Movies ~ TV Stars of the 40s - 60s

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 HISTORICAL TRIBUTES HOME

Airdate: 10/10/57. Guest Cast: Britt Lomond (Capitan Monastario), Jan Arvan (Don Ignacio Torres), Than Wyenn (Licenciado Pina). Directed by: Norman Foster. Teleplay by: Norman Foster, Bob Wehling.

Bonanza is an American western television series that ran on NBC from September 12, 1959 to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons, it is among the longest running western series (second behind Gunsmoke) and continues to air in syndication, starring Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and David Canary.

Annie Oakley is an American Western television series which fictionalized the life of famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley. It ran from January 1954 to February 1957 in syndication. ABC showed reruns on Saturday and Sunday daytime from 1959-1960 and from 1964-1965. It ran for three seasons, for a total of 81 black and white episodes, each 25 minutes long. The show stars Gail Davis in the title role, and co-starred Brad Johnson as Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig and Jimmy Hawkins, as Annie's brother, Tagg. In one episode, "Bull's Eye", the role of Tagg was played by Billy Gray, better known as James "Bud" Anderson, Jr., on Father Knows Best. In the series, Annie Oakley rode a horse named Target, and Tagg's horse was Pixie [1] Annie and Tagg lived in the town of Diablo, Arizona, with their uncle, Sheriff Luke MacTavish, who was usually away whenever trouble started. It would then be up to straight-shooting Annie and her "silent suitor" Lofty Craig to rescue law-abiding neighbors and arrest outlaws. [2] Often Tagg would be told to stay in town and out of the way, but through disobedience, the need to relay important new information, or being captured by outlaws, he would end up in the middle of the adventure.

Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show is the first television series to feature Superman and began filming in 1951 in California. Sponsored by cereal manufacturer Kellogg's, the syndicated show's first, and last, air dates are disputed but generally accepted as September 19, 1952 and April 28, 1958. The show's first two seasons (episodes 1–52, 26 titles per season) were filmed in black-and-white; seasons three through six (episodes 53–104, 13 titles per season) were filmed in color but originally telecast monochromatically both on the ABC network and in first-run syndication. Television viewers would not see Superman in color until the series was syndicated to local stations in 1965. George Reeves plays Clark Kent/Superman with Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White, and Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson. Phyllis Coates plays Lois Lane in the first season with Noel Neill stepping into the role in the second season (1953).

The Virginian is an American Western-themed television series which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was the first Western to air in 90-minute installments each week (75 minutes excluding commercial breaks),[citation needed] and was filmed in the color format from its inception.[1] The Virginian is the third longest running TV western with its nine seasons and 249 episodes. It follows Bonanza at fourteen seasons and 430 episodes and Gunsmoke at twenty seasons and 635 episodes. James Drury starred as "The Virginian."

Zorro's Fighting Legion. It's one of the best Zorro serials and one of the best serials ever made, Period. With Reed Hadley alternately playing the foppish Don Diego and the man of action Zorro, Zorro's Fighting Legion gives us one action-filled, edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger after the next. For your money, these are some of the best cliffhangers ever made, and with William Witney and John English in charge, also some of the most believable. Rarely do the cliffhangers cheat when extracting their hero from danger. You'll find more wit in the cliffhanger solutions of Zorro's Fighting Legion than you'll find in all the serials combined released after 1950. Zorro's Fighting Legion has the ingredients of a western, but it never really feels like a western. The locale is vaguely exotic, Mexico, just after the end of the Spanish Revolution (circa 1810). One of the great problems of western serials was their lack of variety. Once locked onto the prairie it was hard to supply any surprises other than the usual galloping horses, gun battles over rocks, and the occasional exploding cabin. But Zorro's Fighting Legion contains some unusual ingredients. For starters, we get the secret cave of Don del Oro. The Yaqui Indians treat him like a god. And indeed he looks like a walking, talking golden idol. He sits on a throne with the Yaquis at his feet, while his thunderous voice booms out his orders. And in the middle of the cave, a fiery pit of death awaits all who cross Don del Oro.

Adventures of Captain Marvel is a 1941 twelve-chapter film serial directed by John English and William Witney for Republic Pictures, adapted from the popular Captain Marvel comic book character then appearing in Fawcett Comics publications such as Whiz Comics and Captain Marvel Adventures. It starred Tom Tyler (who also played The Phantom) in the title role of Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan Jr. as his alter ego, Billy Batson.

Superman (1948) is a 15-part black-and-white Columbia film serial based on the comic book character Superman. It stars an uncredited Kirk Alyn (billed only by his character name, Superman; but credited on the promotional posters) and Noel Neill as Lois Lane. It is notable as the first live-action appearance of Superman on film and for the longevity of its distribution. The serial was directed by Thomas Carr, who later directed many early episodes of the Superman television show, and Spencer Gordon Bennet, produced by Sam Katzman and shot in and around Los Angeles, California. It was originally screened at movie matinées and after the first three scene-setting chapters, every episode ends in a cliffhanger. The Superman-in-flight scenes are animations, in part due to the small production budget.

