The Texan (TV series)

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The Texan
Texan Intertitle.jpg
Genre Western
Written by Curtis Kenyon
Harry Kronman
Edmund Morris
Directed by George Archainbaud
Felix E. Feist
Robert Gordon
Erle C. Kenton
Hollingsworth Morse
Edward Ludwig
Starring Rory Calhoun
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 78 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Desi Arnaz
Rory Calhoun
Victor M. Orsatti
Producer(s) Jerry Stagg
Running time 30 mins.
Production company(s) Desilu
Distributor CBS Films
Viacom
Paramount Television
CBS Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution (current as of 2007)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 29, 1958 – September 19, 1960

The Texan is a western television series starring popular B movie actor Rory Calhoun, which aired on the CBS television network from 1958 to 1960.

Overview[edit]

Calhoun as Bill Longley (c. 1960)

In The Texan, Calhoun played Bill Longley, a Confederate captain from the American Civil War who on his pinto, Domino, roams the American West but stops to help people in need. A fast gun and the enemy of all lawbreakers, this "Robin Hood of the West" seems to appear nearly everywhere in the post-war years, not just in Texas.[1]

Often the plots center about Longley helping an old friend or a relative of an old friend. Though known as a fearsome gunfighter, the fictional Bill Longley of The Texan is in no way the real Bill Longley. That Longley killed his first man in 1866, when he was fifteen, and was hanged in 1878 in Giddings in Lee County in Central Texas. A more accurate version of the real Longley is Douglas Kennedy's rendition in the syndicated series, Stories of the Century, starring and narrated by Jim Davis, and the first western series to win an Emmy Award.[1]

The Texan offers several multi-part episodes. In a four-parter, Longley portrays the boss of a cattle drive; in another, a railroad construction supervisor. In still another, Longley pursues the bandit El Sombro in the fictitious corrupt community of Rio Nada. In this episode, Barbara Stuart makes one of her three appearances as Poker Alice, an unlikely frontier gambler, the mother of seven children who had once been a dealer at Bob Ford's saloon in Creede, Colorado, but lived thereafter primarily in Deadwood and Sturgis, South Dakota. Calhoun's then wife, Lita Baron, appeared in several episodes, including a three-parter.[1]

Production notes[edit]

With Victor Orsatti, Calhoun formed Rorvic Productions to co-produce The Texan in partnership with Desilu Productions, the company founded by Lucille Ball and her first husband, Desi Arnaz, Sr. Then a neighbor of Orsatti's, Arnaz proposed the idea for The Texan. Episodes were budgeted at $40,000 each, with two segments filmed weekly at Desilu Studios. Despite the name, the program was not filed in Texas but at Pearl Flats in the Mohave Desert in southern California.[1]

The Texan ran for only two seasons but could have been extended for a third had Calhoun been willing to continue. However, he wanted to return to films.[1] In the second half of the second season, The Texan was preceded on the CBS schedule by Kate Smith's return to network television, her unsuccessful The Kate Smith Show. The first season, sponsored by Viceroy, is considered of better quality because CBS reused in the second season some of the material and footage from the first season. After the 78-episode run, Calhoun returned to starring and co-starring in "B" Westerns and making occasional television appearances. Louis L'Amour wrote teleplays for several episodes, but there were thirty-five writers hired for the series and more than a dozen directors. One of the directors, George Archainbaud, a native of Paris, France, died during the run of The Texan. Other directors were Erle C. Kenton, who began his career in 1914 with silent films, and Edward Ludwig, a native of Russia.[1]

The Texan faced competition in its first season from another western, The Restless Gun, an NBC series starring John Payne, the story of a reticent gunfighter named Vint Bonner, a kind of next-door neighbor who prefers to settle disputes peaceably and usually manages to do so by the end of each episode. Though The Restless Gun finished in eighth place in the ratings in the 1958-1959 season, The Texan never landed in the top fifteen in either season.[1]

In the 1960-1961 television season, rebroadcasts of The Texan ran on ABC daytime opposite CBS's As the World Turns and NBC's Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas.

