Laredo

Laredo is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from September 16th, 1965, to April 7th, 1967.  Laredo stars Neville Brand, William Smith, Peter Brown, and Philip Carey as Texas Rangers.  It is set on the Mexican border around Laredo, Texas.  The program was produced by Universal Television.

The pilot episode of Laredo aired on NBC’s The Virginian under the title, “We’ve Lost a Train” (April 21st, 1965; Season 3, Episode 30).  It was released theatrically in 1969 under the title Backtrack.  Three episodes from the first season of the series were edited into the 1968 feature film Three Guns for Texas.
Laredo combined action and humor with the focus on three fictitious Texas Rangers.  Reese Bennett, played by Brand, is older than his two partners.  Chad Cooper was played by Peter Brown, the former co-star with John Russell of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Lawman.  Joe Riley was portrayed by William Smith.  Reese was previously an officer of the Union Army during the American Civil War.  Originally from New Orleans, Chad was in the Border Patrol during the war.  He joined the Rangers to search for the gunrunners who had ambushed fellow border patrolmen.  Joe was a gunfighter who was at times on the wrong side of the law.  He joined the Rangers to get protection from a sheriff.

The three Rangers are led by Captain Edward Parmalee, played by Philip Carey, who was stern and disciplined.  Robert Wolders as Erik Hunter joined the show in the second and final season.  Claude Akins played Ranger Cotton Buckmeister in five episodes but never became a part of the cast.

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