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Brave Eagle


CBS Network
30 Minutes

Set in the Black Mountain region of Wyoming during the middle of the 19th century, the western series BRAVE EAGLE/CBS/1955-56 starred Keith Larsen as Brave Eagle, a young Cheyenne chief who faced the challenges of daily life with neighboring tribes and White men. Brave Eagle rode a stallion named White Cloud.

Also titled BRAVE EAGLE: CHIEF OF THE CHEYENNES, the series depicted the struggles of Native American Indians from their viewpoint. The Cheyennes lived near Fort Wilson, a newly constructed US Cavalry post. While Brave Eagle and his tribe are peaceful, they sometimes have to fend off attacks from  the neighboring Piegan tribe.

Other Native American characters in the series included:

  • Keena Nomkeena, as Keena, Brave Eagle’s adopted son who survived a Comanche attacked that killed members of his Lota Indian tribe. Brave Eagle found Keena in a papoose.
  • Kim Winona (a full-blooded Sioux) as Morning Star, and Cheyenne maiden and Brave Eagle's love interest
  • Bert Wheeler as Smokey, a sage, half-breed scout who wears a U.S. Cavalry army jacket with sergeant stripes.
  • Pat Hogan as Black Cloud

Smokey, Morning Star, Keena and Brave Eagle

TRIVIA NOTE: Produced by Roy Rogers’ Frontier Productions, the series was filmed on Roy Rogers’ 130-acre ranch in Chatsworth, California and the Corriganville Ranch in Simi Valley.

The BRAVE EAGLE series was the first TV series to feature an American Indian as a lead character.

The real name of the actor who played Brave Eagle's son, Keena is Anthony Earl Numkena, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona. He is a full-blooded Indian of Hopi and Klamath descent.

According to an email sent to TV ACRES: "The change came about as a result of Mr. Michael North, the executive producer (who) changed the name to Keena to fit the part in the series. He also felt the name Numkena (a Hopi name) looked too oriental and changed it to Nomkena. In the later episodes it was changed to Numkena. The name Keena remained."


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