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Title Card - MAVERICK

ABC Network
1957 - 1962
60 Minutes

The western drama MAVERICK/ABC/1957-62 followed the  frontier misadventures of the Maverick brothers Bret (James Garner) and Bart (Jack Kelly) Maverick, who drifted through the Old West in search of an honest card game and a pretty lady or two. Cousin Beauregarde (Roger Moore), a Texas expatriate raised in England, and a third brother, Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) also joined in the fun on occasion.

The patriarch of the clan was Beauregard "Pappy" Maverick. His boys often proclaimed the wisdom of that fine old gentleman  by espousing such sentiments "As my ol' Pappy used to say."

We get the first look at the revered fellow on the episode "Pappy" (Sept 13, 1959) where the whole Maverick bunch gathers when Pappy (James Garner in a dual role) announces his misguided decision to marry a teenage girl.

So determined was Pappy to keep his gambling offspring's from the straight and narrow that when his sons went fighting for the Confederate Army, Pappy admonished, "If you either one gets back with a medal, I'll beat you to death."

In addition to Pappy's wisdom, he also gave each of his boys a $1000 bill for security against bad times which they tucked inside their traveling clothes.

James Garner as Bret Maverick
Bret Maverick

Listen to Theme Song

Maverick Theme Lyrics
by David Buttolph & Paul Francis Webster

Who is the tall, dark stranger there?
 Maverick is the name.
Ridin' the trail to who knows where,
 Luck is his companion.
Gamblin' is his game.

Smooth as the handle on a gun.
 Maverick is the name.
Wild as the wind in Oregon,
Blowin' up a canyon, easier to tame.

Riverboat, ring your bell. Fare thee well, Annabel.
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans. Livin' on jacks and queens
Maverick is a legend of the west.

During their travels, the Maverick family met an assortment of good, bad and questionable characters, including:

  • Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Dandy Jim Buckley
  • Richard Long as Gentleman Jack Darby
  • Leo Gordon as Big Mike Macomb
  • Peter Breck as Doc Holliday
  • Mike Road as Pearly Gates 
  • Diane Brewster as Samantha Crawford
  • Kathleen Crowley as Melanie Blake/Modesty Blaine
  • Mona Freeman as Modesty Blaine
  • Jean Willes as Belle Starr
  • Robert Lowery as Foxy Smith
  • Joel Grey as Billy the Kid
  • Kelly Thordsen as  Sam Bass
  • Gregory Walcott as Cole Younger
  • William Shaw as Jesse James
  • Tim Graham as Willie Thimble
  • Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie
  • Ty Hardin as Bronco Layne
  • Will Hutchins as Tom "Sugarfoot" Brewster
  • Peter Brown as Deputy Johnny McKay
  • John Russell as Marshal Dan Troup
  • Edd Byrnes as Blacksmith

While all of the Maverick family have a talent for winning at cards, they also have the talent for getting into all sorts of trouble. Here are some examples of those predicaments:


  • Bret wins a poke game but earns the ire of a silver mine owner who hires a thug to kill him.
  • Bret new lady friend plans to kill him and use his dead boy for an alibi to cover her boyfriend's bank robbery attempt.
  • Bret discovers he's been traveling with a woman whose allegedly been dead for a week.
  • Bret wins a camel in a poker game.
  • Bret get involved in a kidnapping plot
  • Bret finds himself embroiled in "fixed" boxing match
  • Bret assumes the identity of a rich man's nephew
  • Bret and brother, Bart thwart a bank robbery attempt.
  • Bret must convince a sheriff he was framed for robbery
  • Bret is hired to protect a hatbox filled with valuable papers.
  • Bret pays off a gambling debt by taking three British gentlemen on a bear hunt only to be set upon by Indians.
  • Bret escorts wanted man to Tampico for a fee of $6000.
  • Bret set up as sting operation on a banker to retrieve his $15000 with the help of his brother, Bart, and friends Dandy Jim, Gentleman Jack  Big Mike and Samantha Crawford.
  • Bret lands on an island of smugglers
  • Bret exposed a crooked sheriff using a race horse
  • Bret searches for a horde of buried Confederate gold.
  • Bret and his brother, Bart are hired to break up a romance between a young woman and a gunfighter.
  • Bret intervenes between Homesteaders and a cattleman.
  • Bret helps a girl framed for murder.
  • Bret tracks an outlaw through his concert singing wife.
  • Bret reluctantly becomes a town sheriff of a wild town.
  • Bret's friend Modesty Blaine sells cat to mouse infested mining camp.
  • Bret and his brother, Bart sell some worthless land.
  • Bret becomes the target for murder after he buys a steamboat from a man who previously sold it to others.
  • Bret and his brother, Bart become rivals in a poker game that will decide the fate of two feuding families.
  • Bret poses as a federal inspector to locate the man from whom he won a flock of sheep in a poker game.
  • Bret transports a casket and gets involved with smugglers
  • Bret learns of  a tunnel that goes into the Denver Bank.


