrown from a horse during filming and was placed in "pelvic traction to relieve a pinched sciatic nerve," according to the February 18 edition of TV Guide. With Nolan bedridden, the show's writers danced around her absence in the next episode, "The City Boy" (January 26, 1961), by explaining that she was in Bakersfield tending to her sick mother.

Her continued absence is brought up again in "The Rival" (February 16, 1961) when it is explained that she is still at her mother's and that her mother has the flu, though Kate says in a letter that a young male neighbor has been particularly helpful during her mother's illness. Kate includes a photo of the attractive young man with her letter, immediately arousing Luke's jealousy but providing the producers an opportunity to flash back to the Season 1 episode "The Lady's Man" when Luke has a similar streak of jealousy that backfired on him. The archival footage from the earlier episode takes up the bulk of the 1961 episode, thereby giving the show a pass for one more week during Nolan's absence. A month later, realizing that Nolan would not be back for a while, the producers introduced a temporary replacement, young Swedish housekeeper Helga with the explanation that Kate's visit to Bakersfield would be extended because she hurt her back while helping her mother. As soon as the young, attractive Helga shows up, rumors begin swirling in town about Luke having an affair with her. Luke's first response is to sack Helga to squelch the rumors, but after a stern talking-to by Amos, he decides to hire her back. Toward the end of the episode he gets a phone call from Kate, who is shown in bed after just having a visit from Valley busybody Mrs. Murdock. Kate chides Luke for not telling her how young and attractive Helga is but she is proud that he finally stood up to the gossipers in hiring her back.

Helga figures prominently two episodes later in "Baseball vs. Love" (March 30, 1961) when Little Luke develops a crush on her and despite the large disparity in their ages asks her to marry him when he gets a little older. When he realizes that in order to keep Helga he will have to give up playing on the local baseball team, Little Luke decides to let her out of their agreement, not realizing that she had only been playing along to spare his feelings. Helga makes her fifth and final appearance in the episode "George Retires" (April 13, 1961), though she does not figure prominently in the plot. After not airing an episode on April 20, two more episodes aired without Kate or Helga before Nolan finally returned to the series in the episode "Kate Comes Home" (May 11, 1961), though she is still confined to bed and the plot revolves around Hassie's attempt and failure to fill in for her. Helga's disappearance is never explained.

While the show continued to feature its share of misogynistic plots (as discussed in our post on the 1960 episodes) after Nolan's return, Kate's character is afforded a few opportunities to show her worth, even if it comes with a healthy dollop of caveat. In "Kate's Competition" (August 17, 1961), Luke is impressed with the accomplishments of Kate's friend Alice Carter when they are invited over to dinner one evening. Alice makes ceramic dishes, paints in oils, sells real estate, and helps out at a charity, on top of serving a delicious dinner with remarkable coffee. So Kate feels that she has to do likewise to keep Luke's approval, only in doing do she fails at all of her new endeavors and her housework suffers due to neglect. Luke and Amos learn after Kate is at her wit's end that Alice actually doesn't do any of the housework or cooking in her own home--her husband Charlie handles all of the stereotypical "women's work." Luke and Amos then volunteer to help Kate out with her housework so that she has more time for her other activities, but she tells them she has given them up and is going back to being a full-time housekeeper. This episode manages to show a successful untraditional division of household labor for the Carters but ultimately settles for the status quo for the McCoys. In "Honesty Is the Best Policy" (November 9, 1961) Kate is the voice of moral authority when she refuses to allow Amos and Luke to swindle businessman Mr. Bentley who wants to lease their roadside stand to sell hot dogs and orange juice. Amos and Luke talk up how much traffic they typically get on any given day so that Bentley agrees to pay them $100 per month for a six month lease. But when Kate hears about the deal, she forces them to lower their price to $50 and include a clause in their contract allowing Bentley to back out if traffic turns out to be much different than they had represented. However, it turns out that Bentley has swindled them by not telling them he knows that all highway traffic is due to be diverted past their stand for the next six months while construction is taking place. Amos upbraids Kate for allowing them to be duped and says she should stick to the kitchen, but she goes to see a lawyer who says that the clause about traffic being other than expected cuts both ways--providing the McCoys with a legal way to break the lease and get the use of their stand back. Seeing that he has been saved from a scam, Amos reverses course and tells Kate she can meddle in whatever she wants to.

But outside of Kate most other women we encounter on The Real McCoys are schemers and gold-diggers. Amos has to save Pepino from a disastrous marriage in "Pepino's Wedding" (April 27, 1961) after it is clear that Pepino's wife would wear the pants in the family. George MacMichael has to be saved from catastrophic unions on two occasions--in "George's Housekeeper" (September 28, 1961) and in "Cyrano McCoy" (November 16, 1961). In both cases Amos is the one who gets George in a fix, telling him to hire a pretty housekeeper while his sister Flora is away in the former episode, and pawning George off on the gold-digging "actress" Evie Dockweiler in the latter episode after she first hooks Amos. But in both instances, once Amos privately paints George as a poor farmer, rather than a wealthy landowner, to his lady loves, they head for the hills. It's all part of Walter Brennan's conservative vision of traditional roles for the sexes and a belief that simple values are the best--not the glitter of riches.

But while The Real McCoys was riding high in 1961, even with Nolan's prolonged absence, it was soon toppled in 1962 with the emergence of The Beverly Hillbillies, which swept to the top of the ratings while The Real McCoys vanished from the top 30. Of course, this turn of events also corresponded with Nolan leaving the show in a contract dispute. Perhaps her departure hastened the show's demise, but it was also obvious even during its heyday in 1961 that the producers and writers had run out of original ideas and had begun resorting to recycling plots from one season to the next. The show's reliance on simplicity may have ultimately been its undoing.

All six seasons have been released as of this writing--the first four seasons on DVD by Infinity Entertainment and the last two on DVD-R by SFM Entertainment.

The Actors

For the biographies for Walter Brennan, Richard Crenna, Kathy Nolan, Lydia Reed, Michael Winkelman, Tony Martinez, Andy Clyde, and Madge Blake, see the 1960 post for The Real McCoys.

Eva Norde

Little is known about actress Eva Norde, who was born in Sweden and notched her first film credit when she was introduced as the McCoys' temporary housekeeper Helga in the Season 4 episode "The Swedish Girl." She appeared in 5 episodes in 1961 while Kathy Nolan was away, but her character was jettisoned without explanation once Nolan returned. In 1962 she made guest appearances on Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6, The Patty Duke Show, and The Dick Powell Theatre, but these were her last appearances on American television. In 1963 she sued talk-show host Steve Allen for $200,000 after appearing on his show, during which he revealed her address and phone number. Norde claimed in her suit that leaking her personal information forced her to move and change her phone number, resulting in lost job opportunities. Her television career resumed in Sweden some 30 years later as a studio manager for TV movies and series such as Marquis de Sade, Tomtomaskinen, Sleeping Beauty, and Bouncers! in 2000, the last year for which she has credits listed on imdb.com.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 4, Episode 11, "A Bundle From Japan": Yuki Shimoda (Aki on Johnny Midnight) plays farmhand Charley Osaki. 