The Phantom is a 1943 classic Columbia Pictures cliffhanger serial starring Tom Tyler in the title role. The serial is based on Lee Falk's comic strip The Phantom. The serial also features Jeanne Bates as the Phantom's girlfriend Diana Palmer, and Ace the Wonder Dog as the Phantom's trusty German shepherd Devil (who is a wolf in the original comic). Professor Davidson plans an expedition to find the Lost City of Zoloz. The location of the city is contained on seven pieces of ivory, three of which Davidson already possesses. Doctor Bremmer, however, intends to find the lost city and use it as a secret airbase for his unnamed country. To remove him as an obstacle, he kills The Phantom, only for his recently returned son, Geoffrey Prescott, to inherit the family identity and take over the mantle of The Phantom. Three of the remaining ivory pieces are owned by Singapore Smith, who initially steals Davidson's pieces. The seventh, and most important, piece is missing at first but turns up in the possession of Tartar (which The Phantom acquires by wrestling Tartar's pet gorilla).

James Arness and Amanda Blake on Gunsmoke . . . Marshal Matt Dillon is a fictional character featured on both the radio and television versions of Gunsmoke. He serves as the U.S. Marshal of Dodge City, Kansas who works to preserve law and order in the western frontier of the 1870s. The character was created by writer John Meston, who envisioned him as a man "...whose hair is probably red, if he's got any left. He'd be handsomer than he is if he had better manners but life and his enemies have left him looking a little beat up, and I suppose having seen his mother (back about 1840) trying to take a bath in a wooden washtub without fully undressing left his soul a little warped. Anyway, there'd have to be something wrong with him or he wouldn't have hired on as a United States Marshal in the heyday of Dodge City, Kansas." Notwithstanding Meston's original vision, the character evolved considerably during Gunsmoke's nine-year run on CBS Radio and its 20-year run on CBS Television.

The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a western television series loosely based on the adventures of frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black and white series ran on ABC-TV from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O'Brian as Earp. An off-camera barbershop quartet sang the theme song and hummed the background music in early episodes. Incidental music was composed by Herman Stein. The series was produced by Desilu Productions and filmed at the Desilu-Cahuenga Studio.

The Rifleman is an American Western television program that starred Chuck Connors as homesteader Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show, filmed in black-and-white, ran on ABC, from September 30, 1958 to April 8, 1963, a production of Four Star Television. It was also one of the first primetime series ever to have a widowed parent raise a child.

Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), was an American singer and cowboy actor, as well as the namesake of the Roy Rogers Restaurants chain. He and his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino, Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog, Bullet, were featured in more than 100 movies and The Roy Rogers Show. The show ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often either Pat Brady, (who drove a Jeep called "Nellybelle"), Andy Devine, or the crotchety George "Gabby" Hayes. Rogers's nickname was "King of the Cowboys". Evans's nickname was "Queen of the West."

Orvon Grover Autry[1] (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s. Autry was also owner of the Los Angeles/California Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997, a television station and several radio stations in Southern California.

Charles Starrett (March 28, 1903 - March 22, 1986) was an American actor best known for his starring role in the Durango Kid Columbia Pictures western series. He was born in Athol, Massachusetts

Alfred "Lash" LaRue (June 15, 1921[1]–May 21, 1996) was a popular western motion picture star of the 1940s and 1950s. He had exceptional skill with the bull whip, and taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip in the Indiana Jones movies. LaRue was one of the first winners of the Golden Boot Award in 1983.

Woodward Maurice Ritter (January 12, 1905–January 2, 1974), better known as Tex Ritter, was an American country music singer and movie actor popular from the mid-1930s into the 1960s, and the father of actor John Ritter. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked Texas Ranger who, with his Native American companion Tonto, fights injustice in the American Old West. The character has become an enduring icon of American culture. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either by WXYZ radio station owner George W. Trendle or Fran Striker, the show's writer. The show proved to be a huge hit, and spawned an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, as well as comic books and movies. The title character was played on radio by George Seaton, Earle Graser, and most memorably Brace Beemer. To television viewers, Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger. Tonto was played by, amongst others, John Todd, Roland Parker, and in the television series, Jay Silverheels. Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" As they galloped off, someone would ask, "Who was that masked man anyway?" Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as "Kemo Sabe", meaning "trusty scout" or "trusted friend." These catchphrases, his trademark silver bullets, and the theme music from the William Tell overture are indelibly stamped in the memories of millions of Americans (and Britons) who came of age during the decades of the show's initial popularity or viewed the television series. Reruns of The Lone Ranger starring Clayton Moore were still being transmitted as of August 2010, sixty-one years after their initial broadcast.