Prolific author Douglas Brode takes Baby Boomers down memory lane with this guide to 450+ actors/actresses who starred in TV westerns from 1946 to 2008. Especially during the 1950s, the small screen was inundated with westerns galore, some classics, others run-of-the-mill. Whether you were a fan of DAVY CROCKETT, WAGON TRAIN, PALADIN, RAWHIDE, MAVERICK, THE RIFLEMAN, F TROOP or later entries like LONESOME DOVE, coach potatoes will find something of interest in Brode’s book.
After an interesting essay on cowboys on the small screen, Brode details the actors and actresses who rode the ranges on the small screen. SHOOTING STARS OF THE SMALL SCREEN is alphabetically arranged; the first entry being Lee Aaker, the last, Anthony Zerbe. In between you’ll find so many wonderful actors/actresses – Gene Autry, Ward Bond, Richard Boone, Fess Parker, Sam Elliott, Gene Evans, Jeanette Nolan, R. G. Armstrong, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Robert Duvall, Amanda Blake, Gabby Hayes, Bill Boyd, Steve McQueen, Nick Adams, Dan Duryea, Jane Seymour, David Carradine, John Russell, James Coburn, Darren McGavin, Lee Marvin, Walter Brennan, Ross Martin, Lorne Greene, L. Q. Jones, Jack Palance, etc. – who starred in western series or essayed memorable guest appearances. Some entries may surprise you – Jerry Reed, Suzanne Somers, etc. – but, according to Brode, they rate inclusion.
Brode provides basic biographical info on each, details their work in westerns and subsequent career. Entries can range from a few short paragraphs to several pages. James Arness, for example, rates four pages; Fess Parker and Hugh O’Brian, five. Some entries – about 75 – include a photograph of the actor/actress or series cast.
SHOOTING STARS OF THE SMALL SCREEN is the kind of book you can devour cover to cover or just open to a page, read and enjoy. TV buffs will enjoy revisiting their favorite cowpokes, cowgirls and shows. It’s a hoot. Recommended.
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I love TV westerns and western actors. Shooting Stars is the most informative encyclopedia of TV westerns that I’ve ever seen. With this book as a guide, I would love to watch some of the episodes that I have not seen in a long time.
Very interesting and great fun. If you like westerns get this book!!!
This book is not about the movies or television shows of the western era. It is an encyclopedia of the actors that brought the genre to life on the celluloid screen. Western actors, big and small, top bill and sidekick are listed, each with a small biography. The author talks about how the actor found themselves in Hollywood and landed the show or movie that made them a shooting star. I was finally able to put names to the many faces that I have watched on screen for some time. It’s basic reading, but very enjoyable. Long Live Cowboys!!