Once in a while, I miss the old TV westerns, when the good guys ALWAYS win!
Wyatt Earp-played by Hugh O’Brien on the TV series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, friendly with Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson, died in Los Angeles of all places. Remember the old Buntline gun with the long barrel?
Matt Dillon-played by James Arness who recently passed away at 88 years of age. We always thought he would hook up with Miss Kitty, but old Chester seemed to be his real nemesis. How tall was Arness anyway?
Andy Taylor-played by Andy Griffith, who has become Matlock, and spawned the career of actor and future director, Ron Howard. Do not forget Miss Bee, Floyd the Barber, Gomer Pyle, and the town drunk.
Barney Fife-perhaps the most underrated comedian of the sixties, Don Knotts won FIVE Emmys! This sidekick role was so perfect for him, just like Niles Crane’s role for Frazier, and Ethel Mertz for the inimitable Lucy Ricardo.
Judge Roy Bean-he called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.” The role was played by Edgar Buchanan on the TV series, with Lillie Langtry serving as the inspiration of Bean’s new town. He was a seedy little guy, as I recall.
Columbo-played by Peter Falk, who wore the grungiest raincoat I have ever seen. I think one of his raincoats is either in the Smithsonian or available for rent at the Mitchell Brothers Cinema.
Barney Miller-played by Hal Linden, and surrounded by a cast of interesting characters, including Jack Soo (Goro Suzuki). This show seemed to spawn many careers, including that of Abe Vigoda, and Steve Landesberg.
Kojak-played by Telly Savalas, loved lollipops and made famous by the line, “Who loves ya, baby!” Remember now, he was one of the first to shave his head bald, even before Michael Jordan!
Cagney and Lacey-played by Sharon Gless and Tyne Daley, tough as nails and winner of several Emmys. They both looks pretty bad now.
Police Woman-played by Angie Dickinson, as Sgt. Pepper Anderson, smart and very sultry.
Have Gun, Will Travel, played by Richard Boone, as Paladin, a hired gun in the classic definition of the term. I think I once ran into Dick Boone in downtown SF.
The Lone Ranger-played by Clayton Moore, with faithful sidekick Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels. His famous horse was Silver, creating, Hi-Ho Silver, Away!!!! First a radio show in 1933. Who was that masked man?
Annie Oakley-played by Gail Davis on the TV series, was born Phoebe Ann Mosey. She was a star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. They say she really was the best marksperson of her time.
Cisco Kid-played by Duncan Renaldo, with his sidekick, Pancho, played by Leo Carrillo. Another fictional character by O. Henry in 1907, well before networking giant, Cisco was even thought of. The TV Cisco Kid was the first TV series filmed in color! The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine! by War.
Zorro-a fictional character, played by several different actors, most notably Guy Williams, for both television and film. It was written back in 1919 by Johnston McCully. Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega.
The Rifleman-starred Chuck Connors, a former LA Dodger farmhand. Was he perhaps the first single Dad to raise a son on TV? I can only think of Danny Thomas or Brian Keith as other pioneers. The Rifleman was not an official law enforcement officer, but helped the town sheriff do his job.
Jack Bauer, 24-He is definitely the modern day warrior, saving us from terrorists, at any cost. Much like the 007 of James Bond, he seemed to have a license to kill, and even enjoyed it. He turned out to be more human than any of us realized.
Crossing Jordan-She (Jill Hennessey) was a Medical Examiner, but it did not stop her from being a private investigator, police detective, assistant District Attorney, and semi-alcoholic lesbian-nymphomaniac.