|1958 - 1959
The western adventure series YANCY DERRINGER/CBS/1958-59 starred
Jock Mahoney as gentleman adventurer Yancy Derringer, an ex-Confederate soldier turned
gambler and special agent for the city of New Orleans who fought
corruption and crime.
"They say that Yancy Derringer had ruffles at his wrist
Brocade and silver buckles and iron in his fist"
When Yancy returned to New Orleans in 1868, he discovered a woman
named Amanda Eaton (Julie Adams) who claimed to be his wife. She had
turned Yancy's family estate (Waverly) into a gambling
With the help of John Colton (Kevin Hagen), the city administrator,
Yancy cleared his homestead of all the riff raff and in gratitude
joined forces with Colton to help rebuild the City of New Orleans.
During their initial talks, Colton laid out his plan for Yancy:
""I want a man who loves this city, loves the South who will work
without pay, without portfolio, without protection as my personal
agent. I want a black angel who will be on the inside before
something happens, a man who will do anything for law and order -
anything - and get away with it. Because if that man were caught, I
might be compelled to hang him"
After listening to Colton's pitch, Yancy replied, "What you want is
a rouge, a scoundrel, gentleman, smuggler gambler and fool. Well,
Mr. Colton, I guess I'm your Huckleberry."
Aiding Yancy in his endeavors was a silent Pawnee American Indian named Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah (X Brands). Pa-hoo-Ka-Ta-Wah
(which means "Wolf who stands in water") communicates with
Beneath the blanket that Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah wears about his body, he carries a shot-gun
which he uses in emergencies. Most of the time however, he uses a
throwing knife (sheathed on his upper back )to subdue the bad guys
when the situation warranted it.
Yancy's weapons of choice were a four-barrel
derringer that he
stored in his hat and a sword concealed in his walking cane. Yancy
might also stash a derringer up his sleeve, in his belt or in his
Here are just a few of the crimes handled by Yancy and his partner:
- Mad bomber on the loose
- Serial attacker who take pieces of women's hair
- Opium and gun smuggling
- Mysterious voodoo priestess terrorizing the town
- Preventing a war with the Pawnee tribes
- Riverboat saboteurs
- Protection rackets
- Grave robberies
- Theft of an army payroll
But, perhaps their most bizarre case was Yancy being unjustly accused of
providing the weapon used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate
president Abraham Lincoln.
When Yancy is not living at his family plantation, he spends time on
his riverboat named The Sultana, that was piloted by Captain
Tom (Woody Chambliss).
Yancy also had a dog named Old Dixie who knew
where the family pre-war fortune was buried (according to a note
left by Yancy's father upon his death).
Yancy derives some of his wealth from gambling and a silver mine that he
owns in Virginia City, Nevada. He won half interest in the mine
while playing poker.
Other citizens and visitors to New Orleans included:
- Frances Bergen as Madame Francine, Yancy's love interest who
owned a gambling establishment .
- Lisa Lu as Miss Mai-Ling Mandarin, Yancy's close friend and
former lover who owned the Sazarack Restaurant.
- Robert McCord III as Captain Fry, the head of the city's
- Maggie Mahoney as Bridget Malone, Madame Francine's cousin
from Ireland who set her sights on Yancy as her next husband.
- Richard Devon as Jody Barker
- Billy Walker as Obadiah
- Claude Akins as Toby Cook
- Kelly Thordsen as Colorado Charlie, an Indian scout
- Larry J. Blake as Turnkey, the Jailer
- Beverly Garland as Coco LaSalle, a female pirate
TRIVIA NOTE: The TV series was
inspired by a story written by Richards Sale in 1938 whose main
character was named Derringer (no first name).
Jay X Brands (his full
name) was once honored by Brummett Echohawk, a spokesman for the
Pawnee Indians when a letter to Hollywood producers commended Brands
(a Caucasian of German-Dutch descent) for his authentic performance
and his ability at speaking the tribe's language.
Obituaries: Jock Mahoney - 12/14/1989; X Brands
- 05/08/2000; Kevin Hagen - 07/09/2005; Frances Bergen
- 10/02/2006; Robert McCord - 10/01/1980.
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