Guest stars[edit]

Actor Role Episode Year Notes
Claude Akins "Cattle Drive" 1959 Season premiere
"Border Incident" 1959 with Whitney Blake and Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr.
Chris Alcaide Townsman "Law of the Gun" 1958
Wade Clinton "The Peddler" 1959
Tubbs "Image of Guilt" 1959
Deputy Luke Smith "Presentation Gun" 1960
Lita Baron Dolores "Quarantine" 1960 Rory Calhoun's first wife
"Captive Crew" 1960
"Buried Treasure" 1960
Lita Moreno "The Governor's Lady" 1960
James Best Clay Kirby "Killer's Road" 1960
Neville Brand Kyle Richards "Texan in Town" 1958 with John Larch as Lance Corbett, in the series pilot and premiere; Corbett is accused of shooting to death a 14-year-old girl and enlists his friend Longley to find the real killer.
Paul Brinegar "The Ringer" 1959 with Ron Hayes, Vito Scotti and Grant Withers as Ed Martin
Lon Chaney, Jr. Wylie Ames "No Love Wasted" 1959
Harry Cheshire Doc McKensie "The Accuser" 1960 with Don Haggerty and Jimmy Lydon
Andy Clyde Wild Jack Hastings "The Troubled Town" 1958
Andy Miles "Buried Treasure", et al. 1960
James Coburn Cal Gruder "Friend of the Family" 1960 with Roger Perry as Robin Randolph and John Dehner as Major Randolph
Mike Connors "The Edge of the Cliff" 1958
Russ Conway Bob Jason "Borrowed Time" 1960
Ellen Corby Katy Clayton "The Lord Will Provide" 1958 with Ross Elliott as the Reverend Kilgore
Walter Coy Doc Nelson "Town Divided" 1960 with Morgan Woodward as Mark Jordan
Dennis Cross "Law of the Gun" 1958
Michael Dante Stan Chambers "Stampede" 1959 made three appearances, with Shirley Knight as Lily Akins, and with Roy Barcroft
Mason Alan Dinehart Chet Dawson "The Duchess of Denver" 1959 with Dolores Donlon, Eddy Waller, and Gerald Mohr
Brazos Kid "The Taming of Rio Nada" 1960 with Barbara Stuart as Poker Alice and Richard Devon as Tim Craven
Brazos Kid "Sixgun Street" 1960 with Bob Steele as Luke Short and Barbara Stuart and Richard Devon, again as Poker Alice and Tim Craven
James Drury Johnny Kaler "The Troubled Town" 1958 with Pat Conway as Johnny's brother, Mike Kaler
Jack Elam Luke Watson "South of the Border" 1959 John Doucette as Sheriff Ben Carter
Frank Ferguson Dobie "A Race for Life" 1959 with Douglas Fowley as Mar Anderson
Paul Fix Bert Gorman "A Tree for Planting" 1958 with Lurene Tuttle as Amy Bofert, and Martin Garralaga as Ramirez; Longley comes to the aid of a distressed Mexican farmer whose peach orchards are overrun by cattle ranchers.
Tod Griffin "Trouble on the Trail" 1959
"Badman" 1960
Reed Hadley Sheriff Ben Tildy "The Sheriff of Boot Hill" 1959 with Denver Pyle as Joe Lufton
Ron Hagerthy "Johnny Tuvo" 1960 formerly of Sky King, cast in the title role
Alan Hale, Jr. Jake Bricker "The Widow of Paradise" 1958 several episodes; Hale also had a recurring role as Sculley.
Stacy Harris Max Bowen "The Hemp Tree" 1958
Abel Crowder "Rough Track to Payday" 1959
Ron Hayes Rich Taber "The Ringer" 1959
Walt Dawson "Thirty Hours to Kill" 1960
Ty Embry "Showdown" 1960
Richard Jaeckel Clint Gleason "The Man Behind the Star" 1959
Wright King Mac Kernin "Desert Passage" 1958
Duncan Lamont David MacMorris recurring role
Bethel Leslie Julie Bofert "Reunion" 1959 with Christopher Dark as Trevor Jackson and Robert F. Simon as Will Crandall
Douglas Kennedy Jason Quarles "Border Incident" 1959
Sheriff "Quarantine" 1960
Michael Landon Nick Ahearn "The Hemp Tree" 1958 Longley is robbed at a bank after a cattle drive.
