List of Deadwood characters
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- 1 Main characters
- 2 Supporting characters
- 3 Recurring characters
- 3.1 Francis Wolcott
- 3.2 George Hearst
- 3.3 William Bullock
- 3.4 Jack Langrishe
- 3.5 Jack McCall
- 3.6 Wyatt Earp
- 3.7 Morgan Earp
- 3.8 Miss Isringhausen
- 3.9 Commissioner Jarry
- 3.10 Maddie
- 3.11 Mose Manuel
- 3.12 Andy Cramed
- 3.13 Captain Joe Turner
- 3.14 Aunt Lou
- 3.15 Jen
- 3.16 Eddie Sawyer
- 3.17 Claudia
- 3.18 Dolly
- 4 References
Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) left Etobicoke, Ontario and became a marshal in Montana. Soon he heard stories of gold in Deadwood. Rather than searching for gold, he wanted to open a hardware store with best friend and longtime partner, Sol Star. At the camp, he met Wild Bill Hickok. When Hickok was murdered, Bullock pursued the killer into the Black Hills and captured him, taking him back to Dakota for trial. After his return, he became sheriff of Deadwood. Bullock, one of the few honest men in the camp, was enlisted to look after a gold claim for Alma Garret, an upper class East Coast woman whose husband was killed by Swearengen's men over that claim. Eventually, they became sexually involved despite the fact Bullock is married to his brother's widow and is the stepfather of their son.
He decides ultimately to end his relationship with Alma when his wife Martha and son William come to Deadwood (William is actually Seth's biological nephew. Martha was the widow of Seth's brother who is William's birth father). Later he learns Alma is pregnant with his child, but the pregnancy ends in miscarriage after she is married to Ellsworth. The relationship between Bullock and Martha continues to be rocky in the aftermath of her arrival until they are struck by tragedy, when William is killed by a wild horse. Though the tragedy is devastating, it brings the two closer together. Martha chooses to stay with him in Deadwood.
Although his honest character is instinctively repulsed by Swearengen (and vice versa), the two form an uneasy alliance, and slowly seem to form a fondness for each other. They try to defend the camp against outside interests (e.g., the Hearst mining interests, the territorial government, Alma Garret's in-laws) who have begun to appear in the camp, since Deadwood shows the potential of some degree of wealth. His fiery temper however, often clouds his judgment, distancing Bullock from those closest to him. He makes a dangerous enemy of George Hearst because his determination to stand against his criminal conduct. This puts him in considerable danger, as Hearst does at one point try to create circumstances in which Bullock might be lured into a lethal ambush.
There are several discrepancies between the historical Seth Bullock and the character in the show. In particular, the historical Bullock's wife Martha was not his brother's widow but his childhood sweetheart. In the pilot episode he states he came from Etobicoke, which is poetic license: the historical Seth Bullock was born in Amherstburg, Ontario.
Albert "Swejen" Swearengen (Ian McShane), is the proprietor of the Gem Saloon, born in England but raised in a Chicago orphanage under an abusive figure known as Mrs. Anderson. He mentions on occasion that Mrs. Anderson ran a brothel at the girls' orphanage before running the boys' orphanage. Swearengen was among the first settlers of Deadwood, earning him several land claims and a position of power. The Gem Saloon, offering alcohol, prostitution and faro also acts as Swearengen’s base of operations.
Swearengen is cunning, manipulative and initially appears to be the most cynically amoral of all the characters, showing no hesitation in resorting to violence and murder when it serves his business interests. When former Montana marshal Seth Bullock comes to camp to sell hardware, his upright, law-abiding manner and strong sense of justice serves as an unintended, yet upending threat to Swearengen, and they initially butt heads until Swearengen decides to make Bullock the "face" of Deadwood and encourages him to pick up the badge again, turning Bullock's respectability to his advantage in securing the future of the camp.
Swearengen’s central goal is to retain his own business interests in Deadwood and keep the camp stable and secure in order to get the territory annexed by the United States. As the camp is set upon, first by political interests and then by big capital, Swearengen comes to the realization that the preservation of his own interests depends on collaboration with others in the camp.
While his alliances are often pragmatic and self-serving, Swearengen does show great loyalty to allies such as Mr. Wu. He displays an almost paternalistic (though often abusive) affection for his three main henchmen, Dan Dority, Johnny Burns, and Silas Adams. He is affectionate toward Trixie, one of the prostitutes of the Gem, and is deeply offended when she begins a relationship with Sol Star.
Though he is portrayed as a cutthroat criminal, his character is shown to be more complex, motivated by a peculiar type of morality and justice as well as a need to protect the vulnerable even while seeming to disparage them. For example, though he professes to keep the crippled Jewel around in case someone with only nine cents wants a prostitute, Trixie relates that his employment of Jewel is really his 'sick way' of protecting her. Swearengen smothers the Rev. Smith, but this was to end his suffering rather than out of ill intent. In season 3 he murders an agent of George Hearst for shooting at Alma Garret, beating A.W Merrick, and humiliating Wu. His opposition to both the Pinkertons and George Hearst's machinations also demonstrate a character motivated by morality and the desire to protect the powerless. This is strongly contrasted with his rival Cy Tolliver, who shows little compassion or motivation beyond pure self-interest. Al is thus portrayed as a more heroic character as the series progresses, while Cy remains a villain.
Ian McShane won a Golden Globe in 2005 for his portrayal of Swearengen.
Alma Russell Ellsworth (Molly Parker), formerly Garret, née Russell, is a 30-year-old New Yorker, moved to Deadwood with her new husband Brom Garret, who left the high society of New York to experience frontier life by buying a claim in the gold rich territory, bringing his new wife with him. It is not long until Brom Garret falls foul of Al Swearengen after the gold claim he purchases in a deal brokered by Swearengen appears worthless - threatening the saloon owner with Pinkerton involvement should his money not be returned to him. He is promptly murdered on Swearengen’s orders - only for the claim to turn out a rich one. Now stranded in Deadwood and dealing with attempts by Swearengen to buy the claim back, the widow Garret decides to try her luck on the new frontier rather than sell the claim to return East. She hires Wild Bill Hickok to investigate both the claim and Swearengen’s interest. Hickok soon nominates Bullock to assay her gold claim prior to his murder; an event that places Bullock as the sole guardian of her interests. Eventually, the two begin an affair cut short by the arrival of Bullock's wife and stepson and their mutual revulsion at the prospect of marital infidelity. Alma is, however, brokenhearted and jealous, as well as furious with both Seth and Martha, although she knows that feeling is irrational. Her mood is not aided by her being pregnant by Bullock. In the meantime, she has had to fend off not only her own father, who has heard of the new found wealth and come seeking a share, but also a surreptitious plan by her husband's family to frame her for her husband's murder and therefore take the claim over for themselves. The additional intense interest of the Hearst mining empire in her claim also poses future problems. To ensure she is not ridiculed during her pregnancy, Trixie tells Ellsworth he should propose to Alma. After a period of hesitation, Alma accepts Ellsworth's proposal and marries him the following week in front of several Deadwood citizens and friends. In the initial episodes she had an addiction to laudanum, which she overcame with the assistance of Trixie. She has also taken Sofia Metz, an orphan whose family was murdered, under her wing as a foster daughter.
