Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone is an American action-adventure television series starring Fess Parker as Daniel Boone that aired from September 24th, 1964 to September 10th, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes, and was made by 20th Century Fox Television.

Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone’s Cherokee friend, for the first four seasons of the series.  Albert Salmi portrayed Boone’s companion Yadkin in season one only.  Dallas McKennon portrayed innkeeper Cincinnatus.  Country Western singer-actor Jimmy Dean was a featured actor as Josh Clements during the 1968–1970 seasons.  Actor and former NFL football player Rosey Grier made regular appearances as Gabe Cooper in the 1969 to 1970 season.  The show was broadcast “in living color” beginning in fall 1965, the second season, and was shot entirely in California and Kanab, Utah.
Daniel Boone was one of two iconic historical figures played by Fess Parker.  He previously appeared as Davy Crockett in a series of episodes of the Walt Disney anthology television series, to considerable acclaim amid the launch of a national craze.  For his role as Boone, which lasted much longer but had far less impact, Parker again wore a raccoon-hide coonskin cap, which had been popularized years earlier by the Crockett shows.  Daniel Boone’s headgear was even mentioned in the show’s theme song: “From the coonskin cap on the top of ol’ Dan….”  Efforts had been made to secure the rights to Crockett from Walt Disney but he refused to sell, so the series wound up being about Boone instead.  In contrast, Parker’s Boone was less of an explorer and more a family man than Parker’s Crockett.  Parker as Crockett also generally wore a light beard, whereas his Boone was predominantly clean-shaven.  Boone’s wife Rebecca (played by Patricia Blair) and son Israel (Darby Hinton) were often featured in the stories.  In reality, Boone had ten children.  During the first two seasons, his daughter Jemima was shown (played by Veronica Cartwright), but she disappeared with no explanation toward the end of the second season.  Western actor Chris Alcaide appeared twice on the series, once as an Indian, Flathead Joseph.  Walter Coy made his last major television appearance in 1970 on Daniel Boone in the role of Chief Blackfish.  Rico Alaniz played the Indian ‘Crooked Hand’ in the 1969 episode “The Allies.”
The series is set in the 1770s, just before and during the American Revolution, and mostly centered on adventures in and about Boonesborough, Kentucky.  Some aspects of the show were less than historically faithful, which at one point led the Kentucky legislature to condemn the inaccuracies.

 

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