Death Valley Days

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Death Valley Days
Death valley days-1-550x301.jpg
Early logo of Death Valley Days television program
Genre Anthology/Western
Presented by Stanley Andrews (1952–1963)
Ronald Reagan (1964–1965)
Rosemary DeCamp (1965)
Robert Taylor (1966–1969)
Dale Robertson (1969–1970)
Narrated by Merle Haggard (1975 rebroadcasts)
Theme music composer Herbert Taylor
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 18
No. of episodes 452
Production
Executive producer(s) Gene Autry
Louis Gray
Producer(s) Dorrell McGowan
Nat Perrin
Armand Schaefer
Robert Stabler
Cinematography William Bradford
Richard E. Cunha
Editor(s) Jack Wheeler
Anthony Wollner
Running time 25 min.
Production company(s) McGowan Productions
Flying A Productions
Filmaster Productions
Madison Productions
Release
Original network Syndication
Picture format 4:3 black and white colour
Audio format Mono
Original release March 1, 1952 – April 24, 1970
External links
Website
James Caan, Karyn Kupcinet and Roy Thinnes in episode "Shadow of Violence" (1963)

Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945 and continued from 1952 to 1970 as a syndicated television series, with reruns (updated with new narrations) continuing through August 1, 1975. The radio and television versions combined to make the show "one of the longest-running western programs in broadcast history."[1]

The series was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company (20 Mule Team Borax, Boraxo) and hosted by Stanley Andrews ("the Old Ranger") (1952–1963), Ronald Reagan (1964–1965), Rosemary DeCamp (1965), Robert Taylor (1966–1969), and Dale Robertson (1969–1970). With the passing of Dale Robertson in 2013, all the former Death Valley Days hosts are now deceased. Hosting the series was Reagan's final work as an actor; he was cast in roles in eight episodes.

The television series was conceived by Pacific Coast Borax Company's advertising agency McCann-Erickson through that company's executive Dorothy McCann and Mitchell J. Hamilburg representing Gene Autry's Flying A Productions.[2]

Production[edit]

Parts of the series were filmed in Kanab, Utah.[3] Mostly though, it was filmed in California.

As the series continued on the air, episodes began to focus on nearly any portion of the American West, not just the Death Valley country.

Hosts[edit]

Stanley Andrews as "the Old Ranger", first host of Death Valley Days (1953)

Each of the 452 television episodes was introduced by a host. The longest-running was "The Old Ranger", a character played by veteran actor Stanley Andrews.

Following the departure of Andrews, all subsequent hosts appeared under their own names. The first was Ronald Reagan, the former host of CBS's General Electric Theater and future governor of California and U.S. President. Reagan also acted in twenty-one episodes of Death Valley Days, including the 1965 segment "A City Is Born". In that one, he played mining developer Charles Poston, the founder of Arizona. When Reagan entered the race for governor of California, actress Rosemary DeCamp filled in as the host for a short time. Then the Death Valley Days hosting position went to Reagan's friend and fellow Hollywood actor Robert Taylor. Like Reagan, Taylor appeared as a character in some of the shows, including "The Day All Marriages Were Cancelled" (1966), also based on the career of Charles Poston.

Taylor portrayed Horace Bell in another 1967 episode, "Major Horace Bell." In the story line, Major Bell, an early settler of Los Angeles, defends a man whom he believes has been framed for murder.[4] That same year in the episode "Shanghai Kelly's Birthday Party", Taylor played James Kelly of San Francisco, who shanghaiied sailors onto ships bound to the Far East, with the expectation that none would return to accuse Kelly of a crime.[5]

Taylor played Texas John Slaughter, a role most associated with Tom Tryon. in the 1968 Death Valley Days episode, "A Short Cut through Tombstone." Buck Taylor (no relation) played his deputy, Billy Stiles. Ned Romero was cast as the Geronimo Kid.[6] He played Porter Stockton in the 1967 episode, "Halo for a Badman". In the story line, Stockton, an ex-convict, is hired by Mayor Engley (Roy Barcroft) as the marshal of the former Animas City, near Durango in southwestern Colorado, because local officials believe that Stockton can withstand outlaws that have robbed every gold shipment sent out of town. Some of the miners, however, claim Stockton has not reformed but is still involved with the gangs. He had reformed but was shot to death in the back by a bandit.[7]

When Taylor became gravely ill in 1969, he was succeeded by Dale Robertson, former star of two other western series, Tales of Wells Fargo and The Iron Horse. Production of new episodes ceased in 1970, but singer Merle Haggard provided narration in 1975 for some previously-made episodes.

During the latter years of the series, some new episodes were still being made while older episodes were already in syndication. In some markets, new episodes could even be running in competition with older ones. To make it easier for viewers to distinguish between old and new, some blocks of syndicated "Death Valley Days" episodes were shown under other series names, and with different hosts. This was common practice at the time among syndicated series, because it was easy to re-shoot the hosting portions of an episode without affecting the main content. Alternate series titles and their respective hosts included Frontier Adventure (Dale Robertson), The Pioneers (Will Rogers, Jr.), Trails West (Ray Milland), Western Star Theater (Rory Calhoun), and Call of the West (John Payne). The last title was also often applied to the series' memorable, haunting theme music.

For its first two years, the series was produced by Autry's Flying A Productions; then from 1954 to 1959, it was handled by McGowan Productions, also known for the Sky King series.[8] Filmaster Productions Inc., which produced the first several seasons of Gunsmoke for CBS Television, took over production of the series after 1959. Madison Productions began to produce the series in 1965.[9]

Although Rio Tinto, successor-in-interest to the series' original sponsor, U.S. Borax, still has a financial stake in this show as the copyrights are still held by the United States Borax and Chemical Corporation, the major rights are now held by Element 5 Media, LLC for the broadcast rights and home video rights.

Borax[edit]

Under the Death Valley Days title, the program was sponsored by Pacific Coast Borax Company, which during the program's run changed its name to U.S. Borax Company following a merger. Advertisements for the company's best-known products, 20 Mule Team Borax, a laundry additive, Borateem, a laundry detergent, and Boraxo, a powdered hand soap, were often done by the program's host. Death Valley was the scene of much of the company's borax mining operations. The "20-Mule Team Borax" consumer products division of U.S. Borax was eventually bought out by the Dial Corporation, which as of 2014, as a division of the German consumer products concern Henkel, still manufactures and markets them. Rio Tinto Group absorbed the U.S. Borax mining operations in 1968[10] and now owns the TV series.[11]

Death Valley Days is by far the most successful syndicated television western series, the most successful television western ever in the half-hour format, and one of the longest-running and most successful of all scripted syndicated series. The end of the series, coupled with the concurrent end of Gunsmoke, marked the demise of the traditional Western era in American television; by the middle 1970s, although western elements were still fairly common in modern series, such as Little House on the Prairie, pure western series were a thing of the past.

The stories used in the series were based on actual events. The episode titled "Death Valley Scotty" was based on the record-breaking run of the 1905 Scott Special, chartered by Walter E. Scott, a.k.a. "Death Valley Scotty".

Guest stars[edit]

A[edit]

B[edit]

