|1963 - 1964
Jeffrey Hunter starred as Temple Houston, a
who traveled through the Southwest of the 1880s
with the aid of George Taggart (Jack Elam),
an over-the-hill gunslinger turned lawman.
Houston's cases were the typical "falsely accused"
or "cheated out of their rights or property"
variety where Temple believed in his client and
did his best to get their charges dropped.
But, even if Houston sensed his clients were
guilty, he did his best to win the case.
One of Temple's Houston most unusual cases
involved his buddy George Taggart who paid
a large livestock feed and freight bill for some
livestock that he inherited. But the "livestock"
turned out to be a four-ton elephant named Big
Temple was not only a good lawyer but he was
good with a gun. So he was a double threat to
anyone who wanted to harm his clients.
Temple's friends and colleagues included:
- Frank Ferguson as Judge Gurney
- Chubby Johnson as Concho
- Mary Wickes as Ida Goff
- James Best as Gotch
Other cases and exploits of Temple Houston
- A woman hires Temple Houston to defend her two brothers
accused of murder who become the target of a lynch mob.
- Miners recruit Temple Houston to defend their squatters rights
from hired gunmen who want them off their land.
- Houston and Taggart intervene in a despute between two
ranchers who have been feuding for twenty years.
- Houston takes a case presided over by a "hanging judge."
- Houston protects a family of pacifists from outlaws.
- Houston is convinced by a priest to defend an accused youth.
- Houston helps a rancher who lost his land to a gambler.
TRIVIA NOTE: The 26-episode series
was based on the life of Temple Houston
(1860-1905), a real circuit-riding lawyer whose
father was the celebrated Sam Houston. The novel
Cimarron, written by Edna Ferber, was based
on Temple Houston.
The real Temple Houston was famous for saying
"Your honor, the prosecutor is the first man
that I've ever seen that can strut while sitting
down." The phrase was also heard in the
film Inherit the Wind (1960) - spoken
by Gene Kelly as reporter E.K. Hornbeck.
The series pilot never aired on television, but
was released to theaters as The Man from
Galveston (1963). The film followed a
character re-dubbed Timothy
Higgins (Jeffrey Hunter) as he defended a former girlfriend
falsely accused of murdering her extortionist.
When the series was canceled, it was replaced by
DANIEL BOONE starring Fess Parker on which
Jeffrey Hunter later appeared as Roark Logan on the
for Craw Green" (12/01/1966).
Jeffrey Hunter may be best remembered as
Captain Christopher Pike
from the original STAR TREK pilot that was
reedited in the two-part episode "The
once for "yes" and twice for "no").
Obituaries: Jeffrey Hunter: 05/27/1969; Jack
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