THE ADVENTURES OF POW WOW/SYN/1957
*(Animated Character) Pow Pow, an Indian boy featured on a series of twenty-six
five-minute animated moralistic stories telecast during the morning children's
program CAPTAIN KANGAROO. Produced by Tempe-Toons in 1956, the series was
syndicated by Screen Gems.
*(Lee Majors/costar) Heath Barkley, the bastard son of rancher Tom Barkley (his
mother was an Indian maiden) who traveled to the Barkley 30,000 acre empire near
Sacramento to claim his birth right.
**(Gladys "Cochise" Littlefeather) Shirley Kirkes, a Native American girl
working as one of the "Blansky's Beauties" showgirls featured at the Oasis Hotel
in Las Vegas.
BORN TO THE WIND/NBC/1982
*(Will Sampson) Painted Bear, leader of a group of North American plains Indians
living on the frontier in the early 1800s. Additional cast included Linda
Redfearn as Painted Bear's wife, Prairie Woman; Rose Portillo as his daughter,
Star Fire; Guillermo San Juan as his teenage son, Two Hawks; Dehl Berti as One
Feather, the medicine man; and A Martinez and Emilio Delgado as Indian braves
Low Wolf and White Bull.
*(Keith Larsen) Brave Eagle, a young Cheyenne Indian chief who lived in the
Black Mountain region of Wyoming in the 1860s. The series depicted the struggles
of the Indians from their viewpoint. Other cast included Keena Nomkeena as Keena,
Brave Eagle's foster son; Kim Winona as Morning Star, Brave Eagle's love
interest; and Bert Wheeler as Smokey Joe, a wise, old half-breed. The series was
also titled BRAVE EAGLE: CHIEF OF THE CHEYENNE.
TRIVIA NOTE: The real name of
the actor who played Brave Eagle's son, Keena is Anthony Earl Numkena, a
resident of Phoenix, Arizona. According to a email sent to TV ACRES: "The change
came about as a result of Mr. Michael North, the executive producer (who)
changed the name to Keena to fit the part in the series. He also felt the name
Numkena (a Hopi name) looked too oriental and changed it to Nomkena. In the
later episodes it was changed to Numkena. The name Keena remained."
*(Michael Ansara) Cochise, leader of the Apache Indians living on the Chiricahua
Reservation in the Arizona Territory of the l800s. Cochise helped maintain a
tenuous peace between his people and the local "white eyes" with the assistance
of U.S. Indian agent, Tom Jeffords. The series was based on the novel Blood
Brother by Elliot Arnold. Michael Ansara was a Shakespearean-trained actor of
Lebanese descent. In a 1960 interview with TV GUIDE, Ansara stated that
Cochise's "acting range was rather limited. Cochise could do one of two
things-stand with his arms folded, looking noble; or stand with arms at his
sides, looking noble".
*(Miguel Ferrer) Beau Jack Bowman, a former New Orleans police detective now
teamed with a group of frazzled Bay City undercover police officers who were on
psychological disability. Beau was part Chicasaw Indian and spoke with a French
**(Dehl Berti) Vittorio, an elderly sage Indian ranch foreman and close friend
of Buck James, a Texas physician who thought of Vittorio as a second father.
Vittorio's alcoholism was an issue in a few of the scripts.
**(Sandra Ego) Joannie Little Bird, an American Indian female working as police
dispatcher for Marshall Sam Cade in Madrid County, California. She was replaced
by Betty Ann Sundown (Betty Ann Carr) later in the series. Both were real
*(Clint Walker) Cheyenne Brody, frontier scout and adventurer who roamed the far
west in the days following the Civil War. He derived his name from the fact he
was raised by Chief Red Cloud, a Cheyenne chief. His real father was a white man
named Lionel Abbott. The series was based loosely on the movie "Cheyenne" (1947)
starring Dennis Morgan.
*(Chief Traynor Ora Halftown) Chief Halftown, a full-blooded Indian who hosted
Philadelphia's longest running kiddy show CHIEF HALFTOWN (aired on WFIL and
later WPVI) from the 1951 to 1999. Traynor O. Halftown grew up in Buffalo about
25 miles from the Senaca reservation. On camera he always dressed in full Indian
costume which included a full feathered chief's hat, buckskin, beads and
bangles. Part of the program (once sponsored by "Bosco" Chocolate syrup)
featured lessons about tribal customs, folklore, sign language, chants, and
crafts. Last seen on Saturday mornings at 7:00 A.M. on Channel 6 WPVI-TV, he
ended his program with the his classic Indian farewell sign-off (phonetically)
"E-Sah-Sah-Suss-A-way." TRIVIA NOTE: The Senaca tribe was an Iroquoian tribe in
Western New York, the most powerful of the Five Nations which included a
confederation of Mohawk, Oneida, Onandaga, Cayuga and Senaca-later joined by the
**(Victoria Racimo) Kewedinok, an Indian woman married to pioneer, Will Chisholm
after his wife died on the road to California. Nick Ramus appeared as Tehohane.