In the third season, Alma loses her baby and returns to her drug addiction. Seeing her addiction as a sign of her unhappiness, Ellsworth decides they should separate. She opens up Deadwood's first bank but is under increasing pressure to sell to Hearst. She tries to negotiate with him but he will only accept full ownership of the claim. He tries to intimidate her by shooting at her in the street, to provoke Ellsworth to be killed in a fight. Swearengen stops this from happening but Ellsworth is later assassinated by one of Hearst's men. With no alternative other than to flee the camp, she sells to Hearst.
Whitney Conway Ellsworth (Jim Beaver) is an experienced prospector who has sought gold all over the country, even having once worked as a miner at wage and an overseer on sites owned by the Hearst mining company. Having left his position with the company, disgusted at the nonchalant attitude to the well-being of the miners, he is introduced in the first season as one of the many individuals who have traveled to the town on the promise of wealth in the gold-rich hills, revealing himself to have a 'dead-eye' for the color having successfully managed to eke out a comfortable living in this profession.
He was a regular of the Gem Saloon like many of the town's prospectors and was liked by the Gem's employees including Trixie and Dan Dority. Also understanding the dangerous nature of their employer, he keeps his witnessing of Brom Garret's murder to himself lest he meet a similarly unfortunate "accident." In return for his silence, Dan Dority does not make known to Swearengen Ellsworth's status as a witness.
After being hired by Seth Bullock to manage Alma's claim to keep her title active, he begins growing an attachment and a strong sense of loyalty toward her and the young orphan Sofia in her care, with whom he begins to form a father-daughter bond. By the second season, Ellsworth has gone from a mere prospector to completely overseeing Alma's claim and the digging operations as well as being a trusted friend and confidant. He defends her claim by chasing off Hearst's geologist, Francis Wolcott, when he comes to spy out the territory - the two familiar with one another from Ellsworth's days working for the Hearst company - and advises Alma to stand her ground when rumor is spread in the camp about the future instability of gold claims once the town is annexed. He also seems to grow distanced from the Gem as well, refusing to genuflect in the presence of the likes of Dority as he once did - a sign of his moving away from his older life and his growing self-assurance and confidence. He has formed friendships with Joanie Stubbs and Sol Star.
Later he is advised by Trixie to wed Alma once it is clear she has become pregnant by Sheriff Bullock. Trusting it is the right thing to do and with a genuine wish to help her save face and help raise both Sofia and the future child, he proposes. She demurs at first but soon accepts his proposal and marries him the following week in front of their gathered friends and townspeople.
When George Hearst attempts to force Alma to sell him her gold claim, Ellsworth is one of the few in town who will stand up to him. But his relationship with Alma falls apart when she miscarries and begins using dope again. The final straw comes when she gets high and attempts to consummate their relationship out of obligation. Despite this, they remain friends. Near the end of Season 3, he is shot to death by one of Hearst's agents while supervising Alma's claim. His body is brought to camp in the back of a wagon, and many people, including Trixie, are shocked and upset by his death.
As originally written, the character was simply "Ellsworth". When the wedding episode required Ellsworth's full name to be revealed, Jim Beaver, a film historian engaged in writing a biography of TV Superman George Reeves, suggested he be named Whitney Ellsworth, after the first producer of Adventures of Superman.
Dan Dority (W. Earl Brown), probably based on the real-life Dan Doherty, is Al Swearengen's right-hand man. A former bushwhacker, he has been with Al for years and serves him as bodyguard, enforcer and killer. While violent and short-tempered he is not a heartless killer. In the first season he defies Al with the help of Doc Cochran, helping spirit Sofia Metz out of town instead of killing her and decides not to harm Ellsworth, even though he witnessed his murder of Brom Garret. Many others have fallen victim to his short temper, though. When Al is sick at the start of season 2, Dan tells Trixie that he would've been a good-for-nothing scumbag if he had never met Al.
Dan is jealous of Silas Adams' favor with Al, leading Adams to comment, "Any chance you and me don't end in blood?" The two have an uneasy alliance, however, and Adams saves Dan from a throat-cutting in the second-season finale. Though Al's choice to use Adams in his negotiations with Hearst also draws resentment, despite Dan's clear unsuitability for the task.
In Season 3 he is challenged to a fight by Hearst's bodyguard, Captain Turner. He wins, killing Turner in a brutal fight, but only just, which leaves him slightly traumatised, now fully realising his own mortality.
Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) is Cy Tolliver's former madam at the Bella Union. Joanie, unlike Trixie, acts only as the hostess, and not as a prostitute herself. Although she is a lesbian, Stubbs has a long relationship with Cy and is one of the few people Cy cares for, though his increasingly unpredictable and violent behaviour sours their friendship. Often depressed and self-loathing, she was apparently bought by Cy from her own father, who had abused and pimped her and her younger sisters as prostitutes. Joanie also reveals that her father used her to coerce her sisters to sleep with him—to "see to his needs since mama was gone." As a result, the emotionally scarred Joanie is weighed down by guilt.
Cy encourages Joanie to spread her wings and form her own brothel, though he may not be very committed to the idea. She leaves the Bella Union to open the Chez Amis, importing high-class and experienced prostitutes from the East with her friend Maddie. Unfortunately, Maddie has funded the operation with funds from Francis Wolcott who is violent toward women and has killed prostitutes before. When Tolliver discovers this and tries to blackmail Wolcott, Wolcott kills several of the women including Maddie. Joanie arranges for the surviving prostitutes to be spirited to safety by Charlie Utter, but remains sitting alone in her shuttered place of business with her dreams of independence destroyed. Her spirits are restored by smashing a bourbon bottle on Wolcott's head when he returns to the scene. She also finds comfort in her burgeoning romantic attachment to Calamity Jane. She attempts to rebuild her life by making the Chez Amis into a school house. It is also the refuge of Mose, who recovers there after being shot in the Bella Union.
Dr. Amos "Doc" Cochran (Brad Dourif) is the only doctor in the camp of Deadwood. He is relatively invulnerable to the risk of violence in Deadwood, as he is valuable to Swearengen and Tolliver for his medical maintenance of the prostitutes and as a result is unafraid to speak his mind to both of them, as their behaviour is often cold and cruel. He was charged with grave robbery seven times. When the Reverend Smith is at his last extremity, dying of a brain tumor, Cochran prays for the reverend to be released from suffering, and weeps as he recalls the cries of agony he has heard on the battlefield during the Civil War. When Al falls ill he claims that he doesn't want to lose another patient and is under so much stress he can't stop his hands from shaking. At the end, he succeeds in making Al better and his confidence seemed to go up again after that. He displays constantly a moral compass similar to humanist philosophy.
When Chinese prostitutes appear in town, he is shocked by the inhumane conditions in which they are kept. Much to his distress he is barred from treating them, forced to stand by and watch them die.
In Season 3, he shows symptoms of tuberculosis. Al, however, spurs him on not to just lie down and die, remarking "I ain't learning a new Doc's 'quirks'".
