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Law of the Plainsman


NBC/ABC Network
1959 - 1962
30 Minutes

The story of Deputy US Marshal Sam Buckhart (Michael Ansara), an Apache educated in the white man's world who returned to the New Mexico Territory of his youth to work for the betterment of his people in the 1880s.

In his early years, Sam had nursed back to health a US cavalry officer who had been injured in an Indian attack. When the man, he left Sam an inheritance that he used to study at private schools and eventually Harvard University.

During his school training Sam learned to respect the US Constitution and so when he received his degree, he returned to the Southwest to work as a Deputy US Marshall. Sam reported to Marshal Andy Morrison (Dayton Lummis) stationed in Santa Fe.


Michale Ansara as US Marshal Sam Buckhart - LAW OF THE PLAINSMAN

Friends of the Deputy Marshal included:

  • Paul Carr/Robert Harland as Deputy Billy Jordan
  • Jess Kirkpatrick as Deputy Timmins
  • J. Pat O'Malley as Doc Leonard
  • Gina Gillespie as Terry 'Tess' Wilkins, an eight-year-old orphan whom Sam rescued and adopted. Sam found Tess in a wagon on the prairie next to her murdered father. 
  • Nora Marlowe as Martha Commager, the owner of the boarding house where Sam and Tess lived.
  • Chris Alcaide as Charlie Wolf

Here are samples of Sam's law enforcement adventures:

  • Sam learns a sheriff is the bank robber he's been looking for.
  • Sam finds the hideout of an outlaw and his pregnant wife.
  • Sam investigate the murder of a girl by a mountain man.
  • Sam transports a prisoner when outlaws ambush his stagecoach.
  • Sam tries to stop warfare between outlaws and vigilantes.
  • Sam teams with Teddy Roosevelt to recover a stolen ring.
  • Sam moves a man accused of murder to a new town.
  • Sam investigates the murder of toll road operators by outlaws.
  • Sam is the target of the son of an outlaw that Sam shot.
  • Sam is mistaken for a renegade Indian and shot.
  • Sam pursued two outlaws who murdered a priest.
  • Sam intervenes when a Minister claims a comet predicts doom.
  • Sam investigates the innocence of a Gypsy accused of murder.
  • Sam holds an outlaw in custody until another lawman arrives.
  • Sam helps rescue a woman held hostage by wounded outlaw.
  • Sam discovers a town sheriff is being controlled by outlaws.
  • Sam help is refused by a boy who hates Apaches.
  • Sam encounters a youth who uses Billy the Kid a role model.
  • Sam is befriended by a robber who doesn't know he is the law.
  • Sam hires an outlaw pardoned by the Governor
  • Sam prevents a man from selling his daughter into slavery.
  • Sam is used a a pawn by gold prospectors who need a hostage to present to some Apaches who want the killer of a brave.
  • Sam uses a traveling show wagon to infiltrate a gang of outlaws.

TRIVIA NOTE: The Sam Buckhart character first appeared on episode "The Indian" (February 17, 1959) and again on "The "Raid" (June 9th. 1959) on the western series THE RIFLEMANABC/1958-63 starring Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain, a New Mexico rancher..

Michael Ansara played a similar character in the western series BROKEN ARROW/ABC/1956-60 where he played Cochise, the Chief of the Chiracahuas who were living on an Indian reservation near Tucson, Arizona in the late 19th century.

Obituaries: Dayton Lummis: 03/23/1988; Nora Marlowe: 12/31/1977; Peter Whitney: 03/30/1972;

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