Friday, January 4, 2019

The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1961)

Today it is usually lumped in with the also-ran westerns of the 1950s and 1960s, behind such ratings leaders as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Have Gun--Will Travel, but as we touched on in our post about the 1960 episodes, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp was perhaps the more innovative series in its use of historical events and characters and its experimentation with story arc continuity. As we mentioned in our last post on this program, dramatic television series employed a strictly episodic structure in which each show was a self-contained narrative that rarely ever referred to events from earlier shows. But the producers of Wyatt Earp obviously had a more continuous structure in mind by setting the series' first four episodes in Ellsworth, Kansas before having Earp move on to his next stop in his law enforcement career in Wichita for the remainder of Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2. Starting with the second episode of Season 2 he advances to his next destination of Dodge City for three seasons and then finishes the series in Tombstone, Arizona over the final two seasons. While most of the episodes prior to Season 6 were unrelated, the overall progression of the series followed the geographical sequence of the real-life Earp's travels.

But the way the producers chose to end the series over the last half of Season 6 was perhaps the first instance of a continuous story arc in dramatic television history. To see how revolutionary this technique was, consider that authors David Marc & Robert J. Thompson in their book Prime Time Prime Movers credit producer Stephen J. Cannell with originating the concept of the story arc for prime-time dramas (as opposed to the drawn-out, glacially paced narrative arcs used in daytime soap operas) in his series Wiseguy 26 years after Wyatt Earp:

The obvious innovation of Wiseguy [in 1987] was Cannell's introduction of the "arc" structure to prime-time series television. This is a formatting hybrid that introduces elements of nighttime soap opera (e.g., Dallas, Hill Street Blues) into the content of the traditional action/adventure series. A Wiseguy story might extend for eight or ten weeks by making use of direct episode-to-episode narrative continuity. This "arc" would then come to a narrative climax.

Though his life had many twists and turns afterward, Earp is probably best remembered for his shoot-out with Clanton-gang-affiliated outlaws at the O.K. Corral in 1881. The series begins to hint that this will also be the defining event of the final season as a new opening credits sequence is used in most of the 1961 episodes featuring Wyatt stopping to pose with a sign for the O.K. Corral featured prominently in the background. Then in "Doc Holliday Faces Death" (February 28, 1961) we are introduced to the trope that Earp's staunchest supporter (though he often scoffs at his friend's upright defense of the law at his own peril) is in ill health and that he has a strong dislike for Frank and Tom McLowery, feared gunmen working for Old Man Clanton. In this episode, Holliday is literally drinking himself to death and Earp tries to intervene by conspiring with all the bartenders in town to serve Holliday only a watered-down version of his favorite brand of whiskey. Holliday's failing health is referred to several more times in the remaining episodes, and in the climactic penultimate episode "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (June 20, 1961), he exits his hotel walking with a cane and is given a shotgun to use in the great gunfight because Earp's brother Virgil assumes that his aim is no longer what it once was due to his debilitated condition.

After several more unrelated episodes, the thread of the story is picked up again in "Until Proven Guilty" (April 11, 1961) where we first see the fissures beginning to form in the Clanton gang when Curly Bill Brocious and Johnny Ringo object to patriarch Old Man Clanton that their bought-and-paid-for sheriff Johnny Behan has taxed them for cattle stolen during a job in which Behan himself participated. Though they want to do him harm, Clanton tells them to leave him alone because he is too valuable to the organization due to his connections to the corrupt political hierarchy in Tucson. Knowing that Holliday hates Behan and will resort to tactics that Earp would reject, Brocious and Ringo persuade Holliday to help them frame Behan for a stage robbery their men commit by having an actress that Behan is courting (and over whom Holliday has leverage concerning her past) plant some of the stolen money on him. Earp sniffs out the frame-up but is almost hung by Brocious before Clanton is also tipped off and stops the hanging to avoid having the federal government on his neck, but the bad blood between Brocious and Ringo against Clanton and Earp has not abated.

