A Tribute to Jeffrey Hunter
(1926-1969)

Home PageFrom New Orleans to Wisconsin to HollywoodClick here to browse through pages of publicity portraits, candids, and family photosPlot summaries and many photos from his filmsTelevisionWhat's available on DVD and VHS? Find out!1950's radio performancesArticles from movie magazines, interviews, clippings, and other goodies!Various book and magazine covers adorned with photos of JeffWatch short streaming video clips from his films and television appearancesForum/ChatroomLinks to other interesting movie sites, and sites with Jeffrey Hunter informationContact

SOME FAN FAVORITES:


Jeffrey Hunter portrayed Christ in this classic film
Jeffrey Hunter co-starred with John Wayne in this popular John Ford film
Jeffrey Hunter portrayed Captain Christopher Pike in the early days of Star Trek
 

TRIVIA CORNER
Actor Royal Dano, who appears in the episode "Toll the Bell Slowly," also played the apostle Peter opposite Jeffrey Hunter as Christ in 1961's King of Kings.
 
 

TEMPLE HOUSTON

Though Jeff made three TV pilots, only one of the three led to a series in which Jeff was the star. The pilot was released in theaters as the film The Man from Galveston, and the series that resulted was "Temple Houston". The series tells the story of Temple Houston, a circuit-riding attorney who is the son of Sam Houston, and his partner George Taggart, an ex-gunfighter turned law enforcer, as they defend unjustly-accused people before circuit-riding judges in the post-Civil War Southwest. Episode information and photos are below.

Click here to listen to the original theme music by Ned Washington and Frank Comstock in MP3 format.

Magazine articles of interest:
Jeff Hunter Breaks Hollywood Jinx
Temple Houston: The Story Behind A Forgotten Television Western (by Glenn A. Mosley)
   To visit the Wildest Westerns Magazine website, click here.
 
Unaired Pilot for the Temple Houston TV Series:
THE MAN FROM GALVESTON (1963) (Page of photos)

(Pilot was released theatrically - running time 54 minutes)
Executive Producer: Jack Webb
Produced by Michel Meshekoff
Starring Jeffrey Hunter as Timothy Higgins (not Temple Houston)

Guest Cast:
Preston Foster....................Judge Homer Black
James Coburn....................Boyd Palmer
Joanna Moore....................Rita Dillard
Edward Andrews...............Hyde
Kevin Hagen......................John Dillard
Ed Nelson.........................Cole Marteen
Karl Swenson....................Sheriff
Grace Lee Whitney............Texas Rose
Claude Stroud...................Harvey Sprager
Marjorie Bennett................Mrs. Warren
Arthur Malet......................Barney
Sherwood Price.................George Taggart
Martin West.......................Stonewall Grey
Synopsis:
Circuit-riding frontier lawyer Timothy Higgins defends a woman accused of murder.


Temple Houston 1963-1964 season episodes
NBC Thursdays 7:30 pm Eastern

Episode 1:  THE TWISTED ROPE
(c) Copyright 1963 the Temple Houston Company.
Airdate: 19 Sept 1963
Warner Brothers Television
Rancom Productions, Inc.;
Apollo Productions, Inc.
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Produced by Joseph Dackow
Teleplay by Jack Turley
Story by James Warner Bellah.
Directed by Abner Biberman
Photography: Robert Hoffman
Film Editor: Byron Chudnow
Music: Frank Comstock;
Theme music: Ned Washington, Frank Comstock.

Starring:
Jeffrey Hunter...................Temple Houston
Jack Elam ........................George Taggart

Guest Cast:
Victor Jory.......................Claude Boley
Collin Wilcox....................Dorrie Chevenix
Richard Evans...................the Chevenix Brothers
Anthony Coll.....................the Chevenix Brothers
also Booth Colman, Paul Newlan, and Bill Zuckert

PREMIERE OF "TEMPLE HOUSTON": Collin Wilcox plays a lonely girl who hires Temple Houston (Jeff Hunter) to defend her two brothers who are accused of murder in "The Twisted Rope", the premiere episode of NBC-TV's new Thursday series "Temple Houston:.  The Western dramas, based on actual cases which occurred in the American Southwest in the late 19th Century, are built around the character of Same Houston's son, the circuit riding lawyer Temple Houston.

Episode 2:  FIND ANGEL CHAVEZ
Airdate: 26 Sept 1963
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Directed by Herman Hoffman
Guest Cast:
Herbert Rudley ..................Paul Lennox
Rafael Campos ..................Angel Chavez
Gene Evans .......................Sam Clanton
Linda Dangcil .....................Maria
Anna Navarro ....................Donna Lennox
Woodrow Parfrey ..............Fred Bell
Synopsis:
Houston's client is his sidekick Marshal Taggart, who killed a man in a shootout but can't prove it was self-defense because someone stole his adversary's gun after the duel was over.