  • Parley Baer, popular character actor formerly a cast member of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, was cast in four Death Valley Days episodes. He portrayed Horace Greeley in the 1965 episode "The Great Turkey War". In the story line, Greeley, namesake of Greeley Colorado, is panning for gold in the Pike's Peak Gold Rush of 1859 and reports as a journalist on the difficult origin of the settlement of Denver, with rampant vandalism and the theft of turkeys. Michael Constantine was cast as Pollack, who works with Greeley to clean up the community.[20]
  • Joby Baker was cast as a traveling magician, Dr. William Davis, in the 1967 episode "The Saga of Dr. Davis". In the story line, Davis's wife, Jenny (Judi Meredith), dies after she encourages him to take a young boy, Tad, on his remaining travels across the West.[21]
  • Ed Bakey (1925–1988) played the outlaw Sam Bass in the 1967 episode, "The Informer Who Cried." In the story line, Jim Murphy (Scott Thomas) is about to be sentenced when Texas Ranger Captain Peak (Mark Tapscott) offers him freedom if he helps in the capture of Bass. A fellow gang member. Barnes (Steve Sandor), is suspicious when Murphy returns.[22]
  • Ernestine Barrier appeared as the vengeful matriarch, Dona Luisa Ortega, in the 1959 episode, "Perilous Refuge", set at the end of the Mexican–American War. Anthony George, Gregg Palmer, and Gloria Castillo were cast in this episode as Carlos Ortega, John Brewster, and Dolores Ortega, respectively.[23]
  • Charles Bateman played a deputy sheriff, Jim Brand, in Washoe County, Nevada, in the 1965 episode "The Wild West's Biggest Train Holdup". In the story line, Brand places a locked chain on a Central Pacific Railroad engine until the company agrees to pay its tax assessment. Roy Barcroft was cast as the aging Sheriff Jackson, with Pat Priest as his daughter, Nora, who is romantically interested in Brand.[24]
  • John Beck played a young newspaperman, Sandy Peters, in the 1969 episode "Solomon's Glory". In the story line, a formerly successful journalist named Solomon (Willard Sage) has turned to liquor but is being sobered up by his former boss (Tyler McVey), as Solomon's sister arrives in town.[25]
  • Don Beddoe in 1954 played the bandit Black Bart, a poetry-writing, debonair former school teacher who turns to stagecoach robbery after his first holdup, a prank, pays handsomely. Wells Fargo & Co. detectives track him down through a laundry mark. He was also pursued by his landlady, Winona Webb (Helen Brown). He spent six years in the penitentiary, never to be heard from again.[26]
  • Paul Birch played transcontinental telegraph line layer Mike Walsh in "Hang em High".
  • Robert Blake, at thirty-three, played Billy the Kid in the 1966 episode, "The Kid from Hell's Kitchen". In the story line, The Kid sets out to avenge the death of his friend John Tunstall (John Anderson).[27]
  • John Bleifer, in the 1960 episode, "One Man Tank," played a prospector, Dutch Charley Koehn, who failed at gold mining and instead bought a goat farm, on which he makes a gold strike. John Harmon was cast as Mike Shannon, who tries to evict Charley from the property. Charley's friend, Leo Harris (Dabbs Greer), tries to remedy the injustice Charley faces.[28]
  • Lloyd Bochner played the author Robert Louis Stevenson in the 1966 episode "Jolly Roger and Wells Fargo", directed by Denver Pyle.[29]Don Reardon (died 2004) played Stevenson in an earlier 1958 episode, "The Great Amulet." In the story line, Stevenson falls in love with Fanny Osbourne, played by Aline Towne, the mother of two children in a loveless marriage in San Francisco. The couple met in France where Stevenson recuperated from health issues and moved to San Francisco, where he worked tirelessly despite lingering health matters in the production of a large volume of literary works. The secret of the "Great Amulet" is revealed at the conclusion of the episode.[30]
  • Eric Bond played Philip Adams in the 1957 episode "The Washington Elm". A Bostonian, Adams yearns to live in the Pacific Northwest and establishes a law office in Seattle, Washington, but his romantic interest, Janice Peabody (Havis Davenport) refuses to relocate. He takes with him a portion of the elm tree on the Harvard University campus and replants it at the University of Washington. Thirty years later, he returns to the Harvard campus to plant part of the Washington elm on the campus because the original tree was destroyed in a storm. A chance encounters with Janice, by then a widow, leads to a second chance at romance for the pair.[31]
  • Carol Booth (born 1941), in the 1969 episode, "Lucia Darling and the Ostrich", played a teacher trying to establish a school in 1863 in the since ghost town of Bannack, Montana. In the story line, a masked sheriff (William Bryant) and his deputy (Jeff Morris) rob the stagecoach bringing Lucia to Montana and steal both gold and her textbooks. She sets out to prove the officers' guilt despite the reservations of both the town itself – hence the reference to "The Ostrich" in the sand in the title of the episode – and her uncle, Judge Sidney Edgerton (Tol Avery), who shortly thereafter became the first governor of the Montana Territory.[32]
  • William Boyett played respected settler Jim Hardwicke in the 1954 episode "11,000 Miners Can't Be Wrong". In the story line, Columbia is in competition with Sacramento to be the site of the California state capital. When he informs the sheriff (Glenn Strange) that he had killed a man in self-defense, Hardwicke is forced to stand trial. Because of political influence placed on the jury, Hardwicke was found guilty. His lawyer, Ed Barrett (Gordon Barnes), develops a bizarre scheme to free his client from the hangman's noose. Barrett steals from a safe in the local bank a petition with 11,000 signatures of persons who want Columbia to be the capital, rewrites the first page to call for a pardon for Hardwicke, and appeals to the governor, who is impressed that so many signed. The governor orders Hardwicke's release, but Columbia lost out to Sacramento.[33] In another role, Boyett played Dr. Edward Wilson in the 1957 Death Valley Days episode, "The Luck of the Irish". In the story line, while fighting an epidemic among the Paiute, Dr. Wilson encounters a young white woman, Kay Casey (Rosemarie Ace), who was taken by the Indians years earlier. When the doctor unites Kay with her large family, she leaves the Paiute and in time became Mrs. Wilson. John Sorrentino played the sympathetic Chief Red Cloud.[34]
  • Ray Boyle guest starred as Bruce Matthews, a young miner with claustrophobia, in the 1954 episode, "Yaller".[35]August 16, 2018}}</ref>
  • Lane Bradbury was cast as a young Eliza Stewart Udall at Pipe Spring in southern Utah in the 1969 episode, "A Key for the Fort". In the story line, Miss Stewart, a Mormon pioneer, sends the first telegraph message from Arizona Territory and works with her Aunt Cora (Ivalou Redd) to find an innovative way to nurse an ill Ute chief, Black Wing (George Keymas), back to health. The episode also stars Gregg Palmer as Jacob. The episode was filmed at Pipe Spring National Monument.[36]
  • Lane Bradford played the historical Indian chief Sequoyah, the namesake of Sequoia National Park, in the 1954 episode "Sequoia". The segment covers Sequoyah from his earliest years to his development of the Cherokee alphabet. Carol Thurston and Angie Dickinson played Sali and Ayoka, respectively.[37]
  • Neville Brand played John Wesley Hardin in the 1962 episode, "Preacher with a Past," the story of Hardin becoming a minister until confronted by former members of his outlaw gang. Roy Engel was cast in this episode as Sheriff Smathers.[38]
  • David Brian played the Mormon figure Jacob Hamblin in the 1963 episode "The Peacemaker". In the story line, Hamblin works feverishly to hold the peace treaty with the Navajo after a white man kills some Indians who come onto his property. Bing Russell, Michael Pate, and Richard Webb also appear in this episode.[39]
  • Paul Brinegar played a prospector, Sawbuck, in the episode "Solid Gold Cavity", filmed in Sedona, Arizona. In the story line based on a true incident, Sawbuck saves the life of Dr. John Beers, a young dentist, who on the trail to San Francisco is attacked and left for dead by two bandits. Dr. Beers (played by Thomas Peters) repays Sawbuck by taking some of the prospector's gold and making him a set of gold teeth, for which Beers subsequently obtained a patent.[40] In "The Lady and the Sourdough", Brinegar plays a cantankerous cook who teams up with a gold miner, Tom Despo (Stanley Adams), until he meets a neighboring widow (Amzie Strickland).[41] In 1969, Brinegar played the Death Valley pioneer Jimmy Dayton (died 1899) in the episode "Jimmy Dayton's Bonanza". In the story line, the aging rancher Dayton takes a saloon girl, played by Marilyn O'Connor, as his wife, but she has second thoughts after she learns that he has exaggerated his wealth. James Wainwright (1938–1999) co-stars as a cowboy who feigns an interest in Mrs. Dayton. The episode was released three days after the death of series host Robert Taylor.[42]
  • Red Buttons played Levi Strauss, the inventor of Levi jeans, in the 1960 episode, "The Million Dollar Pants". Lisa Gaye and Ted Knight also appeared in this episode.[43]

C[edit]

  • Rory Calhoun played the legendary Arizona Ranger Burt Mossman in the 1963 episode "The Measure of a Man". In the story line, Mossman convinces a reluctant Burt Alvord (Bing Russell) to set a trap to catch the elusive bandit Augustine Chacon (Michael Pate). Mossman has Chacon handcuffed and orders Alvord to toss away the key. Chacon is hanged thereafter for a past conviction for which he had escaped.[44] In the 1966 episode "Water Bringer" Calhoun played early California entrepreneur William A. Richardson, who arrives in the future San Francisco off the ship, the Orion. Lita Baron, Calhoun's then wife, was cast as Maria Martinez, the future Mrs. Richardson. Will Kuluva played the part of Maria's father, Commandante Ygnacio Martinez. Don Haggerty played the embittered Captain Hayworth, commander of the Orion.[45]
  • John Carradine was cast in the 1961 episode, "Miracle at Boot Hill", as a stranger coming into a western town who falsely claims that he can resurrect the dead. His promise creates tension for Bill Groat (Peter Hansen), who is trying to hide his past crimes.[46]
  • Conlan Carter portrayed L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wizard of Oz, in a 1970 episode.
  • Anthony Caruso was cast as the frontiersman and trick shot artist Buckskin Frank Leslie in the 1958 episode "The Gunsmith," with Robert Fuller cast as gunsmith Alex. In the story line, Leslie comes to town to see his old flame Mary (Anita Gordon), Alex's fiancé who wants nothing to do with Leslie.[47] In 1959, Caruso was cast as Cabrio, a self-proclaimed member of the Black Hand in "The Invaders".
  • Kathleen Case played schoolteacher Ruth Stewart in the 1958 episode, "The Gambler and the Lady", with Mark Dana (1920–2015) as businessman and gambler Brad Forrester. In the story line, heavyweight boxer John L. Sullivan (Roy Jenson) comes to a western town to fight an exposition match against the local Buck Jarrico (Hal Baylor). When the prize money earmarked to refurbish the school goes missing, both the teacher and the gambler are falsely accused based on appearances.[48]
  • Stephen Chase (1902–1982) played the historic Sam Houston, with Nancy Rennick (1932–2006), as Houston's second and much younger wife, Margaret Lea Houston, in the 1958 episode, "The Girl Who Walked with a Giant." The story focuses on Margaret's important role as a confidant of her husband from his days as president of the Republic of Texas to his time as governor, a postthat he resigned in 1861 because he could not support the Confederate States of America. The episode, however, has no connection to the Death Valley country.[49] Chase was cast too as Colorado sheep rancher Ed Pratt in the 1958 episode "The Mystery of Suicide Gulch." In the story line, Pratt disbelieves his son Loren (Lee Anthony), who loses a large number of sheep while on a drive. The culprit, as it developed, was a toxic plant on which the sheep had grazed.[50]
  • Phyllis Coates was cast as the kind-hearted saloon singer Dora Hand of Dodge City, Kansas, in the 1964 episode, "The Left Hand Is Damned." In the story line, Dora nurses an ungrateful gunslinger, Bill Crawford (John Clarke) back to health after he is shot by Dora's boss, Mayor James H. Kelley (Stephen Roberts), in self-defense. Having lost the use of his right hand, Crawford develops skills with his left hand and vows to kill Kelley. Instead, he killed Dora, thinking that her silhouette in Kelley's house was Kelley, who was instead away on business.[51]
  • James Coburn played Captain Steve Barnes in the 1960 episode, "Pamela's Oxen." In the story line, [[Ida Lupino, as Pamela Mann, loans the oxen to Sam Houston's army for the winter. The episodes also starred James Callahan as Private Riggs and Robert Sorrells as Fergus.[52]
  • Robert Colbert was cast as Andy Carter, a pioneer who retrieves for sale cast-off items from wagon trains, in the 1964 episode, "A Bargain Is for Keeping." Sue Randall played Mary Ann Duncan, who finds a missing family heirloom among Carter's goods. He insists that she work for him to gain possession. Karl Swenson was cast as Abe Hughes.[53]
  • Don Collier and Jan Clayton were cast as Josiah Wilbarger and his sister, Margaret, in the 1967 episode, "The Man Who Wouldn't Die". Wilbarger, a native of Virginia, lived for eleven years after being scalped by the Comanche. Wilbarger County, Texas, is named in his honor.[54] Collier was also cast as Frank Dalton in the 1964 episode, "There Was Another Dalton Brother". In the story line, while starting his job as a deputy U.S. Marshal, Dalton must question Frank Johnson, a suspect in a missing persons case. Johnson is the father of Dalton's girlfriend, Emmy Johnson (Laura Shelton) . Strother Martin was cast in this episode as Charlie Neel. Robert Anderson played Marshal Heck Thomas.[55]
  • Ben Cooper appeared as Jason Tugwell in the unusually named 1969 episode, "Biscuits and Billy, the Kid".
  • Jeanne Cooper was cast as pioneer woman Rachel Barrett in the 1969 episode "A Gift". In the story line, Rachel pleads with an Indian chief (Valentin de Vargas) to spare the lives of her husband and son, played by Harry Lauter and Michael Courtney, respectively, as the family waits on an approaching wagon train.[56] Cooper also played Ann Dix in the 1955 episode "I Am Joaquin". In the story line, Ann searches with ultimate success for eight years for the return of her young daughter whom the Mexican bandt Joaquin Murrieta left at a Roman Catholic church after he boarded a ship and stabbed to death the girl's father, Capt. Stephen Dix, played by John Damler (1919–1984).[57]
  • Lloyd Corrigan was cast as the lucky hobo, Carl Herman, in the 1960 episode, "Money to Burn". Helen Kleeb played a recipient of Herman's largess. Paul Sorensen and William Boyett played the thieves whose $50,000 worth of loot Herman found and gave away.[58] In 1962, he was cast as Dorsey Bilger, the bearer of tall tales in Totem, Idaho, in the episode, "A Sponge Full of Vinegar". In the story line, the townspeople have begun to tire of Bilger's stories. This episode also featured Chris Alcaide as Charlie Winslow and Paul Birch as Sheriff Lick.[59]
  • Jerome Courtland was cast as newspaperman William Byers in the episode, "The Race at Cherry Creek". In the story line, Byers races against time to put out the first newspaper in the Colorado Territory during the gold rush year of 1859. His Rocky Mountain News became the first publication in the territory. Though strongly encouraged in the pursuit by his wife Elizabeth (Nancy Rennick), Byers' pressman, Andy Kate (Alvy Moore), is pessimistic about their chances of publishing first.[60]
  • Dennis Cross appeared three times in episodes "Treasure of Elk Canyon" (1961), and as the Indian Captain Dick in "Captain Dick Mine" and "The Rider" (both 1965).
  • Joel Crothers was cast in the 1960 episode, "3-7-77", as Jim Badger, who tangles with corrupt lawmen and vigilantes.[61]
  • Kathleen Crowley appeared as Elizabeth Hayward in "Somewhere beyond the Vultures" (1959).
  • Robert Culp was cast as the accused robber and killer James Stuart in the 1961 episode, "Alias James Stuart". The episode focuses on mistaken identity: whether this Stuart, who claims to be honest citizen Tom Burdue, knifed to death a storekeeper named Jansen. Eleanor Berry (1906–1991) was cast as Mrs. Stuart, who can identify her husband.[62]
  • Ken Curtis appeared as a muleskinner, James "Paddy" Graydon (1832–1862), in the 1964 episode "Graydon's Charge", a dramatization of one of the last clashes of the American Civil War in New Mexico Territory. In the story line, the Union Army plans an attack against a renegade Confederate camp. Denver Pyle played Graydon's partner, Ortho Williams. They two eye the attention of a widow (Cathy Lewis) and seek to show their courage to win her hand. Graydon agrees with reluctance to send his mules, laden with dynamite into the rival camp. The episode is semi-comedic.[63] Graydon's story is the subject of the 1992 book, Captain Paddy Graydon: Desert Tiger, by the historian Jerry D. Thompson.