After two more unrelated episodes, the plot picks up again in "The Law Must Be Fair" (May 2, 1961), which centers around the McLowerys, who wind up moving into Tombstone into a house owned by Clanton next to the O.K. Corral, which he also owns, to placate Tom McLowery's wife Aithra, a city girl from Chicago who can't stand living on a ranch. But Brocious and Ringo, in their quest to take over the Clanton gang operations, see this as an opportunity to get rid of Clanton's two best gunmen by planting a dead corpse in the corral's stable so that the McLowerys will be suspected of murder. Wyatt doesn't think the McLowerys killed the dead man because he was hanged and their modus operandi is typically shooting, but he is forced to arrest them until he can prove who the real killer was. The hanging looks like the typical fate out-of-town rancher Captain Roland reserves for cattle rustlers, so Earp sends Holliday out to Roland's ranch to see if he has hung anybody recently, while Clanton rounds up his gang, including Brocious, to try to break the McLowerys out of jail. Holliday gets back into town just in time to stop Clanton's gang from overpowering Earp and Shotgun Gibbs and brings news that Roland confirmed he gave the body of the dead rustler to Brocious and Ringo, who claimed the deceased was a friend of his that he wanted to give a proper burial. While they are talking Brocious sneaks off to his horse and rides off with Clanton cursing after him, but it won't be Brocious' last attempt against Clanton.

This episode is immediately followed by a rarity in early 1960s television--a well-orchestrated send-off for a long-time primary character in "A Papa for Butch and Ginger" (May 9, 1961). More common for the era was the disappearance of recurring characters with no explanation for their departure or a brief reference to where they went after they have already departed. But in the run-up to the fateful "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," the producers began clearing the decks of characters who weren't around for the final melee. Earp's trusted deputy Shotgun Gibbs, a fictional creation rather than a historical figure, was the first to go. In this episode Gibbs meets a widow with two young children trying to make a wagon trip to Colorado while being taken advantage of by unscrupulous ruffians she has hired to accompany her. Her two young children, Butch and Ginger, take an immediate liking to Gibbs, who runs off one of her antagonists, and though he won't admit it at first, Gibbs takes a liking to the widow Byfield as well. Holliday is the first to sense Gibbs' attraction and knowing that Gibbs feels beholden to Earp and his duty as a deputy, Holliday begins working on Earp to convince him that it would be in Gibbs' best interests to marry the widow and accompany her to Colorado. Holliday even tells Earp that Gibbs will one day meet his death from a faster and heavier armed gunslinger since Gibbs only uses a double-barreled shotgun and has to reload after two shots. So Earp finds a flimsy excuse to fire Gibbs for not following orders but can't face him as he tells him he is dismissed. The final scene shows Gibbs driving the widow's wagon with her by his side trying to convince him that Earp fired him out of love not animosity, while Butch and Ginger ride behind the wagon on Gibbs' beloved mule Roscoe. This sort of farewell is today standard practice but in 1961 it was quite extraordinary.

However, finding a replacement for Gibbs proves to be a challenge for Earp as the next episode, "Hiding Behind a Star" (May 23, 1961), shows Earp hiring a deputy who proves to be a sadistic psychopath as well as a bigamist who is finally exposed and arrested. Gibbs' departure is also the driving force two episodes later in Mayor Clum summoning Earp's brothers Virgil and Morgan from Prescott, Arizona to help support Wyatt against an increasingly fractious Clanton gang, which is thrown into disarray by the next major character send-off depicted in "Requiem for Old Man Clanton" (May 30, 1961). Though Brocious and Ringo have attempted to undermine Clanton at least twice in previous episodes and he is aware of their machinations, he still does not take seriously enough the warning that they may try to ambush him when he goes below the Mexican border to bring back a herd of stolen cattle because the warning comes from Earp. He also reasons that Brocious and Ringo won't attack him because some of the cattle he is bringing back belong to them, but he doesn't realize that they have paid off a long-time nemesis of his, the Mexican bandit king Don Pedro, to ambush him. Though Earp and Holliday try to find Don Pedro and stop the attack, they are too late, and Clanton and his helpers are gunned down by the bandits. Clanton's killing is remarkably violent even for an era that loved The Untouchables and had seen some of Sam Peckinpaugh's early work on The Rifleman and The Westerner. But what makes Clanton's death more striking is that he is a major figure in the series, not some rent-a-thug who is brought in for a single episode for the express purpose of being cannon fodder. Major characters simply did not get killed off in early 1960s TV dramas, which is yet another reason why the final season of Wyatt Earp seems more akin to The Sopranos than it does to its contemporaries.