Martha Eccles Bullock (Anna Gunn) is Seth Bullock's wife and former sister-in-law. Seth's brother Robert had been a cavalryman and died while fighting comancheros in Texas. Bullock felt obliged to marry and take care of the widow and orphan, although he is not actually romantically involved with her. This was the custom of the time so many children would not grow up fatherless after the Civil and Indian wars. She feels a confusing mix of gratitude towards Bullock, perhaps even romantic love for him, but wishes he not sacrifice his own happiness any more than necessary to provide for her and her son. However, she still harbors great deal of jealousy towards her husband's feelings for Alma Garret, though is perplexed by his reluctance to act on them.
She is devastated by the death of her son William. The grief, however, brings her and Seth together and they continue to live together in Deadwood. She later becomes the teacher of the camp's children.
The real-life Marguerite "Martha" Bullock was not the widow of Seth Bullock's brother, but had married Bullock prior to coming to Deadwood.
Solomon "Sol" Star (John Hawkes) is Seth Bullock's best friend and partner in the hardware business and the only Jew in camp. He is from Vienna, Austria. Imperturbable and sensible, Sol has become a rising force in the camp; originally seeing the potential wealth in providing tools to the mass of prospectors in Deadwood, the second season sees Sol set his sights on forming the first bank in Deadwood alongside Alma Garret. Though mocked by Swearengen at every turn for his being Jewish, particularly during the initial phase of buying the future site of the Bullock and Star hardware from the saloon owner, Sol never rose to the bait; showing not only his business acumen but his level headedness against his friend's occasionally rash nature. Though he seems meek in nature, he has proven to be capable of standing up for himself when provoked.
He also formed a relationship with Trixie, Swearengen's favored girl at The Gem. She helped nurse him back to health from a bullet wound sustained as a bystander to the fight between Swearengen and Bullock in the opening episode of Season Two, but Sol has become frustrated at the fondness and loyalty she still retains for Swearengen.
By the third season, Star has become such a respectable figure of the camp that he runs for mayor against Farnum. Knowing he will win, Swearengen connives to sell Star a house and has Trixie housed in the hotel next door where she can enter his room through a secret passage in the wall, to make their relationship less of an open secret and make Star appear a more respectable candidate.
A. W. Merrick
A. Walter "A. W." Merrick (Jeffrey Jones) is the proprietor of the local newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer. Somewhat pretentious in his bearing, he prides himself as a newspaperman with a duty to print the truth, but must navigate a twisty path of remaining friends with all the major players in town and being privy to their plans and confidences. He gains the friendship of Seth Bullock, Sol Star, and Charlie Utter, and even suggests that since he enjoys walking and socializing with them about the local goings on, that they should form a club for doing just that.
Though not a man of great courage, Merrick is a man of principle. He refuses to print Commissioner Jarry's notice which puts claims in the camp under doubt, and as a result comes under attack from Tolliver, who send Leon and Stapleton to trash his press. After this, Swearengen makes him his ally and conspires with him to print articles in the paper to draw back his control and bring elections to the camp. Merrick comes under attack again in Season 3 when he publishes a letter designed to embarrass Hearst. Hearst has him beaten up as a result, and Merrick is injured to the point where he cannot put on his clothes by himself. He is also one of the few people Al really seems to like, he even kills the one responsible for Merrick's beating.
Trixie (Paula Malcomson) is Al Swearengen's favorite girl at the Gem. Swearengen is often abusive toward her, but she always returns to him and he in turn often shows great affection for her, though not openly.
Despite her rather frank and foul-mouthed nature, she is one of the more compassionate members of the camp. When she is nursing Alma and Sofia, she helps Alma kick her dope habit against the wishes of Swearengen. She attempts suicide afterward believing Al will kill her for going against his wishes. Despite her insubordination, Swearengen is most angry because of this attempt to kill herself. She seems not to know her last name, as she asks a receipt to be made to Trixie "the whore" when she made a deposit at the Deadwood bank.
In an effort to get out from under Al, she acknowledges Sol Star's affection toward her. At first she is reluctant to foster a romantic relationship on account of being a prostitute, but as she spends more time away from the Gem, she grows closer to Sol Star. While initially Swearengen comes between Star and Trixie, he later releases Trixie back to a sort of apprenticeship at the hardware store, telling her she has to see "her lot's improved."
The relationship between Trixie and Star is rekindled when she nurses him back to health after he is shot and with whom she eventually finds employment and romance, but remains devoted to Swearengen and reports back to him on Star's and Bullock's activities and disguising her true feelings for Star. She starts to work at the hardware store learning accounting. She spends a short time working as a clerk at the bank.
She is friends with Ellsworth. On learning he has been killed, marches to the Grand Hotel to shoot Hearst in retaliation, with her top undone and vulva showing to take attention away from her face. She shoots him in the shoulder but does not kill him. Hearst wants her killed in retaliation. Al will not allow it. Instead he kills another prostitute, Jen, who resembles her, to placate Hearst.
The character is not based on a single real-life person. The scene of her putting a bullet through the skull of a violent client who astounds all by clinging to life for another half hour, is based on an actual report by John S. McClintock of such an occurrence involving a prostitute at the Gem Theater named "Tricksie." This includes the detail of the doctor inserting a probe through the hole in the man's skull.
It is implied Al is in love with her and spurns her later on to have a better quality of life than he could provide her. He verbally attacks Trixie when she casually mentions she'd "like to turn a fuckin' trick" long after she's stopped working as a prostitute, chastising her for not realizing "when her lot's improved."
Thomas "Tom" Nuttall (Leon Rippy) is proprietor of the No. 10 Saloon which is the site of Wild Bill Hickok's murder. (The saloon is named for its address on the camp's main thoroughfare.) One of the first settlers to arrive in Deadwood, arriving before even Swearengen, he has grown increasingly disillusioned with the camp and its future and has gone as far as to consider selling his saloon and leaving the camp.
Towards the end of Season 1, he convinces Swearengen to set up his saloon's card dealer, Con Stapleton, as the camp's first sheriff, but renounces him when he falls under Cy Tolliver's corrupting influence and is physically stripped of his badge by Bullock. In Season 2 he receives the first bicycle in camp, which he defends against ridicule by accepting a challenge to ride through the town over difficult terrain. He forms a brief friendship with William Bullock. After a spooked horse tramples William, Tom feels a great deal of remorse due to William having been placed by his mother into Tom's care in order for William to watch the bicycle ride.
Swearengen hints at Tom's violent past by saying he'd "Sent many Native Americans to the happy hunting ground. Formidable, Tom was. And no more fool now than time shows us all." In Season 3 he expresses interest in co-founding a Deadwood fire brigade with his barman, Harry Manning, who is standing for Sheriff.
He plays the spoons.
The Nuttall character is based on a real-life person named William "Billy" Nuttall, co-owner of the real-life #10 Saloon in the Deadwood camp.
E. B. Farnum
Eustace Bailey "E. B." Farnum (William Sanderson) is the proprietor of the Grand Central Hotel and self-appointed mayor of the town, a role he inhabits with comic opera buffoonish seriousness. He is totally controlled by Swearengen, although he harbors delusions of potential grandeur for himself. He is incredibly greedy — costing Al the chance to buy Alma Garret's claim due to low offers — and continually asks prying questions to people around town, leading to numerous abuses and threats directed towards him. He was the agent in helping establish the Bella Union in town, although Al chooses to let him live as an informant.
