The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp

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The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

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The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a Western television series loosely based on the adventures of frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black and white series ran on ABC-TV from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O'Brian as Earp. An off-camera barbershop quartet sang the theme song and hummed the background music in early episodes. Incidental music was composed by Herman Stein. The series was produced by Desilu Productions and filmed at the Desilu-Cahuenga Studio.


O'Brian was chosen for the role due to a resemblance to early photographs of the actual Earp; James Garner later played Earp in the movies Hour of the Gun and Sunset for the same reason. On the series, Earp carried a Buntline Special, a pistol with a twelve-inch barrel, triggering a mild toy craze at the time of the series' original broadcasts. There is no credible evidence whatsoever that the real Earp ever owned such a gun, however; the myth of Earp's Buntline Special traces back to Stuart N. Lake's spurious 1931 Earp biography Frontier Marshal, purported upon publication to be based on actual interviews but later admitted by the author to be highly fictionalized.

O'Brian recreated the role of Earp in two episodes of the television series Guns of Paradise (1990), alongside Gene Barry as Bat Masterson, and again in 1991 in The Luck of the Draw, also with Barry as Masterson. An independent movie called Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone was released in 1994...
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