Season 4, Episode 12, "The Horse Expert": Robert Foulk (shown on the right, played 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 stable owner Frank Tillford. 

Season 4, Episode 13, "The City Boy": Danny Richards, Jr. (Franklin Sanders on Willy) plays underprivileged youth Pete. Viola Harris (Selma Hanen on One Life to Live) plays social worker Miss Finch. 

Season 4, Episode 14, "The Investors": Noah Beery, Jr. (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Riverboat) plays Amos' nephew Claude McCoy. Forrest Lewis (Mr. Peavey on The Great Gildersleeve) plays McCoy neighbor Al. Marjorie Bennett (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays neighbor Mrs. Comstock. 


Season 4, Episode 15, "If You Can't Lick 'Em": Lyle Talbot (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) plays competing roadside stand owner Mr. Duff. Irene Tedrow (Mrs. Elkins on Dennis the Menace and Standing Cow on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) plays choosy produce buyer Mrs. Platt. 

Season 4, Episode 16, "The Rival": John Stephenson (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Flintstones) plays freelance photographer Don Hogan. 

Season 4, Episode 18, "You Can't Beat the Army": Leonard Stone (shown on the left, appeared in The Mugger, The Big Mouth, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and Soylent Green and played Doc Joslyn on Camp Runamuck, Packy Moore on General Hospital, and Judge Paul Hansen on L.A. Law) plays army regiment commander Lt. Richter. Nicky Blair (Charlie de Angelo on Saints and Sinners) plays his subordinate Sgt. Michaels. Addison Richards (starred in Boys Town, They Made Her a Spy, Flying Tigers, and The Deerslayer and played Doc Calhoun on Trackdown and Doc Landy on The Deputy) plays Richter's commanding officer Col. Martin.

Season 4, Episode 19, "The Bazaar": K.T. Stevens (Vanessa Prentiss on The Young and the Restless) plays school fundraising lead Mrs. O'Banion. Irene Tedrow (see "If You Can't Lick 'Em" above) plays busybody Mrs. Gherkin. James Flavin (Lt. Donovan on Man With a Camera and Robert Howard on The Roaring 20's) plays her husband Judge Gherkin.

Season 4, Episode 20, "The Swedish Girl": Norma Varden (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Hazel) plays charity organizer Mrs. Murdock. Connie Gilchrist (starred in Tortilla Flat, A Letter to Three Wives, and Long John Silver and played Purity Inker on The Adventures of Long John Silver) plays housekeeper Mrs. Jensen. Forrest Lewis (see "The Investors" above) plays the town barber. Joan Staley (shown on the right, 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 manicurist Jeannie.

Season 4, Episode 21, "The Sunday School Teacher": Gage Clarke (shown on the left, played Mr. Botkin on Gunsmoke) plays new minister Reverend Digby. 

Season 4, Episode 22, "Baseball vs. Love": Jimmy Lydon (starred in Tom Brown's School Days, Little Men, Joan of Arc, and 9 Henry Aldrich features and played Biff Cardoza on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Andy Boone on So This Is Hollywood, and Richard on Love That Jill) plays Eva's suitor Frank Grant. Steven Barringer (Butch Malone on Cannonball and the radio operator on The Forest Rangers) plays Little Luke's friend Ned Flynn. Paul Tripp (host of children's shows Mr. I. Magination and On the Carousel and co-creator of Tubby the Tuba) plays Little Luke's baseball coach Nelson Thayer.

Season 4, Episode 23, "Theatre in the Barn": Fay Wray (shown on the right, starred in The Street of Sin, The Four Feathers, The Vampire Bat, The Mystery of the Wax Museum, King Kong, Black Moon, The Cobweb, and Queen Bee and played Catherine Morrison on The Pride of the Family) plays herself. Robert Karnes (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Lawless Years) plays head of the Valley Grange Fund-Raising Committee Mr. Barstow. Marjorie Bennett (see "The Investors" above) returns as neighbor Mrs. Comstock.

Season 4, Episode 24, "George Retires": Olan Soule (Aristotle "Tut" Jones on Captain Midnight, Ray Pinker on Dragnet (1952-59), and Fred Springer on Arnie) plays prospective farm buyer Mr. Copley. 

Season 4, Episode 25, "Pepino's Wedding": Vito Scotti (Jose on The Deputy, Capt. Gaspar Fomento on The Flying Nun, Gino on To Rome With Love, and Mr. Velasquez on Barefoot in the Park) plays bandleader Pablo Hernandez. 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 caterer Mrs. Pearson. Henry Corden (shown on the left, played 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 Pepino's future father-in-law Mr. Ramirez.

Season 4, Episode 26, "Sorority Girl": May Heatherly (shown on the far right, played Heather McNabb on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) plays sorority leader Barbara. Joan Freeman (shown on the near right, appeared in Come September, Panic in Year Zero!, Roustabout, The Reluctant Astronaut, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and played Elma Gahrigner/Emma Gahringer in Bus Stop, Dr. Sue Lambert on Lassie, and Barbara Robinson on Code R) plays sorority leader Susan. 

Season 4, Episode 27, "Kate Comes Home": Jimmy Bates (Claude on Father Knows Best) plays Hassie's boyfriend Bob. 

Season 4, Episode 28, "Money in the Bank": Richard Deacon (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Dick Van Dyke Show) plays bank vice president Mr. Laidlaw. 

Season 4, Episode 29, "A Man of Influence": J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays real estate developer C.J. Martindale. 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 Community Improvement Committee member Mr. Fancher. Dick Elliott (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays Community Improvement Committee member Mr. Tremantle. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays Community Improvement Committee member Mr. Burton.

Season 4, Episode 30, "Back to West Virginny": Henry Jones (shown on the near right, played Dean Fred Baker on Channing, Owen Metcalf on The Girl With Something Extra, Judge Jonathan Dexter on Phyllis, Josh Alden on Mrs. Columbo, Homer McCoy on Gun Shy, B. Riley Wicker on Falcon Crest, and Hughes Whitney Lennox on I Married Dora) plays West Virginia relative Uncle Jed McCoy. Eve McVeagh (starred in High Noon, The Glass Web, and Tight Spot and played Miss Hammond on Petticoat Junction) plays his wife Myra. Pat Buttram (shown on the far right, appeared in numerous Gene Autry movies, played himself on The Gene Autry Show, Mr. Haney on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, and voiced Cactus Jake on Garfield and Friends) plays his cousin Carl. Jane Darwell (starred in Tom Sawyer (1930), Huckleberry Finn (1931), Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, The Ox-Bow Incident, and Mary Poppins) plays Amos' mother Great Grandma McCoy. Robert Easton (renowned voice coach, played Brian McAfee on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Show and voiced Lt. George Lee Sheridan on Stingray) plays a taxi driver.