D[edit]

  • Marcel Dalio played Victor Rosseau in the 1960 episode, "The Battle of Mokolumne Hill", with Roy Engel as Colonel John Charles Fremont. In the story line, Lieutenant Bill Bradshaw (Dallas Mitchell) is ordered to collect California state taxes in the 1850s from immigrant gold miners who rebel against the government thought Bradshaw is sympathetic to the miners. H. M. Wynant was cast as Paul Martain in this episode.[64]
  • Michael Dante appeared as the Californios commander in "Olvera" (1959) and was cast as the ill-fated half-breed Clay Squires, with Robert Taylor as Ben Cotterman and June Dayton as Cotterman's wife, Rachel, in the 1969 episode, "Long Night at Fort Lonely"
  • Christopher Dark appeared as the designated heir to the chieftainship of the Shoshone who runs afoul of the tribe's jealous religious leader's supposed fear of the gods in "Human sacrifice" (1960).
  • James Davidson played boxer James J. Corbett in the 1966 episode "The Fight San Francisco Never Forgot". John McLiam played Corbett's Olympic Club trainer and promotional rival Walter Watson.[65]
  • Alexander Davion, a French actor born in 1929, played Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia in the 1959 episode "The Grand Duke". John Lupton was cast as William F. Cody. In the story line, Cody acts as guide for the Grand Duke who is on a western bison hunt. The two develop a close friendship.[66]
  • Gail Davis appeared in two episodes of Death Valley Days, the 1952 episode "Bulldog Nugget" in which she played the only single woman in Bulldog, Nevada where she had to contend with several suitors;[67] and the 1953 episode "Land of the Free" playing Jerrie Cabell.[68] Davis would go on to star in her own western series Annie Oakley.
  • Jim Davis, later Jock Ewing on CBS's Dallas, portrayed Mark Tabor, a U.S. representative from Nevada in the 1953 episode "Little Washington", set in 1878 in Carson City.[69] This was the first of Davis's thirteen appearances on Death Valley Days. He portrayed Grat Dalton in the 1963 episode "Three Minutes to Eternity", about the simultaneous and last bank robberies in Coffeyville by the Dalton Gang.[70] Davis played a wagon master, Ezra Meeker, abandoned by members of his wagon train who decided to stop the trip to Oregon instead to prospect for gold in the 1965 episode "Devil's Gate".[71] In 1967, he played freighter Luke Campbell of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the episode "The Day They Stole the Salamander", a reference to a Salamander Safe.[72] In 1969, Davis played Colonel William G. Butler (1831–1912), who takes revenge on the later ghost town of Helena, Texas, after its citizens refuse to disclose the killer of Butler's son, Emmett. Butler arranges for the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway to bypass Helena; instead Karnes City, south of San Antonio, became the seat of government of Karnes County.[73] In a 1964 appearance, "After the OK Corral", Davis played Wyatt Earp, with John Clarke and Jeff Morris as his brothers, Virgil and Morgan Earp, respectively. William Tannen, Dan Stafford, and Bradley Stewart (1924–1995) were cast as Ike Clanton, Doc Holliday, and Curly Bill Brocius, respectively. The episode focuses on events after the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881.[74]
  • Rosemary DeCamp played newspaper editor Caroline Romney of Durango, Colorado, in the 1965 episode, "Mrs. Romney and the Outlaws". In the story line, the woman editor sounds the alarm for citizens to fight the Kimball/Sykes gang. Willard Sage played Marshal Christy.[75] In the 1965 episode "Canary Harris v. the Almighty", DeCamp played Canary Harris, a widow who sues her church after a meteorite destroys her front porch. She bases her claim on the premise that God unjustly caused or allowed her calamity to occur. Robert O. Cornthwaite played the Reverend Medford Farr. Peggy Rea (pre-The Waltons) was cast as Canary's friend, Lucy.[76]
  • Yvonne DeCarlo played the title role of Clare Reed in the (copyright 1960) episode "The Lady Was an M.D.", with John Vivyan as Ed Taylor, her suitor who believed in her.[77]
  • Paul Donovan played a youthful Mark Twain in the 1957 episode, "Fifteen Paces to Fame". The segment focuses on Twain as a newspaper editor in the Comstock Lode mining country. Doug McClure was cast as Ganse Taylor.[78]
  • John Doucette portrayed Apache Chief Geronimo in the 1961 episode "Gamble with Death". His co-stars included Dick Sargent and Tom Greenway.
  • James Douglas was cast as Steve Hewitt, a man who accidentally shoots to death the dogs of a miner, in the 1960 episode, "Dogs of the Mist".[79]
  • James Drury, in pre-The Virginian days, was cast as Joe Plato, with Hank Patterson as his friend, in the 1959 episode, "Ten Feet of Nothing".

E to G[edit]

  • Penny Edwards appeared as Nan Gable in the 1958 episode, "Two-Gun Nan," the story of a woman sharpshooter affiliated with William F. Cody's Wild West Show. Nan sets out on a daring 180-day thoroughbred horse ride from San Francisco to New York City to prove that a woman could undertake such a task. Robert "Buzz" Henry (1931–1971) played her husband, Frank Gable, and William O'Neal (1898–1961) was cast as Cody. Still living in 1958, Nan Gable appeared with series host Stanley Andrews at the conclusion of the episode.[80]
  • Jack Elam played Juan Cortina, the Mexican rancher, outlaw, and folk hero, in the 1961 episode, "General Without a Cause." In the story line, Cortina captures Miles Owen (William Boyett) and a woman named Delores (Lisa Gaye). Owens tries to convince Cortina to leave his life of crime and instead work once more for the betterment of his country.[81]
  • Ross Elliott played lawyer Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston, in "The Reluctant Gun" (1959), some four years before Jeffrey Hunter played the part in the NBC television western series, Temple Houston. In the story line, Houston is called upon to defend Billy Jackson (Alan Reed, Jr.), an artistic young man who shoots in the back a gunslinger who threatened him. Don C. Harvey was cast as a sheriff.[82] (with Robert Sorrells in an uncredited speaking role.)
  • Hope Emerson appeared as "Big Liz" Barton, a miner who strikes it rich, in the 1958 episode of the same name. Percy Kelton played her partner, Scrubby.[83]
  • Richard Emory played "The Death Valley Kid", a bank robber who outsmarted law enforcement in the third episode of the series in 1952.
  • Roy Engel appeared as Colonel Henry B. Carrington in "Old Gabe" (1958), as John C. Fremont in two other episodes "Olvera" (1959) and "The Gentle Sword" (1960).
  • Jena Engstrom was cast as Maggie Woolf in the 1961 episode, "Storm over Truckeee". In the story line, Maggie and her father (Frederick Downs, Jr.), while headed to Truckee, California, take refuge in an abandoned cabin during a storm, but two outlaws (Corey Allen and George Keemas) arrive there as well.[84]
  • Gene Evans was cast as the historical Winfield Scott Stratton, a miner in Colorado, in the 1964 episode, "Sixty-seven Miles of Gold." James Best and Jack Albertson played Jimmy Burns and Pearlman, respectively. In the story line, Stratton strikes it rich as he signs his mining claim to a syndicate.[85]
  • Paul Fix played the hardy, cantankerous pioneer James Briton "Brit" Bailey, with Rosemary DeCamp as his equally defiant wife, Hannah, in the 1969 episode "Here Stands Bailey". In the story line, the Baileys are ordered off their land at what is now Bailey's Prairie, Texas, by Stephen F. Austin (John Carter), who is bringing the Old Three Hundred original settlers to the area. Austin has a change of heart and asks the Baileys to stay. Bailey dies with his final wish of interment standing upright facing west, hence his grave marker, "Here Stands Bailey Facing West."[86]
  • Steve Forrest played later U.S. Senator William Borah in the 1963 episode, "The Lion of Idaho." In the story line, Borah as a young attorney defends a woman in Nampa, Idaho, on a murder charge.[87]
  • Ron Foster appeared as Silas Begg in "Rough and Ready" (1957).
  • Douglas Fowley, as "Cap'n Peg Leg" (1960) seeks revenge on Charlie Tetlow and John Starkweather played by William Schallert and Paul Burke, respectively, for causing him to lose a leg. Jerry Paris was cast as Brian Brophy.[88]
  • Anne Francis was cast as the outlaw Pearl Hart, with Jesse Pearson as her boyfriend, Joe Boot, in the 1964 episode, "The Last Stagecoach Robbery". Despite his own hesitation, Boot joins Pearl in staging in 1899 what is called "the last stagecoach robbery" between Globe and Florence in the Arizona Territory. Pearl's intent was to return the money taken in the heist and to become a widely-known female bandit.. Both served time at the Yuma Territorial Prison. After two years, Boot escaped and was never seen again. The territorial governor pardoned Hart in 1902 on the condition that she leave Arizona.[89]
  • James Franciscus and Mary Webster appeared in the 1959 episode, "Lady of the Press", with Don Beddoe as newspaper magnate and senatorial candidate, Colonel Emmett.
  • Arthur Franz played the paroled outlaw Matt Warner, who is unaware that the son he gave up as an infant has grown up and has been framed for bank robbery.
  • Charles Fredericks was cast as Marshal Heck Thomas in the 1960 episode, "A Wedding Dress". Brad Johnson played Marshal Bill Tilghman, who in the story line is in pursuit of the Doolin gang in the Oklahoma Territory. J. Pat O'Malley was cast as Horace Capshaw and Mary Webster as Mrs. Tilghman.[90]
  • Robert Fuller, more than a year before he began his role as Jess Harper in NBC's Laramie, was cast in the 1958 episode "Ten in Texas" as Johnny Santos, an accused rustler who is on trial for having changed brands and seizing cattle from the historic XIT Ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Harry Strang and Ray Corrigan played, respectively, XIT general manager B. H. "Barbecue" Campbell and Abner Pickens "Ab" Blocker (1856–1943), the developer of the XIT brand.[91] The year before, Fuller appeared in "The Gunsmith".
  • Parker Garvie was cast in a 1956 episode as "Emperor" Joshua Norton, a businessman who loses his fortune and becomes an eccentric in San Francisco in the 1860s. He declareds himself "Emperor of Mexico". His compatriots treat his claims with kindness until his death.[92]
  • Lisa Gaye plays the widowed Faith Turner who places a sign seeking a husband and a father for her young son in the 1965 episode "The Rider". Jesse Pearson (1930–1979) was cast as mail express rider Jim Barnes, who tries to help her find a suitable mate.[93] Gaye played a woman fortune-teller in Julesburg, Colorado, in the 1966 Death Valley Days episode, "The Gypsy." Dennis Cross portrayed Monte Dunning, an evil man who murders a miner named Gross (Bill Zuckert), so that The Gypsy's prediction comes true.[94] In 1968, Gaye played the gambler-turned-Sunday school-teacher Lottie Deno in the episode, "Lottie's Legacy". In the dramatization, Lottie falls in love with the Reverend Peter Green (John Clarke), who does not know the details of her past.[95]
  • Anthony George played Vincente in "The Invaders" and Carlos in "Perilous Refuge" (both 1959).
  • Frank Gerstle appeared as the villain Sam Walton in "The Mule Mail" and as Charley Parkhurst in "Cockeyed Charlie Parkhurst" (both 1958). Parkhurst was a woman posing as a man who became a horse expert and model driver for Wells Fargo & Co. in California. The title refers to the loss of an eye in an accident.[96]
  • George Gobel appeared as Baylor Thomas, a visionary who tries to develop the use of wind power for moving wagons west, in the 1963 episode "Thar She Blows".