George Macready Big Jim Sammett "A Time of the Year" 1958 with Suzanne Lloyd as the daughter-in-law, Maria, whom he recently meets.
Stephen McNally Clay Thompson "Badlands" 1959 with Myron Healey as the sheriff
Patrick McVey Marshal Dodson "Outpost" 1959
Strother Martin Polk "No Place to Stop" 1959 with Denver Pyle as Houston
Carole Mathews Bess Corbin "No Tears for the Dead" 1958 with Beverly Washburn as Henrietta Tovers, Michael Pate as George Brandon, and Ray Teal as Sheriff Dave Travers
Joyce Meadows Phyllis Herrick "South of the Border" 1959
Helen Castle "Ruthless Woman" 1960
Kristine Miller Mattie "The Accuser" 1959 formerly of Stories of the Century
Ruth Fenton "The Gunfighter" 1960
Mort Mills Ben or Blackie Dawson "Thirty Hours to Kill" 1960
Burt Mustin "Twenty-four Hours to Live" 1960
J. Carrol Naish Walt Pierce "The First Notch" 1958 with Ron Hagerthy as Neil Pierce and Peggie Castle as Charlotte Rivera
Gregg Palmer "The Troubled Town" 1958
Michael Pate George Brandon "No Tears for the Dead" 1958
James Philbrook Yancey Lewis "Return to Friendly" 1959
John M. Pickard Ben Kirby "The Gunfighter" 1959
Jess Walton "Borrowed Time" 1960
Dorothy Provine Chalmers "Blood Money" 1959 with Ralph Meeker as Sam Kerrigan
Stuart Randall Sheriff Ike Masters "The Hemp Tree" 1958
Sheriff Rangel "The Letter of the Law" 1959
Lee Tatlock "No Way Out" 1959
Mike Ragan Barlow "Traildust" 1959
Lafe Orley "A Quart of Law" 1959
Gilman Rankin Marshal Roy Adams "Badman" 1960
Addison Richards Mayor Thurston "Traildust" 1959
Ann Robinson Anne Carter "Borrowed Time" 1960
Cesar Romero Joaquin "Caballero" 1959 with Whit Bissell as Shep Crawford
Bing Russell Larry Boland "The Dishonest Posse" 1959 with Peter Whitney as Nate Jeeter
William Schallert Arnold Leno "The Troubled Town" 1958
Karen Sharpe Jessie Martin "Private Account" 1959 She played the much younger sister of a sheriff, Weeb Martin (Jesse White), who falsely believes that her boyfriend, Johnny Hinshaw (Joe Di Reda), shot a man after a quarrel. Hinshaw, meanwhile, rescues Bill Longley, who is trapped in a rock slide. Maudie Prickett appears in this episode as Maud Avery, the town busybody.[2]
Robert F. Simon Vance "The Guilty and the Innocent" 1960
Fay Spain Ann Dowd "The Easterner" 1958 with Jack Elam as Tug Swann
Barbara Stuart Poker Alice "The Taming of Rio Nada" 1960 with James Griffith and Richard Devon
"Sixgun Street" 1960
"The Terrified Town" 1960 Bob Steele portrayed the frontier gunfighter, Luke Short.
Olive Sturgess Mary Lou Martin "The Ringer" 1959 with Paul Brinegar, Vito Scotti, Ron Hayes, and Grant Withers
Karl Swenson Sam Maitland "Cowards Don't Die" 1959 plays a former marshal-turned-storekeeper
Vaughn Taylor Sheriff Loomis "Jail for the Innocents" 1958
Beverly Washburn Henrietta Tovers "No Tears for the Dead" 1958 with Ray Teal
Greta Banden "Badman" 1960
Robert J. Wilke "The Marshal of Yellow Jacket" 1959 in the title role, with former professional baseball player John Beradino as Duke Ellis
Chill Wills "The Eyes of Captain Wylie" 1960 prior to Frontier Circus, in the title role, with Lane Bradford as Spike Taylor[3]

DVD release[edit]

On November 18, 2008, Timeless Media Group released a 10-disc best-of set entitled The Texan, which features seventy of the original seventy-eight episodes.[4] The other eight episodes are missing.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 110-112
  2. ^ ""Private Account", April 6, 1959". imdb.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Texan-The-Best-Of/10534

External links[edit]