Intro--Gil Favor: "On a trail drive a man can find the things he wants: a sense of God's good earth, the room to move in, a job to be done. Of course, there's not always enough water and you can't always choose your own company. There's some that say that's all that's wrong with hell. It's up to me to handle, good and bad. I'm Gil Favor, Trail Boss."
Pete and Quince find a boy out in the middle of nowhere setting off fireworks. He claims that his family was attacked by Indians a week before, but Gil suspects he's lying and threatens to beat the kid with a stick to get the truth out of him.
The 24th episode of Rawhide might have been the 23rd. More on that in a moment. In "Incident of the Roman Candles," Pete and Quince seek the source of some mysterious fireworks on the prairie and find a boy named David Colby. David says his family was killed in an Indian attack, but a skeptical Gil Favor doesn't buy it.
The Internet Movie Database lists this episode as having originally aired on July 10, 1959. However, it contradicts itself by saying that it is the second episode of the second season, showing that it aired after "Incident of the Day of the Dead," which was shown on September 18, 1959. Perhaps "Roman Candles" aired in July and again as the second episode of the second season? Just a guess. The network might have figured most folks were on vacation when it first aired so they ran it again.
David Colby is played by Richard Eyer. Eyer was born May 6, 1945 in Santa Monica, California. As for how he got started in acting, here's a snippet from a 1995 interview with him: "It was all (my mother's) work that did it. I had curly hair, freckles, and people would say what a cute kid he was and all that, so my mother entered me in some children's personality contests, and I won one of these which had been held at the Hollywood Bowl, and I guess that one was the springboard in getting me started. After that, I was hired for some television commercials and some modeling jobs, and this led into other things. I was around 14 when I did Stagecoach West. My last role was at age 21, appearing in an episode of Combat!"
At the age of seven, Eyer made his acting debut in a 1952 episode of The Roy Rogers Show. Eyer had appeared in more than 40 movies or television shows prior to his visit to Rawhide. Some folks might remember him as the boy who gets chased by a nipping goose in the 1956 movie Friendly Persuasion with Gary Cooper. Perhaps Eyer's high-water mark as an actor came when he received top billing for the title role in the 1957 film The Invisible Boy.
As he mentioned in the interview, his last acting part was in an episode of Combat! in which he played a dying soldier. I thought that was kind of appropriate, for an actor's character and career to expire at the same time.
After his acting days, he owned a company that constructed tennis courts. I couldn't find out much about that, as to whether his business was successful. What I do know is that he went on to become a third-grade teacher in Bishop, California. He retired from teaching in 2006, and is still with us at the age of 71. This was Eyer's only Rawhide visit.
But making her first of three Rawhide appearances is Beverly Garland as David's mother, Jennie Colby. Garland is probably best remembered for her role as Barbara Harper Douglas on My Three Sons.
On October 17, 1926, Garland was born Beverly Lucy Fessenden in Santa Cruz, California.
Garland starred in the TV series Decoy from October 1957 to January 1959. By doing this series, she became the first woman to have top billing in a dramatic TV series. She also became television's first policewoman. She played title character Casey Jones, an undercover New York City policewoman whose assignments often put her in some rough neighborhoods with dangerous characters. The premise sounds to me like it would have been a good show but it apparently never caught on. Only one season of 38 episodes was filmed, but it was broadcast intermittently and stretched into a season and a half.
From 1964-1965, she was a regular on The Bing Crosby Show. For the rest of the decade, she made quite a few guest appearances on various TV shows, including Gunsmoke and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.
Garland joined the cast of My Three Sons in the fall of 1969. Her character, Barbara Harper, married widower Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray) and stayed with the show for three seasons until its demise in August 1972. By the time My Three Sons ended, Steve Douglas had acquired an adopted son, a wife, a step-daughter, three daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, a sheepdog, an old-fart uncle and a Scottish cousin (played by Fred MacMurray with an awkwardly dubbed-over voice).
But let's get back to Beverly Garland. In 1983, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From 1983 to 1987, she appeared as Dorothy "Dottie" West in the TV series Scarecrow and Mrs. King for four seasons.
Garland's third husband was Fillmore Crank, a real estate developer who built two hotels that he named in her honor. After he died in 1999, she continued to operate the 255-room Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood.
On December 5, 2008, Garland died of undisclosed causes at her home in Hollywood Hills, California. She was 82.
We'll see Will Wright in an uncharacteristically kindly role as David's grandpa. I say "uncharacteristically" for two reasons: For one thing, Wright made a career of playing curmudgeonly old skinflints who often shook their finger at folks they were berating. The second reason I say "uncharacteristically" is because it's hard to work a 20-letter word into a normal conversation, so I do it whenever possible.
Wright was born, probably in a cantankerous mood, on March 26, 1894 in San Francisco, California. He took to vaudeville and eventually to Hollywood, where he appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows. Y'all might remember him as Ben Weaver, the mean ol' skinflint who was a recurring character on The Andy Griffith Show.
Wright died of cancer on June 19, 1962 at the age of 68. That surprised me, because he looked much older.
The Good Guys:
Richard Eyer ………… David (Davy) Colby
Beverly Garland ……… Jennie Colby
Bill Henry …………… Sam Colby
Will Wright …………… Grandpa
David McMahon …… Mr. Larch (neighbor)
Robert Griffin ……… Sheriff of Eberley
Don Wilbanks ……… Gray (Stage driver)
David Wanger ……… Stage Guard
Margie Liszt ………… Woman on the stagecoach
William Tannen …… Sheriff Kent
Tom Wilde .………… Guard
The Bad Guys:
Bob Ellenstein ……… Stan Brodie
Gerald Milton ……… Mooney
Zon Murray ………… Harv
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