H[edit]

  • Ron Hagerthy, formerly the nephew Clipper on Sky King, appeared as Felix in the 1958 episode, "Old Gabe".
  • Don Haggerty played Horace Tabor in the 1967 episode "Chicken Bill", with Dub Taylor in the title role of the Colorado silver miner "Chicken Bill" Lovell. In the story line, Lovell salts his mine to get Tabor to pay off Lovell's lingering debt and to fund his continued operation.[97]
  • Luke Halpin (Sandy Ricks in the films, Flipper (1963) and Flipper's New Adventure (1964), and Flipper (television series), played the role of Sandy King, the youngest member of the "Curly Bill" Brocius outlaw gang in the 1968 episode "A Mule ... Like the Army's Mule".[98]
  • James Hampton, later of F Troop and The Doris Day Show, played publisher William Randolph Hearst in the 1964 episode, "The Paper Dynasty". James Lanphier (1920–1969) was cast as Ambrose Bierce. In the story line, Hearst struggles to turn a profit despite increased circulation of The San Francisco Examiner. Robert O. Cornthwaite appears as Sam Chamberlain; Barry Kelley as George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst.[99]
  • Brett Halsey appeared as Joel in "Eruption in Volcano" (1959).
  • Mariette Hartley played "Tiger Lil" who left the dance hall to become a dressmaker in search of anonymity. Host Robert Taylor played Frank Johnson, her suitor. Earlier in 1952, Tracey Roberts (1914–2002) was cast in the same role in "The Little Dressmaker of Bodie".
  • Allison Hayes was cast as Mary Granger, a pioneer woman engineer who comes West in the 1957 episode "Lady Engineer". In the story line, Granger must prove her worth to overcome discrimination in her profession. Gregg Palmer played Justin Cramer.[100]
  • Ron Hayes as newspaper editor Colonel Lounsberry loses his reporter friend at The Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana. He scores "The Great Lounsberry scoop" about the battle with Walter Sande as the telegrapher who kept the lines open for eighty hours. Hayes also appeared as religious pacifist Dan Bartlett, continuing to dive for gold at "Devil's Bar" during an Indian uprising. Both episodes aired 1960.
  • Percy Helton played Alex Grant, who is arrested for a 15-year-old murder when he returns to a mining camp, in the 1955 episode, "The Hangman Waits." Things look bleak for Grant until his youthful lawyer, Greg Lewis (Clark Howat), locates a corroborating witness, 75-year-old Harry Gander (Hank Patterson), whose personal diary clears Grant. James Seay played corrupt district attorney Lucius Peck.[101] Helton also appeared as Little Oscar and as Scrubby in the 1958 episode "Big Liz".
  • Craig Hill was cast as the author Bret Harte in "Year of Destiny", the last episode of 1956. In the story line, Harte leaves the East and arrives in California in the 1850s. First a stagecoach guard, then a newspaper editor and schoolteacher, he finds fame as a western writer, the author of such short stories as "The Luck of Roaring Camp" and The Outcasts of Poker Flat".[102]
  • Michael Hinn (1913–1988) of the former Boots and Saddles western series played Brigham Young in the episode "Biscuits and Billy, the Kid". In the story line, the Tugwell family, Jason (Ben Cooper), Ellie (Emily Banks), and Mary (Erin Moran), are abandoned by their guide while on a wagon train from Utah to California.[103]
  • Skip Homeier played a pastor, Ben Darniell, in Carson City, Nevada, in the 1965 oddly-titled episode, "Fighting Sky Pilot." In the story line, the minister Darniell attempts to rescue a saloon girl, Claire Vernon (Carol Brewster), from her oppressive employer.[104]
  • Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr. was cast as Governor Manuel Armijo in "La Tules" (1962) and as Governor Andrés Pico in "Olvera" (1959).
  • Wes Hudman played the outlaw Curly Bill Brocius in the 1955 episode, "Death and Taxes". In the story line, novice deputy Bud Payson (Wayne Mallory) while courting the sheriff's daughter, June (Eve Brent), enlists the aid of Curly Bill to assist him in collecting property taxes from a large area of the Death Valley country which had not been previously taxed.[105]
  • William Hudson was cast as shrewd California businessman Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin in the 1957 episode, "The Man Who Was Never Licked". Robert Argent played Adolph Sutro, a key player in the Comstock Lode. After two marriages, Baldwin wed 20-year-old Jennie Dexter (Daria Massey), who bears him a second daughter twenty years after the birth of his first daughter. The founder of the elegant Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco, he subsequently settled in a grand estate in the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles.[106]
  • Mauritz Hugo appeared as Sure Thing Murdoch in the 1959 episode, "Half a Loaf", the story of the origin of the Sugar Loaf mine in Arizona.

J[edit]

  • Bradford Jackson (1928–2009) was cast as the Boston greenhorn Mac Gordon in the 1956 episode, "Pay Dirt." In the story line, Gordon is swindled by two men, played by Paul McGuire and Frank Richards, who sell him a worthless gold mining claim. The film actress Barbara Lang appears as his longsuffering wife, Norma.[107] Jackson also played Asa Mercer, who recruits brides from the East to become wives of settlers in Seattle, Washington, in the 1957 episode "Mercer Girl". The women travel to the Northwest via ship. Norma Ward played Annie Stephens, Mercer's romantic interest.[108]
  • Sherry Jackson in the 1966 episode "Lady of the Plains" portrayed Katherine "Kate" Turner, a young woman from Boston who takes over a wagon train after the death of the trailmaster. DeForest Kelley played a gambler, Elliott Webster, who falls in love with Kate despite their age difference and the fact that she is engaged to marry once the wagon train reaches Salt Lake City, Utah.[109]
  • Vivi Janiss appeared as Deliah Murtaugh in the 1953 episode, "Dear Teacher", with Donna Corcoran, as her daughter, Gladys.
  • David Janssen played Dr. Bill Breckenridge in the 1961 episode, "Deadline at Austin". Breckenridge attempts to beat the incompetent cronies of Governor Lambert (Stephen Chase) and hence save Austin, Nevada, from corruption. Jan Harrison played Ruth Woodruff, Breckenridge's romantic interest and the daughter of Mayor Horace Woodruff (Harry Shannon).[110]
  • Roy Jenson played boxer John L. Sullivan in the 1958 episode, "The Gambler and the Lady". In the story line, Sullivan in his tour of local communities across the country fights an exposition match against Buck Jarrico (Hal Baylor). When the prize money designated to refurbish the school goes missing, both the teacher, Ruth Stewart (Kathleen Case), and the gambler, Brad Forrester (Mark Dana), are falsely accused based on appearances. Marjorie Bennett appeared in this episode as Mrs. Baxter, the wife of the mayor.[111]
  • Brad Johnson appeared five times on Death Valley Days. He was cast as Marshal Bill Tilghman in the 1960 episode, "A Wedding Dress." In the story line, Tilghman is in pursuit of the Doolin gang. in the Oklahoma Territory. He gets sidetracked from his goal, when he values a bride's loss as much as monied Horace Capshaw's, J. Pat O'Malley,putting his job in jeopardy. Charles Fredericks was cast as Heck Thomas. Mary Webster was cast as Mrs. Tilghman.[112]
  • Chubby Johnson portrayed Jake in "The Tenderfoot" (1968) and Davis in "The Other Side of the Mountain" (1969).
  • Russell Johnson appeared as Sgt. Tate, part of Sam Houston's army, in the 1962 episode "Davy's Friend".[113] and played Matthew Reynolds, a US attorney, opposing James Reavis, the so-called "Baron of Arizona" (played by host Robert Taylor), in the 1968 episode “The Pieces of the Puzzle".[114]
  • I. Stanford Jolley, who appeared five times on the series was cast as J. V. Langley in "The Kickapoo Run" (1954), as Colby in "California's First Ice Man" (1955), as a guide in "California Gold Rush in Reverse" (1957), and in his final role of Bart Taylor in "Eruption at Volcano" (1959).
  • Katy Jurado in the 1960 episode, "La Tules", appeared as saloon owner Maria Gertrudis Barceló.

