Johnny Ringo
Mark Goddard as Cully, Don Durant as Johnny Ringo and Karen Sharpe as Laura Thomas (1959)
Created byAaron Spelling
Written byAaron Spelling
Directed by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes38 (list of episodes)
Camera setupMulti-camera Single-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production companyFour Star Productions
Original release
ReleaseOctober 1, 1959 (1959-10-01) –
June 30, 1960 (1960-06-30)

Johnny Ringo is an American Western television series starring Don Durant that aired on CBS from October 1, 1959, until June 30, 1960. It is loosely based on the life of the notorious gunfighter and outlaw Johnny Ringo, also known as John Peters Ringo or John B. Ringgold, who tangled with Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Buckskin Franklyn Leslie.


This fictional account has Ringo putting aside his gunfighting ways to become the 27-year-old sheriff of fictitious Velardi in the Arizona Territory. Ringo has two deputies: William Charles Jr., or Cully, played by Mark Goddard and Case Thomas, portrayed by Terence De Marney, who is also a storekeeper and formerly the town drunk. Case is killed in a robbery in the episode "Border Town", which aired on March 17, 1960. Case's daughter, Laura Thomas, played by Karen Sharpe, is Ringo's girlfriend in the series. Michael Hinn appeared in nine episodes as George Haig.

In the episode entitled "The Posse", Richard Devon plays Jessie Mead, a former Ringo friend who storms into town asking that he be jailed for protection from a pursuing posse, which Mead claims is really a lynch mob. Mead breaks a storefront glass to compel Ringo to arrest him. Actually, Mead has conspired with three others to rob the bank while the townspeople are diverted from their regular activities to pressure Ringo into turning Mead over to "the posse", the members of which are the other criminals. Ringo urges caution, but the irate townspeople want to take the matter into their own hands.


Main cast

Guest cast

Charles Aidman, John Anderson, Raymond Bailey, Whit Bissell, Willis Bouchey, Lane Bradford, Dyan Cannon, John Carradine (as the lead in the episode "The Rain Man"), Conlan Carter, Lon Chaney Jr., James Coburn, Tim Considine, Ben Cooper, Robert Culp (as Clay Horne in the series finale, "Cave-In")

Royal Dano (as Lucas Frome in "Black Harvest"), Carter DeHaven and his daughter Gloria DeHaven, Don Dubbins, Buddy Ebsen, Gene Evans, Jay C. Flippen, Mona Freeman, Dabbs Greer, Alan Hale Jr., Connie Hines, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Arch Johnson, L. Q. Jones, Brett King, Wright King, John Larch, Martin Landau, Mort Mills, Gerald Mohr, Vic Morrow, Ed Nelson, Warren Oates, Debra Paget (as Agnes St. John, an author who witnesses a brutal stagecoach robbery in "East Is East")

William Phipps, John M. Pickard, Burt Reynolds (as Tad Stuart in "The Stranger"), Paul Richards, Wayne Rogers, Richard Rust, Walter Sande, William Schallert, Robert F. Simon, Olan Soule, Arthur Space, Harry Dean Stanton, Stella Stevens, Karl Swenson, Harry Townes, Lurene Tuttle, and Peter Whitney.



The program was an early creation of Aaron Spelling for Four Star Television. Spelling created Johnny Ringo at the specific request of Dick Powell as a role for Durant. It was filmed at CBS Studio Center. The pilot episode was shot as part of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, titled "Man Alone" and featured Thomas Mitchell as Case Thomas. A second pilot was shot with Terence de Marney in the role.

Gimmick guns genre

Johnny Ringo appeared at a time in the history of the television Western when creators strove to make characters interesting by equipping them with "gimmick guns", the three most famous having been Josh Randall's "mare's laig" used by Steve McQueen in CBS's Wanted: Dead or Alive, Lucas McCain's trick rifle from ABC's The Rifleman, and the shotgun with the upper and lower barrel, intended to enforce accuracy both up close and at a distance, used by Scott Brady in Shotgun Slade.

The gimmick gun introduced in the second pilot was a custom-built revolver called the LeMat, based on its historically authentic counterpart. The LeMat featured an auxiliary shotgun barrel under its primary barrel. Many episodes found Ringo getting into scrapes where that final round in the shotgun barrel was the deciding factor. Aesthetically, Ringo's LeMat most resembles the historical percussion model LeMat but features a top break cartridge-fed design.