Season 4, Episode 31, "Fly Away Home": Henry Jones (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as West Virginia relative Uncle Jed McCoy. Eve McVeagh (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as his wife Myra. Pat Buttram (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as his cousin Carl. Jane Darwell (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as Great Grandma McCoy. Frank Cady (Sam Drucker on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction) plays cousin Edgar McCoy. Charles Lane (shown on the left, appeared in The Milky Way, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Lady Is Willing, The Music Man, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Gnome-Mobile and played Mr. Fosdick on Dear Phoebe, Homer Bedloe on Petticoat Junction, Foster Phinney on The Beverly Hillbillies, Dale Busch on Karen, and Judge Anthony Petrillo on Soap) plays the West Virginia McCoys' boss T.J. Leland.

Season 4, Episode 32, "September Song": Henry Jones (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as West Virginia relative Uncle Jed McCoy. Eve McVeagh (see "Back to West Virginny" above) returns as his wife Myra. Josephine Hutchinson (appeared in The Story of Louis Pasteur, Son of Frankenstein, Tom Brown's Schooldays, and North by Northwest) plays Amos' former girlfriend Mary Turner. 

Season 4, Episode 34, "Lost and Found": Frank Ferguson (shown on the right, played Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays lodge Grand Pharoah Mr. Taggert. 

Season 4, Episode 35, "First Love": Sandy Descher (starred in The Cobweb, The Opposite Sex, The Space Children, and A Gift for Heidi and played Judy Massey on The New Loretta Young Show and Susan on The New Phil Silvers Show) plays Little Luke's girlfriend Susie Nelson. Bernadette Withers (Ginger on Bachelor Father) plays Little Luke's classmate Ruth.

Season 4, Episode 36, "Hassie's European Trip": Charles Ruggles (starred in Charley's Aunt, The Girl Habit, If I Had a Million, Alice in Wonderland, Ruggles of Red Gap, Bringing Up Baby, and Son of Flubber and played Lowell Redlings Farquhar on The Beverly Hillbillies) plays wealthy businessman Henry Devereaux. 

Season 4, Episode 37, "How to Win Friends": Neil Hamilton (shown on the left, played Commissioner Gordon on Batman) plays public speaking instructor Mr. Berquist. Fredd Wayne (Sgt. Bill Hollis on Code 3) plays Junior Grange presidential candidate Charlie Perry. Robert Karnes (see "Theatre in the Barn" above) plays Senior Grange president Mr. Dockweiler. Lawrence Parke (casting supervisor on Sea Hunt and The Aquanauts, later became a talent agent) plays mailman Mr. Perkins. Olan Soule (see "George Retires" above) plays speaking class pupil Mr. Walters.

Season 4, Episode 38, "The Matador": Lee Bergere (George on Hot L Baltimore and Joseph Anders on Dynasty) plays world-famous matador Fernando Garcia. 

Season 4, Episode 39, "George's Housekeeper": Paula Winslowe (Martha Conklin on Our Miss Brooks) plays employment agency owner Miss Burns. Jesslyn Fax (shown on the right, appeared in Rear Window, The Music Man, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and The Love God? and played Angela Devon on Our Miss Brooks, Emma the fan club VP on The Jack Benny Program, and Wilma Fritter on Many Happy Returns) plays housekeeper Miss Trumbull. Lee Patrick (starred in Saturday's Children, The Maltese Falcon, Mildred Pierce, and Pillow Talk and played Aggie on Boss Lady and Henrietta Topper on Topper) plays female companion Clarissa Webster.

Season 5, Episode 1, "Excess Baggage": Willard Waterman (shown on the left, played Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve on The Great Gildersleeve and Mr. Quigley on Dennis the Menace) plays store owner Mac MacGinnis. Dick Wilson (Dino Barone on McHale's Navy and George Whipple in Charmin toilet paper commercials) plays customer Mr. Barnes. Eddie Quillan (starred in The Grapes of Wrath, Mandarin Mystery, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hi, Good Lookin'! and played Eddie Edson on Julia and Poco Loco on Hell Town) plays employment agency advisor Mr. Smith.

Season 5, Episode 2, "The Trailer Camp": Alan Hale, Jr. (shown on the right, played Biff Baker on Biff Baker U.S.A., Casey Jones on Casey Jones, and The Skipper on Gilligan's Island) plays vacationer Harry Keller. Amzie Strickland (Julia Mobey on Carter Country) plays his wife Annabelle.
Season 5, Episode 4, "The New Piano": Reta Shaw (Flora McCauley on The Ann Sothern Show, Thelma on The Tab Hunter Show, Mrs. Stanfield on Oh, Those Bells, and Martha Grant on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) plays piano teacher Helen Amory.
Season 5, Episode 5, "The Handsome Salesman": Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand on Star Trek, the Star Trek feature films, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek New Voyages) plays traveling saleslady Mrs. Lomax.
Season 5, Episode 6, "Honesty Is the Best Policy": Lloyd Corrigan (shown on the left, starred in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob, Hitler's Children, Captive Wild Woman, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, and Son of Paleface and played Papa Dodger on Willy, Wally Dipple on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Uncle Charlie on Happy, and Professor McKillup on Hank) plays businessman Mr. Bentley. Paul Bryar (Sheriff Harve Anders on The Long, Hot Summer) plays the sheriff.
Season 5, Episode 7, "Cyrano McCoy": Beatrice Kay (singer and vaudeville performer, appeared in Diamond Horseshoe, Underworld U.S.A., and A Time for Dying and voiced Susan Culpepper on Calvin and the Colonel) plays actress Evie Dockweiler.
Season 5, Episode 8, "The Diamond Ring": Steven Geray (appeared in Phantom of the Opera (1943), Spellbound, Gilda, All About Eve, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and played Dr. Herman ver Hagen on The Danny Thomas Show) plays shopkeeper Mr. Schneider. Will Wright (shown on the right, played Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays jeweler Sam.
Season 5, Episode 9, "The Berry Crisis": Ray Teal (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Bonanza) plays berry buyer Mr. Rayfield. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman, various autopsy surgeons and medical examiners in 12 episodes of Perry Mason, and Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place,  and Sherwood Keith) plays a neighbor farmer.
Season 5, Episode 10, "The Rich Boy": Beau Bridges (shown on the left, played Seaman Howard Spicer on Ensign O'Toole, Richard Chapin on United States, Dave Hart on Harts of the West, Judge Bob Gibbs on Maximum Bob, Dan Falco on Beggars and Choosers, Tom Gage on The Agency, Maj. Gen. Hank Landry on Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate SG-1, Carl Hickey on My Name Is Earl, Nick Brody on Brothers & Sisters, Barton Scully on Masters of Sex, and Tom Miller on The Millers) plays new neighbor Randy Cooperton. Philip Ober (appeared in From Here to Eternity, North by Northwest, and Elmer Gantry) plays his father. Joan Tompkins (Trudy Wagner on Sam Benedict, Mrs. Brahms on Occasional Wife, and Lorraine Miller on My Three Sons) plays Randy's mother.
Season 5, Episode 11, "The Gambler": Jerome Cowan (starred in Shall We Dance, Victory, High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, Miracle on 34th Street and many Blondie movies and played Collins on Not for Publication and John Larsen on The Tab Hunter Show) plays stock speculator D.B. Sharkey.
Season 5, Episode 12, "The Marriage Counselor": Sara Seegar (shown on the right, starred in The Last Curtain, Dead Men Tell No Tales, and The Music Man and played Eloise Wilson on Dennis the Menace) plays marriage counselor Dr. Edith Thompson. Florence Sundstrom (Belle Dudley on The Life of Riley) plays her secretary Lorna Blake.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Death Valley Days (1960)