K–L[edit]

  • Howard Keel was cast as Diamond Jim Brady in a 1963 episode of the same name. In the story line, while traveling by train in Texas, Brady accepts a nearly impossible wager that he can sell $100,000 worth of barbed wire to area ranchers who oppose such fencing without leaving the train.[115]
  • DeForest Kelley played the convict Martin in the episode "Devil's Gate" (1965) with Jim Davis, and as the gambler Elliott Webster in "The Lady of the Plains" with Sherry Jackson (1966).
  • Don Kennedy (born 1920), played in 1954 the lead role of Snowshoe Thompson, who used home-made snowshoes to carry the mail across the snows of the Sierra Nevada into the various California mining camps. Thompson is considered the "father of California skiing."
  • Don Kent (1911–1978) played William Bottle in the 1956 episode "Bill Bottle's Birthday." In the story line, Bottle nets $100,000 from the sale of a gold claim. He places advertisements in major newspapers inviting his Bottle relatives to attend a family reunion times with his birthday. While various "relatives" come to the party, they are imposters, but Bottle treats them warmly as if they were family.[116]
  • Brett King appeared as Butch Cassidy and Robert Knapp and June Dayton as Tom Dixon and wife Rose in "The Devil's Due" (1960).
  • Stanley Lachman played United States Army Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale in two 1957 episodes, "The Camel Train" and "The California Gold Rush in Reverse." In the former, Beale is instructed by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to e conduct an experiment with the use of camels in the deserts of the American Southwest. William "Red" Reynolds (1927–1981) was cast as mountain man Kit Carson. In the second episode, Beale attempts to be the first to return East with a sample of newly-discovered California gold, but he must escape Mexican bandits to do so.[117]
  • Robert Knapp was cast as Tom Dixon, a former outlaw trying to change his life and marry his sweetheart in the 1960 episode, "The Devil's Due". Wanted for a bank robbery, he is threatened when a member of his former gang, Cassidy (Brett King), arrives in town.[118]
  • Yaphet Kotto was cast as a religious man living in the southwestern desert country in the 1967 episode, "A Man Called Abraham". In the story line, Abraham convinces a killer named Cassidy (Rayford Barnes) that he can change his heart despite past crimes. When Cassidy is sent to the gallows, Abraham provides spiritual solace. Bing Russell also appeared in this segment.[119]
  • Gil Lasky played John Studebaker in the 1959 episode, "Wheelbarrow Johnny". In the story line, young Studebaker fails at gold mining because con men take advantage of him. His talent for making wheelbarrows, however, paves the way for a bright future in the transportation industry. Emile Meyer appeared in this episode as the storekeeper, Sam Dalrymple.[120] Harry Lauter, a character actor, appeared seven times on the series, twice as newspaperman Mel Hardin in "Gold Lake" and "Wheelbarrow Johnny".
  • Bethel Leslie was cast as Esther Morris in the 1960 episode, "A Women's Rights". Morris demands justice for her husband's murder at the hands of the McGreevy gang (Bartlett Robinson). With the help of Lucretia Mott (Hope Summers) and Governor Lee (Frank Wilcox), she works successfully in 1869 for the passage of woman's suffrage in Wyoming and thereafter becomes the first female judge in the United States.
  • Nan Leslie appeared in "Whirlwind Courtship" (1953).
  • June Lockhart played librarian Ina Coolbrith, first poet laureate of California, in the 1965 episode, "Magic Locket". In the story line, Coolbrith develops a tenuous friendship with the teen-aged "Dorita Duncan" (Kathy Garver), who becomes the dancer Isadora Duncan. Sean McClory was cast as the poet Joaquin Miller, author of Songs of the Sierras.[121]
  • Britt Lomond played the Spaniard James Addison Reavis in the 1956 episode "The Baron of Arizona." Two newspapermen doubt Reavis' claim to millions of acres in the New Mexico Territory, which then included Arizona. Though Reavis' papers seem authentic and date to colonial times, the reporters prove them to be fraudulent.[122] In a 1968 episode about Reavis entitled, "The Pieces of the Puzzle", series host Robert Taylor portrayed the lead role, with Russell Johnson as Matthew Reynolds.[123]
  • Dayton Lummis portrayed New Mexico Territorial Governor Lew Wallace in "Shadows on the Window" (1960), with Martin Braddock as Billy the Kid and Katherine Warren as Mrs. Wallace. Also as owner De Lamar that same year he owned the "City of Widows" DeLamar, a company town where silicosis was killing miners in months with Ross Elliott as a newsman for the company's paper who could do nothing.
  • John Lupton as Pinkerton agent Allen Hodges in a 1961 episode, is hired by Abigale Briton (Jocelyn Somers), to take her and her fortune in gold past haunts to "South of Horror Flats".[124]

M[edit]

  • Tyler MacDuff played Norman Berry in the 1956 episode, "The Hoodoo Mine". In the story line, Berry is prospecting for gold with the dishonest Bill Snyder (Duane Grey). When Snyder leaves Berry for dead in the desert to steal his part of the claim, a young Indian woman, Lupin (Linda Brent), comes to Berry's rescue. She had earlier tipped him off on the location of a gold strike.[125]
  • Murray MacLeod and Dennis Whitcomb were cast as two young men, Cliff and Frank, respectively, released from the United States Army still living on a temporarily deserted western fort in the 1969 episode "A Full House". The two engage in a poker game in which the loser agrees to get married; soon both are in love and things fall into place like a storybook romance. Heidi Vaughn and June Zachary play the female leads.[126]
  • Guy Madison was cast as Will Short in the 1960 episode, "Extra Guns". In the story line, Short battles a corrupt city hall. Jon Lormer and Wilton Graff also appeared in this episode.
  • Wayne Mallory played deputy Bud Payson in the 1955 episode, "Death and Taxes". While courting the sheriff's daughter (Eve Brent), Payson enlists the aid Curly Bill Brocius (Wes Hudman) to help him collect property taxes from a large area of the Death Valley country which had not been previously taxed.[127]
  • Dorothy Malone in the 1961 episode, "The Watch", played Mary Parker, a beautiful young woman who is the object of rivalry between two men involved in a mine cave-in, Rafe Pegarski (Steve Clinton) and Jack Short (Bing Russell.[128]
  • Michael Margotta played a youthful Butch Cassidy in the 1969 episode "Drop Out" set in Utah of the 1880s. In the story line, 16-year-old George Leroy Parker is rebellious against his father, Maxy Parker (Russ Conway), and his church bishop, played by William Zucker. He takes the name of a much older rustler acquaintance, Mike Cassidy (Tony Russel) and sets forth to Salt Lake City. The episode aired the same year as the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[129]
  • Joe Maross starred as the pioneer William Eddy in the 1964 episode, "Hastings Cut-off". A survivor of the 1846 Donner Party, Eddy grieves the loss of his wife and children and vows revenge against Lansford Hastings (Robert Ellenstein), who in The Emigrant's Guide to Oregon and California recommended his Hastings Cutoff, a shortcut through the Rocky Mountains that had been useful for an earlier wagon train but proved disastrous for the Donner party and its late timing on the trip west. Others in the cast are Ellen Burstyn as Jenny and John Alderson as Big Mac.[130]
  • Linda Marsh was cast as the historical Susan Shelby Magoffin, the first woman to travel the Santa Fe Trail in the 1965 episode, "No Place for a Lady." Simon Scott played Magoffin's husband, Samuel, and host Ronald W. Reagan was cast as frontiersman William Bent.[131]
  • Strother Martin played a country chicken farmer, Alfred Hall, who sues an insurance company for underpayment in the 1966 comedy segment "The Four Dollar Law Suit". In the story line, Hall seeks the additional $4 he believed owed him after his chicken coop burns to the ground. J. Pat O'Malley plays his attorney; Anthony Costello, the school teacher, and Amzie Strickland his wife.[132] In the 1967 episode "Silver Tombstone", Martin played the Arizona miner Ed Schieffelin, who after years of failure is convinced he is on the verge of a silver strike in Tombstone, Arizona. He invites his brother to join him in the pending strike. Jamie Farr appears as Dick Gird.[133]
  • Tony Martin was cast as Amadeo Giannini in the 1962 episode, "The Unshakeable Man", a dramatization of the establishment of the Bank of America. The story line focuses on Giannini saving his bank from the impact of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and turning it into the largest financial institution in the world. The episode also starred Parley Baer as Crowder.[134]
  • Daria Massey plays newlywed Janet Gee in the 1957 episode, "The Rosebush of Tombstone", the story of the largest rosebush n the United States established in Tombstone, Arizona. A native of Scotland, Janet moves with her husband to Tombstone, Arizona, where befriends rough women and cares for a homeless Indian boy. A rosebush from her mother lifts her spirits. Almira Sessions is cast in this episode as shrewd businesswoman Nellie Cashman.[135]
  • Jack Mather, among five appearances on Death Valley Days, played legendary cattleman Charles Goodnight in the 1959 episode, "Old Blue", hosted by Stanley Andrews. The story focuses on Goodnight's lead steer, Old Blue, who is stolen and thereafter adopted as a family pet. Myron Healey was cast in this episode as Red Snell and Jeanne Bates as Helen.[136]
  • Carole Mathews was cast as Belle Starr in the 1961 episode, "A Bullet for the D.A." In the story line, Belle unsuccessfully plots the revenge assassination of United States Attorney W. H. H. Clayton (Don Haggerty) during a Wild West show in Fort Smith, Arkansas. William Thourlby was cast as Belle's husband, Sam Starr, and Carlyle Mithcell, in his penultimate acting role as "Hanging Judge]" Isaac Parker, under whom Clayton served..[137]
  • Hedley Mattingly was cast as the photographer Eadweard Muybridge in the 1964 episode, "The $25,000 Wager." In the story line, former Governor Leland Stanford (Harry Holcombe) (1906–1987), a race-horse owner, hires Muybridge, to determine by multiple cameras whether all four legs of a horse are briefly off the ground while trotting. Diane Brewster was cast as Muybridge's wife, Flora.[138]
  • Patty McCormack appeared as -year-old Virginia Reed in the 1960 episode, "A Girl Called Virginia", with Johnson as her stepfather, James F. Reed. Edward Platt was cast as Frank Graves. In the story line, the Donner Party crosses the Sierra Nevadas, but the Reeds are banished after a dispute ends in a death. Virginia proves helpful beyond her years as the family faces great hardship while headed to Sutter's Fort.[139]
  • Ann McCrea was cast in three episodes, including Melinda Pratt in "Mr. Bigfoot" (1956) and "Pirates of San Francisco" (1960).
  • Tim McIntire in the 1965 episode "The Lawless Have Laws" played Lorenz Oatman, a young man who obtains the help of an Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Burke (Ronald Reagan), in the search for his long lost sister, Olive Oatman (Shary Marshall) from whom he was separated five years earlier when the Apache killed their parents in a raid.[140]
  • David McLean was cast as frontiersman Kit Carson in the 1963 episode, "Stubborn Mule Hill". Charles Bateman was cast as Carson's friend, the famous Army Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale.[141] McLean also appeared as Stephen F. Austin in the 1964 episode, "A Book of Spanish Grammar." In the story line, Austin travels to Mexico City to purchase land in colonial Texas to sell to future settlers. His traveling companion, Valdez (Rodolfo Acosta), wonders why Austin risks so much to help strangers.[142]
  • Tyler McVey appeared four times, including as a priest in the 1962 episode "Abel Duncan's Dying Wish" and in the 1969 segment "The Oldest Outlaw".
  • Cameron Mitchell played Pete Kitchen, who raids an Apache camp in the episode "Kitchen's Wedding Night." Barbara Luna was cast as his bride and Earle Hodgins as the deacon. Robert Sorrells also appeared in this episode.
  • Sam Melville was cast as Indian agent John Clum in the 1970 episode, "Clum's Constabulary." In the story line, Clum recruits an elite team of Apaches to assist the U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest but faces opposition within the white community. Tris Coffin was cast as Captain Loren Phillips and John Considine as Lago.[143]
  • Denny Miller played Gustaf Olaffson in the 1968 episode, "Britta Goes Home." In the story line, Gustaf awaits the arrival of his Swedish bride, Britta (Susanne Cramer). While headed to Gustaf's sod house, Britta becomes disillusioned about her future. Then a visit with other homesteaders help her overcome her fear.[144]
  • Ewing Mitchell played Edmund S. Meany in the 1957 episode, "The Washington Elm", and Fred Gerlock in the 1958 episode, "The Red Flannel Shirt".
  • George Mitchell played Charley Stoner whose nature savy helped him strike it rich in "Fair Exchange"
  • Roger Mobley was cast as Matt Denby, Jr., in the 1960 episode, "The Madstone." In the story line, young Denby is bitten by a rabid animal. Myron Healey played Denby's father, whose wife walks out on him after their farm fails. Denby, Sr., is alienated from the boy's maternal grandfather, Caleb Reese (George Macready).[145]
  • Ricardo Montalban played Joaquin Murrieta " in the 1960 episode, "Eagle in the Rocks". Others cast in the episode were Karl Swenson, Lisa Gaye, and Jack Kruschen.
  • Alvy Moore, prior to his role as county agent Hank Kimball on CBS's Green Acres situation comedy, played in the 1962 episode "The Grass Man" the Swiss-American botanist David Douglas, for whom the Douglas fir tree is named. Keenan Wynn co-starred as Douglas' friend, Josh Tavers. Iron Eyes Cody played an Indian chief who threatens to kill Douglas and Tavers.[146]
  • Byron Morrow made a cameo appearance as Mormon figure Brigham Young in the 1966 episode "An Organ for Brother Brigham". In the story line, the organ crafted and guided to Salt Lake City by Joseph Harris Ridges (1827–1914) of Australia, played by Hedley Mattingly, becomes mired in sand. Morgan Woodward, as wagon master Luke Winner, feels compelled to jettison the instrument until Ridges finds solid rock under the sand.[147]
  • Ken Murray was cast as Whipsaw, the operator of a Utah Territory stagecoach depot, in the 1964 episode, "Little Cayuse". In the story line, Whipsaw and his partner in 1862 take in a Cayuse orphan (Larry Domasin), who demonstrates his loyalty to the men during an Indian attack.[148] And as Dave Elldridge with Dick Sargent as Cliff Streeter, they "Gamble with Death" (copyright 1960).

