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Wanted Dead or Alive (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wanted Dead or Alive
Wanted title.jpg
Title card
StarringSteve McQueen
Wright King
Theme music composerWilliam Loose (first season), Herschel Burke Gilbert (second and third seasons)
Opening themeWilliam Loose
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes94 (list of episodes)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production companiesFour Star Television
Malcom Enterprises, Inc
CBS Productions
DistributorCBS Films (original)
StudioCanal (current)
Original networkCBS
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 6, 1958 (1958-09-06) –
March 29, 1961 (1961-03-29)
Followed byWanted: Dead or Alive
Related showsTrackdown

Wanted Dead or Alive is an American Western television series starring Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall. It aired on CBS for three seasons in 1958–61. The black-and-white program was a spin-off of a March 1958 episode of Trackdown, a 1957–59 western series starring Robert Culp. Both series were produced by Four Star Television in association with CBS Television.[1]

The series made McQueen, known for the concept of "cool" in entertainment,[1] the first television star to cross over into comparable status on the big screen.[2]


Mare's Leg and holster
Mare's Leg and holster

Josh Randall (McQueen) is a Confederate veteran and bounty hunter with a soft heart. He often donates his earnings to the needy and helps his prisoners if they have been wrongly accused.

Randall pleads with a mother (Virginia Gregg) to obtain medical treatment for her son. (1959)
Randall pleads with a mother (Virginia Gregg) to obtain medical treatment for her son. (1959)

Randall carries a shortened Winchester Model 1892 rifle called the "Mare's Leg" in a holster patterned after "gunslinger" rigs then popular in movies and television.[3][self-published source] Randall can draw and fire his weapon with blazing speed. Three Mare's Legs were used in the series, differing in the shape of the lever and the barrel.

Although Randall is a bounty hunter, he doesn't chase and capture only men on wanted posters. He also settles a family feud, frees unjustly jailed or sentenced men, helps an amnesia victim recover his memory, and finds missing husbands, sons, fathers, a fiancée, a suitor, a daughter who had been captured many years earlier by Indians, an Army deserter, a pet sheep, and even Santa Claus. This variety, as well as his pursuit of justice and not just money, contributed to the show's attraction and popularity.[4]

Except for a few episodes at the beginning of the series, Randall rode an energetic horse named Ringo.[3]

Several episodes in 1960 included a sidekick named Jason Nichols (Wright King), an eager young deputy sheriff turned bounty hunter. He and Randall worked well together on-screen, sharing a chemistry that many viewers enjoyed. By the start of the third season, Nichols had been dropped. The episode called "The Partners", where Nichols killed three men that Randall felt could have been taken alive, is often considered the episode that broke up the partnership, although that was actually only the second episode with Wright King and long before the last episode he appeared in.[5]

Three hard mother-grabbin' years, but I learned my trade and it gave me discipline. McQueen, commenting about his experience on the series.[6]


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
136September 6, 1958 (1958-09-06)May 9, 1959 (1959-05-09)
232September 5, 1959 (1959-09-05)May 21, 1960 (1960-05-21)
326September 21, 1960 (1960-09-21)March 29, 1961 (1961-03-29)

