Anthony Numkena (then Keena Nomkeena)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||Black and white|
|Original run||September 28, 1955 – March 14, 1956; rebroadcasts to June 6|
Brave Eagle is a 26-episode half-hour western television series which aired on CBS from September 28, 1955, to March 14, 1956, with rebroadcasts continuing until June 6. Keith Larsen, who was of Norwegian descent, starred as Brave Eagle, a peaceful young Cheyenne chief.
The program was unconventional in that it
- (1) reflects the Native American viewpoint in the settlement of the American West and
- (2) was the first series to feature an American Indian as a lead character.
Larsen's co-stars were Kim Winona (1930–1978), a Sioux Indian, as Morning Star, Brave Eagle's romantic interest; Anthony Numkena (born 1942) of Arizona, a Hopi Indian then using the stage name Keena Nomkeena, appeared as Keena, the adopted son of Brave Eagle; Pat Hogan (1920–1966) as Black Cloud, and Bert Wheeler (1895–1968) of the comedy team Wheeler & Woolsey, as the halfbreed Smokey Joe, full of tribal tall tales but accompanying wisdom.
The episodes center upon routine activities among the Cheyenne, clashes with other tribes, attempts to prevent war, encroachment from white settlers, racial prejudice, and a threat of smallpox.
Selected titles include:
- "Blood Brother" (the series premiere)
- "The Storm Fool"
- "Cry of the Heron"
- "Gold of Haunted Mountain"
- "Code of a Chief"
- "Shield of Honor"
- "The Strange Animal" (an elephant)
- "White Medicine Man"
- "Trouble at Medicine Creek"
- "Ambush at Arrow Pass"
- Ann Doran
- William Fawcett
- Anthony George
- Jonathan Hale
- Brett Halsey
- Dennis Moore
- Steve Raines
- Henry Rowland
- Rick Vallin
- Lee Van Cleef
- Pierre Watkin
- Gloria Winters
Oddly, though Brave Eagle was produced by NBC, it aired on CBS at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday preceding Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. Since the 1980s, several episodes have been released on videotape. Brave Eagle was filmed by Roy Rogers Productions on Rogers' 130-acre (0.53 km2) ranch in Chatsworth in Los Angeles, California, as well as the Corriganville Ranch in Simi Valley.Brave Eagle's principal competition was ABC's Disneyland, the Walt Disney anthology series.
Dell Comics released a Brave Eagle comic book series based on the TV show.
- "Brave Eagle". TV Acres. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Brave Eagle (1955) Review Summary". The New York Times. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 116
- "Brave Eagle Episode List". Internet Movie Data Base.
- 1955-1956 American network television schedule; in appendix of Total Television