He is disliked and insulted by most members of the camp and is beaten by Bullock at one point when he believes that Farnum has betrayed information of his relationship with Alma to Hearst, who buys the Grand Central from Farnum, offering him $100,000 and position as manager. This distances him from Swearengen's operations and makes him an isolated figure.
His one and only confidant is his servant, Richardson, whom he scolds and insults on many occasions, but as Season 3 progresses even he is distanced from him as Richardson becomes friends with Hearst's cook, Aunt Lou. Hearst's attitude towards him drives him to the brink and Farnum finally tries to stand up to him and return to Al's good graces.
Jane Canary (Robin Weigert), a former scout for General Custer, arrived in camp with Wild Bill Hickok and Charlie Utter. She idolized Hickok, is still friends with Charlie Utter (albeit grudgingly), and forges a friendship with Doc Cochran, after their joint efforts in protecting Sofia Metz and the doctor's enlistment of her aid in fighting a smallpox epidemic.
Known for her hard drinking and swearing, Jane is truculent and abrasive upon first impression, but her character has a loopy humor and an upright moral center that grows on people in the camp. After Hickok's murder, she sinks even deeper into severe depression and alcoholism. At the end of Season 1, she leaves camp, telling Utter that she cannot bear to be a drunk in the place where Hickok is buried. Utter is seen voicing "grave doubts" about Jane's future to Hickok's grave.
Despite a constant tough front, she is overcome with fear when confronted with violence (such as with Tolliver and Swearengen.) Despite offering little history of herself, she mentions to Charlie Utter after she's confronted by Al that she hadn't been that scared since she was a child, possibly telling that men like Cy and Al remind her of her own father. She recovers somewhat due to her relationship with Joanie Stubbs. Joanie invites Jane to live with her and helps her through her depression, and they begin a romantic liaison.
Though never referred to as "Calamity Jane" in the series, the origin of her nickname is implied by Andy Cramed, a smallpox victim left to die in the woods by Cy Tolliver, whom she recovered and helped nurse back to health. Upon his recovery, he tells her "Hereafter in calamity, I'll be sure to call for Jane."
Charles "Charlie" Utter (Dayton Callie) is the good friend of Hickok and Jane, and Hickok's sometime business partner. He runs a mail and freight business in the camp and is also one of Bullock's deputies. He is an honest and uncomfortable person with a kind and generous nature. Incredibly noble, he is also tough and fearless in the face of adversity and not afraid to speak his mind clearly.
He is friends with Joanie Stubbs and is approached by her in desperation upon the murders of three of her prostitutes by Wolcott, and smuggles the rest out of town to safety. Sworn to secrecy about the matter, Utter nevertheless takes the opportunity to administer a terrible beating to Wolcott on the pretext of Wolcott's having stepped on Utter's toe. Later though, Charlie displays some pity for the man.
He continues to have an up and down relationship with Jane as she continues to decline into alcoholism, despite the abuse she gives him; he constantly looks out for her, (he spurs her on to take a job at his freight business and to start a friendship with Joanie Stubbs). He displays his fearlessness again in Season 3 when he harasses Hearst in his cell after he is arrested by Bullock, trivializing the man's authority in the camp. He later threatens his life at the door of his hotel room.
The character is based on the real-life person "Colorado" Charlie Utter, a member of Wild Bill Hickok's entourage. However, the nickname "Colorado Charlie" is never used for the character on the show.
Cyrus "Cy" Tolliver (Powers Boothe) is the owner of the upscale Bella Union saloon and Al Swearengen’s main rival. Cy has an 18-year relationship with former prostitute and madam Joanie Stubbs, who later leaves the Bella Union to form her own brothel, leaving a mix of friendship and anger between them. Cy is clearly in love with Joanie and is bitter not to have his feelings reciprocated. Ruthless and with a veneer of class and polish, Cy soon proves that while he may lack his rival’s skill in cunning duplicity he makes it up in ambition, becoming temporarily allied with the Hearst combine in Season 2. He also becomes partners with Mr. Lee, the newly arrived Tong leader from San Francisco, in “Celestial’s Alley”, an area of low-priced gambling and Chinese prostitution that sees women placed in unspeakably horrid conditions, a fact Cy dismisses as a mere “cultural difference.” However, he does accept Doc Cochran's offer to treat them for free, as a condition of Cochran's continuing to treat Tolliver's white prostitutes. As Season 2 climaxes, Swearengen ends up on top, leaving Cy Tolliver in a weakened position with both Francis Wolcott and Mr. Lee dead and Cy receiving a knife to the stomach courtesy of Andy Cramed, after attempting to coerce him into ending his ministerial activities.
He survives but becomes increasingly desperate and unstable. Though he clearly despises Tolliver, Hearst employs him to act as his agent, but Tolliver finds Hearst difficult to work with. When he hands him an advantage, having discovered that Leon is dealing dope to Alma, Hearst rants angrily that he should have told him sooner. When Hearst leaves camp, he puts Tolliver in charge of his "other-than-mining interests," as Cy snidely puts it, making him angry at Hearst for all but eliminating their business together. Soon afterwards, Tolliver exits to the Bella Union balcony accompanied by Leon and a prostitute. He stabs Leon and tells him he's stupid for congratulating him on his remaining business with Hearst. In his anger he points a gun at Hearst's coach as it readies to leave the camp, but does not shoot him. Instead he presses the gun to the prostitute's forehead, before regaining his calm and returning inside.
Wild Bill Hickok
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (Keith Carradine) has a reputation as one of the fastest gunslingers around. He arrives in Deadwood as a weary man who seems determined to let his compulsive drinking and gambling take over. With him are his friend, Charlie Utter, and devotee, Calamity Jane. He has apparently come to prospect but despite Charlie Utter's attempts to persuade him to do so, he shows no interest and scolds Charlie for not leaving him be. He becomes friends with Bullock after they save Sofia and shoot down one of her attackers.
Charlie thinks Bullock will have a positive effect on Bill, and works to bring the two together before Bill's death.
He becomes involved with Alma's affair, first by turning down her husband's request to help him get money back from Al Swearengen after he has been tricked into buying a dry claim. He represents Alma when Brom is killed and enlists Bullock to help him find a prospector to look at the claim.
Wild Bill frequents Tom Nuttal's No. 10 Saloon, as opposed to the Gem or the Bella Union, at one point explaining to Al Swearengen, "you don't have poker," when asked why he doesn't visit the Gem more often. Eventually, Nuttal begins fronting cash to Bill in order to keep the legendary lawman as a regular of his establishment, which Nuttal believes is good for business. When Bill's fortunes at the card table take a turn for the better, he runs afoul of Jack McCall after winning all of his money. McCall angrily insults Wild Bill, and in response, Bill slides him a one-dollar chip telling him to go buy some breakfast. Seething over the perceived insult, McCall later returns to the No. 10 where Bill is uncharacteristically sitting with his back to the door (instead of to the wall, as is his wont). McCall approaches Hickok from behind and shoots him in the head at point-blank range, killing him instantly.