Season 1 (1958–59)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"The Martin Poster"Thomas CarrJohn RobinsonSeptember 6, 1958 (1958-09-06)
Josh Randall tracks down two brothers (Michael Landon, Nick Adams) he witnesses shooting a sheriff. With John Cliff, Dabbs Greer and Jenifer Lea.
22"Fatal Memory"Thomas CarrDon BrinkleySeptember 13, 1958 (1958-09-13)
Colonel Sykes (Russell Thorson), Josh's former commander, is listed as a wanted man on a counterfeit poster by a dead man's wife (Joan Banks). With Gloria Talbot, Ralph Moody, and Victor Perrin.
33"The Bounty"Thomas CarrSamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 20, 1958 (1958-09-20)
Josh clashes with a sadistic bounty hunter as they search for a reclusive old man with an Apache bodyguard wanted for a crime committed years ago.
44"Dead End"Thomas CarrGeorge F. SlavinSeptember 27, 1958 (1958-09-27)
Josh is hired by a rancher to find a man wanted for grand theft and kidnapping.
55"The Passing of Shawnee Bill"Thomas CarrDavid LangOctober 4, 1958 (1958-10-04)
A stranger offers to help Josh capture a fugitive for half the reward. With Alan Hale Jr..
66"The Giveaway Gun"Donald McDougallFrank D. GilroyOctober 11, 1958 (1958-10-11)
Josh searches for a gunfighter identified by the way he draws his pistol. With Everett Sloane, Frank Faylen, Lurene Tuttle, Richard Devon, John Harmon and Addison Richard.
77"Ransom for a Nun"Donald McDougallFred FreibergerOctober 18, 1958 (1958-10-18)
Josh offers to take a killer to Tucson since the sheriff is worried about a rescue attempt by the outlaw's gang, who are holding a nun hostage.
88"Miracle at Pot Hole"Thomas CarrEllis MarcusOctober 25, 1958 (1958-10-25)
Josh finds a suspected murderer, then begins to doubt the man's guilt.
99"The Fourth Headstone"Donald McDougallFrank D. GilroyNovember 1, 1958 (1958-11-01)
Josh tries to help a woman he suspects has been framed for murder.
1010"Til Death Do Us Part"Donald McDougallDon BrinkleyNovember 8, 1958 (1958-11-08)
Josh tracks down a woman wanted for murdering her husband.
1111"The Favor"Thomas CarrJohn RobinsonNovember 15, 1958 (1958-11-15)
Josh does a favor for a sheriff and embarks on a perilous journey to bring a murder suspect to justice. With Sam Buffington.
1212"Ricochet"Donald McDougallTony BarrettNovember 22, 1958 (1958-11-22)
A woman hires Josh to find her husband, for whom she plans death.
1313"Sheriff of Red Rock"Thomas CarrPhilip SaltzmanNovember 29, 1958 (1958-11-29)
Josh brings in a wanted man, who's a member of a bounty hunter gang in cahoots with the local sheriff.
1414"Die by the Gun"Donald McDougallStory by : Lawrence Menkin
Teleplay by : Christopher Knopf
and Lawrence Menkin
December 6, 1958 (1958-12-06)
Josh and his prisoner, wanted for robbery, are ambushed by killers. With Warren Oates.
1515"Rawhide Breed"Donald McDougallSamuel A. PeeplesDecember 13, 1958 (1958-12-13)
A stagecoach carrying Josh and his prisoner is attacked by Indians.
1616"Eight Cent Reward"Thomas CarrStory by : John Robinson
Teleplay by : Christopher Knopf
December 20, 1958 (1958-12-20)
Josh is given a most unusual assignment: bringing in Santa Claus. With Sam Buffington.
1717"Drop to Drink"Donald McDougallWells RootDecember 27, 1958 (1958-12-27)
A pony-express company hires Josh to solve the mystery of a murdered rider and a stolen ring.
