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Dr. Quinn,
Medicine Woman


CBS Network
1993 - 1998
60 Minutes

Set in the 1860s town of Colorado Springs, Jane Seymour starred as Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn, a single female physician from Boston who set up practice in the wilderness of Colorado. 

Michaela was born on February 15, 1833, in Boston, Massachusetts to Josef and Elizabeth Quinn. Her four sisters included: Mary (whose changed her name to Rebecca "Becky"), Marjorie, Claudette, and Maureen.

Michaela's father Josef Quinn was also a physician with whom she shared a practice until he died. Her father had hoped for a boy, but when he got another baby girl, he compromised and called his daughter, Michaela (nicknamed ""Mike").

After her father died, Michaela, an 1860 graduate of  Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, packed her bags and left the comfort of the big city for a life in the far west. She set up her new  practice in the frontier town of Colorado, Springs in the year 1867.


Michaela was fiercely independent and would not be put in her place or act the part of what society deemed proper for a woman of those times. When she saw a problem, she pulled up her sleeves and solved it just as well any man could. And if she didn't have the ability to fix a problem, she had the wisdom to seek the council of those who did.

Morally directed, Dr. Mike always sought to do the right thing. Once, when threatened with the loss of her mortgage, Dr. Mike stood her ground and proclaimed "I'll practice in the street if I have to. I'll pitch a tent, I'll work from my wagon, but I will never, NEVER give in to the likes of you!"

When General George Custer called Dr. Mike a traitor, she shouted back: "I've dedicated my life to repairing the damage that men like you bring on this world and frankly, Mr. Custer, I don't want any more of your business."

Byron Sully and Dr. Michaela 'Mike' Quinn - DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN
Byron Sully and Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn

During her career, Michaela experienced many emergencies, including, an influenza outbreak (1868), a typhoid epidemic that hit the Cheyenne Indians and the immigrants camp (1869), a mortal bite Ingrid from a puppy with rabies that killed Ingrid (1870), a raging Tornado (1871) and diphtheria that killed her two sisters (1872).

Dr. Quinn's friends and colleagues included:

