1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 2 (USA)
167 x 25 minute episodes
34 x 60 minute episodes
Dale Robertson starred as Jim Hardie (pictured), a strong but silent troubleshooter for transport company Wells Fargo in the 1860s.
Jim’s assignments ranged from helping employees out of personal jams to functioning as an unofficial lawman by fighting criminals who preyed on Wells Fargo shipments and passengers.
Originally aired by CBS on Schlitz Playhouse of Stars in 1956, the show was expanded in 1961 to a 60-minute format, and storylines began to include Hardie’s adventures as a rancher in San Francisco.
He had acquired a young assistant in Beau McCloud (Jack Ging) and a ranch foreman named Jeb Gaine (William Demarest).
The ranch next door to his was owned by Widow Ovie (Virginia Christine), who lived with her two attractive daughters, Mary Gee (Mary Jane Saunders) and Tina (Lory Patrick).
Despite his lack of interest, Ovie had her eye on Jeb as a possible second husband.
Most of the shows during this last season took place on the Hardie ranch and in San Francisco, although Jim still went on an occasional assignment in other parts of the West.
Dale Robertson appeared in 63 films and more than 400 episodes of various TV shows – mostly in Westerns though he also appeared as a guest star on The Love Boat and in the last season of Dynasty – although he admitted, “I never set out to be an actor . . . but I needed money”.
Jack Nicholson appeared on Tales of Wells Fargo in one of his first screen roles in a 1961 episode called ‘The Washburn Girl.’
Mary Jane Saunders