COWBOY IN AFRICA/ABC/1967-68
**(Tom Nardini) John Henry, an American Navajo Indian who assisted champion
rodeo cowboy, Jim Sinclair on a modern ranch located in the heart of the game
lands of Kenya, Africa. The series was based on Ivan Tor's movie "Africa-Texas
COWBOYS & INJUNS/ABC/1950
*(Rex Bell) Rex Bell hosted this 30 minute children's program featuring
educational information on the folklore of cowboy and Indian cultures. Hosted by
**(Michael Dante) Chief Crazy Horse (died 1877), revered leader of the Oglala
Sioux Indians who confronted George Armstrong Custer in this historical drama
set in the Black Hills of South Dakota of the 1870s.
*(Ed Ames/costar) Mingo, an Oxford educated Cherokee Indian and close friend of
frontiersman Daniel Boone in the days before the Revolutionary War. Ed Ames
accidentally created a classic comedy blooper when he appeared on THE TONIGHT
SHOW in the 1960s. His role of Mingo required that he throw a tomahawk on the
series, so he began to give a "how-to" demonstration assisted by talk show host
Johnny Carson. Ames' throw however, landed in the groin area of the practice
target. To this Johnny Carson remarked "I didn't even know you were Jewish!"
During the 1968-69 season, the Mingo character was replaced by a Negro Indian
named Gideon played by Don Pedro Colley.
DAVY CROCKETT (DISNEYLAND)/ABC/1954
**(Pat Hogan) Red Stick, the bloodthirsty leader of the Creeks Indian Tribe who
confronted frontiersman Davy Crockett in Disney's "Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter
(12/15/54). After Red Stick invited Davy Crockett to plead his case for his
captured friends, he challenged Davy to a tomahawk fight. Davy won but refused
to kill Red Stick as was the Indian custom when an Indian vanquished a
challenger. Seeing Davy was an honorable white man, Red Stick released his
prisoners, and signed a peace treaty with the U.S. Government.
DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN/CBS/1993-98
**(Larry Sellers) Cloud Dancing, Native American Cheyenne Indian living near the
frontier town of Colorado Springs in the 1860s. At the conclusion of the 1994-95
season the U.S. Cavalry massacred Cloud Dancing's village, but he survived
because he was not there at the time of the attack. In real-life Sellers is part
Lakota, Osage and Cherokee Indian. Also featured was Nick Ramus as Chief Black
**(Frank de Kova) Chief Wild Eagle, leader of a peaceful tribe of Hekawi indians
who lived on the Kansas Frontier of the 1860's. As he often said "Hekawi's not
fighters...invent peace pipe. Hekawi's not mad at Nobody!" Don Diamond appeared
as the chief's second-in-command, Crazy Cat who often reminded the chief that he
was the heir apparent to the tribe's leadership. Cameo appearances included
Edward Everett Horton as the tottering medicine man, Roaring Chicken; Phil
Harris as a 147-year-old Flaming Arrow; Don Rickles as the ridiculous Bald
Eagle; and Milton Berle as a crooked Indian detective, Wise Owl. The Hekawi
Indians did a rather lucrative black market trading business, supplying beads,
trinkets, blankets to con-man/hustler, Sgt O'Rourke, a Cavalry officer stationed
in the nearby frontier outpost known as "Fort Courage. To complement the
Hekawi's apparent cowardice, the series featured a ferocious tribe of
neighboring Indians known as the Shugs.
THE FOREST RANGERS/SYN/1964
**(Michael Zenon) Joe Two Rivers, a Native American Indian living in the
Canadian wilderness who helped the local forest rangers.
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY/NBC/1979-80
**(Will Sampson) Sgt. Cheney, Native-American soldier stationed in Pearl Harbor
around the time of the Japanese attack on Hawaii.
*(Brendon Boone/costar) Chief, Native-American Indian, proficient with a
switchblade knife, attached to special group of four motley commandos (recruited
from stateside prisons) who were assigned to go behind the lines during World
War II and kill Nazi Germans. Each of these soldiers were promised a
Presidential pardon for their previous indiscretions, but only if they followed
orders and accomplished their missions. The series was inspired by the 1967 film
"The Dirty Dozen."
GO GO GOPHERS/CBS/1968-69
*(Cartoon Characters) Set in the West of the 19th century, this cartoon series
featured the adventures of two gopher Indians, the double-talking Ruffled
Feather (Sandy Becker) and his interpreter Running Board (George S. Irving).
Their constant adversary was U.S. Cavalry Colonel Kit Coyote (Kenny Delmar) who
in the tradition of the U.S. Cavalry, sought to eradicate the gopher population.
However, the superior cunning of these gopher Indians always foiled the
*(J. Carrol Naish/costar) Chief Hawkeye, a conniving American Indian and owner
of a local trading Post located in New Mexico. The only store for miles, he
supplied the dude ranch "Guestward Ho" with life's little necessities at the
going rate...his. Hawkeye's avocation was trying to return the country back to
its rightful owners...the Indians. Pink Cloud (Jolene Brand) assisted Hawkeye in
selling his wares, which included authentic Indian trinkets made in Japan. J.