  • Bart is framed for a murder
  • Bart helps Samantha Crawford recover treasury plates.
  • Bart exposes a diamond swindler.
  • Bart travels to Mexico to find rumored gold and becomes the target of the Federales and bandits
  • Bart joins forces with a dance hall girl to recover $1000.
  • Bart exposed the real killer in  a mining camp murder.
  • Bart tracks down dance hall girl who stole his money.
  • Bart herds cattle for beautiful con-woman.
  • Bart protects a gambling hall owner from harm.
  • Bart rescues woman from a runaway horse, and for his troubles gets framed for murder.
  • Bart assists the Army reclaim a fort taken by Indians.
  • Bart attends a meeting in the guise of a wealthy young man.
  • Bart's in the stockade for gambling on an Army post.
  • Bart and Gentleman Jack take refuge in a ghost town during a rainstorm and become hostages of an outlaw.
  • Bart wins title to the Lucky Lady Saloon in Santa Leora. but  his ownership is soon challenged.
  • Bart runs for Senator, but if he wins, he's a dead man.
  • Bart brings down a sheriff who labels innocent men as wanted outlaws and then kills them for sport..
  • Bart takes charge of four prisoners after an Indian attack injures their Army escorts.
  • Bart with the assistance of cousin, Beau track down poker winnings they wired to a Denver bank.
  • Bart is suspected of murder while in New Orleans.
  • Bart encounters the supernatural when he tries to recover an old gambling debt and run smack dab into a witch.
  • Bart and Bret inherit a stagecoach line from their uncle.
  • Bart helps a wealthy woman targeted for death.
  • Bart defeats a sheriff's plan to steal a Preacher's gold chest.
  • Bart uncovers a plot to overthrow the United States while visiting Don Felipe and her daughter, Soledad.
  • Bart meets a suicidal woman in his room after a poker game.
  • Bart needs money so he takes a job hauling ice from the mountain and discovers a frozen corpse.
  • Bart runs into trouble at a stagecoach stopover.
  • Bart is jailed by the Army because he looks like an outlaw.
  • Bart tries to collect a poker debt from a town boss. Doc Holliday, meanwhile, takes out an insurance policy on Bart to cash in on his potential demise.
  • Bart helps a sheriff (who once saved his life) prevent the murder of a saloon owner.
  • Bart tries to undo the damage of a salesman who sold a necklace to an Indian Chief that were guaranteed to repel bullets. If he fails, there just might be an Indian War.
  • Bart attempts to retrieve $5000 fleeced by Pearly Gates. Marla, Pearly's ex-fiancée is on the sting.
  • Bart helps a railroad owner pay off a gambling debt.
  • Bart wins a soon-to-be bankrupt bank in a poker game.
  • Bart takes the lives of fellow stagecoach traveler into his hand when an holdup man offers him a novel challenge.
  • Bart wins half-ownership in a casino and discovers he's on the hook for blackmail payments as well.
  • Bart wins a newspaper in a poker game and then is sued for libel by a prominent Senator.
  • Bart assists his cousin, Jacqueline Sutton who was conned out of money needed to pay off a family debt.
  • Bart is hired by a rancher Joe Wheelright to deliver three San Francisco women safely to his Subrosa Ranch so they can marry his sons. The sons (Small Paul, Moose and Henry) look suspiciously like the Cartwright boys (Little Joe, Hoss and Adam) from the Ponderosa spread in Nevada..
  • Bart meets an alleged leprechaun who give him five wishes, one of which involved stolen money.
  • Bart helps a farmer sell stocks in a new gold mining venture.
  • Bart's has romance problems when his female acquaintance Modesty Blaine  gets her petticoat in a flutter when Bart refuses to marry her.

Bart, Beau and Brent Maverick
Bart, Beau and Brent Maverick


  • Beau impersonates the son of rich European and gets kidnapped. Bart Maverick comes to the rescue.
  • Beau negotiates fair deal for land coveted by railroad owner.
  • Beau win half-ownership in a casino and becomes embroiled in a family feud and murder.
  • Beau is framed for murder in a plot to start an Indian War.
  • Beau is sentenced to be hanged as a horse thief. Tenderfoot lawyer Tom Brewster comes to his defense.
  • Beau meets a young woman who claims she is to murdered.
  • Beau aids a British colonel to thwart Irish rebels.
  • Beau unknowingly buys worthless land with a friends money.
  • Beau meets a wealthy old prospector after winning part ownership in a debt-ridden saloon.
  • Beau is reluctantly involved in a fake diamond switheroo.
  • Beau meets an allegedly insane woman in a rundown hotel.
  • Beau seek shelter from the cold Montana winter and discovers bank robbers inside a cave.


  • Brent and brother, Bart discover a peaceful little hamlet  whose town elders are willing to commit murder to keep secret a crime committed 20 years earlier.
  • Brent is framed for a mail robbery.


TRIVIA NOTE: Many of the script ideas for the MAVERICK series were based on stories of a famous turn of the century Chicago conman whose life was recorded in the book "Yellow Kid Weil". See also "Bret Maverick" and "Young Maverick

Obituaries: Jack Kelly: 11/07/1992

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