Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today's "As Seen On TV" showcase is a sneak peek at what you can expect while I'm off on vacation. I've already set up the feature to run automatically each day and the theme, besides being about historical Western figures, will be those characters as seen on a barely remembered series, 'Stories Of The Century'.

So for today, here's an example: Sam Bass...... AS SEEN IN:
'Stories Of The Century'

Don Haggerty

From Wikipedia:
Sam Bass (21 July 1851 in Mitchell, Indiana - 21 July 1878 in Round Rock, Texas) was a nineteenth-century American train robber and outlaw.

After failing at a series of legitimate enterprises, Bass turned to crime. He formed a gang and robbed the Union Pacific gold train from San Francisco on September 18, 1877, looting $60,000 - to this day the largest single robbery of the Union Pacific.

Bass and his gang staged a string of robberies, yet never netted over $500 at any one time. In 1878, they held up two stagecoaches and four trains within twenty-five miles of Dallas and became the object of a manhunt by Pinkerton Agents and by a special company of the Texas Rangers headed by Captain Junius Peak.

Bass was able to elude the Rangers until a member of his gang, Jim Murphy, turned informant. John B. Jones was informed of Bass's movements, and set up an ambush at Round Rock Texas, where Bass planned to rob the Williamson County Bank.

On 19 July 1878, Bass and his gang were scouting the area before the robbery. When they bought some tobacco at a store, they were noticed by Deputy Sheriff A. W. Grimes. When Grimes approached the men to request that they surrender their sidearms, he was shot and killed.

As he attempted to flee, Bass was shot by Ranger George Herold. He was found lying in a pasture by a group of railroad workers, who summoned the authorities. He was taken into custody and died the next day. Bass was buried in Round Rock. His original headstone is kept at the Round Rock Public Library.

In 1954, he was portrayed by Don Haggerty in an episode of the syndicated western television series Stories of the Century. Haggerty was forty when he played the doomed 27-year-old Bass.

Here's a list of the actors who portrayed Bass:

John Anderson . . . "Trackdown" (1957)
{End of an Outlaw (#1.9)}

Jack Chaplain . . . "Outlaws" (1960)
{Sam Bass (#1.23)}

Chuck Connors . . . "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957)
{Sam Bass (#1.10)}

Don Haggerty . . . "Stories of the Century" (1954)
{Sam Bass (#1.7)}

Alan Hale Jr. . . . "Colt .45" (1957)
{The Saga of Sam Bass (#2.7)}

Kelly Thordsen . . . "Maverick" (1957)
{Full House (#3.7)}

Lee Van Cleef . . . The Slowest Gun in the West (1960)

Frank Wolff . . . "Wagon Train" (1957)
{The Maggie Hamilton Story (#3.26)}

And because he's been played on TV so many times, we're inducting Sam Bass into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame as the historical figure for the month of August.


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