1818"Rope Law"Thomas CarrDonn MullallyJanuary 3, 1959 (1959-01-03)
A lynch mob sets out to hang Josh's prisoner, who has been falsely accused of his stepdaughter's murder.
1919"Six-Up to Bannach"Thomas CarrJohn RobinsonJanuary 10, 1959 (1959-01-10)
A stagecoach carrying Josh and his prisoner races against time to save an innocent man from an unjust hanging. With James Best and Sam Buffington.
2020"The Spurs"Donald McDougallDavid LangJanuary 17, 1959 (1959-01-17)
Josh tracks down a bank robber in spite of reports claiming that the robber's been murdered. With Betsy Drake and 1930s Western star Dick Foran.
2121"Reunion for Revenge"R.G. SpringsteenRichard H. LandauJanuary 24, 1959 (1959-01-24)
Josh brings in a man wanted by the law and a group of escaped convicts who blame him for sending them to prison. With Ralph Meeker and James Coburn.
2222"Competition"R.G. SpringsteenDaniel B. UllmanJanuary 31, 1959 (1959-01-31)
Josh meets two other evil bounty hunters he must take out of his way.
2323"Call Your Shot"Donald McDougallFred FreibergerFebruary 7, 1959 (1959-02-07)
Josh is hired to find a drunk's son.
2424"Secret Ballot"Donald McDougallDon BrinkleyFebruary 14, 1959 (1959-02-14)
Josh tries to help the mayoral campaign of his friend Ned Easter. With DeForest Kelley and Bethel Leslie.
2525"The Corner"R.G. SpringsteenD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
February 21, 1959 (1959-02-21)
Josh is wrongly accused of murdering a friend.
2626"Eager Man"Donald McDougallRay BuffumFebruary 28, 1959 (1959-02-28)
A fugitive is eager to let Josh take him in, but only if his wife is willing to share the reward.
2727"The Legend"Thomas CarrTony BarrettMarch 7, 1959 (1959-03-07)
Josh finds himself up against a pair of desperadoes in a search for a legendary lost treasure. With Warren Oates.
2828"Railroaded"Thomas CarrD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
March 14, 1959 (1959-03-14)
Josh must prove that a young boy did not murder a detective. With Edgar Buchanan.
2929"Double Fee"Donald McDougallEllis MarcusMarch 21, 1959 (1959-03-21)
An opera singer gets Josh involved in a kidnapping case. With Diane Brewster.
3030"The Kovack Affair"Thomas CarrStory by : John Robinson
Teleplay by : D.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
March 28, 1959 (1959-03-28)
A friend turns to Josh for help when he's pressured into relinquishing his controlling interest in a hotel. With James Coburn.
3131"Bounty for a Bride"Donald McDougallSamuel A. PeeplesApril 4, 1959 (1959-04-04)
Josh fights a fierce Apache for the hand of an Indian princess.
3232"Crossroads"Donald McDougallDavid LangApril 11, 1959 (1959-04-11)
A fugitive's father attempts to stop Josh from capturing his son.
3333"Angels of Vengeance"R.G. SpringsteenCharles BeaumontApril 18, 1959 (1959-04-18)
A religious cult seeks vengeance on Josh for murdering their leader's son. With John Dehner.
3434"Littlest Client"Thomas CarrStory by : Ray Buffum
Teleplay by : John Robinson
and Ray Buffum
April 25, 1959 (1959-04-25)
A child refuses to believe that her father is dead so she asks Josh to find him.
3535"The Conquerors"Thomas CarrFred FreibergerMay 2, 1959 (1959-05-02)
A banker hires Josh to find his son, who has joined a gang of conquerors. With John Dehner.
3636"Amos Carter"Thomas CarrJohn RobinsonMay 9, 1959 (1959-05-09)
Josh attempts to end a feud between two hillbilly families.