Syndication as The Westerners

For syndicated reruns, the show was combined with three other Western series from the same company, Black Saddle starring Peter Breck, Law of the Plainsman starring Michael Ansara, and Sam Peckinpah's critically acclaimed creation, The Westerner starring Brian Keith, under the umbrella title The Westerners, with additional hosting segments featuring Keenan Wynn


This section needs a plot summary. Please add one in your own words. (July 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Arrival"Howard W. KochAaron SpellingOctober 1, 1959 (1959-10-01)
2"Cully"Howard W. KochStephen LordOctober 8, 1959 (1959-10-08)
3"The Accused"Lamont JohnsonFrederick Louis FoxOctober 15, 1959 (1959-10-15)
4"A Killing for Cully"Howard W. KochDavid ChandlerOctober 22, 1959 (1959-10-22)
5"The Hunters"Howard W. KochBarney SlaterOctober 29, 1959 (1959-10-29)
6"The Posse"John EnglishRobert ShermanNovember 5, 1959 (1959-11-05)
7"Ghost Coach"John EnglishRichard Levinson & William LinkNovember 12, 1959 (1959-11-12)
8"Dead Wait"William D. FarallaJohn FalvoNovember 19, 1959 (1959-11-19)
9"The Rain Man"Dick ModerRichard Levinson & William LinkNovember 26, 1959 (1959-11-26)
10"The Cat"Frank BaurT : Stephen Lord;
S/T : Richard Newman
December 3, 1959 (1959-12-03)
11"Love Affair"Don TaylorStephen LordDecember 17, 1959 (1959-12-17)
12"Kid with a Gun"Paul HenreidT. E. BrooksDecember 24, 1959 (1959-12-24)
13"Bound Boy"Tom GriesTom GriesDecember 31, 1959 (1959-12-31)
14"East Is East"Laurence StewartWilton SchillerJanuary 7, 1960 (1960-01-07)
15"The Poster Incident"Dick ModerP. K. PalmerJanuary 14, 1960 (1960-01-14)
16"Die Twice"Dick ModerFrederick Louis FoxJanuary 20, 1960 (1960-01-20)
17"Four Came Quietly"R. G. SpringsteenFrederick Louis FoxJanuary 28, 1960 (1960-01-28)
18"The Liars"Laurence StewartBarney SlaterFebruary 4, 1960 (1960-02-04)
19"Mrs. Ringo"Laurence StewartT : Stephen Lord;
S/T : Peggy Witt
February 11, 1960 (1960-02-11)
20"The Assassins"David Lowell RichTeddi ShermanFebruary 18, 1960 (1960-02-18)
21"The Reno Brothers"Dick ModerS : Stephen Lord & Aaron Spelling;
T : John Falvo
February 25, 1960 (1960-02-25)
22"The Raffertys"Paul HenreidS : Martin Berkeley;
T : David Chandler
March 3, 1960 (1960-03-03)
Marshal Adam Polk is played by Thomas B. Henry
23"Uncertain Vengeance"Laurence StewartJohn Falvo & Dan SpellingMarch 10, 1960 (1960-03-10)
24"Border Town"Don TaylorRichard Levinson & William LinkMarch 17, 1960 (1960-03-17)
25"The Gunslinger"Robert M. LeedsStephen LordMarch 24, 1960 (1960-03-24)
26"The Vindicator"William D. FarallaJohn MarshMarch 31, 1960 (1960-03-31)
27"Black Harvest"Dick ModerJohn FalvoApril 7, 1960 (1960-04-07)
28"Judgement Day"Dick ModerFrederick Louis FoxApril 14, 1960 (1960-04-14)
29"The Killing Bug"Tom GriesTom GriesApril 28, 1960 (1960-04-28)
30"Soft Cargo"Dick ModerBarney SlaterMay 5, 1960 (1960-05-05)
31"Single Debt"Arthur HiltonTony HabeebMay 12, 1960 (1960-05-12)
32"The Stranger"Dick ModerJames HurleyMay 19, 1960 (1960-05-19)
33"The Derelict"David Lowell RichJohn MarshMay 26, 1960 (1960-05-26)
34"Shoot the Moon"Dick ModerCharles A. WallaceJune 2, 1960 (1960-06-02)
35"Killer, Choose a Card"Don TaylorPatricia JenkinsJune 9, 1960 (1960-06-09)
36"Coffin Sam"Dick ModerDan SpellingJune 16, 1960 (1960-06-16)
37"Lobo Lawman"Dick ModerCharles A. WallaceJune 23, 1960 (1960-06-23)
38"Cave-In"William D. FarallaJohn MarshJune 30, 1960 (1960-06-30)


Johnny Ringo scored good ratings, but was dropped at the request of a sponsor, Johnson Wax Company. After the cancellation of Johnny Ringo, Mark Goddard went on to co-star as Det. Sgt. Chris Ballard in still another Four Star Productions TV series, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor on ABC, replacing Lee Farr. He later went on to the CBS-TV series, Lost in Space.