The Texan (TV series)
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|Country of origin||US|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||78 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 mins.|
|Production company||Desilu Productions|
|Original release||September 29, 1958 –|
September 19, 1960
In The Texan, Calhoun played Bill Longley, a Confederate captain from the American Civil War who on his pinto horse, Domino, roams the American West, but stops to help people in need. A fast gun and the enemy of all lawbreakers, this "Robin Hood of the West" seems to appear nearly everywhere in the postwar years, not just in Texas.
Often, the plots center around Longley helping an old friend or a relative of an old friend. Though known as a fearsome gunfighter, the fictional Bill Longley of The Texan is in no way the real Bill Longley. That Longley killed his first man in 1866, when he was 15, and was hanged in 1878 in Giddings in Lee County in Central Texas. A more accurate version of the real Longley is Douglas Kennedy's rendition in the syndicated series, Stories of the Century, starring and narrated by Jim Davis, and the first Western series to win an Emmy Award.
The Texan offers several multipart episodes. In a four-parter, Longley portrayed the boss of a cattle drive; in another, he was a railroad construction supervisor. In still another, Longley pursued the bandit El Sombro in the fictitious corrupt community of Rio Nada. In this episode, Barbara Stuart made one of her three appearances as Poker Alice, an unlikely frontier gambler, the mother of seven children who had once been a dealer at Bob Ford's saloon in Creede, Colorado, but lived thereafter primarily in Deadwood and Sturgis, South Dakota. Calhoun's then-wife, Lita Baron, appeared in several episodes, including a three-parter.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||37||September 29, 1958||June 15, 1959|
|2||41||September 14, 1959||September 5, 1960|
Background and productionEdit
With Victor Orsatti, Calhoun formed Rorvic Productions to co-produce The Texan in partnership with Desilu Productions, the company founded by Lucille Ball and her first husband, Desi Arnaz. Then a neighbor of Orsatti's, Arnaz proposed the idea for The Texan. Episodes were budgeted at $40,000 each, with two segments filmed weekly at Desilu Studios.
The Texan ran for only two seasons, but could have been extended for a third had Calhoun been willing to continue, but he wanted to return to films. In the second half of the second season, The Texan was preceded on the CBS schedule by Kate Smith's return to network television, her unsuccessful The Kate Smith Show.
Louis L'Amour wrote teleplays for several episodes, but 35 writers were hired for the series, with more than a dozen directors.
One of the directors, George Archainbaud, a native of Paris, died during the run of The Texan. Other directors were Erle C. Kenton, who began his career in 1914 with silent films, and Edward Ludwig, a native of Russia.
|Lita Baron||Dolores||"Quarantine"||1960||Rory Calhoun's first wife|
|Lita Moreno||"The Governor's Lady"||1960|
|James Best||Clay Kirby||"Killer's Road"||1960|
|Neville Brand||Kyle Richards||"Texan in Town"||1958||with John Larch as Lance Corbett, in the series pilot and premiere; Corbett is accused of shooting to death a 14-year-old girl and enlists his friend Longley to find the real killer.|
|Paul Brinegar||"The Ringer"||1959||with Ron Hayes, Vito Scotti and Grant Withers as Ed Martin|
|Lon Chaney Jr.||Wylie Ames||"No Love Wasted"||1959|
|Harry Cheshire||Doc McKensie||"The Accuser"||1960||with Don Haggerty and Jimmy Lydon|
|Andy Clyde||Wild Jack Hastings||"The Troubled Town"||1958|
|Andy Miles||"Buried Treasure", et al.||1960|
|James Coburn||Cal Gruder||"Friend of the Family"||1960||with Roger Perry as Robin Randolph and John Dehner as Major Randolph|
|Mike Connors||"The Edge of the Cliff"||1958|
|Russ Conway||Bob Jason||"Borrowed Time"||1960|
|Ellen Corby||Katy Clayton||"The Lord Will Provide"||1958||with Ross Elliott as the Reverend Kilgore|
|Walter Coy||Doc Nelson||"Town Divided"||1960||with Morgan Woodward as Mark Jordan|
|Dennis Cross||"Law of the Gun"||1958|
|Michael Dante||Stan Chambers||"Stampede"||1959||made three appearances, with Shirley Knight as Lily Akins, and with Roy Barcroft|
|Mason Alan Dinehart||Chet Dawson||"The Duchess of Denver"||1959||with Dolores Donlon, Eddy Waller, and Gerald Mohr|
|Brazos Kid||"The Taming of Rio Nada"||1960||with Barbara Stuart as Poker Alice and Richard Devon as Tim Craven|
|Brazos Kid||"Sixgun Street"||1960||with Bob Steele as Luke Short and Barbara Stuart and Richard Devon, again as Poker Alice and Tim Craven|
|James Drury||Johnny Kaler||"The Troubled Town"||1958||with Pat Conway as Johnny's brother, Mike Kaler|
|Jack Elam||Luke Watson||"South of the Border"||1959||John Doucette as Sheriff Ben Carter|
|Frank Ferguson||Dobie||"A Race for Life"||1959||with Douglas Fowley as Mar Anderson|
|Paul Fix||Bert Gorman||"A Tree for Planting"||1958||with Lurene Tuttle as Amy Bofert, and Martin Garralaga as Ramirez; Longley comes to the aid of a distressed Mexican farmer whose peach orchards are overrun by cattle ranchers.|