Season 2 (1959–60)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
371"The Montana Kid"Thomas CarrD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
September 5, 1959 (1959-09-05)
Josh uses a recently released youth called the Montana Kid to nab a gambler.
382"The Healing Woman"Donald McDougallStory by : Charles Beaumont
and Richard Matheson
Teleplay by : Charles Beaumont
September 12, 1959 (1959-09-12)
Josh tries to rescue a sick child from a quack.
393"The Matchmaker"Frank MacDonaldFred FreibergerSeptember 19, 1959 (1959-09-19)
Josh is forced to find a bride for the "ugliest man in town." With Royal Dano.
404"Breakout"Thomas CarrRichard H. LandauSeptember 26, 1959 (1959-09-26)
Josh stages a jailbreak when he's hired to reclaim money.
415"Estralita"Donald McDougallRay BuffumOctober 3, 1959 (1959-10-03)
Josh learns that an angry mob is just as eager to capture a killer (Charles Aidman) as he is. Rita Lynn as Estralita.
426"The Hostage"Donald McDougallDon BrinkleyOctober 10, 1959 (1959-10-10)
As soon as Josh brings in a notorious killer (Lee Van Cleef), the outlaw takes the sheriff (Tyler McVey) hostage.
437"The Empty Cell"Thomas CarrD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
October 17, 1959 (1959-10-17)
Josh delivers a prisoner, only to have him and the sheriff mysteriously disappear. With Lon Chaney Jr. and DeForest Kelley.
448"Bad Gun"Thomas CarrJohn TomerlinOctober 24, 1959 (1959-10-24)
Josh goes after a man with a defective gun.
459"The Tyrant"Donald McDougallTom GriesOctober 31, 1959 (1959-10-31)
A Cavalry deserter Josh is tracking down is being held prisoner by the town marshal. With R.G. Armstrong.
4610"Reckless"R.G. SpringsteenRobert Leslie BellemNovember 7, 1959 (1959-11-07)
Tate Bradley hires Josh to find the man who killed Bradley's son in an argument over a girl. With Everett Sloane.
4711"Desert Seed"Donald McDougallCalvin Clements, Sr.November 14, 1959 (1959-11-14)
Josh tracks down a fugitive who killed in self-defense. Rafael Campos costars.
4812"Twelve Hours to Crazy Horse"Thomas CarrCy ChermakNovember 21, 1959 (1959-11-21)
Josh escorts an accused murderer to trial, but the victim's brother intends to take justice into his own hands. With John Dehner.
4913"No Trail Back"Donald McDougallPeter GermanoNovember 28, 1959 (1959-11-28)
One of the robbers Josh is after has been bitten by a rabid dog.
5014"Man on Horseback"Donald McDougallPaul FranklinDecember 5, 1959 (1959-12-05)
Josh follows an Apache (portrayed by Jay Silverheels) who's been framed for shooting a man. Jeanne Cooper as Myra. Stars Fred Beir, James T. Chandler and Howard Negley.
5115"Chain Gang"Thomas CarrRobert Leslie BellemDecember 12, 1959 (1959-12-12)
Josh must escape from a chain gang when he's arrested on a false charge.
5216"Vanishing Act"Donald McDougallJohn TomerlinDecember 26, 1959 (1959-12-26)
A magician distracts townspeople while robbing banks.
5317"Mental Lapse"Thomas CarrStory by : William F. Nolan
Teleplay by : John Tomerlin
January 2, 1960 (1960-01-02)
Josh attempts to help an amnesiac Harry Townes remember who he is. With Jan Shepard, Ed Prentiss, Paul Dubov and John Parrish.[7]
5418"Angela"George BlairTom GriesJanuary 9, 1960 (1960-01-09)
Angela Prior Fay Spain is determined to see the man Richard Bakalyan who murdered her father hang. With Joe Patridge, Howard Petrie, Warren Oates and Wayne Rogers.
5519"The Monster"Thomas CarrDon BrinkleyJanuary 16, 1960 (1960-01-16)
An elephant trainer Martin Landau uses one of his elephants to scare people out of their villages and rob them. With Bek Nelson, Eugene Martin, Ned Glass, Russell Thorson, Cliff Fields and William Fawcett.
5620"The Most Beautiful Woman"Arthur D. HiltonGeorge GreedyJanuary 23, 1960 (1960-01-23)
Josh is hired by a man Arthur Franz seeking to find a woman believed to be dead. Townspeople where she was last seen seek to discourage him from finding the truth. Mort Mills leads the town people in encouraging the pair to leave town. Stars Gordon L. Polk and Owen Bush.
5721"Jason"George BlairStory by : John Robinson
Teleplay by : D.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
January 30, 1960 (1960-01-30)
Josh becomes suspicious of Jason Nichols when the deputy begs to join his hunt for a desperado. With Wright King as Nichols.
5822"The Partners"George BlairD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
February 6, 1960 (1960-02-06)
Jason proposes that he and Josh become partners. With Wright King.
5923"Tolliver Bender"George BlairEric Norden[A]February 13, 1960 (1960-02-13)
Josh and Jason Wright King rescue Tolliver Bender Douglas Fowley from the gallows so he can testify at a trial, but the citizens want a hostage to ensure his return. With Gloria Talbot and John Carradine.
6024"A House Divided"George BlairD.D. Beauchamp
& Mary M. Beauchamp
February 20, 1960 (1960-02-20)
Josh becomes a target for assassination as he tries to intervene in a family feud. With Wright King.
6125"Triple Vice"George BlairFred FreibergerFebruary 27, 1960 (1960-02-27)
Josh and Jason (Wright King) trail a killer to Mexico, where Josh gets a new perspective thanks to a barmaid.
6226"Black Belt"George BlairJohn TomerlinMarch 19, 1960 (1960-03-19)
Josh and Jason are hired to bring in a black belt accused of murder, unaware that their employer is the real killer. With Wright King.
6327"The Pariah"George BlairFred FreibergerMarch 26, 1960 (1960-03-26)
Josh agrees to keep an eye on his friend's son Randy Holleran, who's a pariah for deliberately withholding the town's medical supplies. With Susan Oliver.
6428"Vendetta"George BlairSamuel NewmanApril 9, 1960 (1960-04-09)
Josh captures an Army recruit whose mission is to start a war with the Indians. With Harry Townes.
6529"Death Divided by Three"George BlairDon BrinkleyApril 23, 1960 (1960-04-23)
Josh tracks down a fugitive who's also being sought after by his wife.
6630"The Inheritance"Arthur D. HiltonGeorge W. GeorgeApril 30, 1960 (1960-04-30)
Josh is tasked with bringing home a dying man's John Litel runaway son Edward Kemmer. Costars Don Kennedy, John Anderson, Maxine Cooper, Thomas B. Henry and George Eldredge
6731"Prison Trail"Thomas CarrD.D. BeauchampMay 14, 1960 (1960-05-14)
Josh and Jason are escorting four prisoners to jail when one of them is frightened by a stranger. With Wright King.
6832"Pay-Off at Pinto"Donald McDougallWells RootMay 21, 1960 (1960-05-21)
The citizens of Pinto panic when the bank is robbed, so the bank owner enlists Josh to capture the robbers. With Philip Ahn.

