1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 3 (USA)
The central characters in Laramie were Slim Sherman (John Smith) and his 14-year old brother Andy (Robert Crawford, Jr) – two brothers looking after the family ranch in Wyoming in the 1870s. Their father had been shot and killed by a land-grabber.
Only Jonesy (Hoagy Carmichael), a friend of their father who had helped to raise the two boys, was around to help run the ranch.
In the first episode, a drifter named Jess Harper (Robert Fuller) wandered in and was persuaded to settle down and throw in his lot with the Shermans.
In addition to raising cattle, the boys used their ranch as a relay stagecoach station for Great Central Overland Mail running into and out of nearby Laramie, which provided the series with a constant stream of guest stars, including established names such as Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson, alongside up-and-coming actors like Leonard Nimoy and Adam West.
Young Andy left the series in 1961 (he was sent to boarding school in Missouri with Jonesy accompanying him) and two new cast members were added to the household; Mike Williams (an orphan whose parents had been killed by Indians), and Daisy Cooper, who took over the job of housekeeper and surrogate mother in the all-male household.
The cast change, alongside the move to colour in 1961, helped to reinvigorate the show. NBC’s new “living color” logo, premiered in 1962, quickly became known as “the Laramie peacock”, and remained long after the show’s run had ended.
Robert Crawford, Jr.