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Choice Rerun: ''Daniel Boone''

A look back at the classic Fess Parker show

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Fess Parker shot to stardom in 1950s Disney TV movies as Davy Crockett, the hero of the Alamo who, according to legend (and his hit theme song), ”kilt him a [bear] when he was only 3.” Several years later, Parker put on his famous coonskin cap again as Daniel Boone, another frontier hero with a catchy signature tune (”Daniel Boone was a man/Yes, a biiiig man…”). When the Revolutionary War-era Kentuckian wasn’t surveying the land, he tussled with hostile natives, pirates, and other ne’er-do-wells. His companions included college-educated Cherokee Mingo (crooner Ed Ames, who showed off his tomahawk-throwing skills in a side-splitting Tonight Show moment with Johnny Carson in 1965), his wife, Rebecca (Patricia Blair), daughter Jemima (Veronica Cartwright), and fugitive slave Gabe Cooper (gridiron great Rosey Grier). The 1964-70 NBC adventure also boasted first-rate guest stars; among those who appear in this month’s TV Land episodes are Vincent Price, Jim ”Mr. Magoo” Backus, The Addams Family‘s Ted ”Lurch” Cassidy, Ricardo Montalban, and a very young Kurt Russell. Take your faux coonskin cap out of the closet and enjoy.

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