John "Johnny" Burns (Sean Bridgers) is a worker at the Gem Saloon and one of Al's lackeys. His main jobs are tending bar, cleaning, and hauling corpses to Wu's pigsty. Young and ambitious, Johnny is also not too bright, leading Al to continually abuse him verbally and physically. He shoots Charlie Utter and Sol Star in the second season but does not kill them and expresses severe remorse, unlike Adams and Dority. Though he is very loyal to Al, he refuses to kill the prostitute Jen whom Al is trying to trick Hearst into thinking is Trixie. Johnny tries but can't put himself up to the deed and tells Al he won't do it. Therefore, Al knocks him out, and they tie him up. Later Dan frees him, and Johnny asks Al if Jen suffered. Al says he tried to do it as painlessly as possible. When Johnny leaves the room, Al adds the comment, "Wants me to tell him something pretty."
Though Johnny is portrayed as very stupid, he has shown forms of intelligence. He can read and teach it to others. Later in the series he shows understanding of Wu's drawings and pidgin English when even Al cannot make out the meaning.
Silas Adams (Titus Welliver), also known as "the bagman from Yankton", who comes to camp to collect bribe money for Magistrate Clagget. Swearengen hires Adams to join his operation, as he is smarter than Al's other lackeys, paying him to slice Clagget's throat for extorting money from Swearengen. Adams serves Swearengen as his contact in Yankton to bring him news of the territorial changes, as well as relying on his legal counsel when dealing with Commissioner Jarry and his election proposals. He also serves as middleman between Hearst and Swearengen.
Has a brief, ill-fated romance with Miss Isringhausen (a Pinkerton agent).
He is a rival of Dan Dority for Swearengen's favor, although he saves Dan's life from a Chinese knife-wielder in the Season 2 finale and the two form a tentative alliance.
Sofia Metz (Bree Seanna Wall) is the sole survivor of an attack on her family on the way home to her native Minnesota. She and her family were members of the Norwegian community in Minnesota, and were referred to as "squareheads" by Swearengen, a slur against Scandinavians. A robbery by Swearengen's men disguised as an attack by hostile Indians left Sofia tramautized and unresponsive. Possibly not even speaking English, her parents and two sisters (Marta and Ingrid) murdered, she is nevertheless targeted for murder by Swearengen to eliminate the possibility of her identifying her family's killers; however, with the help and protection of Calamity Jane and Doc Cochran, she regains her health and becomes the ward of Alma Garret. She grows especially close to Whitney Ellsworth, after his business dealings and later marriage to Garret, and is instrumental in convincing Garret that they should stay in Deadwood so that they can continue to visit his final resting place.
Mr. Wu (Keone Young) is the official or unofficial leader of Deadwood's substantial but mostly unseen Chinese ("Celestials") population, the Asian counterpart to Swearengen. He routinely interacts with Swearengen and other Caucasians over a few matters of business, such as the opium trade, and the seemingly daily efficient disposal of numerous human remains, through the route of his pigs. He knows almost no English beyond the words "San Francisco," "cocksucker," and "Hearst." He however communicates effectively with Swearengen (whom he refers to as "Swedgin!") with the aid of charcoal drawings and hand signals. Nonetheless, Swearengen considers his shaking hand signals and lack of eye contact to be disturbing.
In Season 2, he becomes highly anxious over the arrival in town of the much more polished Mr. Lee from San Francisco, who appears to be the local representative of a large and shadowy tong organization allied with George Hearst, which henceforward supplies Deadwood with opium and low-priced Chinese prostitutes, from a new establishment to be called "Celestials' Alley", in partnership with Tolliver.
In the second season's final episode, Wu strikes back with the blessing of Hearst and Swearengen, slitting Lee's throat and leading Swearengen's crew to kill Lee's men. Swearengen strikes a deal for Wu to take over Lee's position of finding laborers for Hearst's mining operation, easily supplanting Tolliver in running Chinese affairs. In a symbol of loyalty to Swearengen, Wu slices off his braid (an action punishable by death in China at the time) and declares he will remain in America forever.
In Season 3, he returns from business in San Francisco wearing Western dress (which, as multiple characters remark, he looks terrible in). Wu had been tasked by Al with recruiting Chinese laborers in San Francisco to work in Hearst's mines. Sensing that Swearengen and Hearst have become bitter rivals, he holds the workers in another town rather than bring them to Deadwood. In the series finale he brings his men into town in case the dealings with George Hearst take a turn for the worse.
The character can be loosely based on Wong Fee Lee, the owner of several Chinatown businesses and properties including the Wing Tsue bazaar.
Blazanov (Pasha D. Lychnikoff) is Deadwood's Russian immigrant telegraph operator. He feels a scrupulous dedication to his responsibility to not reveal the private information that he translates and delivers, resisting both Dority's attempts to intimidate him and Farnum's attempts to bribe him into revealing private information. Later, he makes exceptions to the rules as he sees the danger Hearst poses to Deadwood. At one point, he discusses how his parents had sacrificed financially to send him to school, and how they were subsequently murdered by thugs comparable to Hearst's goons. Blazanov's telegraph office is located in the newspaper office of A.W. Merrick, and the two appear to become close friends.
Leon (Larry Cedar), Cy Tolliver's general informant and lackey, is addicted to opium. Formerly employed as a double agent to give Swearengen false information, he and the dope fiend Jimmy Irons robbed and murdered Mr. Wu's opium courier, leading to Jimmy being fed to Wu's pigs. Leon worked to incite anti-Chinese sentiment in the camp following this event, though more out of fear of Cy than anything else, and now serves as Tolliver's eyes around town. He begins to deal dope to Alma Garret in Season 3 and Tolliver finds out. Afraid that he will be implicated in any attempt to murder Alma, he stops dealing to her soon after. He was meant to be a great card sharp before he became an opium addict, according to Cy.
In the final episode of Season 3, Cy Tolliver, in a fit of frustration over Hearst's treatment of him, stabs Leon in the leg. The knife cuts through his femoral artery, and Leon soon bleeds to death on Tolliver's balcony. Dazed from blood loss in his dying moments, Leon still tries to compliment Cy, leading Tolliver to comment, "If those were your last words, tell the Lord you died stupid."
Con Stapleton (Peter Jason) starts out as the dim-witted card dealer at the No. 10 saloon. He can be easily distinguished by his large, bright-colored and ill-fitting hat, which he is never seen without. Stapleton is briefly installed as sheriff when the Number 10's owner, Tom Nuttall, began to fear that the camp was "leaving him behind" and asked Al Swearengen to set up his employee in a position of power.
However, Stapleton quickly let himself be bribed by Tolliver to stir up anti-Chinese sentiment. After murdering a Chinese resident of the camp without justification, he is stripped of his badge by an enraged Bullock. While Nuttall renounced him following the incident, Stapleton has remained in Tolliver's employ, often working with Leon, doing odd jobs such as security at the Bella Union and trashing Merrick's printing press. He is seduced by one of Langrishe's theatre troupe.
