The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955–1961)

TV Series  |   |  Western
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Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys... See full summary »

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Title: The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955–1961)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
1961   1960   1959   1958   1957   1956   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Combining colorized footage from the television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955) with new scenes shot in Tombstone, Arizona, this film shows the return of the legendary ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Wyatt Earp (227 episodes, 1955-1961)
Jimmy Noel ...
 Townsman / ... (144 episodes, 1955-1960)
Ethan Laidlaw ...
 Townsman / ... (135 episodes, 1955-1961)
Bill Coontz ...
 Townsman / ... (99 episodes, 1955-1961)
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Storyline

Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys and good guys, ending up with the famous shootout at the O.K. corral. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Details

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Release Date:

6 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wyatt Earp  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(227 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This show, along with Gunsmoke (1955) helped launch a great era of the TV western. Westerns became so popular on TV that by the end of the 1950s, there would be as many as 40 Westerns in prime time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Leave It to Beaver: Beaver's Fortune (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The Legend Of Wyatt Earp
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Performed by Ken Darby
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User Reviews

Consistent , Absorbing Western Narratives; Memorable Action & Drama
5 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

This tremendously popular and long-running half-hour series featured changes of locale, added characters and deaths, and in several cases changes of the actors plying parts. Central to the proceedings from first to last from 1955--1961 was lean and athletic Hugh O/Brian as a plausible young Wyatt Earp. Into this the life of this fictionalized American icon, other characters real and imagined were introduced. The series was first located in Kansas cattle towns such as Wichita and Dodge City; then O'Brian moved to Tombstone, Arizona. He became and remained a town marshal during this time. Other regulars of note in this very intelligently-made, innovative and realistic series--one whose 'history' was decidedly not of a documentary variety--included Lloyd Corrigan as Ned Buntline, Alan Dinehart as Bat Masterson, several Doc Hollidays, Gloria Talbott, Don Haggerty, Denver Pyle, Damian O'Flynn, Carol Stone as Kate Holliday, Selmer Jackson, Randy Stuart, Wlliam Tannen, Paul Brinegar as Mayor "Dog" Kelly, Trevor Bardette as Old Man Clanton, Steve Brodie as Sheriff Johnnie Behan, Ross Elliott and others as Wyatt Earp's brothers, etc. The peculiar and memorable structure of the show allowed "changes" in character, relationships, locations, etc. when many series did not permit such alterations. In addition, the show's producers used some actors in guest roles many times, including Sam Flint, Steve Pendleton, Rico Alaniz and more. Guest stars of note included Anna May Wong, Arthur Space, Ann Robinson, Howard Petrie, George Wallace, Richard Travis, Robert Lowery, James Coburn, Peggy Knudsen, Fay Baker, Carolyn Craig, Jim Bannon, Nancy Hadley, Whitner Bissell, Angie Dickinson, Francis de Sales, Peter Mamakos, Ed Nelson, Richard Devon, Lane Bradford, Dorothy Green and John Vivyan, plus many more. Directors of record included Paul Landres and Frank McDonald. The staff of writers included Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, John Dunkel and Dan Ullman. These professionals kept up the show's very consistent quality throughout, I suggest. During its run, this series was shot by six cinematographers but only two art directors, by Ralph Berger and Albert M. Pyke, created its authentic western 'look'. Set decorations were done by Jack Mills and Kenneth W. Swartz. Bruce Bilson was second-unit director, with Hollywood veteran Roy Rowland as executive producer. The producers employed a gun expert, several production specialists and very good but less-expensive talents in order to keep up their high-standard of quality. The series ended with a memorable five-part but not-very-accurate gunfight at the OK Corral. This by my lights was a first-rate narrative TV series, I assert, one which was much imitated for decades afterward. Also of note was the show's theme song, whose picture of Earp set the tone for Eliot Ness, The Lawman, and Kojack among many other TV lawmen to come.


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