N to P[edit]

  • Anna Navarro (1933–2006) portrayed 17-year-old Maria in the 1956 episode, "The Hidden Treasure of Cucamonga". In the story line, Maria upon the sudden death of her father, becomes mistress of a large California ranch. After she marries a persistent suitor, Don Pedro (Richard Gilden), a dream leads her to the discovery of a fortune stashed away by her father in the wall of her bedroom.[149]
  • Leonard Nimoy played Yellow Bear in "The Journey" (1965), with Wayne Rogers as Richard Henry Pratt and Robert J. Wilke as Sergeant Wilks, two cavalry officers who disagree on how to handle Indian prisoners.[150]
  • Carol Nugent was cast as Nancy Drake in the 1957 episode "The Calico Dog". In the story line, Nancy is at first jealous of Colonel, the dog of her fiancé, John Chapman (Warren Frost). The Colonel proves his worth by becoming a mail carrier between mining camps in the Death Valley country.[151]
  • Erin O'Brien was cast as the singer Emma Nevada in the 1960 episode, "Emma Is Coming." Rick Jason was cast in this episode as Duke Clayton, and Alan Reed played the impressario James Henry Mapleson.[152]
  • Carroll O'Connor was cast in the 1963 episode, "A Gun Is Not a Gentleman", as U.S. Senator David C. Broderick, a California Democrat. In the story, Broderick, who has never used a gun, is challenged to a duel by former political ally, former California Supreme Court justice David S. Terry (Brad Dexter). Broderick was an abolitionist; Terry, pro-slavery. After he fatally shoots Broderick, Terry is tried, but the case was dismissed.[153]
  • J. Pat O'Malley was cast as Stony Wilson in the 1968 episode, "The Secret of the Black Prince", a reference to a mine in Colorado. In the story line, Wilson uses his savings to buy an abandoned mine, but encounters difficulty finding the missing loot he had been told was on the property. He then schemes to get others to do the work.[154]
  • Gregg Palmer was cast in thirteen episodes, including the roles of Tom Horn in "Perilous Cargo", as John Brewster in "Perilous Refuge", and as Forty Steps Randall in "Forty Steps to Glory" (all 1959).
  • Fess Parker (pre-Davy Crockett) appeared as Curt Morrison, a cowboy/militia-marshal patrolling the New Mexico land rush of 1895, in the 1954 episode, "The Kickapoo Run".
  • Hank Patterson's made nine appearances, including "The Mule Mail", "Ten Feet of Nothing", and "The Blonde King".
  • Julie Parrish appeared as Mariana Jaramilio in the 1967 episode "Along Came Mariana", the story of the unraveling of the peonage labor system in the New Mexico Territory. Carlos Romero played Jose de la Cruz Romero.[155]
  • George Paulsin (born July 12, 1949) made his screen appearance as a youthful Joaquin Miller in the series finale, "Early Candle Lighten". In the story line, a cook at a gold camp in the Arizona Territory faces hanging for stealing nuggets from the miners. His assistant, "Nat Miller", played by Paulsin, thinks he can save his life by bringing the cook's sister from Tucson. It was at this gold camp that Miller perfected his penchant for western poetry..[156]
  • Jesse Pearson appeared as Jess Ivy in the 1970 episode "The Mezcla Man". In the story line, Jess wants to propose marriage to a young woman, Sarah Ewing (Karen Carlson), but hesitates because of his lack of financial footing. He then decides to look for hidden gold.[157] In another romantic episode, "The Courtship of Carrie Huntington" (1966), set in the future Washington state, Pearson plays Henry Windsor, who is hired to take Carrie (Sue Randall) to her sister's wedding after she misses the stagecoach. Henry and Carrie engage in a mock wedding, but on the return trip, Henry wins her over after they are held by Indians, and Carrie nurses a sick child to health. Helen Kleeb plays Carrie's mother, and Dub Taylor was cast in a cameo role as a station agent.[158]
  • Larry Pennell as Roner Maxwell tried to catch the "Queen of the High-Graders" Virginia Christine (1960).
  • Gil Peterson and Susan Seaforth Hayes appeared as Jim Otis and his wife, Martha, in the 1967 episode "Solid Foundation". In the story line, Otis has virtually abandoned his dream of finding a gold strike but instead encounters an unexpected bonanza in silver.[159]
  • Lee Philips was cast as the compassionate Lieutenant Wood in the 1960 episode, "The White Healer." When a deadly illness breaks out in the Arizona Territory among the Apache, Wood is willing to treat the Indians once Geronimo, played by Joe Bassett (1910–1997), surrenders to the United States Army. Harry Holcombe (1906–1987) was cast as General Nelson Miles.[160]
  • Barney Phillips was cast as General Winfield Scott Hancock in the 1962 episode, "The Truth Teller", a study of the Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty. Charles Carlson filled the role of Wild Bill Hickok, long after Guy Madison played Hickock in a weekly syndicated series.[161]
  • John M. Pickard appeared ten times, including the role of Sheriff McKittrick in "The Resurrection of Deadwood Dick" (1966) and as Lafe Ellsworth in "The Other Creek" (1968).
  • Phillip Pine played Kit Carson, with Michael Pate as scout Frenchy Godey in the John C. Fremont (Dick Simmons) expedition in the episode "Samaritans, Mountain Style". In the story line, Carson and Gody stop to help a settler in dire straits.[162] Pine, Pate, and Simmons appeared shortly thereafter with Charles Bateman and Don Keefer in another Death Valley Days episode, "The Hero of Apache Pass".[163]
  • Judson Pratt appeared twice: "The Left Hand is Damned" (1964) and as a general in "Raid on the San Francisco Mint" (1965).
  • Guy Prescott (1914–1998) played Barnaby Taylor who enters a contest to determine "The Longest Beard in the World", a 1956 episode. His friends want him to accent his beard as he runs in California for the United States House of Representatives, but his fiancé Francis Trent (Patricia Donohue) wants him clean shaven. When he loses the contest in Chicago by less than one inch in length, he shaves the beard and is still elected to Congress. However, The Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1949 does not have information on any Representative Barnaby Taylor.[164]
  • William Pullen (1917–2008) was cast as Alex Todd in the 1956 episode, "The Last Letter". In the story line, Todd is a failed prospector with a thriving business delivering the U.S. mail to miners in the Death Valley country who are starving for news from home. Clint Eastwood, before Rawhide, played John Lucas, who does not subscribe to Todd's service and nearly loses $2 million for failure to do so.[165]
  • Denver Pyle was cast seven times, the last of which was in the title role, "The Resurrection of Deadwood Dick" (1966), based on the legendary frontiersman, Deadwood Dick.

R[edit]