Like many early television series, Death Valley Days began as a radio program created by Ruth Woodman in 1930. Unlike those other series, the Death Valley Days radio program was canceled many years before its television debut, ending in 1945. The creation of the television series in 1952 is credited to Dorothy McCann and Mitchell J. Hamilburg of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, which was then representing Gene Autry's production company Flying A Productions. What made Death Valley Days different was that it was a reality-based western drama anthology at a time when westerns were not very prevalent on network television, and the only two such network series were the more fantastical Gene Autry Show and The Lone Ranger. Even other syndicated westerns were of the superhero variety, such as The Cisco Kid, The Range Rider, and The Adventures of Kit Carson, which was based on a historical character whose exploits had long ago been exaggerated in dime novels. Later western series based on historical figures, such as The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, painted their titular characters as glowing and upright knights in the service of all that is good, whereas their historical counterparts were ethically ambivalent at best.

Granted, the stories on Death Valley Days were doubtless been tweaked for dramatic effect--television is first and foremost an entertainment medium--but historical authenticity, or at least the appearance of such, was clearly a high priority for the producers. Most episodes end with the narrating Old Ranger showing off an actual artifact relating to the story that has just been presented. The most unexpected example of this is at the beginning of "A Wedding Dress" (February 13, 1960) wherein the Old Ranger presents the still very much living 80-year-old widow of the episode's protagonist, Marshal Bill Tilgham. Zoe Tilgham had published a biography about her late husband in 1949 and attests during the episode's epilogue to his upstanding character as just depicted, which is perfectly in keeping with the times when characters in westerns tended to be either heroes or villains. Complex, conflicted characters rarely appeared on television during this era.

However, Death Valley Days frequently featured redemption stories of characters who had gone astray or started out on the wrong side of the law but eventually saw the errors of their ways. One such character is Matt Warner, a one-time colleague of Butch Cassidy, who appears in two different 1960 episodes--"The Devil's Due" (January 21, 1960) and "The Young Gun" (December 27, 1960). In the former tale, Warner has already gone straight but is keeping $20,000 from a bank robbery hidden on his ranch to make sure that his wife Rosie and their baby on the way are taken care of. Cassidy shows up with a wounded partner after a botched robbery and demands his money but then rides off with the partner when the sheriff approaches. Warner's sister-in-law, who yearns for the excitement of Cassidy's lifestyle, rats out Warner, which lands him in jail, where Cassidy returns to spring him in exchange for the money. Warner refuses to go on the lam and instead jumps Cassidy while also saving the sheriff's life, prompting the sheriff to pretend to forget about the stolen money Warner is still hiding. The Old Ranger tells us that Warner served prison time for his past crimes before starting over as a rancher and eventually a well-respected lawman. The Old Ranger's narrated epilogue jibes with the historical facts about Warner's life, but the conflict with Cassidy is not mentioned in any of the online biographies of Warner, though it is possible it was mentioned in his memoir Last of the Bandit Riders. Still, one woman commenting on one of his online biographies says that an article in the October 7, 1896 edition of the Salt Lake City Desert Evening News reports that Warner kidnapped his wife Rosie at age 14, forced her to marry him, and physically abused her, breaking her knee and then refusing to get medical help, resulting in complications that eventually led to amputation and death. This is hardly the concerned family man we see depicted on Death Valley Days.

Warner's second story depicted in "The Young Gun" seems largely true--that when his wife died while he was being sent to prison, he had their just-born son Rex entrusted to the care of friend Frank Taylor and his wife and even after being released from prison he never let Rex know that he was his father. Warner did not want his son branded by his own outlaw reputation and considered his separation from Rex as a form of penance for his past misdeeds. However, the rest of the episode's story about how the incognito Warner saved Rex from being prosecuted for the accidental death of a rival who tried to frame him for a bank robbery is not mentioned elsewhere and is perhaps a dramatic fabrication. But this part of the story aligns with the Death Valley Days spirit of providing morality plays that show us the proper way to behave even when facing adversity.

Another redemption story with a heavy religious flavor is "The Wind at Your Back" (December 5, 1960) featuring another young robber named Johnny Carter. Carter robs and kills a prospector carrying $3000 worth of gold dust but is wounded himself and stumbles through the desert to a religious mission for Native American orphans in the Mojave Desert. There he is tended to by Sister Mary Frances who soon learns his true identity and crime and urges him to turn himself and the money in. Carter instead hopes that his successful heist will allow him to partner with notorious outlaw Forbes Buckner and sends a message to Buckner to come meet him, since he cannot travel due to his injury. When Buckner arrives and demands to know where the gold dust is hidden, Carter eventually tells him since he is still too weak to move, not realizing that Sister Mary Frances has already recovered and hidden the stolen gold after Carter revealed its location during an early delirious outburst. When Buckner returns without the gold, thinking that he has been double-crossed, and threatens to shoot Sister Mary Frances if she does not tell him where it is, she stands firm, but Carter thinks that Buckner will really kill them both, so he grabs his gun from beneath his pillow and shoots Buckner. Afterward, believing that Sister Mary Frances would have taken a bullet for him, Carter turns over a new leaf and agrees to return the stolen gold and serve jail time for his offense. As with other Death Valley Days stories in this vein, it is as if a switch has been turned on to change formerly bad characters into good.

