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Wayne Maunder Custer 1967.JPG
Wayne Maunder as Custer.
StarringWayne Maunder
Slim Pickens
Robert F. Simon
Michael Dante
Peter Palmer
Grant Woods
ComposersRichard Markowitz (1.1)
Leith Stevens (1.1, 1.5, 1.7, 1.13; and theme music)
Robert Drasnin (1.12)
Harry Geller (1.14)
Irving Gertz (1.15)
Joseph Mullendore (1.17, as "MULLENDORE")
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes17
ProducerFrank Glicksman
Running time60 minutes
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor
Original releaseSeptember 6 (1967-09-06) –
December 27, 1967 (1967-12-27)

Custer, also known as The Legend of Custer, is a 17-episode military-western television series which ran on ABC from September 6 to December 27, 1967, with Wayne Maunder in the starring role of then Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Criticizing the series as "glamorizing Custer," a concerted protest headed by the Tribal Indians Land Rights Association successfully halted broadcast of the series under the FCC fairness doctrine.[1]



Robert F. Simon played Custer's commanding officer, U.S. General Alfred H. Terry.[3] Slim Pickens starred as California Joe Milner. Michael Dante appeared as Sioux Chief Crazy Horse. Peter Palmer played Sergeant James Bustard, a former Confederate soldier.[2] Grant Woods appeared as Captain Myles Keogh. Read Morgan appeared in the episode "Spirit Woman" in the role of a medicine man.

Guest stars included Lloyd Bochner (as James Stanhope), Rory Calhoun (as Zebediah Jackson), Philip Carey (as Benton Conant), James Daly (as John Rudford), Alexander Davion (as Capt. Marcus A. Reno), Burr DeBenning (as Uvalde), Yvonne De Carlo (as Vanessa Ravenhill), Gene Evans (as Deedricks), Arthur Franz (as Grey Fox and Bledsoe), Billy Gray (as Billy Nixon), Barbara Hale (as Melinda Terry), Stacy Harris (as John Glixton), Earl Holliman (as Dan Samuels), Robert Loggia (as Lt. Carlos Moreno), Darren McGavin (as Jeb Powell), Ralph Meeker (as Kermit Teller), Mary Ann Mobley (as Ann L'Andry), Agnes Moorehead (as Watoma), Edward Mulhare (as Col. Sean Redmond), Kathleen Nolan (as Nora Moffett), Larry Pennell (as Chief Yellow Hawk), Paul Petersen (as Lieutenant Cox), Donnelly Rhodes (as War Cloud), Chris Robinson (as Lt. Tim Rudford), Ned Romero (as Running Feet), Barbara Rush (as Brigid O'Rourke), Albert Salmi (as Capt. John Mark Charrington), William Smith (as Chief Tall Knife), Dub Taylor (as Trader), Ray Walston (as Ned Quimbo), James Whitmore (as Eldo), Terry Wilson (as Brownsmith), and William Windom (as Clark Samson).[4] In the last episode entitled "The Raiders", Custer enlists the aid of Kiowa Indians to help him to locate the parties responsible for a series of wagon train raids.[5]

Maunder was twenty-eight when he was cast as the 28-year-old Custer. The show was canceled due to poor reviews[6] and protests by Native American tribes throughout the United States.[7][8]

Two episodes, No. 1 and No. 6, were later combined and released as a feature length film, entitled "Crazy Horse and Custer, The Untold Story". On June 7, 2016, Custer: The Complete Series (Collector's Edition) was released on dvd by Shout! Factory.


Title Directed by Written by Air date
1"Sabers in the Sun"Sam WanamakerSamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 6, 1967 (1967-09-06)
2"Accused"Lawrence DobkinAl C. WardSeptember 13, 1967 (1967-09-13)
3"Glory Rider"Lawrence DobkinJack TurleySeptember 20, 1967 (1967-09-20)
4"To the Death"Herschel DaughertySamuel A. PeeplesSeptember 27, 1967 (1967-09-27)
5"Massacre"Herschel DaughertyDaniel MainwaringOctober 4, 1967 (1967-10-04)
6"War Lance and Saber"Norman FosterShimon WincelbergOctober 11, 1967 (1967-10-11)
7"Suspicion"Alex MarchJohn DunkelOctober 18, 1967 (1967-10-18)
8"Breakout"László BenedekShimon WincelbergNovember 1, 1967 (1967-11-01)
9"Desperate Mission"László BenedekWarren DouglasNovember 8, 1967 (1967-11-08)
10"Under Fire"Lawrence DobkinArthur Browne Jr.November 15, 1967 (1967-11-15)
11"Death Hunt"Leo PennSteve McNeil & Richard BartlettNovember 22, 1967 (1967-11-22)
12"Blazing Arrows"Christian NybyBob and Wanda DuncanNovember 29, 1967 (1967-11-29)
13"Dangerous Prey"Leo PennRichard SaleDecember 6, 1967 (1967-12-06)
14"Spirit Woman"László BenedekWilliam BlinnDecember 13, 1967 (1967-12-13)
15"The Gauntlet"Don RichardsonShimon WincelbergDecember 20, 1967 (1967-12-20)
16"The Raiders"Norman FosterShimon WincelbergDecember 27, 1967 (1967-12-27)
17"Pursued"Leo PennJohn DunkelJanuary 3, 1968 (1968-01-03)


  1. ^ Tahmahkera, Dustin. Tribal Television: Viewing Native People in Sitcoms. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014, p. 11
  2. ^ a b Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 190
  3. ^ "Plot summary for Custer". Internet Movie Data Base.
  4. ^ "Episode List for Custer". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  5. ^ "Custer". Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "Time Tunnel".
  7. ^ Vine., Deloria (1988). Custer died for your sins : an Indian manifesto. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 24. ISBN 0806121297. OCLC 17234301.
  8. ^ Brian W. Dippie, Custer's Last Stand: The Anatomy of an American Myth. Lincoln, NE, University of Nebraska Press, 1994 ISBN 0803265921, (p.120)