Jewel (Geri Jewell) is the disabled cleaning woman at the Gem, Al Swearengen's saloon and brothel. (She is played by Geri Jewell, who is affected by cerebral palsy.) Jewel often uses her job in the Gem to "overhear" what is really going on. Coffee and most of the meals from the Gem kitchen are prepared by her. Al makes a public show of barely tolerating her, often publicly referring to her as "the gimp" or complaining about her noisily dragging her stiff leg. Jewel responds with a cheerful, mocking disrespect Al would tolerate from no one else. When Al was briefly disabled after a minor stroke, Jewel comments, "He's always dragging that fucking leg!" Despite Jewel's apparent dismissal of Al's comments, she takes it upon herself to enlist the town doctor to make her a leg brace to ease her own movement, as well as Al's loud constant complaining. Trixie, defending Swearengen to Calamity Jane, cites Jewel as an example of Al's kindness, which he publicly downplays. Al maintains that he only keeps Jewel around in case a customer "only has nine cents" (i.e., can't afford the usual price of a Gem prostitute), but Trixie calls this "his sick ... way of protecting her" implying he may simply be fond of her, as she is seen exclusively cooking and cleaning. It is also hinted Al pays her to do this. At one point Al remarks that he first met Jewel in a Chicago orphanage, suggesting that their relationship is akin to that of brother and sister. Jewel is also shown to be quite strong and dependable, taking charge when Al is ill and locked in his office and ordering Dan to break the door down when the others are afraid to approach.
Richardson (Ralph Richeson) is an unkempt, seemingly simple-minded employee at the Grand Central Hotel whose duties include cleaning and cooking. He rarely speaks and is quite inarticulate on the occasions that he does, in sharp contrast to his talkative employer Farnum. Richardson has a strange fixation with an old deer's antler given to him absent-mindedly by Alma (whom he told "I like you. You're purdy."). He clings to the antler when frightened, carries it when sent by Farnum on an errand, and sometimes raises it to a pair of larger antlers, in prayer.
Farnum detests Richardson, regards him as mentally feeble, and frequently chastises him, sometimes comparing him to a frog or grotesque beast, or calling him egg hatched; yet, ironically, Richardson is the only person in whom Farnum can totally confide. Late in the show's run, some indications are given that Richardson is not the completely uneducated idiot he seems: he is seen reading a newspaper in private, and reveals himself as an adept juggler at the newly opened theater's amateur night. In Season 3, his job as the Grand Hotel's cook is taken over by Aunt Lou, though Richardson continues as her assistant.
Though originally hired as an extra, Richardson was added as a main character after producer David Milch and the writers found they liked his eccentric performance in early scenes. The role marked Ralph Richeson's first on-screen speaking credit as an actor.
Arnette Hostetler (Richard Gant) runs the livery stable. Hostetler is, by default, the primary source of company for Samuel Fields, by virtue of being the only other black man in camp, which leads to much friction between their conflicting personalities. When Fields becomes an unwitting victim of an angry mob led by a hooligan named Steve Fields seeking to take out their frustration at the possibility of being bilked out of their claims, Hostetler provides brief shelter to him, and then immediately betrays him when faced with threat of violence. Fields, for his part, never blames him for this, saying "I'd have done the same thing, only quicker."
He is forced to later flee the camp when a horse brought to him by Samuel tramples William Bullock to death. They later bring the horse back to camp in attempt to seek forgiveness from Bullock. In their absence, Steve has taken over the Livery. Bullock is forced to broker a deal between the two and Hostetler agrees to sell Steve the livery and leave camp. But Steve continually insults and verbally abuses Hostetler throughout the transaction. He finally pushes him over the brink and Hostetler shoots himself in the head, something he attempted once before in earlier appearances, having been driven "crazy with pride," according to Samuel Fields.
Steve "the Drunk" Fields
Steve Fields (Michael Harney) is one of the camp's many drunks as well as being a loudmouth and racist. He is a continual nuisance at Tom Nuttall's Saloon. Steve Fields leads a lynch mob against Commissioner Jarry in season two. After failing to get Jarry, he proceeds to lead the mob against "Nigger General" Samuel Fields. Bullock disperses the lynch mob, and later threatens and beats Steve on account of his behavior. Steve, seeking revenge, secretly masturbates onto Bullock's horse. He is caught by Hostetler, who plans on killing him, but the "Nigger General" walks in on the two and persuades Hostetler to let Steve live, providing he recognizes all men are God's children, and signs a board admitting that he abused Bullock's horse. He hurts his back as a wild horse tramples him and William Bullock. When Hostetler leaves town to capture the wild horse which escaped while under his care, Steve takes over the livery, but hostilities continue when Hostetler returns. Bullock negotiates the sale of the livery to Steve. After the deal is complete, Steve demands the board he signed back from Hostetler. He continues to verbally abuse Hostetler as they are searching for the board. The board is found, but the writing, having been in chalk, has become illegible. Steve calls Hostetler a liar, which drives Hostetler to suicide. The next day he plans to remove one of the horseshoes from Samuel Fields' horse, so he'd have time to persuade him to stay in his employ at the livery. Samuel finds Steve in a vegetative state, apparently kicked in the head by the horse. "Nigger General" Samuel Fields delays his own plans to leave, and reluctantly cares for Steve.
The "Nigger General" Samuel Fields (Franklyn Ajaye), loosely based on Samuel Fields, is befriended by Calamity Jane. He is nearly lynched during mob violence led by the drunk Steve Fields. Later, Steve is caught by Hostetler during a sexual act on the sheriff's horse's leg. Samuel walks in on Hostetler planning to kill Steve, but persuades him to blackmail Steve by signing a confession on a blackboard.
A wild horse, which Samuel and Hostetler are attempting to geld, escapes from their care and tramples William Bullock, the son of Martha Bullock. Samuel stops Hostetler from committing suicide over the incident, and instead the both of them ride out of town to capture the horse that trampled Bullock's son. When they return, Samuel and Hostetler plan to start a livery in Oregon, however Steve drives Hostetler to suicide with racial taunts and epithets. Fields plans to leave town, but he is held up by his promise to help Aunt Lou persuade her son to leave. Later, Steve offers him a job at the livery, all the while verbally abusing him. Samuel refuses, and when he returns to the livery to depart with his horse, he discovers that Steve has been paralyzed by a blow to the head. Samuel takes up Steve's care, at first delighted for being able to mock him back, but soon he changes his conduct and takes good care of him. He lingers in camp looking after the horses and after Steve, pushing him around in a wheelbarrow, paying for his care, and addressing him in a friendly manner. He attempts to leave the camp many times, but finds fate intervening whenever he is about to leave.
Reverend Henry Weston Smith (Ray McKinnon) is a kind Christian minister who, among other tasks, leads the funerals of many of the individuals who die in the course of the first season. Smith was a field nurse in the Civil War, serving at Shiloh and 2nd Manassas, until he received a "sign from God." He subsequently left his wife and children and became a reverend in Deadwood.
When the plague arrives in camp Smith assists Calamity Jane and Doc Cochran in the "pest tent" (quarantine section). Over the course of the first season, Smith suffers from a condition that gradually causes his mental and physical collapse. He starts hallucinating, and at one point doubts if Starr and Bullock are his friends or just demons disguised as his friends. As his condition deteriorates he suffers memory lapses and headaches, later becoming bedridden and housed at the prostitutes' quarters in The Gem, before Al takes his life in an act of mercy. Dan Dority and Johnny Burns watch as Al closes the reverend's eyes after saying "You can go now, brother," a possible reference to Al's own brother, who Al had previously mentioned as having similar ailments to the Reverend.