Season 3 (1960–61)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
691"The Trial"Harry Harris, Jr.Ed AdamsonSeptember 21, 1960 (1960-09-21)
Josh is hired to bring in a former Union officer, only to find that it's all part of an illegal mock trial staged by the officer's former soldiers. With James Coburn.
702"The Cure"Gene ReynoldsEd AdamsonSeptember 28, 1960 (1960-09-28)
A woman hires Josh to sober up the town drunk so she can marry him.
713"Journey for Josh"Harry Harris, Jr.Ed AdamsonOctober 5, 1960 (1960-10-05)
Josh falls for the female robber he's escorting to prison.
724"The Looters"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovOctober 12, 1960 (1960-10-12)
Josh tracks down desperadoes who broke out of prison during a tornado.
735"The Twain Shall Meet"Richard DonnerNorman KatkovOctober 19, 1960 (1960-10-19)
A writer from Boston joins Josh on his manhunt to get an exclusive story. Mary Tyler Moore played the role of Sophie Anderson.
746"The Showdown"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonOctober 26, 1960 (1960-10-26)
Josh is forced into a showdown with an old friend who swears he's innocent.
757"Surprise Witness"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonNovember 2, 1960 (1960-11-02)
The townspeople refuse to tell Josh who murdered his friend - until a surprise witness comes forward.
768"To the Victor"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonNovember 9, 1960 (1960-11-09)
Josh is brought in by the men in town to help bring a stop to the revolt the women of the town unless all the men put away their guns. With Suzanne Storrs. Frank Albertson, George Ramsey, Nacho Galindo, Olan Soule, Hal K. Dawson, Jan Stine, Diana Crawford, Susan Crane, Dick Farnsworth, Vince Deadrick
779"Criss-Cross"Murray GoldenNorman KatkovNovember 16, 1960 (1960-11-16)
Josh brings in his captive Mark Rydell, only to find out from the sheriff Robert Nash he has the wrong man. Another man John Craven admits to the crime and Josh goes after him. Stars Vaughn Taylor, Patricia King, and Guy Wilkerson.
7810"The Medicine Man"R.D. Donner[B]Norman KatkovNovember 23, 1960 (1960-11-23)
A medicine man J. Pat O'Malley and Josh get involved in the aftermath of a bank robbery. The banker Ted DeCorsia says it was a newly come to town bank teller John Baer. The bankers wife Cloris Leachman thinks the teller is innocent. With Richard Bartell, Ben Morris, James Parnell and Ric Applewhite.
7911"One Mother Too Many"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovNovember 7, 1960 (1960-11-07)
Fearing she'll lose custody of her son, a widow proposes to Josh in order to acquire a new father.
8012"The Choice"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovDecember 14, 1960 (1960-12-14)
A bounty hunter named Frank Koster is after the man who bested him in a gunfight. With 1930s Western star Dick Foran as Frank Koster. Also stars Maxine Stuart, Burt Douglas, Barbara Hines and Chuck Hayward.
8113"Three for One"Murray GoldenNorman KatkovDecember 21, 1960 (1960-12-21)
The friends of the prisoner Josh brought in kidnap the sheriff and threaten a person a day until their leader is released.
8214"Witch Woman"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovDecember 28, 1960 (1960-12-28)
Josh is hired to keep a voodoo doctor away from a man's pregnant wife.
8315"Baa-Baa"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovJanuary 4, 1961 (1961-01-04)
Josh is hired by George Goode to find Mrs. Goode's pet ewe.
8416"The Last Retreat"Richard D. Donner[B]Norman KatkovJanuary 11, 1961 (1961-01-11)
Josh must protect a woman when the killer her testimony put in prison escapes. With Constance Ford and Warren Oates.
8517"Bounty on Josh"Richard D. Donner[B]Ed AdamsonJanuary 25, 1961 (1961-01-25)
A gunman stalks Josh in a small town.
8618"Hero in the Dust"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovFebruary 1, 1961 (1961-02-01)
Harry Weaver hires Josh to bring in his twin brother - a fugitive wanted for murder.
8719"Epitaph"Harry Harris, Jr.Norman KatkovFebruary 8, 1961 (1961-02-08)
Josh goes after his friend Jim Kramer, a lawman who's been seduced by his girlfriend into robbing a bank. With Richard Anderson.
8820"The Voice of Silence"Richard D. Donner[B]Ed AdamsonFebruary 15, 1961 (1961-02-15)
Frank Hagen asks Josh to look after his deaf-mute daughter Carol while he serves time in jail.
8921"El Gato"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonFebruary 22, 1961 (1961-02-22)
Josh tracks down a bandit known as El Gato. With Noah Beery Jr. as a Mexican bandit chieftain.
9022"Detour"Murray GoldenNorman KatkovMarch 1, 1961 (1961-03-01)
Clayton Armstrong Howard Morris wishes to elope with Jane Fairweather Jan Brooks, but he's afraid of her father Howard Smith, so he turns to Josh for help. Stars Melinda Plowman, Byron Foulger and Jacquelyne Park.
9123"Monday Morning"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonMarch 8, 1961 (1961-03-08)
A thief decides to return the loot he stole, but fears what his partners will do when they find it missing.
9224"The Long Search"Murray GoldenNorman KatkovMarch 15, 1961 (1961-03-15)
A geisha Linda Wong asks Josh to help find the man Robert Kenneally who promised to marry her. Stars Lynn Bernay, Dale Ishimoto, William Eben Stephens, Stanley Clements and Olan Soule.
9325"Dead Reckoning"Murray GoldenEd AdamsonMarch 22, 1961 (1961-03-22)
A woman asks Josh to bring her husband back alive so he can prove he killed one of the Taggart boys in self-defense, but the brothers of the deceased are out for revenge.
9426"Barney's Bounty"Richard D. Donner[B]Sumner Arthur Long
and Ed Adamson
March 29, 1961 (1961-03-29)
Josh helps his friend Barney Durant track down a pair of horse thieves. With a compelling performance by Noah Beery Jr. reminiscent of his uncle Wallace Beery.