Which is not to say that the stories do not have an occasional ambivalent character. "Eagle in the Rocks" (May 10, 1960) tells the story of California outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, notorious for robbing from white settlers near San Lorenzo. But when he is wrongly accused of killing four miners and a $5000 bounty is placed on his head, he uses his wiles to expose the real killers, a group of white settlers who wanted to take over the mine, and disperses his share of the reward money amongst poor native Californians as Robin Hood may have done. By placing him in the Robin Hood mold, the author effectively smoothes over or exonerates any past crimes Murrieta may have committed. This is the same approach used in "3-7-77" (December 14, 1960) about a group of vigilantes in Alder Gulch, Montana who hand out their own brand of justice by lynching those they find guilty of crimes that the town's corrupt sheriff won't prosecute. And yet the vigilantes are depicted as the good guys, even though they come dangerously close to executing a young man who is tricked into robbing a drunken prospector of his gold by a man claiming to be the man's stiffed partner. Fortunately, one of the vigilantes believes his story and gets the others to agree to set him free, though they plan to shun him. The corrupt sheriff gets wind of the deal and tortures the young man to reveal the identities of the vigilantes, but the young man refuses to crack and is accepted into the vigilantes' good graces. Though it is clear that the intent of this episode is to depict the virtues of loyalty, it gives a free pass to those who take the law into their own hands.

While excusing extra-judicial killings is certainly alarming, many other episodes have more palatable narratives. "His Brother's Keeper" (January 9, 1960) is a plea for tolerance, in this case not condemning a man outright because of the sins of his brother. It tells a tale of actor Edwin Booth trying to escape the shadow of his brother John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Abraham Lincoln after moving to tiny Downeyville, California where the former Booth is hoping to stage a production of Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood. A local bully stirs up sentiment against Booth and tries to run him out of town, but Booth finds an ally in tolerant rancher Jeb Hayes who finally stands up to the bully, beats him in a fistfight, and turns the tide of public sentiment into accepting Booth. "A Woman's Rights" (May 1, 1960) lobbies in favor of women's suffrage and equal rights under the law but with a rather reactionary argument--that the only way to establish law and order is to give women the right to vote because men always settle arguments with their guns or fists, whereas women are weak and defenseless, thereby requiring other means to settle disputes. Still, the story's heroine Esther Morris was appointed justice of the peace in South Pass, Wyoming in 1869, 51 years before the United States gave women the right to vote nationally. This episode sums up the general flavor of Death Valley Days and reflects its popularity as the second-longest-running western TV series--historically based narratives of good, ordinary people winning out over villains and adverse conditions, but without rocking the status quo. This uplifting but conservative viewpoint is likely what attracted future governor and president Ronald Reagan to take over the job of host when the Old Ranger was ridden out to pasture. The series also stood out from other westerns by avoiding the unrealistic hero who wins every contest by outshooting his adversary.

Though the theme music for Death Valley Days was composed by Herbert Taylor, the scores for all the episodes that aired in 1960 were composed by Raoul Kraushaar, who was profiled in the 1961 post for The Lawless Years.

As of this writing, the first 3 seasons and Season 13 have been released on DVD by Timeless Media Group. Season 14 is scheduled for release in early 2018. The series is also currently airing on the Encore Westerns cable channel.

The Actors

Stanley Andrews

Born Stanley Martin Andrzejewski in Chicago in 1891, not much is known about his early years. According to different accounts, his parents Frank and Antoinette were either Polish or German, and he spent most of his early years in the midwest, taking up acting after high school. He married his first wife Mary Irene Moran in Seattle in 1917, but they were later divorced. He remarried to Frances in 1928 after the two met while acting in a play together in Omaha, Nebraska. He first made his mark in radio drama as the voice of Daddy Warbucks on Little Orphan Annie from 1931-36. He notched his first acting appearance on film in an uncredited role in the 1933 Eddie Cantor farce Roman Scandals. His first credited role came in the 1935 feature All the King's Horses. He appeared in no fewer than 36 feature films that year alone, including Private Worlds, People Will Talk, Wanderer of the Wasteland, and Escape From Devil's Island. Though not quite as prolific in later years, Andrews continued appearing in scores of features up until the early 1950s. Among the biggest films he appeared in, often uncredited, were Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Beau Geste, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Ox-Bow Incident, It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Paleface, and Superman and the Mole-Men. His television career began in 1949 with an appearance on The Lone Ranger.  The next year he appeared on The Gene Autry Show, and in 1951 he had appearances on Stars Over Hollywood, The Cisco Kid, The Range Rider, and The Adventures of Kit Carson. The following year he began his 12-year run as the Old Ranger, hosting Death Valley Days for 296 episodes until the producers decided they wanted a younger man in the role and replaced him with Ronald Reagan.
During his earlier years as host of Death Valley Days Andrews continued making numerous appearances on other TV programs as well as less frequent feature film roles. He made multiple appearances on Tales of the Texas Rangers, Sky King, Buffalo Bill, Jr., Annie Oakley, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin and showed up in features such as El Paso Stampede, Those Redheads From Seattle, Treasure of Ruby Hills, Star in the Dust, Gun for a Coward, and Untamed Youth, as well as appearing in the first five episodes of the serial Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders. By 1960, however, Andrews was nearing 70 years old and confined himself solely to his Death Valley Days role. Once he was replaced, he retired from acting and took up residence in the El Segundo section of Los Angeles, where he died at age 77 on June 23, 1969.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 8, Episode 14, "His Brother's Keeper": Harry Townes (starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Screaming Mimi, and Sanctuary) plays actor Edwin Booth. Alan Baxter (appeared in Saboteur, Close-Up, and Paint Your Wagon) plays rancher Jeb Hayes. Don Grady (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on My Three Sons) plays his son Calvin.

Season 8, Episode 15, "The Devil's Due": Robert Knapp (Ben Olson on Days of Our Lives and SAC Noel McDonald on The F.B.I.) plays former bank robber Matt Warner. June Dayton (Mary Aldrich on The Aldrich Family) plays his wife Rosie. Dan Sheridan (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Lawman) plays the local sheriff. Howard Caine (Schaab on The Californians and Maj. Wolfgang Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes) plays prosecutor Mark Redding.

Season 8, Episode 16, "Money to Burn": Lloyd Corrigan (shown on the right, starred in A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob, Hitler's Children, Captive Wild Woman, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, and Son of Paleface and played Papa Dodger on Willy, Wally Dipple on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Uncle Charlie on Happy, and Professor McKillup on Hank) plays tramp Carl Herman. William Boyett (Sgt. Ken Williams on Highway Patrol and Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12) plays train company agent Hume. Paul Sorensen (Andy Bradley on Dallas) plays train robber Browning. Kelton Garwood (Beauregard O'Hanlon on Bourbon Street Beat and Percy Crump on Gunsmoke) plays an unnamed tramp. Helen Kleeb (Miss Claridge on Harrigan and Son, Miss Tandy on Room 222, and Mamie Baldwin on The Waltons) plays hotel chambermaid Lizzie. Roy Wright (Callahan on The Islanders) plays a hotel doorman. 