Episode 3:  LETTER OF THE LAW
Airdate: 03 Oct 1963 
Directed by Robert Totten
Guest Cast:
Brenda Scott ......................Ruth
Victor French ....................Willie Hatrod
James Anderson ................Vint Harrod
Jan Stine ............................Prue Harrod
Crahan Denton ..................Judge Brandon
Hayden Rorke ...................Pinkley
H.M. Wynant ................... Jered Mallory
Synopsis:
The Harrod brothers have been brought up on criminal charges and Houston has decided to represent them, though he suspects one of them may be guilty.


With Susan Kohner

Episode 4:  TOLL THE BELL SLOWLY
Airdate: 17 Oct 1963
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Guest Cast:
Susan Kohner ...................Ellena Romolo
Noah Beery ......................Bailey
Everett Sloane ..................Daniel Forbes
Leo Gordon .....................Charles Grimm
Royal Dano ......................Sheriff Smiley
Walter Burke ....................Potts
Robert Foulk ....................O'Garrick
Rusty Lane .......................Poag
James Bell ........................Dr. Davis Carter
Synopsis:
Houston finds that he can't clear his client without first clearing the key witness, who has himself been sentenced to hang for murder.

Episode 5:  THE THIRD BULLET
Airdate: 24 Oct 1963 
Directed by Alvin Ganzer
Guest Cast:
Frank Sutton .....................Logan Stocker
Anne Helm ........................Francie
Hampton Fancher ..............Jim Stocker
Parley Baer .......................Sheriff Beckman
Don Beddoe .....................Simpson
George Petrie ...................Newton Fountain
Synopsis:
Taggart has his sights on the girlfriend of a convicted killer.

  

Episode 6:  GALLOWS IN GALILEE
Airdate: 31 Oct 1963
Directed by Robert Totten
Guest Cast:
Robert Lansing ..................Judge Galen Stanke
Ralph Reed .......................Roy Julian
Jacqueline Scott ................Kate Hagadorn
Dabbs Greer .....................Marshal Cloud
Elisha Cook, Jr. .................John Alvorsen
Tol Avery .........................Ed Bascombe
Bob Steele .......................Yeager
Richard Grant ...................Ainslee Priest
Synopsis:
Houston appears before a notorious hanging judge to defend a man charged with murder for a death that in fact was accidental.

Episode 7:  THE SIEGE AT THAYER'S BLUFF
Airdate: 07 Nov 1963
Directed by Alvin Ganzer
Guest Cast:
William Reynolds ...............Paul Bannerman
E.J. Andre .........................Judge Diversey
Robert Bray ......................Hal Kester
Russell Thorson .................Red Gilman
Nina Shipman ....................Mary Bannerman
John Cliff ...........................Joe Joyce
Shug Fisher .......................Augie Wren
Synopsis:
Squatter's rights are the issue with miner Paul Bannerman and he's determined not to move, even when staring down the barrel of a hired gun.

Episode 8:  JUBILEE
Airdate: 14 Nov 1963 
Directed by Robert Totten
Guest Cast:
Peter Whitney ....................Cletus Emory
Virginia Gregg ....................Elizabeth Clendennon
Morgan Woodward ...........Sheriff Ivers
Eddie Firestone ..................Tobe Gillard
William Bramley .................Ford Conley
Dub Taylor ........................Cliff Willard
Paul Birch ..........................Matt Clendennon
Ian Wolfe ...........................Judge Farnley
Synopsis:
It's only after Houston keeps Tobe Gillard from getting hanged that he finds out the man is accused of murdering Temple's friend.

Episode 9:  THUNDER GAP
Airdate: 21 Nov 1963
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Diana Millay .......................Marcey Bannister
Robert Colbert ...................Tom Bannister
Richard Garland .................Jess Newmark
Brad Weston ......................Lew Sykes
Harry Lauter ......................Sheriff Macon
Synopsis:
Marcey Bannister is a loving and faithful wife. So she can't believe it when she's told her husband is an outlaw, even though he's now trying to hijack the stagecoach she's currently riding in.

Episode 10:  BILLY HART
Airdate: 28 Nov 1963
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Directed by William Conrad
Guest Cast:
Philip Ober .........................Bert Clarke
Russ Conway .....................Henry Hart
Audrey Dalton ....................Amy Hart
Ron Hayes .........................Lambert
Pat Cardi ...........................Billy Hart
Jon Lormer ........................Matt Turner
Rhys Williams ....................Judge Curry
Len Lesser ........................Orley Baldwin
Jim Nusser ........................Flytrap
Synopsis:
No one is more surprised then Amy Hart when her husband's will is read, leaving all family properties, and custody of their young child, to a ranch hand.