Francis Wolcott (Garret Dillahunt), the chief geologist of wealthy San Francisco mining magnate George Hearst, has arrived in camp in order to ascertain whether any of the claims might be of value to the Hearst empire, and if so, to set about acquiring them by any means necessary. He enlists Cy Tolliver to operate as the front for his operation. Wolcott is a self-deprecating and unstable character. He has a sexually violent attitude towards women and has murdered prostitutes. He seems unable to control these impulses and struggles to explain them, showing at times sorrow and regret for doing them, feeling ashamed in front of what he sees as normal people. Wolcott and McCall, arguably the two members of the cast with the most degraded character, are played by the same actor. Wolcott's violent appetite emerges in camp when he kills three prostitutes, including Joanie's friend Maddie, at the Chez Amis. Tolliver disposes of the bodies and covers for Wolcott. David Milch revealed on the commentary for "New Money", Wolcott was likely sexually abused as a youth, most likely by his mother, which Joanie immediately picks up on, as does he of her own incestuous relationships. He has a dislike of being seen naked, and murders a prostitute seemingly because she has "seen him".
When Tolliver saw his operations with Wolcott had failed to bring him standing with Hearst, he tells Hearst about Wolcott's activities. Hearst dismisses Wolcott from his organization. Wolcott is hanged, probably by Captain Joe Turner under Hearst's order, from the window of his room in the Grand Hotel shortly thereafter.
Garret Dillahunt, who plays Wolcott, also played Jack McCall, the infamous murderer of Wild Bill Hickok in Season 1.
George Hearst (Gerald McRaney), does not make his appearance on screen until the Season Two finale after his employee Francis Wolcott acts on his behalf in attempts to acquire gold claims for him throughout the season. He is based on the real George Hearst, mining magnate and father of William Randolph Hearst and great-grandfather of Patty Hearst.
In Boy the Earth Talks To (Season Two Finale), Hearst makes several arrangements with figures in the camp such as purchasing the Grand Central from Farnum, though he gives no indication of the psychopathic behaviour he would show in Season Three. Though an avowed misanthrope (as revealed in Season 3), he acknowledges the necessities of social propriety by firing Wolcott for cutting the throats of three prostitutes. Tolliver attempts to blackmail Hearst for a 5% commission by claiming he possesses a letter containing Wolcott's admission to the murders. Hearst also allows Wu to take over Chinese arrangements from Lee when he learns Lee is burning the bodies of dead prostitutes.
In the third season, Hearst remains in Deadwood — personally overseeing his interests in the camp, including his attempt to possess the Garret claim and suppressing attempts by his miners to organize and form unions. Obsessed with 'the color', Hearst's ultimate goal is total control of Deadwood, or to have it destroyed if he cannot consolidate his power over the camp. To this end he murders several of his own miners when they attempt to form a Union and is determined to have control over the Garret claim. He hires Pinkertons to come to the camp and actively stir up trouble. He tries to provoke Ellsworth to violence by shooting at Alma in the street, as a pretext to have him killed. When this fails, Hearst has Ellsworth assassinated in his tent on Alma's claim. He is shot by Trixie in retaliation but the bullet goes into his shoulder and does not kill him.
Alma is forced into selling the claim to him and he decides to leave the camp shortly after. He is fooled by Al one last time when Al kills a prostitute resembling Trixie to save Trixie from death. Hearst leaves camp, charging Tolliver with his "other-than-mining interests," as said by Tolliver with disdain.
William Bullock (Josh Eriksson) is Seth Bullock's nephew turned stepson. He is very polite and is respectful towards those with authority. William shows much respect towards his stepfather and admires his accomplishments. His first sight of Deadwood was when his stagecoach rolled to a stop next to the sight of his stepfather and Swearengen in a deadly serious brawl, which had just propelled them off the second floor balcony onto the street, punctuated by partisan onlookers taking shots at each other. Swearengen was about to stab Seth Bullock with a knife, which he had produced from hiding, but when he saw the boy, he paused and raised his bloody head to grin demonically at the passengers and bellow "Welcome to fucking Deadwood! Can be combative!" One day while helping Tom Nuttall with his new bicycle, young William was trampled and killed by Samuel Fields' horse after it escaped an attempted gelding.
John "Jack" Langrishe (Brian Cox) is a theater operator and leader of a troupe of traveling actors who come to settle in Deadwood long-term early in the third season. In Deadwood, which lacks any but the lowest forms of entertainment, he seeks both financial opportunity and a chance to bring art and culture to the town. He is a close, longtime friend of Al Swearengen. Langrishe's accent and name hint at Irish origins. It is implied several times throughout season 3 that Langrishe may be homosexual, although it is never said outright.
Possessing a dry wit, and prone to both flattery and self-deprecation, the flamboyant Langrishe charms most of the people he meets, including Martha, Alma, and Merrick. Scouting a location for his theater, he decides that Joanie's former brothel, the Chez Amis, now being used as a schoolhouse, would be perfect if redecorated. He makes her a generous offer to sell the building to him, and she accepts, on the condition that Langrishe have a new schoolhouse built at his own expense, something he happily agrees with. The theater opens some days later in the renovated Chez Amis, with a very successful amateur night.
Al keeps Langrishe aware of the machinations between himself and Hearst. Langrishe discovers that Hearst suffers from back pain, and talks him into trying out a new form of treatment, administered by Langrishe himself in the form of pulls, prods, and thrusts. Later, he suggests to an interested Al the possibility of using these time-consuming but useless back treatments as a way of occupying Hearst's time.
Langrishe is based on the historical theater owner Jack Langrishe.
Jack McCall (Garret Dillahunt) was a drunkard who shot Hickok in the back of the head as he played poker. McCall was found not guilty by a hurried and impromptu court of locals on the grounds he was merely avenging the prior murder of his brother by Hickok; but due to Hickok's high regard and the presence of many of Hickok's good friends in town, he was made to realize it was best to leave. McCall is later tracked down and brought to Yankton, Dakota Territory for prosecution, by Seth Bullock and Charlie Utter. It is assumed McCall was executed some time later.
Both Jack McCall and Francis Wolcott, the George Hearst advance agent in Deadwood in season 2, are portrayed by the same actor.
Wyatt Earp (Gale Harold) rode into camp with his brother Morgan, supposedly after saving a stagecoach from robbery, although Earp later confesses to making the story up to enhance their reputation. Upon his arrival he is greeted by Sheriff Bullock. Wyatt tells him that he was a lawman in Kansas, but has come to camp to work a timber lease he won in cards. Wyatt and Morgan are hired by Cy Tolliver as gunmen but are fired when they see Hearst bring in the Pinkertons. After the Earps have a confrontation with one of Hearst's gunmen, and finding out that the timber lease is worth nothing, Sheriff Bullock tells Wyatt and Morgan that it is best they move on. Wyatt and Morgan leave town as allies, if not friends, of Bullock.