  • Joe Lando as Byron Sully, a handsome woodsman with a pet wolf who married Michaela on May 20th, 1870. Byron had been married once before but his wife Abigail and child (Hannah) died in childbirth. For along time, he turned his back on love until Michaela revived the embers of desire in his heart. On May18th, 1871, Sully delivered their child Katherine "Katie" Elizabeth when Michaela went in to labor under a tree. In 1872, Michaela miscarried her next child while Sully was in hiding for helping Native Americans escape from the Army. Katie was kidnapped and then recovered from Mexico in 1877.
  • Diane Ladd as Charlotte Cooper, Mike's friend who dies from a rattlesnake bite. Consequently,  Michaela Quinn adopts her children. Ethan Cooper (Ben Murphy) wins legal custody of  his two children, Brian and Colleen. but luckily Michaela gets them back.
  • Geoffrey Lower as Reverend Timothy Johnson, the local minister who proposed to Dr. Quinn, but was rejected because she really loved Sully. He christened Katie Sully.
  • Chad Allen as Matthew Cooper, Michaela's adopted son. He became sheriff of Colorado Springs and later studied to be a lawyer. His romantic interest Ingrid (Jennifer Youngs) died from rabies after being bitten by Brian's pet dog "Pup."
    His other love, who worked at the Golden Nugget, ran off to be a dress maker for a famous entertainer.
  • Erika Flores as Colleen Cooper, Michaela's adopted daughter. She studied to be physician and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1876. She married Dr. Andrew Cook.
  • Shawn Toovey as Brian Cooper, Michaela's adopted son and youngest of the children. When he grew up, he worked with editor Dorothy Jennings as a local reporter for The Gazette and later in 1876, was hired on the staff of the Boston Globe.
  • Georgann Johnson as Mrs. Elizabeth Quinn, Michaela's wealthy mother who never understood her daughter's decision to work in the wilderness. When she died of heart disease in 1876, she left the profits from her estate to establish a hospital for Colorado Springs, run by her daughter, Dr. Michaela Quinn.
  • Elinor Donahue as Rebecca Quinn, Michaela's sister who died of diphtheria in 1872
  • Alley Mills as Marjorie Quinn. Michaela's sister, who died of diphtheria in 1872.
  • Orson Bean as Loren Bray, owner of the town's mercantile. His wife Maude died of heart failure. His daughter, Abigail  married Sully against his wishes. When she died in childbirth, he held a grudge against Sully for years until  the day Sully saved his life by providing blood for a transfusion. Loren later became infatuated with Michaela's sister Marjorie.
  • Barbara Babcock as Dorothy Jennings, the editor of The Gazette, the town newspaper. She is the sister of Maude Bray. Dorothy wrote a tell-all-book about the town and another book abut the local Cheyenne people. She was once married to an abusive alcoholic husband (who died),. Her  love interests were Jake Slicker, Loren Bray and Cloud Dancing.
  • Larry Sellers as Cloud Dancing, a Cheyenne medicine man and Sully's blood brother. He was the  best man at Sully's wedding. He even taught Dr. Quinn the healing ways of his people.
  • Frank Collison as Horace Bing, the town's telegraph operator,. He married Myra, a prostitute that worked at the Gold Nugget Saloon/Hotel. They had a child named Samantha, but later divorced.
  • Helene Udy as Myra, a prostitute at the Gold Nugget Saloon//Hotel who later marries/divorces Horace Bing.
  • William Shockley as Hank Lawson (born Hans Lawsenstrom), the co-owner of the Gold Nugget Saloon/Hotel (and brothel).  He fathered an autistic boy named Zack with Clarice, one of his prostitutes. She later died in Denver.
  • Jim Knobeloch as Jake Slicker, the town barber (and doctor before Michaela arrived). He became the co-owner of the Gold Nugget Saloon/Hotel when he inherited a fortune in gold from his prospector father.
  • Alice Meneses as Teresa Morales, the town's school teacher who later married Jake Slicker.
  • Henry G. Sanders as Robert E., a former slave turned blacksmith who was the friend of Michaela and her family.
  • Jonelle Allen as Grace, an African American woman who owned Grace's cafe. She and her husband Robert E. were godparents to Michaela and Sully's daughter, Katie. Unable to have children, Gracie and Robert E. adopted  young orphan named Anthony who later died of sickle cell anemia in 1872..
  • Brandon Douglas as Dr. Andrew Cook, who took over Michael's practice in Colorado Springs after she had her baby. He was supposed to deliver the child ("Katie") but the baby was delivered by Sully when Michaela went in to labor in the wilderness. Andrew later accepted a position as spa physician at the hotel owned by Preston A. Lodge III.
  • James Leyland Adams as Preston A. Lodge III, a handsome entrepreneur from Boston who opened a bank in Colorado Spring and later a hotel. The people in town soon learned to dislike the way he did business.
  • John Schneider as Daniel Simon, Sully's best friend since childhood. Sully helped Daniel build a mining concern that was very successful. When Sully and Michaela were having financial problems Daniel offered money which Sully would only take as a loan. While visiting Colorado Springs, Daniel became temporarily infatuated with Sully's wife and later when Sully was missing he returned to town to search for his friend.

Citizens and Friends of Colorado Springs

Famous people to cross paths with Dr. Quinn included: Outlaw Belle Starr, singer Gilda St. Clair, author Walt Whitman, and General George Custer (who died on June 25, 1876 at Little Big Horn).

Michaela: Why can't you accept me for what I am?
Michaela's Mom: And what are you? You're an unmarried woman, trying to raise three children, in a shack, in the middle of nowhere... and offering your medical services to a bunch of back-woodsman, who pay you in potatoes and in chickens.

Cloud Dancing: Man and woman are not meant to be alone. Like Mother Earth and Father Sky, everyone needs a partner or they become unbalanced. It's nature.
Byron Sully: Dr. Mike's an awfully strong force of nature.

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