Episode 11:  SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN
Airdate: 05 Dec 1963 
Directed by Robert Totten
Guest Cast:
Susanne Cramer ................Helmi Bergen
Steve Ihnat ........................Ben Wade
Karl Swenson ...................Sam Wade
Charles Radilac .................Gustav Bergen
Simon Scott .......................Sheriff Hab Martin
Dan Stafford ......................Fritz Bergen
Sam Edwards .....................Bartender
Tom Holland ......................Lee Bates
James Almanzar .................Nate Hollister
Robert Rothwell .................Joe Shivers
Walter Mathews .................Prosecutor
Marshall Bradford ..............Judge
Synopsis:
A family of pacifists refuse to defend themselves against a notorious gang.



PRETTY SWINDLER: "Fortune-hunting" Kathie Browne practices the art of deception on series star Jeff Hunter in "Fracas at Kiowa Flats," on NBC-TV's "Temple Houston."   Miss Browne guest stars in the episode, which introduces new format for series calling for a light approach to adventures of western lawyer.  Jack Elam co-stars.

Episode 12:  FRACAS AT KIOWA FLATS
Airdate: 12 Dec 1963 
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Kathie Browne ..................Meredith Nothing
Barry Kelley ......................Col. Jim Shepard
Dayton Lummis ..................Col. Bob Grainger
J. Pat O'Malley ..................Joshua C. Merry
Jean Willes ........................Doll Lucas
Jonathan Hole ....................T.T. Teague
Ralph Neff .........................Two Finger Bill
Robert Phillips ...................Shotgun Guard

Episode 13:  ENOUGH ROPE
Airdate: 19 Dec 1963
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Guest Cast:
John Dehner ......................Benedict Williams
John Harmon ....................Crane
Ruta Lee ...........................Lucy Tolliver
Ron Soble .........................Fowler
Walter Sande ....................McGee
Tim Graham ......................Fred Jackson
Steve Condir .....................Sammy
Ed Prentiss ........................Burton
Kenneth MacDonald .........Official

 

ARTIST AT WORK:  Ruta Lee gives Jeff Hunter a handlebar mustache in offstage hi-jinx during the filming of "Enough Rope" on NBC-TV's "Temple Houston," Thursday, Dec. 19.  Miss Lee guests as a saloon girl assigned to spy on Houston (Hunter) who is running for mayor.  John Dehner guest stars as Hunter's opponent.
 

 

Episode 14:  THE DARK MADONNA
Airdate: 26 Dec 1963
Directed by John Floria
Guest Cast:
Constance Ford .................Lily Lamont
Don Collier .......................Seth Warrener
Johnny Seven ....................Rio
Stacy Harris ......................Cliff Carteret
Penny Santon ....................Senora Ortega
Nick Alexander .................Juan Ortega


With Constance Ford


  With Julie Parrish

Episode 15:  THE GUARDIAN
Airdate: 02 Jan 1964
Directed by NOT KNOWN (possibly Robert D. Webb)
Guest Cast:
Robert Emhardt ..................Owen Judd
Julie Parrish ........................Maggie Ballard
Greg Irvin ...........................Robert Ballard
Sammy Jackson ..................Sodbuster
John Archer ........................Adam Ballard

Episode 16:  THY NAME IS WOMAN
Airdate: 09 Jan 1964 
Directed by NOT KNOWN (possibly Robert D. Webb)
Guest Cast:
Charles Lane .................... Amos Riggs
Patricia Blair ......................Leslie Hale
Georgia Goode ..................Billie Jean James
Synopsis:
Houston enlists a woman lawyer to help him defend a saloon hostess charged with a murder she insists was self-defense.

Episode 17:  THE LAW AND BIG ANNIE
Airdate: 16 Jan 1964
Directed by Charles R. Rondeau
Guest Cast:
Norman Alden ...................Carlton Owens
Carol Byron .......................Marian Carter
Synopsis:
Houston finds a huge problem on his hands when his buddy Taggart inherits a four ton elephant.

Episode 18:  SAM'S BOY
Airdate: 23 Jan 1964
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Guest Cast:
Douglas Fowley ................ Doc Webb
Kenneth Tobey ................. Dan Powers
William Fawcett .................Billy Rogers
Charles Seel ......................Henry Hicks
Herb Vigran ......................Wak
William Bryant ...................Cy Morgan
Richard Tretter ..................Jake Harvey
Don Kennedy ....................Ike Hobbs
Kenneth MacDonald .........Jury Foreman

Episode 19:  TEN ROUNDS FOR BABY
Airdate: 30 Jan 1964
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Guest Cast:
Anne Francis .....................Kate Fitzpatrick
Van Williams .....................Joey Baker
Zeme North ......................Baby Dale
Dave Willock ....................Speedy Jackson
William Phipps ..................Sandy Dale
Hal Baylor ........................Con Morgan
Synopsis:
Joey Baker is a good man with his fists in a barroom, and Kate Fitzpatrick wants him to take on a professional boxer.

