Monday, July 5, 2010


It's been the tradition at Toobworld Central for the summer months of July and August to be centered around the TV Western. Every "As Seen On TV" showcase in August will be an historical figure of the Old West, and the two inductees into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame will be connected to the theme as well.

One month will see an historical figure gain entry, the other will be a fictional character from a Western.

This month we're going with the historical, since August will be overloaded with them anyway.....
From Wikipedia:
Cochise (c. 1805–June 8, 1874) was a chief (a nantan) of the Chokonen ("central" or "real" Chiricahua) band of the Chiricahua Apache and the leader of an uprising that began in 1861. Cochise County, Arizona is named after him.

Following various skirmishes, Cochise and his men were gradually driven into the Dragoon Mountains but were nevertheless able to use the mountains for cover and as a base from which to continue attacks against the white settlements. Cochise managed to evade capture and continued his raids against white settlements and travelers until 1872. A treaty was finally negotiated by General Oliver O. Howard, with the help of Tom Jeffords who was Cochise's only white friend. Cochise then retired to his new reservation, with his friend Jeffords as agent, where he died of natural causes (probably of abdominal cancer) in 1874. Cochise was buried in the rocks above one of his favorite camps in Arizona's Dragoon Mountains, now called Cochise Stronghold. Only his people and Tom Jeffords knew the exact location of his resting place, and they took the secret to their graves.

The full Wikipedia article can be found here.

There have been several actors who have played Cochise on television, and one - Michael Keep -
played him at different stages in his life, both in TV and in the movies. August Schellenberg may have brought the most authentic portrayal of Cochise to the small screen (Although for my wampum, he looks like Jack Warden playing a Hekawi.) As his performance was in historical context, the TV movie "Geronimo" should be transferred to an alternate TV dimension.

But it's Michael Ansara who'll be considered the official Cochise of Toobworld. That's because of the TV series 'Broken Arrow', for which there were over 70 episodes detailing the uneasy partnership between Cochise and Indian agent Tom Jeffords. (Jeffords will be showing up in the daily ASOTV gallery in August.....)

Since Cochise died in 1874, some of his appearances in Toobworld on other shows, like 'Bonanza' and 'Rin Tin Tin', could be attributed to Famous Identity Syndrome. Those with FIS delusions believe themselves to be newsworthy figures of the times in order to gain some recognition for themselves, even if it is under an assumed name. This is the splainin for many of the TV portrayals of people like Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Jesse James. (This may be true especially for Cochise in 'The High Chaparral', since two different actors played the role.)

Here's a list of actors who have played the role of Cochise on TV over the years. It may not be complete....

Geronimo (1993) Played by August Schellenberg

[Michael Keep as Cochise in the Cineverse and in Toobworld: "40 Guns To Apache Pass", left, and 'High Chaparral', right]

"The High Chaparral"
- The Last Hundred Miles (1969) Played by Michael Keep
- The Peacemaker (1968) Played by Paul Fix
- A Hanging Offense (1967) Played by Paul Fix

- The Honor of Cochise (1961) Played by Jeff Morrow

"Broken Arrow" (1956-60) Played by Michael Ansara

"The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin"
- The Invaders (1956) Played by X Brands

"TV Reader's Digest"
- Cochise, Greatest of the Apaches (1956) Played by Richard Gaines

So here's a salute to you, Cochise. Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.


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