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The Deputy (TV series)

The Deputy – The Return of Widow Brown

Henry Fonda stars as Marshal Simon Fry in the Arizona Territory. Allen Ford co-stars as a storekeeping Deputy who is reluctant to use a gun. Norma Crane guest stars as Widow Brown. Watch westerns on

Vivian_Vance_Allen_Case_The_Deputy_1959Allen Case as McCord on the set with guest star Vivian Vance, 1959

The Deputy is an American western series that aired on NBC from September 1959, to July 1961. The series stars Henry Fonda as Chief Marshal Simon Fry of the Arizona Territory and Allen Case as Deputy Clay McCord, a storekeeper who tried to avoid using a gun.


Fonda narrated most episodes and appeared briefly at the beginning and ending of most segments. He played the lead in only six episodes in the first season and thirteen in the second. Usually he would give his deputy the assignment and, on rare occasions, would thank him at the conclusion of the episode. As Fred MacMurray later did while shooting the sitcom series My Three Sons, Fonda performed all of his work on The Deputy in several lengthy sessions so as to leave himself free for other projects. The difference in quality between Fonda’s episodes and Case’s was often cited by both critics at the time and Fonda himself in later interviews. Fonda wore a growth of stubble on his face as Fry.

SH000042540000Though based in Silver City, the marshal’s district also covered several nearby towns. Deputy McCord was a storekeeper who bore arms with great reluctance. Wallace Ford starred as the elderly Marshal, Herk Lamson, with Betty Lou Keim as McCord’s sister, Fran, in the first season. Read Morgan joined the show in the second season as Sergeant Hapgood Tasker, known as “Sarge,” a one-eyed United States Army cavalry enlisted man stationed in town.

Guest Stars

Guest stars included DeForest Kelley, Lon Chaney, Jr., Wallace Ford, Vivian Vance, Richard Chamberlain, child actor Gary Hunley, Ann McCrea, Carla Alberghetti, Denver Pyle, and Billy Gray of Father Knows Best and the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. On April 30, 1960, Robert Redford made his television debut on The Deputy in the episode “The Last Gunfight.”

Production Notes

The series was created by Roland Kibbee and Norman Lear. It was produced by Revue Studios and featured a jazz guitar score by Jack Marshall.

The Deputy aired at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. In its first year, it followed NBC’s short-lived adventure series, The Man and the Challenge. It faced competition from Mr. Lucky on CBS and from The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC. In the second season, CBS dropped Mr. Lucky, and The Deputy faced competition from the second half of Checkmate. ℗ is your source to learn about the broad and beautiful spectrum of our shared History.