Season 8, Episode 17, "Dogs of the Mist": James Douglas (shown on the left, appeared in G.I. Blues, A Thunder of Drums, and Sweet Bird of Youth and played Steve Cord on Peyton Place, Grant Coleman on As the World Turns, and Dr. Marcus Polk on One Life to Live) plays rancher Steve Hewitt. Craig Duncan (Sgt. Stanfield/Banfield on Mackenzie's Raiders) plays storekeeper Luther Pond. Larry J. Blake (played the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays claimant Mac. Eddie Quillan (starred in The Grapes of Wrath, Mandarin Mystery, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hi, Good Lookin'! and played Eddie Edson on Julia and Poco Loco on Hell Town) plays assayer Alec. 

Season 8, Episode 18, "A Wedding Dress": Brad Johnson (Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig on Annie Oakley) plays Marshal Bill Tilgham. Mary Webster (Rachel Verinder on The Moonstone, Jill Reed on Emergency-Ward 10, Anna on Circus, and Sarah Onedin on The Onedin Line) plays his wife. J. Pat O'Malley (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays banker Horace Capshaw. 

Season 8, Episode 19, "Shadows on the Window": Dayton Lummis (Marshal Andy Morrison on Law of the Plainsman) plays former Union General Lew Wallace. Katherine Warren (appeared in The Lady Pays Off, The Glenn Miller Story, and The Caine Mutiny) plays his wife Susan. Larry J. Blake (see "Dogs of the Mist" above) plays Sheriff Pat Garrett. Martin Braddock (Gordon Parker on Mannix) plays Billy the Kid. 

Season 8, Episode 20, "The Battle of Mokelumne Hill": Marcel Dalio (appeared in Casablanca, The Song of Bernadette, Wilson, To Have and Have Not, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Sabrina  and played Capt. Renaud on Casablanca) plays French patriarch Victor Rousseau. H.M. Wynant (shown on the left, played Frosty on Batman and Ed Chapman on Dallas) plays his future son-in-law Paul Martain. Dallas Mitchell (Det. Fisher on The Asphalt Jungle) plays U.S. Army Lt. Bill Bradshaw. Roy Engel (Doc Martin on Bonanza, the police chief on My Favorite Martian, and President Ulysses S. Grant on The Wild, Wild West) plays his commanding officer Col. Fremont.
Season 8, Episode 21, "The Strangers": Warner Anderson (shown on the right, appeared in Destination Tokyo, My Reputation, Destination Moon, Detective Story, The Caine Mutiny, and Blackboard Jungle and played The Doctor on The Doctor, Lt. Ben Gutherie on The Lineup, and Matthew Swain and the narrator on Peyton Place) plays horse rancher John Gaunt. Phyllis Hill (Mrs. Dawson on General Hospital) plays his wife Jessica. Virginia Aldridge (screenwriter for Dallas, Fame, and Beauty and the Beast) plays his daughter Nan. Richard Evans (Paul Hanley on Peyton Place) plays his son Chris. Robert Gist (directed multiple episodes of Peter Gunn, Naked City, and The Richard Boone Show and was Agnes Moorehead's second husband) plays drifter Aaron Taggart.

Season 8, Episode 22, "Goodbye, Five Hundred Pesos": William Bryant (McCall on Combat!, President Ulysses S. Grant on Branded, Col. Crook on Hondo, Lt. Shilton on Switch, and the Director on The Fall Guy) plays Santa Barbara commanding officer Capt. Lippet. Than Wyenn (Licenciado PiƱa on Zorro) plays simple farmer Enrique. Rafael Campos (shown on the left, played Ramon Diaz, Jr. on Rhoda) plays his son Manolito. Mark Allen (Matt Kissel on The Travels of Jamie McPheeters and Sam Evans on Dark Shadows) plays Lippet's desk sergeant.

Season 8, Episode 23, "Forbidden Wedding": Ziva Rodann (appeared in Forty Guns, The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, The Story of Ruth, and College Confidential and played Nefertiti on Batman) plays young lover Josefa Carillo. Jan Arvan (Nacho Torres on Zorro and Paw Kadiddlehopper on The Red Skelton Hour) plays her father Don Joaquin Carillo. 

Season 8, Episode 24, "One Man Tank": Dabbs Greer (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Gunsmoke) plays storekeeper Leo Harris. Eddie Harmon (Eddie Halstead on The Rifleman) plays salt company agent Mike Shannon. C. Lindsay Workman (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Donna Reed Show) plays his assistant Jimson. 

Season 8, Episode 25, "The Man on the Road": John Raitt (shown on the right, Broadway musical star, starred in The Pajama Game, father of Bonnie Raitt) plays peddler John Abraham Dandridge. House Peters, Jr. (Sheriff Jim Billings on Lassie) plays condemned man Wilbur Rawson. Douglas Fowley (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays old-timer Zeb. 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 land-grabber Holt. Rudy Solari (Frank Martinez on Redigo and Casino on Garrison's Gorillas) plays Holt's henchman Garr. 

Season 8, Episode 26, "The Man Everyone Hated": James Craig (shown on the left, starred in Kitty Foyle, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Human Comedy, Kismet (1944), and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes) plays California Indian Reservation Act author Gen. Edward F. Beale. Charles Davis (Tennyson on The Wild Wild West) plays dry goods salesman Alf Culkins. Ken Mayer (Maj. Robbie Robertson on Space Patrol) plays slave ship owner Jim Blanchard. Joseph V. Perry (Nemo  on Everybody Loves Raymond) plays his henchman Rafe. Linda Watkins (Robin Crosley on One Life to Live) plays dock gadabout Kate.

Season 8, Episode 27, "The General Who Disappeared": Richard Webb (shown on the right, played Captain Midnight on Captain Midnight and Deputy Chief Don Jagger on Border Patrol) plays interim Montana governor Gen. Thomas Meagher. Howard Petrie (Hugh Blaine on Bat Masterson) plays Speaker of the House Arthur Justman. Bill Quinn (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays legislator Haynes. 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 singer Flora Dodd.

Season 8, Episode 28, "The Million Dollar Pants": Red Buttons (shown on the left, starred in Sayonara, Hatari!, The Longest Day, Stagecoach, and The Poseidon Adventure and played Henry Wadsworth Phyfe on The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, Al Baker on Knots Landing, and Jules Rubadoux on ER) plays blue jeans inventor Levi Strauss. Richard Carlyle (Casey on Crime Photographer) plays harness maker Patrick Mahoney. Dan Barton (Det. Sgt. Burke on Dan Raven) plays banker Arnold Leacock. Lisa Gaye (Gwen Kirby on How to Marry a Millionaire) plays sickly boat passenger Yvonne Benet. Ted Knight (Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roger Dennis on The Ted Knight Show, and Henry Rush on Too Close for Comfort) plays a ship officer. 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 a San Francisco doctor.