The next two episodes depict the ratcheting of tensions between the Clantons, Brocious and Ringo, and Earp, which will lead to the great gunfight. In "Wyatt's Brothers Join Up" (June 6, 1961), we see Clum secretly convince Earp's brothers to leave Prescott to come to his aid, but before they get to Tombstone, Holliday intercepts them and cajoles them into a conspiracy to kidnap corrupt sheriff Johnny Behan and hold him in a remote location in order to stoke animosity between the Clantons and Brocious and Ringo, each of whom considers Behan an essential ally due to his connections to the Tucson political machine. Holliday's plan is to incite the rival outlaw factions to kill each other off, but eventually Wyatt uncovers Holliday's conspiracy and releases Behan even though doing so allows one of his principal enemies to still work against him. Wyatt is the ultimate by-the-book lawman, and kidnapping another law officer is illegal, no matter how villainous that law officer may be. In "Just Before the Battle" (June 13, 1961) we are shown how a stage robbery perpetrated by Brocious and Ringo sets the stage for the gunfight because it raises the ire of Ike Clanton that the two gunmen who had previously worked for his father have cut him and his other two brothers out of the take from the robbery. Feeling that he has been disrespected and his authority challenged, Ike is willing to sell out Brocious and Ringo to Wyatt and pick up some reward money in the bargain. But Ringo figures out that someone must have tipped Wyatt off when he almost catches the robbers at their camp outside town, and Ringo's suspicions are confirmed when a telegraph boy working for him tells him he saw Holliday and Ike talking at the Alhambra saloon. Ringo then jokingly tells the McLowerys that he heard that Ike had ratted out the robbers to Earp, and despite his denials, Ike is given the assignment to kill Wyatt in order to prove that he isn't in cahoots with him. Since he also believes that Wyatt must have been the one to tell Ringo about his perfidy, Ike has even more incentive to carry out Frank McLowery's ultimatum. Being a coward, he has to get liquored up in Tombstone that evening to shout out to Earp as he rides into town that he is going to kill him tomorrow.

The footage of Ike threatening Wyatt at the end of "Just Before the Battle" is replayed at the beginning of "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (June 20, 1961), a technique usually only reserved for 2-part episodes given the same title. But the technique is used again to stitch together the last two episodes--"Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and the series finale "The Outlaws Cry Murder" (June 27, 1961) where a scene in the Earp brothers' hotel room in which Wyatt asks Holliday to go across the street to negotiate with Brocious and Ringo is replayed. These replays have the same effect as the technique employed by many story-arc-driven series today in which each successive episode begins with a "Previously on [insert series name here]" followed by a montage of short clips that set up the narrative about to unfold in this week's episode. But that type of linkage was virtually unheard of in 1961, except for the aforementioned 2-part episodes that were treated as long self-contained stories. The last two episodes of Wyatt Earp remain true to history in the characters killed during the great 30-second gunfight and in the Earps and Holliday being charged with murder despite, in this telling, acting in self-defense. But the series does not tie things up neatly at the end of the final episode--the Earps and Holliday still face charges, though they have managed to avoid spending the weekend in jail or being sent to Tucson as the result of a change of venue request orchestrated by Behan, and have therefore avoided being bushwhacked, as Behan intends, while in custody. The final episode ends with Wyatt telling his compatriots that they are not out of the woods yet, but that he would tell any inquiring newspaper reporter that he ain't dead yet. Wyatt himself would live many more years, though far away from Arizona; his brother Morgan would not be so lucky. But the series producers decided to end the story on a high note--the victory at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. What would come afterward would be harder to render in such a positive light.

The complete series has been released on DVD by SFM Entertainment. It is also still in rotation on the Encore Westerns cable channel.

The Actors

For the biographies of Hugh O'Brian, Morgan Woodward, Douglas Fowley, Trevor Bardette, Stacy Harris, James Seay, Damian O'Flynn, Carol Thurston, Steve Rowland, William Phipps, Steve Brodie, Steve Pendleton, Rayford Barnes, Ralph Reed, John Anderson, Ray Boyle, and William Mims, see the 1960 post on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.

George Wallace

George Dewey Wallace was  born in New York City on June 8, 1917, the great-great grandson of legendary U.S. Navy Admiral George Dewey, after whom he was named. When he was 13,his family moved to West Virginia, and Wallace worked in the coal mines there while still a teenager. He joined the Navy in 1936, was discharged in 1940, but rejoined during World War II, serving a total of 8 years, after which he worked a number of odd jobs from meat packer to lumberjack until he was spotted as a singing bartender in a Hollywood bar by gossip columnist Jimmy Fidler. After Fidler made some introductions into the film business, Wallace began attending drama school at night and working as a groundskeeper at MGM. He finally made his movie debut in 1950 in an uncredited part in The Sun Sets at Dawn and had his first credited part a year later in Submarine Command. But his big break came in 1952 when he was cast in the leading role as Commando Cody in the science fiction serial Radar Men From the Moon. He also broke into television that same year, appearing in episodes of Hopalong Cassidy, Dangerous Assignment, and Chevron Theatre. He would work steadily for the rest of his life. While acting in a supporting role in Forbidden Planet in 1955, he was introduced to the great composer Richard Rodgers by Walter Pidgeon and soon would add theatre work to his resume, debuting opposite opera soprano Helen Traubel in the 1955 production of Rodger and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream that same year. In 1957 he was nominated for a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for his work in New Girl in Town playing opposite Gwen Verdon. He was chosen to replace John Raitt in the Broadway production of The Pajama Game and starred with Mary Martin in the 1963 box office flop Jennie in 1963. 