The series was filmed in black and white at the Selznick Studios, which was acquired by Desilu Productions, and produced by Four Star Television. A number of additional shooting locations were used, with the bulk of the outdoor action sequences shot on the famed Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., widely regarded as the most heavily filmed outdoor shooting location in the history of TV and the movies. A number of sets on the Republic Pictures backlot in Studio City, Calif., also appear in the series, notably the Western street and the Duchess Ranch set, which at the time of production on the series consisted mainly of a large barn, a main house and a bunkhouse.

The series made two very visible changes in the third season. McQueen's cowboy hat was switched out to one with an Arizona block, similar to the one that he'd recently worn in the smash hit movie The Magnificent Seven, but very different from the hat he'd worn in the first two seasons. The other readily apparent change was the opening titles. Instead of McQueen walking down a wooden sidewalk and ripping a wanted poster from a wall, the titles open with a black screen punctuated by bright flashes as Randall fires directly at the viewer then looms out of the darkness.


Writers included Samuel A. Peeples, Tom Gries and Charles Beaumont.


The first season theme song was written and conducted by William Loose. It was replaced by a new theme titled "Wanted". This theme was used until the end of the series and was written and supervised by Herschel Burke Gilbert.

Guest stars

Dyan Cannon, billed as "Diane" Cannon, daughter of magician Season 2- Episode 52. Wright King appeared as Jason Nichols in eleven episodes in 1960.

