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The Portrayal of Native Americans on Televison (1950's-most recent)

  • "Lone Ranger"

    "Lone Ranger"
    "Lone Ranger"aired on NBC, and starred Clayton More as the "Lone Ranger" and Jay Silverheels as "Tonto". The show was orginally a radio program, which was very succesful, lasting from 1933 to 1954. Silverheels played a Potawatomian and was the masked man's "Trusty scout" or "Kemo Sabe", and was always with the Lone Ranger while they aided those needing help or being attacked. The tv series lasted five seasons,and had 221 episodes in 1957.
  • "Brave Eagle"(Ended 1956)

    "Brave Eagle"(Ended 1956)
    A CBS production, was the first series to have a Native American play the lead character,and the first program to show the Native Americans' viewpoint. The star was Norweigen actor, Keith Larson, who played a Cheyenne chief, but the show also included the Sioux and Hopi tribes. The series showed the peace-loving Cheyenne tribe dealing with white settlers, war and making peace with other tribes, and their day to day lives.
  • "Broken Arrow" (Ended 1958)

    "Broken Arrow" (Ended 1958)
    "Broken Arrow"ran on ABC primetime at 9:00, and was based on historic figures Tom Jeffords and Apache Chief Cochise. The program was based on the novel "Blood Brother", which was also made into a movie in 1950. John Lupton played U.S. agent Tom Jeffords, and Michael Ansara played the Apache Chief Cochise. Together they fought side by side against whites who stole from Native Americans and against ranegade Indian tribes that tried to force whites out of their homes.
  • "Law of the Plainsman"

    "Law of the Plainsman"
    "Law of the Plainsman"aired on NBC and starred Michael Ansara as an Apache tribe member named Sam Buckhart. He saved the life of a US calvary officer that was ambushed by Indians. He gave Sam money for saving him, which Sam uses to educate himself through private schools and Harvard. After graduating, he goes back to his hometown in New Mexico and becomes the Deputy Marshall. This program only lasted one season.
  • "Daniel Boone"(Ended Sep 10 1970)

    "Daniel Boone"(Ended Sep 10 1970)
    "Daniel Boone"aired on NBC, and starred Fess Parker as Daniel Boone. The Television series showed Daniel Boone's expeditions , and his interactions with both friendly and unfriendly native americans. The series showed Daniel Boone before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, and it featured "Chief Mingo"(Ed Ames), his half Cherokee "sidekick" that spoke english well and was very intelligent, but was replaced by a black indian in 1969.
  • "Hawk"

    Aired on ABC, and starred Burt Reynolds as an Iroquois detective, solving crime for the New York City District Attorney's Office. John Hawk was shown at night, in New York City, with his partner, Detective Dac Carter, solving cases of crime and murder. This show was short-lived, producing only 13 episodes.
  • "Nakia"

    "Nakia"aired on NBC, and was about a Navajo Deputy, Nakia Parker, in Alberqurque, New Mexico. Played by Robert Forster, Nakia sometimes bent the law to help his fellow Navajo tribe members, and even argued with his lead Sheriff when it came to upholding his Navajo traditions. This show did not last long, it had only 13 episodes.
  • "Renegade"

    Aired on USA Network, the show was about a cop named Reno Raines, who was framed for murdering his wife by a man named "Dutch" Dixon, who hires a native american bounty hunter, named Bobby Sixkiller, to kill him. Upon his arrival, Raines saves Sixkiller's life, and in exchange, the two decide to team up and prove Reno Raine's innocence. The show lasted 110 episodes, ending in 1997.
  • "Walker, Texas Ranger"

    "Walker, Texas Ranger"
    "Walker, Texas Ranger"Starred Chuck Norris as a half Cherokee working for Texas' State Bureau of Investigation. Cordell Walker had an African American "sidekick" by the name of James Trivette, and together they uphold their morals and fight crime in Dallas and the surrounding areas of Texas. "Walker, Texas Ranger" had very high ratings, lasted 194 episdoes, and was the longest running tv show with a Native American lead character.
  • "King of the Hill" (John RedCorn)

    "King of the Hill" (John RedCorn)
    A Fox original series, which featured John Redcorn, a native american whose tribe is unknown. He is a masseuse and a "new age healer", and is best known for having an affair and child with Nancy Gribble, who is married to Dale.
  • "Saving Grace"

    "Saving Grace"
    A more recent TNT crime drama, that is set in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, around detective Grace Handarko. Bobby Stillwater is a Native American, played by Bobby Cruz, who is both an enforcer and a family man.