|Tod Griffin||"Trouble on the Trail"||1959|
|Reed Hadley||Sheriff Ben Tildy||"The Sheriff of Boot Hill"||1959||with Denver Pyle as Joe Lufton|
|Ron Hagerthy||"Johnny Tuvo"||1960||formerly of Sky King, cast in the title role|
|Alan Hale Jr.||Jake Bricker||"The Widow of Paradise"||1958||several episodes; Hale also had a recurring role as Sculley.|
|Stacy Harris||Max Bowen||"The Hemp Tree"||1958|
|Abel Crowder||"Rough Track to Payday"||1959|
|Ron Hayes||Rich Taber||"The Ringer"||1959|
|Walt Dawson||"Thirty Hours to Kill"||1960|
|Richard Jaeckel||Clint Gleason||"The Man Behind the Star"||1959|
|Wright King||Mac Kernin||"Desert Passage"||1958|
|Duncan Lamont||David MacMorris||recurring role|
|Bethel Leslie||Julie Bofert||"Reunion"||1959||with Christopher Dark as Trevor Jackson and Robert F. Simon as Will Crandall|
|Douglas Kennedy||Jason Quarles||"Border Incident"||1959|
|Michael Landon||Nick Ahearn||"The Hemp Tree"||1958||Longley is robbed at a bank after a cattle drive.|
|George Macready||Big Jim Sammett||"A Time of the Year"||1958||with Suzanne Lloyd as the daughter-in-law, Maria, whom he recently meets.|
|Stephen McNally||Clay Thompson||"Badlands"||1959||with Myron Healey as the sheriff|
|Patrick McVey||Marshal Dodson||"Outpost"||1959|
|Strother Martin||Polk||"No Place to Stop"||1959||with Denver Pyle as Houston|
|Carole Mathews||Bess Corbin||"No Tears for the Dead"||1958||with Beverly Washburn as Henrietta Tovers, Michael Pate as George Brandon, and Ray Teal as Sheriff Dave Travers|
|Joyce Meadows||Phyllis Herrick||"South of the Border"||1959|
|Helen Castle||"Ruthless Woman"||1960|
|Kristine Miller||Mattie||"The Accuser"||1959||formerly of Stories of the Century|
|Ruth Fenton||"The Gunfighter"||1960|
|Mort Mills||Ben or Blackie Dawson||"Thirty Hours to Kill"||1960|
|Burt Mustin||"Twenty-four Hours to Live"||1960|
|J. Carrol Naish||Walt Pierce||"The First Notch"||1958||with Ron Hagerthy as Neil Pierce and Peggie Castle as Charlotte Rivera|
|Gregg Palmer||"The Troubled Town"||1958|
|Michael Pate||George Brandon||"No Tears for the Dead"||1958|
|James Philbrook||Yancey Lewis||"Return to Friendly"||1959|
|John M. Pickard||Ben Kirby||"The Gunfighter"||1959|
|Jess Walton||"Borrowed Time"||1960|
|Dorothy Provine||Chalmers||"Blood Money"||1959||with Ralph Meeker as Sam Kerrigan|
|Stuart Randall||Sheriff Ike Masters||"The Hemp Tree"||1958|
|Sheriff Rangel||"The Letter of the Law"||1959|
|Lee Tatlock||"No Way Out"||1959|
|Lafe Orley||"A Quart of Law"||1959|
|Gilman Rankin||Marshal Roy Adams||"Badman"||1960|
|Addison Richards||Mayor Thurston||"Traildust"||1959|
|Ann Robinson||Anne Carter||"Borrowed Time"||1960|
|Cesar Romero||Joaquin||"Caballero"||1959||with Whit Bissell as Shep Crawford|
|Bing Russell||Larry Boland||"The Dishonest Posse"||1959||with Peter Whitney as Nate Jeeter|
|William Schallert||Arnold Leno||"The Troubled Town"||1958|
|Karen Sharpe||Jessie Martin||"Private Account"||1959||She played the much younger sister of a sheriff, Weeb Martin (Jesse White), who falsely believes that her boyfriend, Johnny Hinshaw (Joe Di Reda), shot a man after a quarrel. Hinshaw, meanwhile, rescues Bill Longley, who is trapped in a rock slide. Maudie Prickett appears in this episode as Maud Avery, the town busybody.|
|Robert F. Simon||Vance||"The Guilty and the Innocent"||1960|
|Fay Spain||Ann Dowd||"The Easterner"||1958||with Jack Elam as Tug Swann|
|Barbara Stuart||Poker Alice||"The Taming of Rio Nada"||1960||with James Griffith and Richard Devon|
|"The Terrified Town"||1960||Bob Steele portrayed the frontier gunfighter, Luke Short.|
|Olive Sturgess||Mary Lou Martin||"The Ringer"||1959||with Paul Brinegar, Vito Scotti, Ron Hayes, and Grant Withers|
|Karl Swenson||Sam Maitland||"Cowards Don't Die"||1959||plays a former marshal-turned-storekeeper|
|Vaughn Taylor||Sheriff Loomis||"Jail for the Innocents"||1958|
|Beverly Washburn||Henrietta Tovers||"No Tears for the Dead"||1958||with Ray Teal|
|Robert J. Wilke||"The Marshal of Yellow Jacket"||1959||in the title role, with former professional baseball player John Beradino as Duke Ellis|
|Chill Wills||"The Eyes of Captain Wylie"||1960||prior to Frontier Circus, in the title role, with Lane Bradford as Spike Taylor|
The Texan faced competition in its first season from another Western, The Restless Gun, an NBC series. Though The Restless Gun finished in eighth place in the ratings in its first season (1957-1958), The Texan surpassed it in the 1958-1959 season to finish at number 15 while The Restless Gun fell out of the top 30 and ended its run in 1959. The Texan then also fell out of the top 30 the following season (1959-1960).
After the 78-episode run, Calhoun returned to starring and co-starring in "B" Westerns and making occasional television appearances.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 1013. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: the Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. New York: Penguin Books. p. 825. ISBN 0-14-02-4916-8. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 110-112
- ""Private Account", April 6, 1959". imdb.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2013-07-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)