Season 8, Episode 29, "Pirates of San Francisco": H.M. Wynant (see "The Battle of Mokelumne Hill" above) plays ship's first mate Tom Patrick. George Wallace (shown on the right, starred in Radar Men From the Moon, Destry, and Forbidden Planet and played Judge Milton Cole on Hill Street Blues and Grandpa Hank Hammersmith on Sons and Daughters) plays pirate leader Jake Handley. Eddie Quillan (see "Dogs of the Mist" above) plays his recruiter Salty. Ann McRea (Midge Kelsey on The Donna Reed Show) plays barmaid Gwen. Charles H. Gray (Officer Edwards on Highway Patrol, Pico McGuire on Gunslinger, Clay Forrester on Rawhide, and Bill Foster on The Young and the Restless) plays newspaper editor Ed Wilson. Edgar Barrier (appeared in Phantom of the Opera (1943), Adventures in Silverado, Macbeth (1948), and Snow White and the Three Stooges and played Don Cornelio Esperon on Zorro) plays ship owner Richards. 

Season 8, Episode 30, "A Woman's Rights": Dean Harens (Noel Clinton on General Hospital and  SAC Bryan Durant on The F.B.I.) plays storekeeper John Morris. Bethel Leslie (shown on the left, appeared in 15 episodes of The Richard Boone Show and played Claudia Conner on All My Children and Ethel Crawford on One Life to Live) plays his wife Esther. Stanley Clements (Stanislaus "Duke" Coveleskie in 6 Bowery Boys feature films) plays prospector Steve Nelson. Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays Nelson's lawyer McGreevey. Hope Summers (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Andy Griffith Show) plays suffragette Lucretia Mott. Frank Wilcox (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Untouchables) plays Wyoming Governor Lee.

Season 8, Episode 31, "Eagle in the Rocks": Ricardo Montalban (shown on the right, starred in The Kissing Bandit, On an Island With You, The Singing Nun, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and played David Valerio on Executive Suite, Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, and Zach Powers on The Colbys) plays infamous bandito Joaquin Murrieta. Lisa Gaye (see "The Million Dollar Pants" above) plays his girlfriend Raquel. Jack Kruschen (appeared in The War of the Worlds, The Apartment, Lover Come Back, and Freebie and the Bean and played Tully on Hong Kong, Sam Markowitz on Busting Loose, Papa Papadapolis on Webster, and Fred Avery on Material World) plays his chief lieutenant Manuel Garcia. Karl Swenson (Lars Hanson on Little House on the Prairie) plays shop owner Joe Andrews. 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 rabble rouser Brand. Tom Holland (voice of Pancho and Japanese Beetle in Tijuana Toads shorts) plays Brand's accomplice Eldon. 

Season 8, Episode 32, "Cap'n Pegleg": Douglas Fowley (see "The Man on the Road" above) plays vengeful sailor Barnaby Quirt. Jerry Paris (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Untouchables) plays newspaper reporter Brian Brophy. Paul Burke (shown on the near left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Naked City) plays former sailor John Starkweather. Aneta Corsaut (shown on the far left, played Irma Howell on The Gertrude Berg Show, Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith Show, Head Nurse Bradley on House Calls, and Judge Cynthia Justin on Matlock) plays his wife Lydia. William Schallert (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) plays sailor Charlie Tetlow. 

Season 8, Episode 33, "Emma Is Coming": Alan Reed (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Flintstones) plays singer's manager Col. Mapleson. Roy Barcroft (Col. Logan on The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Roy on Gunsmoke) plays Austin, NV citizen Frank Taylor. 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 citizen Bart Corey. Rick Jason (Robin Scott on The Case of the Dangerous Robin and Lt. Hanley on Combat!) plays outlaw Duke Clayton. Dan Sheridan (see "The Devil's Due" above) plays the Austin sheriff. 

Season 8, Episode 34, "Human Sacrifice": Craig Duncan (see "Dogs of the Mist" above) plays stagecoach waystation operator Henry McCallum. Steven Ritch (Nakaya on Broken Arrow and wrote screenplays for multiple episodes of Tightrope, Frontier Circus, and Wagon Train) plays medicine man Pimu. Arlene Martel (Tiger on Hogan's Heroes and Spock's Vulcan bride on Star Trek) plays Shoshone chief's wife Julia.

Season 8, Episode 35, "Pete Kitchen's Wedding Night": Cameron Mitchell (shown on the left, starred in Death of a Salesman, Les Miserables, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Carousel and played John Lackland on The Beachcomber, Buck Cannon on The High Chaparral, and Jeremiah Worth on Swiss Family Robinson) plays rancher Pete Kitchen. Barbara Luna (Maria on One Life to Live) plays his betrothed Dona Rosa. Charles H. Gray (see "Pirates of San Francisco" above) player an army captain. Robert Sorrells (Seaman Claude White on Ensign O'Toole) plays Kitchen ranch hand Slim. 

Season 8, Episode 36, "Mission to the Mountains": Harry Lauter (Ranger Clay Morgan on Tales of the Texas Rangers, Atlasande on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, and Jim Herrick on Waterfront) plays Nevada rancher Henry Schmidtlein. Wayne Rogers (shown on the right, played Luke Perry on Stagecoach West, Capt. John McIntiye on M*A*S*H*, Jake Axminster on City of Angels, Dr. Charley Michaels on House Calls, and Charlie Garrett on Murder, She Wrote) plays his brother George. John Hoyt (starred in My Favorite Brunette, The Lady Gambles, and Blackboard Jungle and played Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays prospector Crandell. Charles H. Gray (see "Pirates of San Francisco" above) plays an army sergeant.

Season 8, Episode 37, "The Great Lounsberry Scoop": Ron Hayes (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Bat Masterson) plays Bismarck Tribune editor Col. Clement Lounsberry. John Clarke (Officer Joe Huddleston on The New Breed and Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives) plays his reporter Mark Kellogg. Michael Emmet (Cpl. Davis on Boots and Saddles) plays his New York publisher James Gordon Bennett. 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 Bismarck telegrapher Carnahan.

Season 9, Episode 1, "Pamela's Oxen": Ida Lupino (shown on the right, legendary actress and director who starred in They Drive by Night, High Sierra, The Sea Wolf, Road House, Women's Prison, and Junior Bonner and played Eve Drake on Mr. Adams and Eve and Dr. Cassandra on Batman) plays widow farmer Pamela Mann. James Coburn (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 army Capt. Steve Barnes. James T. Callahan (Dr. Yates Atkinson on Dr. Kildare, Danny Adams on Wendy and Me, George Callison on The Governor and J.J., Sgt. Hal Grady on The Runaways, and Walter Powell on Charles in Charge) plays his colleague Pvt. Riggs. Robert Sorrells (see "Pete Kitchen's Wedding Night" above) plays renegade Fergus. Jack Donner (Alfred the butler on General Hospital and Walter on The Guest Book) plays renegade Billy Crane. 