Guest stars also included Charles Aidman, Claude Akins, John Anderson, R.G. Armstrong, Noah Beery, Jr., James Best, Steve Brodie, Anthony Caruso, Lon Chaney, Jr., James Coburn, Royal Dano, John Dehner, Brad Dexter, Lawrence Dobkin, King Donovan, Betsy Drake, Don Dubbins, Robert Ellenstein, Beverly Garland, Don Gordon, Alan Hale, Jr., DeForest Kelley, Douglas Kennedy, Martin Landau, Michael Landon, Cloris Leachman, Nan Leslie, Ralph Meeker, Mary Tyler Moore, Lori Nelson, Jay North, Warren Oates, Susan Oliver, Luana Patten, Stafford Repp, William Schallert, Everett Sloane, Jay Silverheels, Suzanne Storrs, and Lee Van Cleef.

Colorized version

In December 1987, Four Star International colorized Wanted Dead or Alive, making it the first vintage television series to be completely colorized; the colorized version aired on at least 50 independent television stations.[8]



  • October 1958 – April 1959: No. 16 – 28.0 (tied with Peter Gunn)
  • October 1959 – April 1960: No. 9 – 28.7
  • October 1960 – April 1961: not in top 30

1987 film

In 1987, New World Pictures adapted the series into a low-budget film of the same title;[9] Rutger Hauer played modern-day bounty hunter Nick Randall, Josh's grandson.

Home media

On June 7, 2005, New Line Home Video released season 1 of Wanted: Dead or Alive on DVD in Region 1. In 2007, BCI Eclipse acquired the distribution rights to the series and released the final two seasons on DVD. Season 2 was released on July 17, 2007, and season 3 on October 16, 2007.

In June 2009, Mill Creek Entertainment acquired the rights to the series under license from copyright holder StudioCanal, and have subsequently re-released the first two seasons.[10][11] On August 25, 2009, they released an 11-disc box set featuring all 94 episodes of the series on DVD.[12]

DVD name Ep# Release date
Season One 36 June 7, 2005
Season Two 32 July 17, 2007
Season Three 26 October 16, 2007


  1. ^ A. Eric Norden was unbilled for writing the episode "Tolliver Bender".
  2. ^ B. Richard Donner was alternately credited for directing episodes.


  1. ^ a b Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 103-104
  2. ^ Todd, McCarthy (March 31, 1998). "Steve McQueen: The King of Cool". Variety. Retrieved 2010-07-28. As Daily Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart points out, McQueen was the first TV star – 'Wanted Dead or Alive' made him one – to cross over to comparable status on the big screen.
  3. ^ a b Glover, F.J.H. (2011). 1000 Famous Horses Fact and Fictional Throughout the Ages. Xlibris. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-4568-8529-8. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ Eliot, Marc (2011). Steve McQueen - A Biography. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-45322-8. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  5. ^ Brode, Douglas (2010). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946–Present. Dallas: University of Texas Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-292-78331-7.
  6. ^ "Steve McQueen: The King of Cool". Time. June 28, 1963. Retrieved 2010-07-28. He was TV's Hessian headhunter in Wanted—Dead or Alive, serving what he describes as "three hard mother-grabbin' years, but I learned my trade and it gave me discipline."[dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ Farber, Stephen (June 7, 1987). "Will Colorizing Revitalize Old TV Series". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-28. In December, Four Star International will offer to independent television stations the first completely colorized version of a vintage TV series, Wanted: Dead or Alive, the Steve McQueen western that had been shown on CBS from 1958 to '61. About 50 stations have already bought the package of 94 half-hour episodes.
  9. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (February 21, 1987). "Will Colorizing Revitalize Old TV Series". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-28. In Wanted: Dead or Alive, New World turned the character played by Steve McQueen, a bounty hunter roaming the western United States 100 years ago, into a bounty hunter as special agent for hire in 1987. Terrorists were the bounty Rutger Hauer hunted in the $4.5 million film.
  10. ^ Wanted Dead or Alive – Season One
  11. ^ Wanted Dead or Alive – Season Two Archived 2011-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Lambert, David (June 17, 2009). "Wanted: Dead or Alive – Cover Art for Mill Creek's Complete Series and Season 1 Sets". Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-03.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 January 2022, at 07:54
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