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Pistols and Petticoats

1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
26 x 30 minute Episodes

This CBS period sitcom set in the 1870s in the Old West concerned the Hanks family; Grandpa (Douglas Fowley) and Grandma (Ruth McDevitt), Henrietta (Ann Sheridan) and her daughter Lucy (Carole Wells).

Lucy had just returned from finishing school having spent quite a bit of time in the city and was at odds with the rest of her gun-slinging family.

The family prided themselves on their toughness and ruled it over the town of Wretched, Colorado, much to the distress of clumsy and inept Sheriff Harold Sikes (Gary Vinson), who was courting miss Lucy and wished her kinfolk would stick to their crocheting and leave at least some of the bad guys to him.

The Hanks also had rather unusual pets – a timber wolf called Bowser and a wildcat named Kitty.

Other regulars on the series included crooked lawyer Jed Timmins (Stanley Adams); Buss Courtney (Robert Lowery) – the land baron seeking to obtain the Hanks’ ranch – and the Indians whom the family did regular battle with; Eagle Shadow (Lon Chaney Jnr), chief of the Kiowa Indians; his son, Grey Hawk (Marc Cavell); Great Bear (Jay Silverheels), chief of the Atona Indians; and his son, Little Bear (Alex Hentelhoff).

Art Director Frank Arrigo moved the series locale – the town of Wretched in frontier Colorado – indoors. A large two-level indoor/outdoor western set was constructed on Stage 24 at Universal Studios to house the stone-and-wood home where the Hanks family lived, a two-level barn, and a dirt road flanked by real grass, disappearing over a hill for going “that-a-way”.

Ann Sheridan died of cancer in January 1967 and while the season was completed using cuts of her from earlier episodes and voice doubles, Pistols and Petticoats came to an end on 11 March.

Henrietta can fire a gun
with one hand milkin’ the goat
And hit a coyote on the run
in Pistols n Petticoats

The story goes that grandma is the best
at shootin’ buttons off a rustler’s vest
Grandpa kept his gun in trim
nobody messed around with him

Chasin’ bandits for them was fun
from Bristol to Terre Haute
Everyone in the west would run
from Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats

That’s the legend about the Hanks
just the way she was wrote
They kept busy protecting banks
in Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats

Henrietta Hanks 
Ann Sheridan
Grandpa Andrew Hanks

Douglas Fowley
Grandma Hanks

Ruth McDevitt
Lucy Hanks 

Carole Wells
Sheriff Harold Sikes 

Gary Vinson
Bernard “Buss” Courtney 

Robert Lowery
Jed Timmins
Stanley Adams
Chief Eagle Shadow 
Lon Chaney Jnr
Grey Hawk 

Marc Cavell
Chief Great Bear 

Jay Silverheels
Little Bear 

Alex Hentelhoff