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Title Card - TATE

NBC Network
30 Minutes

The western series TATE/NBC/1960 starred David McLean as Tate, a grim, stoic, one-armed Civil War veteran turned gunfighter who roamed the frontier of the 1870s. His left arm was rendered useless from a wartime explosion (The Battle of Vicksburg in May 1863).

Discovering his wife, Mary and child dead upon his return from the war, Tate (no first name given) hit the dusty trial in search of adventure and a meaning to life. Tate could be reached though a Kansas City post office box. 

Tate's left arm was encased in a sheath of black leather stitched up with rawhide lacing that ran from his fingers to his elbow. Although handicapped, his right gun arm was lightning swift. Tate carried a sawed-off shotgun as a back-up weapon.

David McLean as TATE
David McLean as Tate

Marshal: How long’s it been?
Tate: Ten years.
Marshal: The war and then some. Where’d it happen?
Tate: Vicksburg. I didn’t run fast enough, Morty.
Marshal: You’re home, son. What do you think of it?
Tate: The same. A little smaller, a little dirtier. Just a memory, Morty, it doesn’t exist any more.

During his travels Tate:

  • Confronts an aspiring gunfighter who wants to be a fast draw.
  • Aids a widow from a land Baron who covets her ranch.
  • Faces an angry mob after he accidently shoots a woman.
  • Defends a prisoner in his care from avenging brothers.
  • Mediates between two brothers who love the same woman
  • Protects a wounded man from men who bet on his demise.
  • Hires out to collect a year's wage for some ranch hands
  • Tracks a jealous suitor who shot a girl in town
  • Trails Paiute Indians who captured a man's wife.

TRIVIA NOTE: TATE was a replacement series (shot on video) as a part of the KRAFT SUMMER THEATER.

David McLean was one of the many rugged cowboy models used in a series of classic Marlboro Man cigarette commercials that pitched the message "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country." 

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, McLean died of lung cancer on October 12, 1995. He became an anti-smoking advocate before his death. His film credits include The Andromeda Strain (1971), X-15 (1961), Kingdom of the Spiders (1977) and Death Sport (1978).

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