So begins The Deputy, starring the great Henry Fonda (The Grapes of Wrath
) in his first recurring role on television. Marshal Simon Fry is a lawman who will do whatever it takes to keep the peace in Silver City, Arizona, and Fry's sometimes reluctant deputy, Clay McCord (Allen Case), is a sharp shooting storekeeper who shuns violence whenever he can, but who is persuaded to step in to help the aging Silver City Marshal Herk Lamson (Wallace Ford) when Simon is out of town. Other recurring roles are played by veteran western actors Red Morgan, Phil Tully, and Addison Richards. Among the guest stars joining them are some of the best actors of their time, including Lee Van Cleef (A Fistful of Dollars
), Alan Hale, Jr. ("Gilligan's Island"), James Coburn (The Magnificent Seven
), Stacy Keach, Sr., Jason Robards, Jr., and many more. "The Deputy" was produced by Norman Lear ("All in the Family"), and features a great jazz guitar score by Jack Marshall.
Although sometimes out of town keeping the peace in the wild expanse of Arizona Territory, Fonda narrates every episode.
A western series that ran for two seasons on NBC, from September 1959 through September 1961, THE DEPUTY constituted one of Henry Fonda's occasional forays into small screen work. He starred as Chief Marshal Simon Fry, a lawman stationed in the Arizona Territory town of Silver City during the 1880s. The primary conflict in the program involved Simon's ongoing disagreements with local storekeeper (and occasional deputy) Clay McCord (Allen Case), whose pacifistic ways ran contrary to Simon's willingness to use violence, as needed. Also on hand were the elderly Marshal Herk Lamson) (Wallace Ford), and army sergeant Hapgood Tasker (Read Morgan). This set contains the entire 76-episode series as it originally aired, with guest stars including James Coburn, Alan Hale, Jr. and Lee Van Cleef.