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Title Card - LAWMAN

ABC Network
1958 - 1962
30 Minutes

John Russell starred as Marshal Dan Troop, a stern but fair lawman who maintained order in the 1870s town of Laramie, Wyoming with the assistance of his younger deputy Johnny McKay (Peter Brown). 

Troop decided to become a lawman when a special girl he knew year ago was killed by a stray bullet shot in a senseless gunfight. As his reputation grew he earned the nickname "the Fastest Gun from Texas." It was his reputation that caught the attention of the Laramie town council of Laramie, who sent Troop, the marshal of Abilene at the time,  an invitation to be Marshall in their fair city and to clean up the town, including the Hawk brothers, a terrible trio who were responsible killing the town marshal. Of course, Troop answered their call.

Deputy Johnny MacKay hails from Lawrence, Kansas where he lived on a farm outside of town until his where his father was killed by raiders during the war. At the age of ten, his mom moved West on a wagon train but she died along the way and was buried in Nebraska. Johnny's lived a solitary life until he befriended the folks in Laramie and got a job at the Blue Bonnet Cafe.

Johnny later learned that his mother had been previously married to a robber named Barney Tremain (Jeff York), a former Quantrill Raider who was killed by Troop in a gunfight after the man (Johnny' real dad) revealed he was the one who killed Johnny's stepfather.

While working at the Blue Bonnet Cafe, Johnny read an ad for a town deputy that paid $50.00 a month. He applied, but Troop refused to hire Johnny on the grounds he was inexperienced. But during a gunfight between the two Hawks brothers, Johnny stepped up and proved he had the grit required to be a lawman by taking out one of the Hawk's brothers who had attacked the Marshall.

John Russell as Marshall Dan Troop and Peter Brown as Deputy Johhny MacKay - LAWMAN
Marshal Dan Troop and Deputy Johnny McKay

Other folks in town included:

  • Peggy Castle as Lily Merrill, the owner of the Birdcage saloon
  • Jon Lormer as Harry Tate, a newspaper editor (later killed off) who publishes the Laramie Weekly (formerly called the Laramie Free Press).
  • Barbara Long as Julie, Tate's niece
  • Bek Nelson as Dru Lemp, the widow of David Lemp, the town's former marshal who origianlly ran the Blue Bonnet Cafe.
  • Lane Chandler as Tom Pike, town councilman
  • Ken Christy as Carl Shoemaker, town councilman
  • Jack Elam as Flynn Hawk, a town bad guy who killed Marshal Lemp. His other brothers Ethan (Edd Brynes) and Walt (Lee Van Cleef) were just as bad. Walt and Flynn were killed in a gunfight by Troop and MacKay.

Listen to Theme Song

Theme Song Lyrics
(words by Mack David)

The Lawman came with the sun,
There was a job to be done,
And so they sent for the badge
and the gun of the Lawman

And as he silently rode,
Where evil violently flowed
They knew he'd live or he'd die
by the code of the Lawman

A man who rides all alone
And all that he'll ever own
Is just a badge and gun
and he's known as the Lawman


TRIVIA NOTE: Before John Russell died of emphysema in 1991, he appeared in the now classic western Pale Rider (1985) starring Clint Eastwood.

In the film, Russell played Marshall Stockburn, an assassin hired by a wealthy but corrupt businessman to force a band of prospectors off their rightfully purchased land.

At the conclusion of the film, Stockburn is gunned down by a mysterious stranger (Eastwood) in the guise of a preacher who had appeared out of nowhere to protect the put upon prospectors.

As Stockburn faces certain death, he realizes that the man who stands before him is the same man he had killed earlier in his career. "You!" shouts the Marshal, but before he can draw his pistol, the stranger shoots him six times in the chest. The pattern of bullet holes on Stockburn's body matched the bullet wounds on the stranger's back.

The stranger finished off the Marshal with a bullet to the brain, mounted his horse, and then galloped into wilderness and vanished.

Obituaries: John Russell: 01/19/1991; Peggy Castle; 08/11/1973; Dan Sheridan; 06/29/1963; Emory Parnell: 06/22/1979; Vinton Hayworth: 05/21/1970; Harry Cheshire: 06/16/1968

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