He appeared four times as Frank McLowery on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp in 1961 but did not land a recurring role until being cast as Dr. Leo Gault on the daytime soap The Edge of Night in 1980. After four appearances as Judge Milton Cole on Hill Street Blues in 1983 and three turns as Arthur Nicholls on The Young and the Restless in 1986, he finally landed another recurring role as Grandpa Hank Hammersmith on Sons and Daughters in 1991. But he also continued to get dozens of guest spots on a variety of programs as well as occasional feature film parts such as in Postcards From the Edge. His last credits were episodes of The King of Queens in 2003 and Joan of Arcadia in 2004, but in the latter year he suffered a fall while vacationing in Pisa, Italy and died from complications after returning home on July 22, 2005 at the age of 88.

Gregg Palmer

Born Palmer Lee on January 25, 1927 in San Francisco, both of Palmer's parents had emigrated from Norway. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, serving as a cryptographer, and was discharged in 1946, after which he worked as a radio DJ, bouncer, truck driver, and construction worker. His deep voice reading the news on radio led to his first film role as an uncredited ambulance attendant in the Martin & Lewis comedy My Friend Irma Goes West in 1950. In 1951 he was signed to a 5-year contract with Universal and was billed under his birth name until 1954 when he appeared in Taza, Son of Cochise, Playgirl, and Magnificent Obsession. His work in TV began the same year with a guest appearance on The Lone Ranger. He auditioned for a TV version of Li'l Abner opposite Marilyn Monroe as Daisey Mae, but neither actor got the part. But Palmer's work continued to be steady and voluminous, particularly in western TV series such as The Restless Gun, 26 Men, and Gunsmoke, on which he guest starred 21 times between 1958 and 1975. He also appeared in 18 episodes of Death Valley Days between 1956 and 1969.