Carrol Naish was an Irish actor who had played a variety of ethnic roles
including a Chinese detective on THE NEW ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE CHAN; and an
Italian immigrant on LIFE WITH LUIGI.
GUNS OF PARADISE/CBS/1990-91
**(Dehl Berti) John Taylor, Native American Indian who lived in the mining town
of Paradise in the 1890s. Educated in the ways of both the Indians and the white
man, John Taylor assisted the towns' sheriff (Ethan Allen Cord, a former
gunfighter) on many occasions, sharing his skills in medicine and taking care of
Ethan's adopted nieces and nephews.
**(Burt Reynolds) Quint Asper, half-breed Indian working as a blacksmith in the
1870s town of Dodge City , Kansas during the 1962-65 seasons.
HARTS OF THE WEST/CBS/1993-94
**(Saginaw Grant) Auggie Velasquez, Native-American Indian who ran the general
store near the Flying Tumbleweed Ranch in Sholo, Nevada. Also featured was
Talisa Soto as Cassie Valasquez, Auggie's, granddaughter who was the object of
desire of Zane Grey Hart, a local rancher's teenage son who worked at Auggie's
*(Burt Reynolds) Det. Lt. John Hawk, a full-blooded Iroquois Indian employed by
the New York City District Attorney's office. He worked the night shift with his
partner, Detective Dan Carter. Burt Reynolds was in reality part Indian. His
grandmother was a Cherokee.
**(Rodney A. Grant) Chingachgook, stoic Delaware Indian who befriended a
frontier scout named Hawkeye based at Fort Bennington in New York's Hudson River
Valley of 1755. Together they battled the hostile tribes of Huron Indians. The
series was based on James Fenimore Cooper's "Leatherstocking Tales."
HAWKEYE AND THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS/SYN/1957
*(Lon Chaney, Jr.) Chingachgook, a Mohican Indian who befriended a Northwest
frontier scout known as "Hawkeye" in the days of the 1750s. The series based on
the classic novel "The Last of the Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper.
**(Joe Torres) Danny Lightfoot, a friendly Hopi Native American who worked with a group of
teenagers at the Bar None Ranch in Tuscon, Arizona. Danny was a talented
cartoonist who created an unflattering comic strip called "The Dud Ranch."
He helps out when an archaeologist discovers a
sacred Indian burial ground at the Bar None
HIGH MOUNTAIN RANGERS/CBS/1988
**(Tony Acierto) Frank Avila, (a.k.a. "White Eagle"), a full-blooded Native
American Shoshone Indian who worked with a mountain rescue service called the
"High Mountain Rangers in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake
**(Michael Horse) Billy Night Eyes, a Blackfoot Indian police informant who
owned an all-night newspaper stand in Los Angeles.
**(Michael Pate) Chief Vittoro, Native-American Apache leader living in the
Arizona Territory of the 1870s. Vittoro's daughter had married a frontier scout
named Hondo, but she was later slain by the U.S. Cavalry in a massacre.
**(Bob Keeshan) Featherman, Chief of the Sycapoose indian tribe who lived near
the town of Doodyville. Three tribes of Indians regularly appeared on this
popular children's program including the Sycapoose, the Ooragnak, and the Tinka
Tonka's. Bob Keeshan played a dual role of Featherman and Clarabell the Clown,
so the two characters were never seen on camera at the same time. When
Featherman was heard approaching, Clarabell the clown would get afraid and run
off stage thus conveniently paving the way for the appearance of Featherman. The
Tinka Tonka's tribal representative was Princess Summerfallwinterspring, one of
the few females on the show. The Princess, originally a puppet, was transformed
into a real person namely Judy Tyler, an attractive Broadway singer took on the
role of the now human Princess. Unfortunately, Tyler died in a car accident with
her husband July 4, 1957 while on leave from the show. Her part was never
recast. The Ooragnak Indians (Kangaroo spelled backwards) were the more hostile
of the three tribes. Their villainous leader, Chief Thunderthud was played by
Bill Le Cornec. His favorite remark was a boisterous "KOWA-BONGA!" Howdy Doody,
the puppet star of the series, eventually tamed the wild ways of the chief.
Thunderthud thereafter became the most popular Indian in Doodyville.
KING OF THE HILL/FOX/1997+
**(Cartoon Character) John Redcorn, 36 year-old American Indian masseuse/new age
healer living in Arlen, Texas. John was having an affair with the wife of white
man for fifteen years under the guise of relieving her headaches using new age
massage techniques. For years, John has been unsuccessfully pleading with the US
government to reclaim land formerly owned by his people.
**(Abner Biberman) Abraham Lincoln Imhook, an Eskimo-American and close friend
of Cal "Kodiak" McKay, an Alaskan State Patrol officer who crisscrossed 50,000
square miles of rugged northern wilderness attempting to maintain law and order.
- K /
L - Z
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