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Flying Tumbleweed Ranch -  Run-down dude ranch featured on the comedy/drama THE HARTS OF THE WEST/CBS/1993-94.

Cast - HARTS OF THE WEST

This contemporary western followed the Hart family, a bunch of city slickers who moved to Sholo, Nevada to begin a new life as the owners of a broken-down dude ranch called The Flying Tumbleweed, that even had a talking prairie dog named Ralph (voiced by Frank Welker).

As the Harts settled into daily routine of running a dude ranch, they encountered all sorts of excitement, including:

  • A sheep-shearing contest.
  • Sholo's Frontier Days Ghost Run buckboard race.
  • A rodeo clown (played by Mark Harmon).
  • A countryside vacation that involved a mine-shaft accident, a marauding bear, and tornadoes.
  • Participation in a cattle drive.
  • The rehabilitation a tough inner-city youth hired as a ranch hand.

The Hart family consisted of:

  • Beau Bridges as Dave Hart, a 41-year-old underwear salesman whose heart attack made him rethink his priorities in life and so he decided to realize his lifelong dream of being a cowboy. Dave's love of western novels and films inspired the names of his children.
  • Harley Jane Kozak as Alison Hart, Dave's wife who reluctantly supported their move out West. Alison once posed for a lingerie catalog.
  • Meghann Haldeman as L'Amour Hart, Dave's teenage daughter who was named after Louis L'Amour, the famous writer of the western novels Hondo (1953), and How the West Was Won (1963).
  • Sean Murray as Zane Grey Hart, Dave's teenage son who was named for the writer of the western novels Riders of the Purple Sage (1912), and Code of the West (1934).  
  • Nathan Watt as John Wayne "Duke" Hart, Dave's nine-year-old son who shared a named with the western film actor from the classic films Stagecoach (1939), and  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). Duke loved the cowboy life and often his mind was home on the range than his homework. Duke's only stumbling block was his uncertainty with horses, but older brother Zane took hold of the reins on that problem and showed Dave how to ride.

Other folks in the Hart's life included:

  • Diane Ladd as Nina, Alison's mom who visited the ranch.
  • Lloyd Bridges as Jake Tyrell, a ex-convict who had worked at the ranch years earlier. He dated Alison's mom when she visited the ranch. Jake's hotheaded brother Zeke (Dale Robertson) was a western romance writer.
  • Stephen Root as R.O. Moon,  the local sheriff who got  zapped by lightning and developed multiple personalities, including that of Dave's late father.
  • Saginaw Grant as Auggie Velasquez, a 60-year-old Native-American Indian who ran the general store near the Flying Tumbleweed Ranch. His wife was buried on the Hart's property.
  • Talisa Soto as Cassie Valesquez. Auggie's granddaughter
  • O-Lan Jones as Rose McLaughlin, a waitress
  • Sterling Macer Jr. as Marcus St. Cloud, an African American lawyer who aspired to be a cowboy.
  • Dennis Fimple as Garral whose beloved bovine Irene, dropped dead while he was painting her portrait.

TRIVIA NOTE: The series was filmed in Mayer in Yavapai County near Prescott, Arizona. See also "Guestward Ho!"


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