|Robert Horton, as Flint on Wagon|
Train, and Ward Bond.
B - The Barkley family in The Big Valley (hey, that should really count as two B's).
C - Cheyenne, which debuted in 1955 and became a huge hit for Warner Bros. television. Some sources claim it's the first hour-long, dramatic TV series to last longer than a season (although it was originally part of an umbrella series).
D - Death Valley Days, the long-running half-hour anthology hosted by (in order) Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, and Dale Robertson. Sponsored by 20 Mule Team Borax!
|Hoss says: "Don't call me Eric!"|
F - F Troop. The antics of Sergeant O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker) and Corporal Agarn (Larry Storch) made life interesting for the somewhat-clumsy Captain Parmenter, who commanded Fort Courage.
G - Gunsmoke, the granddaddy of them all. 'Nuff said!
H - The High Chapparal, the name of the ranch in the other Western family saga created by David Dortort (see "P"). Incidentally, the ranch was named after a bush--you probably knew that already, but I didn't until recently watching the pilot episode again.
I - The Iron Horse, the 1966-68 series with Dale Robertson as a railroad owner. Dale fared better in the earlier Tales of Wells Fargo.
J - Jesse James, who was turned into a good-looking nice guy in The Legend of Jesse James starring Christopher Jones.
L - The Loner, an offbeat Western created by Rod Serling and starring Lloyd Bridges as a former Union officer trying to figure out the meaning of life.
M - Maverick, the lighthearted series about poker-playing brother Bret (James Garner) and Bart (Jack Kelly). After Garner's departure, cousin Beau (Roger Moore) and later brother Brent (Robert Colbert) joined the cast.
N - Nichols was James Garner's ill-fated return to the TV Western genre. Although the title character was similar to one he played in the hit film Support Your Local Sheriff, the TV show flopped. The producers tried to save the series by killing off Nichols and having Garner plays his more likable twin brother.
|Hugh O'Brian as Marshal Earp.|
P - Ponderosa, the name of the Cartwrights' ranch in Bonanza (which was also created by David Dortort).
Q - Quest. Several Westerns revolved around characters on a quest, such as Will Sonnett (Walter Brennan) and his grandson Jeff (Dack Rambo) searching for Jeff's father in The Guns of Will Sonnett. A more traditional choice for "Q" is Quint, the blacksmith on Gunsmoke played by Burt Reynolds.
R - The Rifleman, the popular series about a widowed father (Chuck Connors) and his young son (Johnny Crawford). Crawford was popular enough to score five Top Ten hit songs on the Billboard charts.
|Silver...with his sidekick The|
T - Trampas, the ranch hand played by Doug McClure in The Virginian. McClure and James Drury (see below) were the only actors to remain with the 90-minute series through its nine-year run.
U - Uncle Buck (Cameron Mitchell), Billy Blue's surrogate father on The High Chapparal; Blue's actual dad, Big John, showed only tough love for his son. (Really, if you can think of a better "U", please leave a comment).
V - The Virginian, as played by James Drury. Just as in Owen Wister's novel, we never learn the ranch foreman's name.
W - Johnny Western (great name, huh?), the singer who croons "The Ballad of Paladin" at the end of many Have Gun--Will Travel episodes. There are a lot of good "W" choices, to include Wagon Train, Wishbone from Rawhide, and James T. West.
|Yancy and sidekick Pahoo (played by X. Brands).|
X - I'm sure there were cattle in some Westerns that had "X" branded on their butts. Yes, that's lame, but I'm claiming it for this tough letter.
Z - Zorro, as played by Guy Williams. Annette Funicello had a crush on him, so for her birthday, Walt Disney cast her as a guest star opposite Guy in an episode of Zorro.