Episode 20: THE CASE FOR WILLIAM GOTCH
Airdate: 06 Feb 1964 
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Ray Danton ......................Martin Royale
Richard Jaeckel ................Coley
Denver Pyle ......................Phineas Fallon
Gordon Wescourt .............Bryce
Erin O'Donnell ..................Laura Jean

EYE TROUBLE - Or is it? A pretty rancher's daughter (Erin O'Donnell) resorts to wile to attract attention of Houston (Jeff Hunter) in "The Case for William Gotch" on NBC-TV's "Temple Houston," Thursday, Aug. 13. In the episode Houston, Marshal Taggart (Jack Elam), and a bungling horse thief (James Best) use guile to outwit a crooked gambler (Ray Denton).

Episode 21:  A SLIGHT CASE OF LARCENY
Airdate: 13 Feb 1964
Executive producer: Jack Webb
Directed by William Conrad
Guest Cast:
Vim Scotti ........................Pancho Blanca
Charles Watts ...................Paul Hillings
Carol Byron .....................Marian Carter

Episode 22:  THE LAST FULL MOON
Airdate: 27 Feb 1964
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Abraham Sofaer ................Chief Last Full Moon
Larry Ward .......................Harry Cobb
Vaughn Taylor ...................Colonel Grove
Pilar Seurat ........................Bluebird
John Alonzo .......................Long Maned Pony
Charles Lane .....................Amos Riggs
Edward Colmans ...............Two Suns
Charles Bateman ................Bowman
Karen Noel ........................Dorisse
Synopsis:
An Indian chief whose son has been accused of horse theft decides to retain Houston as defense counsel rather than follow the usual routine and bribe the local Indian agent to set the youth free.

Episode 23:  THE GUN THAT SWEPT THE WEST
Airdate: 05 Mar 1964
Directed by William Conrad
Guest Cast:
Michael Pate ......................Nat Cramer
John Dehner .......................Jed Dobbs
Sherwood Price .................Dan Sheldon

Episode 24:  DO UNTO OTHERS, THEN GALLOP
Airdate: 19 Mar 1964
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Adam Williams ..................Harmony Brown
Grace Lee Whitney ............Tangerine O'Shea
Robert McQueeney ...........Robert Sangster
Paul Smith .........................Grover Clippett
Ken Mayer ........................Sam
Claude Stroud ...................Murdock
William Bramley ................Gus Finney

Jeffrey Hunter, playing the title role in Warner Brothers "Temple Houston" television show, holds a Colt .45 belonging to Bea Ballance, Los Angeles actress, whose grandfather received the gun as a gift from the real-life Temple Houston in Austin, Texas in 1884. Her grandfather, John Hoffer, was captain in charge of the Texas Rangers at the time Houston presented him with the pearl-handled Colt. Temple was the son of Texas patriot Sam Houston, and his adventures as the most famous criminal lawyer of the early southwest are shown in the television program.

Episode 25:  THE TOWN THAT TRESPASSED
Airdate: 26 Mar 1964
Directed by William Conrad
Guest Cast:
Robert Conrad ..................Martin Purcell
Parley Baer .......................Claude Spanker
Connie Stevens .................Charity Simpson
Walter Sande ....................Mayor
Dave Willock ....................Seedy Jackson
Claude Stroud ...................Murdock
Sheldon Allman .................Cutter
Martin West ......................Lawson
Dal Jenkins .......................Wade
Richard Collier ..................Mr. Huckabee
Robert Adler .....................Townsman

Episode 26:  MISS KATHERINA (final episode)
Airdate: 02 Apr 1964
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast:
Paula Raymond .................Miss Katherina
John Baer ..........................Frank McGuire
Richard X. Slattery ............Sergeant Smathers
Anthony Costello ...............Lieutenant Greeley
Simon Scott ......................Henry Rivers
John Lupton ......................Sinclair
Sammy Jackson ................Wick
Donald Losby ...................Tommy Rivers
Robert Phillips ...................Private Keller
David McMahon ...............Doc Burgess
 


Actor Robert Lansing worked with Jeff in the episode, "Gallows in Galilee." Jeff didn't meet Robert's wife Emily McLaughlin until after the Lansings had divorced; Jeff married Emily in February, 1969.
 
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