Morgan Earp (Austin Nichols) rides into camp with Wyatt after allegedly saving a stagecoach. Morgan has a knack for being a hothead and flirting with ladies. After some harsh words with one of Hearst's gunmen, he shoots him in the leg. Wyatt, fearing for his brother, pulls the gunman's pistol out of his holster and claims it's a fair fight. Morgan leaves town with Wyatt after Bullock suggests they move on.
Alice Isringhausen (Sarah Paulson) is hired from back East by Alma Garret to tutor Sofia. Isringhausen remains unobtrusively in the background with Sofia throughout most of the drama between Alma and Seth. After Seth's family suddenly arrives, in Alma's newly upset state, Alma and Isinghausen have an argument over Alma's perception of Isringhausen's lack of warmth towards the girl, and she is fired. Isringhausen does not leave town, however, and instead begins to spread tales of Alma having been behind Swearengen's murder of Mr. Garret. Swearengen quickly realizes that she is not what she seems to be, and she confirms that she was indeed sent by Mr. Garret's family to wrest control of what promises to be a lucrative claim away from Alma, by any means necessary. Swearengen appears to go along with the plan to frame Alma, but correctly identifies Isringhausen as a Pinkerton, whom he despises as inferior to even his own admittedly low moral standards, and, more importantly, he calculates that the entrance of large and powerful interests from outside the camp would be inimical to his own interests. Therefore, he makes plans with Bullock to double cross Isringhausen by getting her to document her scheme rather than exposing it. Claiming light-heartedly -and deceitfully - to be a former steamboat captain on the Mississippi, Miss Isringhausen has several romantic encounters with Adams, who is also staying at the Grand Central Hotel.
Commissioner Hugo Jarry (Stephen Tobolowsky) is the representative of Yankton in the camp. Bullock must protect him from an enraged mob of prospectors who fear their gold claims will be invalidated when the camp is incorporated into Dakota. Swearengen, with the assistance of Bullock, Star, and Adams, forces Jarry to make concessions to Deadwood in order to outbid Montana on annexation. He returns in Season 3 having bought the votes of soldiers for Hearst. He implies to Adams he may be in some trouble for having defrauded the county of money intended for the reservations for his own gain.
Maddie (Alice Krige) is a "Madame" of considerable reputation in the West, known both to Cy Tolliver and Mr. Wolcott. When Joanie Stubbs decides to set up her own brothel, the Chez Amis, she invites Maddie to join in the enterprise as her partner. Maddie and her three prostitutes arrive in Deadwood in the first episode of Season 2 on the same stagecoach as Mrs. Bullock and William Bullock. She decided to join Joanie when she learned that Mr. Wolcott would soon be moving to Deadwood as the frontman for George Hearst. She apparently got to know Wolcott, and his predilection for killing prostitutes, at one of Hearst's earlier camps, likely in Montana. She plans for Wolcott to murder a young prostitute she knows he favors, and then extort from Wolcott money for her "long and comfortable" retirement. Wolcott does exactly what she expects him to do, murdering two of the Chez Amis prostitutes under Maddie's manipulation and watchful eye. Her scheme fails when she wanders too close to Wolcott's still-bloody straight razor, allowing him to grab her and cut her throat with a single swipe.
Mose Manuel (Pruitt Taylor Vince) owns a gold claim which Wolcott wishes to buy on behalf of Hearst. Knowing he must sell, he tries to persuade his brother that he will mismanage the operation and ought to sell. When he refuses, Mose murders him. The death of his brother weighs on him, however, and Mose becomes a continuing problem for Cy Tolliver as his already belligerent attitude worsens. Wolcott provokes him and Tolliver's men shoot him down. But because of his immense size, the bullets do not penetrate his vital organs and Cochran is able to save his life. He recovers on the Chez Ami's floor and once healed remains there as watchman, a changed man from his near death experience.
Andy Cramed (Zach Grenier) is a conman who has often worked with Cy Tolliver and is set to do so again until he arrives in Deadwood suffering from smallpox. He is taken to the woods and left to die on Tolliver's orders, but is discovered by Jane. After his convalescence in the smallpox tent and aiding in the distribution of the vaccine, he leaves.
He eventually returns as a self-proclaimed minister in the second season, conducting the funeral service of William Bullock and the marriage of Alma and Ellsworth. In the second-season finale he attacks Tolliver for mocking God and his new found faith in front of him, stabbing him in the gut and walking away. He attempts to make recompense in Season 3 by asking for Tolliver's forgiveness. Tolliver threatens him with a gun, ranting about redemption, but Leon interrupts them and Cramed leaves, disgusted with Tolliver's behavior.
Captain Joe Turner
Captain Joseph "Joe" Turner (Allan Graf) is an enforcer and bodyguard to George Hearst. First seen in the second season ruthlessly safeguarding Hearst's mining operation and dealing with thieves, often to deliver letters to Swearengen. The captain defeated or killed a man named Leonard in single combat in Star City, a fight that Hearst later recalled for the captain in caution. He helps Hearst assault Swearengen, and later taunts Swearengen's muscleman Dan Dority into a public brawl; a fight set up to prove Hearst's superiority over Swearengen. Despite Turner initially gaining the upper hand, Dority tears out Turner's left eye in a move of desperation before beating him to death with a stove-length.
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Jen (Jennifer Lutheran) is one of Swearengen's prostitutes in the Gem Saloon. Petite, blonde, pretty, she is demure in a way that belies her occupation. She is learning to read with the help of Johnny Burns, who has a growing affection for her. He defends her against the coarseness of Morgan Earp and stands up to Swearengen when Al schemes to appease Hearst's demand for the death of Trixie by killing Jen and substituting her body for Trixie's. Johnny stands up to Al but fails later by the hands of Dan and the ruse is carried out successfully.
Eddie Sawyer (portrayed by Ricky Jay) appears in the first season. A card shark at Cy Tolliver's Bella Union saloon, Sawyer had worked with Tolliver for 17 years and was one of Cy's most reliable hands. He became disillusioned by his boss's callousness at sending Andy Cramed to die in the woods and torturing two young thieves, skulking around the Bella Union and embarrassing Tolliver at a town meeting. He decided to rob Cy in retaliation, in part to fund Joanie Stubbs in opening her own brothel. In the second season, Tolliver revealed that he knew Eddie had been stealing but that he had left the camp before Cy could take any form of retaliation.
Cy accuses Eddie of being a homosexual pedophile, on the grounds that Eddie was overly disturbed to see Cy beating and murdering the thieves who tried to rob The Bella Union.
Claudia (portrayed by Cynthia Ettinger) arrives in the third season as part of Langrishe's theater troupe. She has a sexual relationship with Con Stapleton and is jealous of Langrishe's relationships with Josiane and Mary.
Dolly (Ashleigh Kizer) is a prostitute at the Gem Saloon. Swearengen begins a relationship with her after Trixie leaves his employ. Although he doesn't harbor the same affection for her as Trixie, Swearengen confides his innermost vulnerabilities with Dolly.
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- Barbara Fifer (2008). Jerry Bryant, ed. Bad boys of the Black Hills: and some wild women, too. Farcountry Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-56037-435-0.
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- Edith C. Wong, "Deadwood's Pioneer Merchant: Wong Fee Lee and his Wing Tsue Bazaar" , South Dakota History Vol. 39 Issue 4, 2009
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