His four appearances as Tom McLowery on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp came the same year he appeared in the first of six John Wayne movies, The Comancheros. Though he never landed a recurring role lasting more than 4 episodes, he logged some 166 credits in a career spanning until 1982, at which point he retired from acting after a painful knee injury while working on The Blue and the Gray mini-series and settled in Encino, California to play golf and make appearances for charitable causes. He died October 31, 2015 at age 88.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 6, Episode 14, "Billy Buckett, Incorporated": Andy Clyde (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Real McCoys) plays prospector Billy Buckett. 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 saloon owner Lou Rickabaugh. Bartlett Robinson (Frank Caldwell on Mona McCluskey) plays banker Paul Scott. Dan Sheridan (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Lawman) plays investor Jack Morrow. Ann Robinson (starred in The War of the Worlds, Dragnet, and Midnight Movie Massacre and played Queen Juliandra on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and Helen Watkins on Fury) plays widow Hetty Doane.
Season 6, Episode 15, "Horse Thief": Robert Bice (appeared in  Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, The Snow Creature, and It! The Terror From Beyond Space and played Police Capt. Jim Johnson on The Untouchables) plays Charleston roadhouse bartender J.B. Ayres. Herbert Rudley (shown on the right, played Sam Brennan on The Californians, Lt. Will Gentry on Michael Shayne, General Crone on Mona McCluskey, and Herb Hubbard on The Mothers-in-Law) plays Old Man Clanton's lawyer Sanders.
Season 6, Episode 16, "Terror in the Desert": Richard Crane (shown on the left, played Rocky Jones on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Dick Preston on Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe, and Lt. Gene Plehn on Surfside 6) plays freight operation owner Tom Grover. Jacqueline Scott (starred in House of Women, Empire of the Ants, and Telefon and played Donna Kimble Taft on The Fugitive) plays his wife Beth. Richard Reeves (Mr. Murphy on Date With the Angels) plays prison wagon driver Bucko. Stanley Clements (played Stanislaus "Duke" Coveleskie in 6 Bowery Boys feature films) plays his partner Dugan. David Fresco (Albert Wysong on Murder One) plays prisoner Moody. Peter Mamakos (Jean Lafitte on The Adventures of Jim Bowie) plays prisoner Baxter. Sam Flint (Mr. Armstead on Father Knows Best and earlier had played Judge Jewett on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays a transport company worker.
Season 6, Episode 17, "Old Slanders": Tyler McVey (Gen. Maj. Norgath on Men Into Space) plays a corrupt Tuscon politician. Charles Watts (Judge Harvey Blandon on Bachelor Father) plays newspaper publisher Dameron. Anne Bellamy (Aunt Polly on The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) plays saloon girl Audrey Johnson.
Season 6, Episode 18, "Loyalty": William Fawcett (Clayton on Duffy's Tavern, Marshal George Higgins on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Pete Wilkey on Fury) plays an old prospector. Jan Arvan (shown on the far right, played Nacho Torres on Zorro and Paw Kadiddlehopper on The Red Skelton Hour) plays maitre 'd Emile. Paula Winslowe (shown on the near right, played Martha Conklin on Our Miss Brooks) plays housekeeper Ella Mae Stoney. Michael Hinn (George Haig on Johnny Ringo) plays cowhand Van Horn. Dennis Moore (Deputy Lee on Tombstone Territory) plays cowhand Dusty Claypool. Richard Benedict (appeared in A Walk in the Sun, Crossfire, and Ace in the Hole and directed multiple episodes of Hawaiian Eye, Run for Your Life, Ironside, Medical Center, Police Story, and Hawaii Five-O) plays crook Briscoe.
Season 6, Episode 19, "Johnny Behan Falls in Love": Andy Albin (Andy Gosden on Julia) plays Clanton man Limpy Davis.
Season 6, Episode 20, "Casey and the Clowns": L.Q. Jones (Beldon on The Virginian, Sheriff Lew Wallace on The Yellow Rose, and Nathan Wayne on Renegade) plays bank-robbing gang leader Tex. Ken Drake (Bragan on Not for Hire) plays gang member Tim Murdock. Kenneth MacDonald (shown on the left, played the judge 32 times on Perry Mason, played Col. Parker on Colt .45, and appeared in several Three Stooges shorts) plays Tombstone Bank manager Howard Stacey. Sam Flint (see "Terror in the Desert" above) plays Arizona Bank manager Mr. Borden.
Season 6, Episode 21, "Doc Holliday Faces Death": Dub Taylor (shown on the right, starred in You Can't Take It With You, Bonnie & Clyde, and The Wild Bunch, played Cannonball in 53 western films, and played Wallie Simms on Casey Jones, Mitch Brady on Hazel, and Ed Hewley on Please Don't Eat the Daisies) plays bartender Hogan. 

