1 9 5 5 – 1 9 5 9 (USA)
156 x 30 minute episodes
Academy Award-winning actor Broderick Crawford starred in this syndicated cop series as Chief Dan Mathews, a gravel-voiced cop who headed up the police’s highway patrol on the sprawling freeways of an unnamed western US state.
The patrol cars tracked down hijackers, smugglers and robbers on the state’s highways, with most of the action taking place outdoors.
Bitter gun-play and thundering car chases were the prime (perhaps sole) ingredients of this production, its elemental effectiveness influencing the genre for a generation.
Announcer Art Gilmore was the series’ unseen narrator, and Chief Mathews’ radio acknowledgement “10-4” passed into common parlance around the world.
Highway Patrol became one of the most successful non-network shows ever and lived on for years in syndication. When asked why the show eventually stopped, Broderick Crawford replied, “we just ran out of crimes.”
Broderick Crawford died on 26 April 1986 at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, having suffered a stroke the previous year. He was 74.
Chief Dan Mathews
Sergeant Ken Williams