1 9 5 1 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
104 x 30 minute episodes
One of the more popular of the many Wild West adventure series targeted at kids to be released during the 1950s, this series followed the lonely life of rugged frontiersman Kit Carson (Bill Williams) and his Mexican sidekick, El Toro (Don Diamond), as they roamed the southwest righting wrongs and bringing outlaws to justice.
Ex-truck driver Williams eventually hung up his spurs and saddle out of sheer exhaustion, saying that the grind of turning out 104 hell-for-leather episodes almost put him in a hospital.
“We made them at the rate of 26 every ten weeks, working 16 hours a day, six days a week,” the actor said. “Sometimes we’d shoot 113 setups a day. Average for movies and TV is only ten.”
“Out at Iverson’s ranch (in the San Fernando Valley) the heat under the reflectors got to be 130 degrees,” he added.
The Adventures of Kit Carson also began production before residual contracts came into effect. Williams concluded, “It really hurts to see the reruns and know that I’m not getting a penny for the hardest work I ever did in my life.”
Bill Williams died in September 1992 of complications from a brain tumour. He was 77.