Season 6, Episode 22, "Apache Gold": Robert Cabal (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on Rawhide) plays Apache brave Nulah.
Season 6, Episode 23, "The Good Mule and the Bad Mule": Stephen Wootton (Soapie Weaver on This Is Alice) plays young liar Ollie Burton. Clancy Cooper (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Lawman) plays mine foreman Morgan. Norman Leavitt (Ralph on Trackdown) plays livery man Phillips. Hal Needham (Hollywood's highest-paid stuntman who invented numerous stunt devices, was a double for Richard Boone and Burt Reynolds, and directed Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, and Cannonball Run) plays one of Dameron's printers.
Season 6, Episode 24, "Clanton and Cupid": Harlan Warde (shown on the right, played John Hamilton on The Rifleman and Sheriff John Brannan on The Virginian) plays lawyer Tom Ware.
Season 6, Episode 25, "Wyatt Takes the Primrose Path": William Thourlby (the original Marlboro man, a friend of Jim Thorpe, and author of the best-selling book Passport to Power) plays Apache chief Nachez. X Brands (Pahoo-Ke-Ta-Wah on Yancy Derringer) plays one of his braves.
Season 6, Episode 26, "The Convict's Revenge": Robert Carson (Mr. Maddis on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show) plays ranch owner Sam Davies. Robert Harland (shown on the left, played Deputy Billy Lordan on Law of the Plainsman, Jack Flood on Target: The Corruptors, and Sgt. Older on The Rookies) plays his son Phil. Ken Mayer (Maj. Robbie Robertson on Space Patrol) plays gambler Dapper Courtney.
Season 6, Episode 27, "Until Proven Guilty": Britt Lomond (Captain Monastario on Zorro) plays gunman Johnny Ringo. Kasey Rogers (shown on the right, played Julie Anderson on Peyton Place and Louise Tate on Bewitched) plays actress Dora Madison. 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 prosecuting attorney Tom Fitch. Robert Bice (see "Horse Thief" above) returns as Charleston roadhouse owner J.B. Ayres.
Season 6, Episode 28, "The Shooting Starts": Barney Phillips (see "Billy Buckett, Incorporated" above) returns as saloon owner Lou Rickabaugh. Diane Jergens (shown on the left, appeared in Teenage Rebel, 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 his niece Edith. Leo Gordon (Dr. Big Mike McComb on Maverick) plays rival saloon owner Miggles Hannegan. Steve Raines (see the biography section for the 1960 post on Rawhide) plays saloon owner Big Dora's henchman.
Season 6, Episode 29, "Wyatt Earp's Baby": Marie Windsor (shown on the right, starred in Outpost in Morocco, Dakota Lil, Cat-Women of the Moon, Swamp Women, and The Day Mars Invaded Earth) plays saloon owner Lily Henry. Sean McClory (Jack McGivern on The Californians and Myles Delaney on Bring 'Em Back Alive) plays blacksmith and freighter Edgar Boles. Frank Ferguson (Gus Broeberg on My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson on Peyton Place, and Dr. Barton Stuart on Petticoat Junction) plays Pima County Sheriff Slim Lydell.
Season 6, Episode 30, "The Law Must Be Fair": Louise Fletcher (shown on the left, starred in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Exorcist II, and The Cheap Detective and played Nora Bloom on VR.5 and Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) plays Tom McLowery's wife Aithra.
Season 6, Episode 31, "A Papa for Butch and Ginger": Dorothy Green (Lavinia Tate on Tammy) plays traveling widow Amy Byfield. Kevin Brodie (son of Steve Brodie, wrote and directed A Dog of Flanders) plays her young son Butch. Debbie Megowan (Dorine Peters on My Three Sons) plays her young daughter Ginger.
Season 6, Episode 32, "Hiding Behind a Star": James Griffith (Deputy Tom Ferguson on U.S. Marshal) plays Earp's new deputy Tim Connell. Gloria Talbott (shown on the right, starred in The Cyclops, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll,  and I Married a Monster From Outer Space and played Moneta on Zorro) plays his wife Martha. Roy Engel (Doc Martin on Bonanza, the police chief on My Favorite Martian, and President Ulysses S. Grant on The Wild, Wild West) plays rancher Zack Herrick. Paul McGuire (Phillip on The Living Bible) plays gunman Jack Renfro. Charles Wagenheim (Halligan on Gunsmoke) plays gunsmith Spangenberg.
Season 6, Episode 33, "Requiem for Old Man Clanton": Don Haggerty (shown on the left, played 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 earlier on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) plays cattle drover Mort Herrick. Norman Alden (Grundy on Not for Hire, Captain Horton on Rango, Tom Williams on My Three Sons, Coach Leroy Fedders on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Al Cassidy on Fay) plays gunman Johnny Ringo. Robert Bice (see "Horse Thief" above) returns as Charleston roadhouse owner J.B. Ayres.
Season 6, Episode 34, "Wyatt's Brothers Join Up": Adele Mara (wife of Maverick producer Roy Huggins who appeared in Wake of the Red Witch, Sands of Iwo Jima, and The Big Circus) plays Behan's love interest Thelma Callum.
Season 6, Episode 35, "Just Before the Battle": Harry Harvey (Sheriff Tom Blodgett on The Roy Rogers Show and Mayor George Dixon on Man Without a Gun) plays the Tombstone telegrapher. Gene Collins (shown on the right, appeared in The Pride of the Yankees, The People's Choice, and Kelly's Heroes and played Willy Quill on Yancy Derringer) plays his young assistant.
Season 6, Episode 36, "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral": Terry Frost (Sgt. Moore/Morse/Morris on Highway Patrol) plays messenger Coleman.
Season 6, Episode 37, "The Outlaws Cry Murder": Jimmy Lydon (shown on the left, see "Until Proven Guilty" above) returns as lawyer Tom Fitch. Charles Watts (see "Old Slanders" above) returns as newspaper editor Dameron.


  1. Interesting on the long story arc, I was thinking that the first show to do it was the Beverly Hillbillies, which often did long, 4-5 episode story lines with no breaks, but that didn't start until a year later.

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