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  The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

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> Description 
The series began in 1955 with an episode titled "Mr. Earp Becomes a Marshal," in which Wyatt's friend Marshal Whitney of Ellsworth, Kansas, was killed by a gunman. Wyatt accepted his badge and avenged his death. Wyatt's friend, famed showman and writer Ned Buntline, then provided him with his trademark two "Buntline Special" pistols - .45s with extra-long barrels - with which to keep the peace. (The first time Wyatt saw them he locked Buntline in the pokey for carrying "over-sized pistols.") Their recoil was pretty ferocious, but their extra range allowed the marshal to drop an opponent from the other side of town. They proved handy, for during the rest of the season Wyatt faced an array of foes in and around Ellsworth, including the murderous John Wesley Hardin and - most frequently - the outlaw Thompson brothers.

But Ellsworth was too small for Wyatt's talents, and for the second season he moved on to Dodge City to become marshal there (with no reference made to the fact that Matt Dillon already had that job, at least on Saturday nights). Young Bat Masterson joined him as deputy for a while before becoming a county sheriff in his own right. Wyatt then tried out Bat's brother Ed Masterson as a sidekick, but finally settled on Hal Norton as his deputy. Another character introduced in the 1956-1957 season was Wyatt's pal Jim "Dog" Kelly, who eventually got himself elected mayor of Dodge City, replacing Mayor Hoover. The 1957-1958 season brought an even more colorful real-life character to Dodge, the notorious Doc Holliday, a physician turned gambler and schemer (played by the same actor who had previously been Ellsworth's Doc Fabrique). Wyatt's brothers Virgil and Morgan Earp began to turn up in occasional episodes, usually requiring a steadying hand from their older brother.

In the 1959-1960 season Wyatt moved again, this time to Tombstone, Arizona, and the greatest battle of his career. Tombstone was a rough-and-ready town run by Old Man Clanton, leader of teh "Ten Percent Gang." Clanton ruled the territory with an iron hand, exacting tribute from citizens and masterminding gun-running schemes a cross the Mexican border. Johnny Behan was his hand-picked sheriff in Tombstone, and he had a private army of gunslingers to enforce his will. For two years, Earp, as marshal, battled the Clanton gang through political and legal means. Shotgun Gibbs, a peace-loving frontiersman, followed Wyatt from Dodge City to Tombstone to become his deputy. Some of Dodge's less respectable citizens showed up too, including Doc Holliday and gunslinger Curley Bill Brocius. Nellie Cashman provided some love interest for a season (Wyatt was always handy with the women-folk) as the operator of the Bird Cage Saloon.

The final showdown, again based on fact, came at the end of the last season, in 1961. In a five-part story that concluded Wyatt Earp's original run, Wyatt discovered that the Clanton gang was using the O.K. corral as a center and fortress for their illegal activities. Wyatt tried to prevent bloodshed, but events moved rapidly toward a climactic shootout in which Wyatt, his brothers Morgan and Virgil, and Doc Holliday broke the power of the Clanton gang in the famous gunfight at the O.K. corral.
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Sep 16, 1961
Premiere September 6, 1955
Episodes 266
Network ABC
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
> Cast 
Gloria Talbott....   Abbie Crandall (1955-1956)
Alan Dinehart III....   Bat Masterson (1955-1959)
Denver Pyle....   Ben Thompson (1955-1956)
Hal Baylor....   Bill Thompson
William Phipps....   Curley Bill Brocius (1959-1961)
William Tannen....   Deputy Hal Norton (1956-1958)
Douglas Fowley....   Doc Holliday (1955-1961)
Myron Healey....   Dr. John 'Doc' Holliday (1958-1959)
Bill Cassady....   Dr. McCarty / Doc McCarthy (9 episodes)
Carol Thurston....   Emma Clanton (1959-1960)
Rico Alaniz....   Esteban / Tahzay (14 episodes)
Sam Flint....   Fred White / Spouter (11 episodes)
Rayford Barnes....   Ike Clanton (1959-1961)
John Milford....   Ike Clanton (1959-1961)
Britt Lomond....   Johnny Ringo (1960-1961)
Norman Alden....   Johnny Ringo (1961)
James Seay....   Judge Spicer (1959-1961)
Damian O'Flynn....   Judge Tobin 1956-1959 / Doc Goodfellow 1959-1961
Carol Stone....   Kate Holliday (1957-1958)
Don Haggerty....   Marsh Murdock (1955-1956)
Hugh O'Brian....   Marshal Wyatt Earp
Selmer Jackson....   Mayor Hoover (1956-1957)
Paul Brinegar....   Mayor Jim 'Dog' Kelly (1956-1958)
Ralph Sanford....   Mayor Jim 'Dog' Kelly (1958-1959)
Stacy Harris....   Mayor John Clum (1960-1961)
Dirk London....   Morgan Earp (1958-1961)
Lloyd Corrigan....   Ned Buntline (1955-1960)
Randy Stuart....   Nellie Cashman (1959-1960)
Trevor Bardette....   Old Man Clanton (1959-1961)
Charles E. Fredericks....   Pete Albright / Colonel Dunphy (6 episodes)
Steve Brodie....   Sheriff Johnny Behan (1959-1961)
Lash La Rue....   Sheriff Johnny Behan (1959)
Morgan Woodward....   Shotgun Gibbs (1958-1961)
Steve Pendleton....   Thacker / Major Benteen (9 episodes)
Ross Elliott....   Virgil Earp (1959)
John Anderson....   Virgil Earp (1958-1961)

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