1 9 5 3 – 1 9 5 6 (USA)
81 x 30 minute episodes
A gun-toting, pigtailed Annie Oakley (an actual American Wild West character starring with the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show in the late 1800’s) became the main character of a 30-minute television adventure series directed towards younger viewers.
One of television’s none-too-historical re-creations of Western legends, the series did not draw very heavily upon actual facts about the real Annie Oakley. Like Oakley, however, Gail Davis was a sharpshooter and an excellent horse rider.
Davis had appeared in many Western films before becoming Annie Oakley on television.
In the series, Annie’s friend and silent suitor was lawman Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig (Brad Johnson) who upheld the law in Diablo County, Arizona.
Jimmy Hughes played Annie’s younger brother, Tagg Oakley.
Other regular characters included Tom Conrad (Fess Parker), the editor of The Diablo Courier; school teacher Marge Hardy (Virginia Lee); General Store owner Gloria Marshall (Sally Fraser); hotel owner George Lacey (Stanley Andrews); hotel clerk Elroy (Isa Ashdown); postal clerk Tom Jennings (William Fawcett); Tagg’s friend Trudy (Shelley Fabares); Lofty’s niece, Penny (Judy Nugent); rancher Bess Murdock (Nancy Hale); stable owner Miss Curtis (Mary Ellen Kay); owner of the stage line, Patricia Dennis (Maura Murphy); and stagecoach drivers Jim (Bob Woodward) and Pete (Larry Reeves).
When the series left the air Gail Davis continued to appear in short films – and with Gene Autry‘s travelling rodeo show – billed as “Annie Oakley” and she later became the manager of show business celebrities.
Deputy Sheriff Lofty Craig
Mary Ellen Kay