  • John Raitt appeared in a 1960 episode, "The Man on the Road", as Jim Dandy, who befriends a boy whose father has been jailed for horse theft. The episode also stars Mort Mills as Holt.[166]
  • Sue Randall appeared six times on the series, including the roles of Virginia Slade in the 1963 episode, "The Man Who Died Twice", with Don Collier as Jack Slade, and as Carrie Huntington in the 1966 segment, 'The Courtship of Carrie Huntington."
  • Stuart Randall appeared as Judge Reed in "The Pieces of the Puzzle" (1968).
  • Paula Raymond was cast as the Union Army spy Pauline Cushman in the 1964 episode "The Wooing of Perilous Pauline". In the story line, set in Casa Grande, Arizona Territory, where the feisty Miss Cushman was operating a saloon, she is wooed by her future husband, Jere Fryer (Ray Danton), who makes a bet with a friend that he can convince her to marry him within a week.[167]
  • Ronald Reagan, among his last acting roles in 1965, played the shrewd banker William Chapman Ralston, with Vaughn Taylor as financier Asbury Harpending, in "Raid on the San Francisco Mint" and Admiral David Farragut, with June Dayton as Mrs. Virginia Farragut, in "The Battle of San Francisco Bay", the story of the 1856 seizure of power by the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance. Reagan was cast too in "No Gun Behind His Badge" as the historical Thomas J. Smith, the marshal of Abilene, Kansas, in 1869 and 1870, in which capacity he tried with fatal results to avoid the use of firearms in the line of duty. (However, as the article on Smith says " The television dramatization does not accurately depict the circumstances of Smith's death and decapitation." In particular Smith was using a gun at the time of the incident that killed him.) On September 30, 1965, Reagan played James B. Hume in "Temporary Warden", the story of a warden at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City. In still another appearance, Reagan played U.S. Senator George Graham Vest, a Democrat from Missouri, in the 1964 episode, "Tribute to the Dog." The episode focuses on Vest's famous defense of the dog as "man's best friend" in a lawsuit filed by a grandfather (Ralph Moody) and his grandson (Danny Flower) against Carter Johnson (Charles Cooper), a property owner who in a rage kills a playful dog trespassing on Johnson's property.[168]
  • Rhodes Reason appeared as Peter Jeffries in the 1955 episode, "California's First Ice Man." In the story line, Jeffries turns to the importation of ice from his native Boston, Massachusetts, rather than the exploration of gold, to revive his lost family fortune. He finds Sacramento under the grip of Phineas Colby (I. Stanford Jolley) while he is courting Colby's niece, Laura Colby (Donna Drew), who acts as a nurse seeking ice to relieve suffering of her patients in the heat of summer.[169]
  • Tommy Rettig was cast in the 1962 episode "Davy's Friends" as Joel Walter Robison, a fighter for Texas independence. In the story line, Robison, called a "friend" of Davy Crockett, is sent on a diversion but quickly shows his military ability and is made a first lieutenant by Sam Houston (Stephen Chase). Russell Johnson was cast as Sergeant Tate. After meeting Sam Houston,in April 1836, Robison decides to settle in the capital city of Austin. Years later, Robison was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Abel Franco (1922–2000) played the captured General Antonio López de Santa Anna.[170]
  • Paul Richards appeared as Cash Powers in the 1959 segment, "Somewhere Beyond the Vultures".
  • Wayne Rogers and Harry Lauter played George and Henry Schmidtlein in the 1960 episode, "Mission to the Mountains". While seeding mountain streams with trout, the Schmidtleins encounter a suspicious gold prospector named Crandel (John Hoyt) and his abused daughter.[171]
  • Gilbert Roland played Dom Pedro II, the emperor of Brazil, who in 1876 gets off his train to stretch his legs and is stranded near San Francisco. He comes across a widow (Patricia Huston) with a son (Butch Patrick) and a daughter (Andrea Darvi). The woman doubts his story, but her daughter is charmed by his wit and wisdom.[172]
  • Caesar Romero played Agustin Olvera in the 1959 episode "Olvera".
  • Ned Romero was cast as a priest, Father de la Cuesta, in the 1970 episode "A Gift from Father Tapis". Father de la Cuesta has replaced the deceased Father Tapis and is curious why the padre ordered a hand organ for the mission. The priest refuses to leave when Joaquin and his renegades become a threat. They use the church organ to save the day.
  • Bing Russell appeared as Scragg in the 1959 episode, "Indian Emily", the story of an Apache young lady, played by Jolene Brand, who died while warning Fort Davis of impending Apache attack. Meg Willey was cast as Mrs. Easton.[173]

S to T[edit]

  • Victor Sen Yung played the industrious Chinese cook and businessman, Quon Kee, in the 1957 episode, "Quon Kee". In the story line, Quon Kee arrives in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, and establishes himself as a popular figure who befriends a future senator, Art Gresham (Walter Kelley).[174]
  • William Schallert was uncredited in "The Little Trooper, the story of a future general. He also played Confederate terrorist Ellis Higby in "Hang em High", both episodes in 1959. Among other appearances on Death Valley Days, Schallert in 1955 portrayed American Civil War General Jesse Lee Reno in the 1955 episode "Reno". In the story line, two veterans of the Mexican War who served under Reno (played by Frank Griffin and Stanley Clements), honor him with the naming of the second-largest city in Nevada.[175] Schallert also appeared in the 1962 episode, "The $275,000 Sack of Flour," with James Best as Ruel Gridley.
  • Ken Scott was cast in the 1963 episode, "The Melancholy Gun", as Johnny Ringo, an expert gunslinger who despite his mysterious past seeks to lead a more respectable life. However, many want to make their reputations by challenging Ringo's shooting skills. Elizabeth MacRae was cast as his romantic interest, Myra Engles . Denver Pyle played a physician[176] Scott also played Virgil Earp in a 1964 episode, "Trial at Belle's Springs." In that story line, Earp goes undercover to break a robbery ring run by Belle Wilgus (Lynn Bari). The gang is suspicious when Virgil, using the name "Martin", arrives at their hideout, but he soon finds the information he needs. Patricia Huston (1929–1995) played Marie.[177]
  • Harry Shannon was cast as frontier scout Jim Bridger in the 1958 episode, "Old Gabe," referring to a nickname of Bridger's. Ron Hagerthy played Bridger's grown son, Felix. In the story line, the aging Bridger returns home to find his wife has died in childbirth, and Felix is trying to keep their farm despite an unpaid mortgage. Despite his failing eyesight, sets out on a last scouting expedition to make peace with the Sioux and thereby raise funds to retire the mortgage. Roy Engel played the part of Colonel Henry B. Carrington.[178]
  • Alex Sharp (1921–2008) was cast as Sheriff Pat Garrett in the episode "Pat Garrett's Side of It", referring to the shooting death in New Mexico Territory of the outlaw Billy the Kid, played by Joel Collins. In the story line, Garrett captures The Kid, who escapes, and then Garrett comes after him at the farmhouse of Pedro Menard "Pete" Maxwell, the father of The Kid's girlfriend. Mack Williams (1907–1965) played General Lew Wallace, and Tyler McVey was cast as cattle baron John Chisum.[179] In addition, Sharp appeared as Juan Flaco, anglicized to John Brown, in the 1957 segment, "California's Paul Revere." When the Mexican–American War broke out in 1846, enemy Mexican forces besieged an American garrison in Los Angeles under Lieutenant Gillespie (Don C. Harvey). Calling for needed reinforcements, Gillespie sends Brown on what turned out to be a four-day ride to Stockton, then San Francisco, to warn of impending doom and obtain the transport of troops by sea. The ride saved Los Angeles from Mexican occupation.[180]
  • Karen Sharpe played Linda in "Claim Jumpin' Jennie", opposite Irene Burton as Jennie and Wallace Ford as Buck Hansen (1953).
  • Richard Simmons played W. Frank Stewart, a silver mining operator who served from 1876 to 1880 as a Nevada state senator for Virginia City (Storey County),[181] in the 1969 episode entitled, "How to Beat a Badman". In the story line, Stewart is determined to gain at a bargain price a silver claim being worked by two young former outlaws (Tom Heaton and Scott Graham).[182] Simmons also played the historical John C. Fremont in the 1966 episode, "Samaritans, Mountain Style." In that story line, Fremont maps a trail to the American West, but his scouts, Kit Carson (Phillip Pine) and Frenchy Godey (Michael Pate) come across a man who has lost everything in an Indian raid. They decide to help the man before resuming their jobs Don Keefer played a newspaperman, Gilpin.[183]
  • Tom Skerritt was cast in five episodes, as a youthful Emmett Dalton in "Three Minutes to Eternity" (1963), the story of the double 1892 bank robberies in Coffeyville, Kansas, with Forrest Tucker as Bob Dalton and Jim Davis as Grat Dalton; as Dennis Driscoll in "Honor the Name Dennis Driscoll" (1964); as Patrick Hogan in "The Book" (1965), the story of a young gambler who wins a small fortune at the roulette wheel at a saloon in Calico in San Bernardino, California, with the help of a Chinese friend, Wong Lee (George Takei). The two soon meet a speedy demise;[184] as a young Roy Bean in "A Sense of Justice" (1966), with Tris Coffin as his older brother Joshua Bean, set in San Diego, where Joshua was the founding mayor, and as Mark Twain in "Ten Day Millionaires" (1968).
  • Hal Smith played the character John Wilson in the 1967 episode "The Man Who Didn't Want Gold".[185]
  • William Smith was cast as John Richard Parker, brother of Cynthia Ann Parker, both taken hostage in Texas by the Comanche, in the 1969 episode "The Understanding". In the story line, Parker contracts the plague, is left for dead by his fellow Comanche warriors, and is rescued by his future wife, Yolanda (Emily Banks), with whom he moves to her native Mexico.[186] Smith also played the role of the outlaw turned temporary sheriff, Henry Brown, a former associate of Billy the Kid, in the 1969 episode "A Restless Man".[187]
  • Julie Sommars played Roman Catholic Sister Blandina Segale in the 1966 episode "The Fastest Nun in the West". In the story line, Blandina seeks justice for a killer, despite heavy sentiment for his hanging. Michael Constantine and Don Haggerty were cast as George Burnet and Sheriff Wheeler, respectively.[188]
  • Fay Spain played Calamity Jane, with Rhodes Reason as Wild Bill Hickok, in the 1966 episode "A Calamity Called Jane". The episode centers upon Calamity joining Hickok's fledgling Wild West show. It ends with Hickok's assassination by Jack McCall in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.[189]
  • Arthur Space was cast as Ben Hudson in the 1959 episode "Hang 'Em High", a dramatization of the completion in 1861 of the first transcontinental telegraph line. Hudson determines that Confederates have sabotaged construction because the telegraph would most benefit the Union government. Paul Birch and William Schallert are cast in the episode as Mike Walsh and Ellis Higby, respectively.[190]
  • Dick Simmons was cast as the historical John C. Fremont in the 1966 episode, "Samaritans, Mountain Style." In the story line, Fremont maps a trail to the American West, but his scouts, Kit Carson (Phillip Pine) and Frenchy Godey (Michael Pate) come across a man who has lost everything in an Indian raid. They decide to help the man before resuming their jobs Don Keefer played a newspaperman, Gilpin.[183]*Warren Stevens was cast as Doc Holliday in the 1966 episode "Doc Holliday's Gold Bars".[191]
  • Robert Tafur (1915–2005), Tom Hernández, and Ernestine Barrier are cast as Antonio Fernandez, Young Antonio, and Old Isabella, respectively, in the episode "The Valencia Cake". In the story line, a Spanish land-grant family faces the loss of its estate and one million acres of land in the New Mexico Territory unless the original deed granting them ownership can be found. Oddly, the deed turns up at the bottom of a cake baked by the staff.[192]
  • Gloria Talbott was cast as Mary Kileen in the 1961 episode, "Queen of Spaides", directed by Darren McGavin. In the story line, Mary enjoys the attention of many men and prefers that they fight over her. Then someone is killed because of her, and she encourages another murder. The episode co-stars L. Q. Jones as Billy Madson, and Tom Drake as Billy Leslie.[193] In a 1965 episode "Kate Melville and the Law", Talbott played Kate Melville, a temporary woman sheriff and the daughter of Sheriff Will Melville (Dick Foran), who clashes with a Judge Lander (Richard Anderson) over courtroom fairness and frontier justice.[194]
  • William Tannen played the historical figure Ike Clanton in the 1964 episode "After the OK Corral", with Jim Davis as Wyatt Earp. Tannen previously played deputy Hal Norton on the ABC/Desilu series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role of Wyatt Earp.[195]
  • Buck Taylor, already cast as Newly O'Brien on Gunsmoke, played a lumberjack, Will Zane, in the 1969 episode, "The Taming of Trudy Bell," with Valerie DeCamp as Trudy, the daughter of Zane's boss. When Zane spanks Trudy at a social gathering for her conceit, he expects to lose his job. Robert Anderson (1920–1996), played Trudy's father, H. J. Bell.[196]
  • Lorna Thayer was cast as Jessie Benton Frémont, loyal wife of John C. Fremont (Roy Engel), in the 1960 episode, "The Gentle Sword". In the story line, the Frémonts are in California during the gold rush. The couple becomes involved in a mining claim dispute; Mrs. Frémont stares down organized claim jumpers.[197]
  • Marshall Thompson was cast in the 1964 episode, "The Streets of El Paso", as Mayor Ben Dowell, who proposes the sale of main street in El Paso, Texas, to finance a water system.[198]
  • Harry Townes played Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth, in the 1960 episode "His Brother's Keeper." Edwin Booth tries to stage a play in Downieville, California, six months after Lincoln's assassination and encounters opposition from townspeople, such as Hite Rogan (Jack Mather). Alan Baxter and Don Grady, as Jeb and Calvin Hayes, play father/son protectors of Booth.[199]
  • Victoria Vetri played Sacajawea in the 1967 episode, "The Girl Who Walked the West". Victor French was cast as her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, Dick Simmons as Meriwether Lewis, and Don Matheson as William Clark.
  • John Vivyan guest starred as Jeremy Whitlock in the 1962 episode, "Showdown at Kamaaina Flats", and as Ed Taylor in the 1961 segment, "The Lady Was an M.D."