Season 9, Episode 2, "Splinter Station": Jane Russell (shown on the left, starred in The Outlaw, The Paleface, Double Dynamite, Macao, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) plays Union army widow Mary Taylor. Claude Akins (Sonny Pruett on Movin' On and Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on B.J and the Bear and on Lobo) plays Confederate soldier Caleb Luck. 

Season 9, Episode 3, "Queen of the High Graders": Will Wright (Mr. Merrivale on Dennis the Menace and Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show) plays mine owner Jim Barker. Larry Pennell (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Ripcord) plays mine detective Romer Maxwell. Virginia Christine (was the Folger's Coffee woman in commercials and starred in The Mummy's Curse, The Killers, and Night Wind and played Ovie Swenson on Tales of Wells Fargo) plays mine thief Kate Henson. 

Season 9, Episode 4, "Devil's Bar": Ron Hayes (see "The Great Lounsberry Scoop" above) plays pacifist prospector Dan Bartlett. Hugh Sanders (starred in That's My Boy, The Pride of St. Louis, The Winning Team, and The Wild One) plays store owner George Merritt. Joe Conley (Ike Godsey on The Waltons) plays Merritt's friend Alf. William Mims (shown on the right, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays blacksmith Jake Higgins. Raymond Hatton (starred in Oliver Twist (1916), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Lord Jim, played Marshal Sandy Hopkins in 28 westerns and Rusty Joslin in 7 other westerns, and played The Mole on Dick Tracy)plays townsman Old Pete.

Season 9, Episode 6, "Yankee Confederate": Elaine Devry (daughter of a Disney animator who was Mickey Rooney's fourth wife) plays Confederate conspirator Belle Waverly. Gavin MacLeod (shown on the left, starred in Operation Petticoat, The Sand Pebbles, and Kelly's Heroes and played Joseph Haines on McHale's Navy, Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, and Capt. Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat) plays her fiance Dandy Martin. Stan Jones (composer of the song "Ghost Riders in the Sky," played Deputy Harry Olsen on The Sheriff of Cochise) plays Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Tod Andrews (Maj. John Singleton Mosby on The Gray Ghost) plays Union undercover agent Capt. Lynn Parker.

Season 9, Episode 7, "The Gentle Sword": Roy Engel (shown on the right, see "The Battle of Mokelumne Hill" above) plays explorer and mine owner John C. Fremont. Lorna Thayer (starred in The Beast With a Million Eyes and played the waitress in Five Easy Pieces) plays his wife Jessie. Karen Green (Mary Hammond on The Eve Arden Show) plays her daughter Lily. Tom Reese (starred in Taggart, The Money Trap, and Murderers' Row and played Sgt. Thomas Velie on Ellery Queen) plays Merced Mining Company ramrod Blaster. 

Season 9, Episode 8, "Extra Guns": Guy Madison (shown on the left, starred in Till the End of Time, 5 Against the House, The Last Frontier, and The Beast of Hollow Mountain and played Wild Bill Hickok on Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok) plays saloon owner Luke Short. Joan Taylor (see the biography section for the 1961 post on The Rifleman) plays piano teacher Mady Lovett. Jon Lormer (Harry Tate on Lawman, various autopsy surgeons and medical examiners in 12 episodes of Perry Mason, and Judge Irwin A. Chester on Peyton Place) plays Dodge City County Attorney Mike Sutton. 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 Sheriff L.C. Hartman. 

Season 9, Episode 9, "The White Healer": Lee Philips (starred in Peyton Place and The Hunters, and played Ellery Queen on The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen; also directed 60 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and multiple episodes of Peyton Place, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Doris Day Show, and The Waltons) plays army doctor Lt. Leonard Wood. Harry Holcombe (shown on the right, 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 Gen. Nelson Miles. 

Season 9, Episode 10, "The Wind at Your Back": Steven Terrell (Tom on The Pride of the Family and Clarence Day, Jr. on Life With Father) plays young thief Johnny Carter. June Dayton (see "The Devil's Due" above) plays desert mission nun Sister Mary Frances. Joel Ashley (Pvt. Boone on Boots and Saddles) plays hardened outlaw Forbes Buckner. 

Season 9, Episode 11, "3-7-77": Joel Crothers (shown on the left, played Lt. Nathan Forbes on Dark Shadows, Julian Cannell on Somerset, Dr. Miles Cavanugh on The Edge of Night, and Jack Stanfield Lee on Santa Barbara) plays job seeker Jim Badger. S. John Launer (Marshall Houts on The Court of Last Resort and the judge 33 times on Perry Mason) plays town assayer Lundy. Alexander Lockwood (Judge Baker on Sam Benedict) plays store owner Ellis. Sheldon Allman (appeared in Hud, The Sons of Katie Elder, and In Cold Blood, played Norm Miller on Harris Against the World, was the singing voice for Mister Ed, and composed theme songs for the cartoons George of the Jungle, Superchicken, and Tom Slick) plays corrupt sheriff J.J. Cornett. Grady Sutton (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Lawman) plays victimized stagecoach passenger Joe Shelton.

Season 9, Episode 12, "A Girl Named Virginia": John Anderson (see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays wagon train member Jim Reed. Mary Gregory (appeared in Sleeper and Coming Home and played Dr. Stanwhich on Knots Landing and Judge Pendleton on L.A. Law) plays his wife Margaret. Patty McCormack (shown on the right, starred in The Bad Seed, All Mine to Give, The Explosive Generation, and Frost/Nixon and played Torey Peck on Peck's Bad Girl, Lisha Steele on Young Dr. Malone, Anne Brookes on The Ropers, Liz La Cerva on The Sopranos, and Connie Campolotarro on Have You Met Miss Jones?) plays his daughter Virginia. Edward Platt (appeared in Rebel Without a Cause, Written on the Wind, Designing Woman, and North by Northwest and played the Chief on Get Smart) plays wagon train leader Frank Graves. Berry Kroeger (appeared in Black Magic, Gun Crazy, Hitler, and Demon Seed) plays moocher Lou Kesselberg. 

Season 9, Episode 13, "City of Widows": Dayton Lummis (shown on the left, see "Shadows on the Window" above) plays mine owner Capt. John De La Mar. Ross Elliott (Freddie the director on The Jack Benny Program and Sheriff Abbott on The Virginian) plays newspaper editor James Logan. 

Season 9, Episode 14, "The Young Gun": Arthur Franz (starred in Flight to Mars, The Member of the Wedding, and The Caine Mutiny) plays convicted bank robber Matt Warner. Stephen Roberts (Stan Peeples on Mr. Novak) plays bank owner George Barrows. King Calder (Lt. Gray on Martin Kane) plays Vernal, Utah Sheriff Pete Harmon.