Tales of Wells Fargo

by Guy Belleranti
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Tales of Wells Fargo was a popular television western that ran on NBC from 1957 to 1962.

Dale Robertson starred as Wells Fargo Agent Jim Hardie. Hardie's job was to protect the passengers, gold and other cargo being transported on the company's stage line. Sometimes he tangled with outlaws right on the line. Other times he went in pursuit.

The 1950's and early 1960's was the heyday of the television western, and this program ranked right up there in popularity with many of the others for a number of years. Episodes were 30 minutes long and in black and white for the first five seasons. Then, in the sixth and final season, Tales of Wells Fargo expanded to an hour and was shown in color.

The final season also saw other changes in the program. While still working for Wells Fargo, Hardie now also owned a ranch near San Francisco. And there were also new additions to the weekly cast members. They included:

William Demerest (My Three Sons' Uncle Charlie) as ranch foreman Jeb Gaine
Jack Ging as Agent Beau McCloud
Virginia Christine (Mrs. Olson of the old Folgers Coffee TV ads) as Ovie
Mary Jane Saunders as Mary Gee
Lory Patrick as Tina.

The program's popularity spawned a series of Tales of Wells Fargo comic books during its run.

Guest stars who later became much bigger names in TV and movies included Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Buddy Ebsen and Chuck Connors.

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