V to Y[edit]

  • Victoria Vetri played Sacajawea in the 1967 episode, "The Girl Who Walked the West". Victor French was cast as her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, Dick Simmons as Meriwether Lewis, and Don Matheson as William Clark.
  • John Vivyan guest starred as Jeremy Whitlock in the 1962 episode, "Showdown at Kamaaina Flats", and as Ed Taylor in the 1961 segment, "The Lady Was an M.D."
  • Peter Walker (born 1927) was cast as Kit Carson, Gardner McKay as the villainous Pierre Shunar, and Iron Eyes Cody as a trapper in the 1958 episode, "The Big Rendezvous", a reference to the Rendezvous, an annual gathering of fur traders, trappers, and friendly Indians held in what is now Utah, the first of such reunions in 1825. Laurie Carroll (born 1933) was cast as the young Indian woman, Waa-Nibe, for whom Carson is smitten.[200]
  • Alan Wells (1926–2008) portrayed Tom Powell in the 1955 episode, "The Seventh Day". In the story line, a wagon train splits in two when Powell, the captain, refuses to travel on Sundays. Frank Hitchcock (Michael Moore) leads the rival group which includes Powell's love interest, Mary Ann Jessup (Barbara Lang). The wagon train reunites after Powell proves that by resting on Sundays, which refreshed both the settlers and the animals, the party could still travel as far in six days as in seven.[201]
  • Paul Wexler played Clem Scobie, a war hero, in the 1955 episode, "The Homeliest Man in Nevada." In the story line, Clem's looks at first discourage Mona Sherman (Patricia Joiner), who came to Nevada from Emporia, Kansas, from accepting his romantic gestures. When Clem is badly burned in a mining explosion, however, Mona rushes to his side and confesses her love for him.[202]
  • Grace Lee Whitney played Nellie Cashman in the 1969 episode, "The Angel of Tombstone". In the story line, Cashman and several men from Tombstone, Arizona, travel to Baja California in search of gold found by a Mexican prospector. On reaching the site, Cashman learns how a Catholic mission has been quietly financing its charitable work. Gregg Barton, Tris Coffin, and Joaquin Martinez also had roles in this episode.[203]
  • Peter Whitney was cast as Judge Roy Bean in the 1965 episode "A Picture of a Lady", with Francine York as Lillie Langtry and Paul Fix as Bean's friend, Dr. Louis Lathrop. In the story line, the ailing Judge Bean idolizes Lillie's portrait. She visited Langtry, Texas, which Bean claimed to have named in her honor, but only after the judge's death.[204] Whitney was cast as "Peter the Hunter", a mountain man, in the semi-comedic 1964 episode of the same name. In the story line, Peter has three daughters, the older of whom, Tulie (Julie Sommars), is smitten with Jim Beaumont (Anthony Costello) (1938–1983), a greenhorn from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who has failed at gold mining, whom Peter at first detests.[205]
  • Robert J. Wilke was cast as the courageous but aging Sheriff Tom McBain in the episode "Brute Angel". In the story line McBain must arrest the young cut-throat Sam Bolt (Sherwood Price) and transport him for trial for murder in Denver. McBain prays for divine intervention; his friend Pony Cragin (Jim Davis) hears the prayer and removes bullets from Bolt's gun prior to the arrest attempt. Jean Engstrom is cast as McBain's wife, Esther.[206]
  • Jean Willes played Amelia Monk in the 1967 episode, "Siege at Amelia's Kitchen", set in the Arizona Territory of the late 19th century. In the story line, Amelia must adjust to a teenaged stepson, Warren Monk (Dennis Oliveri), son of her husband, Titus Monk (George D. Wallace), particularly during an attack by rogue Indians on their ranch.[207]
  • Don Wilson, the announcer for Jack Benny, appeared as a flim-flam preacher in the 1959 episode, "Gates Ajar Morgan". In the story line, Morgan promotes a false religious philosophy based on the novel The Gates Ajar. He must confess the sham to save his friend and benefactor from a lynch mob. The episode also features Chris Alcaide and Sue Randall.[208]
  • Ben Wright appeared as the power-abusing governor José María de Echeandía in "Forbidden Wedding" (1960).
  • Than Wyenn played storekeeper Isaacs (later Isaac Nogales) in the 1959 episode, "The Birth of a Town".[209]
  • Patrice Wymore appeared as Fay Morgan in "Forty Steps to Glory" (1959).
  • H. M. Wynant was cast as General Philip Sheridan in the 1961 episode, "The Red Petticoat". In the story line, Sheridan's friendship with Indian scout Kahlu (Allen Jaffe) is questioned after a number of ambushes result in dead troopers. Sheridan sticks to his instincts and defends his ally against the outraged residents of the fort.[210]
  • Alan Young played John Batterson Stetson in "The Hat That Won the West" (1962).
  • Tony Young played Corbin in "Phanton Procession" (1963).
  • Robert Yuro played the outlaw Curly Bill Brocius in the episode "A Mule ... Like the Army's Mule" (October 5, 1968). Also appearing in this episode are Sam Melville as Army Lt. Jason Beal and Luke Halpin as the young outlaw Sandy King, who was befriended by Beal. John Pickard played Baldy Johnson.[211] Yuro played the Texas gunfighter King Fisher in the 1970 episode "King of the Uvalde Road", with Dale Robertson as host and actor in the role of "Harry". In the story line, Fisher tries to keep the mail from being delivered to Uvalde from San Antonio.[212]

DVD releases[edit]

Shout! Factory (on behalf of Element 5 Media LLC and Rio Tinto), has released the first two seasons on DVD in Region 1.[213][214] Both seasons were released as Walmart exclusives. The third season was released on March 21, 2017[215] The thirteenth season was released on July 31, 2017 as a Walmart exclusive. Then, on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 the title will "go wide" with a general retail release.[216] The fourteenth season will be released on January 2, 2018.[217]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Complete First Season 18 March 29, 2016
The Complete Second Season 18 July 12, 2016
The Complete Third Season 18 March 21, 2017
The Complete Thirteenth Season 26 October 3, 2017
The Complete Fourteenth Season 26 January 2, 2018

Restoration[edit]

Paul Korver's company Cinelicious in Hollywood was part of the restoration of the TV series Death Valley Days, restoring 458 half-hour film episodes. Cinelicious worked with US Borax Film Archives and Rio Tinto Group, in preserving the TV series. The 16mm, and 35 mm film of Death Valley Days was scanned at 4K resolution for film preservation on a Scanity starting in 2013.[218][219]

Rebroadcasts[edit]

Some episodes of the series were re-run with different sponsorship under the title The Pioneers.[220]

The restored TV series is currently broadcast on the Grit network in the United States.[221]

Two episodes of Death Valley Days are shown weekdays beginning at 6:35 p.m. Eastern on the Encore Westerns Channel.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1955 Emmy Award Nominated Best Western or Adventure Series
-
1961 Western Heritage Awards Won Best Factual Television Program Ruth Woodman and Nat Perrin (For episode "The Great Lounsberry Scoop")

In the 1955–1956 season, NBC offered Frontier, an anthology Western series similar to Death Valley Days hosted by Walter Coy. Though Frontier, a springboard for the Western actor Jack Elam, was nominated for an Emmy Award, it was cancelled after a single season.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ French, Jack & Siegel, David S. (eds.) (2014). Radio Rides the Range: A Reference Guide to Western Drama on the Air, 1929–1967. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-7146-1. Pp. 43–49.
  2. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (21 June 1952). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. – via Google Books.
  3. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 978-1-4236-0587-4.
  4. ^ "Major Horace Bell, Death Vay Days". Internet Movie Data Base. April 26, 1967. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Shanghai Kelly's Birthday Party on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. October 7, 1967. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "A Short Cut Through Tombstone". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Halo for a Badman on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "McGowan Org takes "Death", "Dr. Christian", The Billboard, June 5, 1954, p. 8.
  9. ^ "Madison Productions".
  10. ^ "Timeline – Rio Tinto". 19 December 2010. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Rio Tinto restoring old TV series 'Death Valley Days'".
  12. ^ "Splinter Station". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Hugh Glass Meets the Bear on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. March 24, 1966. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Last Bad Man on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Firebrand". Internet Movie Data Base. March 24, 1966. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "Paid in Fullo on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Hat That Huldah Wore". Internet Movie Data Base. April 7, 1966. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Birthright". Internet Movie Data Base. May 6, 1965. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  19. '^ "The Gold Mine on Main Street on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "The Great Turkey War". Internet Movie Data Base. October 7, 1965. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  21. ^ "he Saga of Dr. Davis on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. March 18, 1967. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  22. ^ "The Informer Who Cried on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  23. ^ "Perilous Refuge on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
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  35. ^ "Yaller on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  36. ^ "A Key for the Fort". Internet Movie Data Base. March 26, 1969. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  37. ^ "Sequoia on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  38. ^ "Preacher with a Past on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  39. ^ "The Peacemaker on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "Solid Gold Cavity of Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. October 1, 1966. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  41. ^ "The Lady and the Sourdough on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. October 8, 1966. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  42. ^ "Jimmy Dayton's Bonanza". Internet Movie Data Base. June 11, 1969. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  43. ^ "The Million Dollar Pants on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  44. ^ "The Measure of a Man". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  45. ^ "The Water Bringer". Internet Movie Data Base. March 17, 1966. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
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  48. ^ "The Gambler and the Lady on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  49. ^ "The Girl Who Walked with a Giant on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. April 12, 1958. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  50. ^ "The Mystery of Suicide Gulch on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  51. ^ "The Left Hand Is Damned on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  52. ^ "Pamela's Oxen on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  53. ^ "A Bargain Is for Keeping". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  54. ^ "The Man Who Wouldn't Die, Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  55. ^ "There Was Another Dalton Brother on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  56. ^ "A Gift on Death Valley Days". January 10, 1969. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  57. ^ "I Am Joaquin on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  58. '^ "Money to Burn on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  59. '^ "A Sponge Full of Vinegar on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  60. ^ "The Race at Cherry Creek on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  61. ^ "3-7-77 on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  62. ^ "Alias James Stuart on Death Valley Dayspublisher=Internet Movie Database". Retrieved September 10, 2018.
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External links[edit]