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The Rounders


ABC Network
1966 - 1967
30 Minutes

Chill Will starred Jim Ed Love, the wealthy, fast-talking owner of the J..L. Cattle Ranch in Texas. Dressed in stylish white cowboy outfits, Ed surveyed the holding on his sprawling estate from the front seat of a customized, suped-up station wagon. Allegedly, Ed was the second richest man in the Lone Star state.

Ed's secret weapons for retaining staff was to get them deeply in debt so they have to stay and work off their obligation. But whenever one of the cowpokes got close to earning their freedom, larcenous old Jim Love arranged for some other debt to be paid off.

Employees and acquaintances of Jim Ed Love included:

  • Ron Hayes  as Ben Jones, ranch cowpoke.
  • Patrick Wayne as Howdy Lewis, ranch cowpoke.
  • Janis Hansen as Sally, Ben's girlfriend.
  • Bobby Jordan as Ada, Howdy's girlfriend.
  • Jason Wingreen as Shorty Dawes.
  • James Bowen Brown as Luke.
  • Walter Edmiston as Regan.
  • Pat O'Malley as Vince.
  • Andy Devine as Honest John Denton, the "richest" man in Texas.
  • Old Fooler, the roan horse used by Ben and Howdy.

On Saturday nights, Ben and Howdy headed to the town of Hi-Lo and their favorite hangout, the Longhorn Cafe where they hoisted a few to forget their troubles. 

TRIVIA NOTE: The series was based on the novel by Max Evans and the movie The Rounders (1965) starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda. Chill Wills reprised his film role of Jim Ed Love on the series.


Patrick Wayne is the son of famous western film actor John Wayne.

"The Rounders Theme" was composed by Jeff Alexander.

Obituaries: Chill Wills: 12/15/1978;  Ron Hayes: 10/01/2004;

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