Death Valley Days

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Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945 and continued from 1952 to 1970 as a syndicated television series, with reruns (updated with new narrations) continuing through August 1, 1975. The radio and TV versions combined to make the show "one of the longest-running western programs in broadcast history."

The series was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company (20 Mule Team Borax, Boraxo) and hosted by Stanley Andrews, alias "the Old Ranger" (1952–1963), Ronald Reagan (1964–1965), Rosemary DeCamp (1965), Robert Taylor (1966–1969), and Dale Robertson (1969–1970). With the passing of Dale Robertson in 2013, all the former Death Valley Days hosts are now deceased. Hosting the series was Reagan's final work as an actor; he was cast in eight episodes of the series.

The TV series was conceived by Pacific Coast Borax Company's advertising agency McCann-Erickson through that company's executive Dorothy McCann and Mitchell J. Hamilburg representing Gene Autry's production company Flying A Productions.

Parts of the series were filmed in Kanab, Utah.

Each of the 452 television episodes was introduced by a host. The longest-running was "The Old Ranger", a character played by veteran actor Stanley Andrews from 1952 to 1963.

Following the departure of Andrews, all subsequent hosts appeared under their own names. The first was film actor Ronald Reagan, former host of General Electric Theater and future President of the United States. Reagan also acted in 21 episodes of Death Valley Days, including the 1965 episode "A City Is Born". In that one, he played mining developer Charles Poston, the founder of Arizona. When Reagan entered the race for governor of California, actress Rosemary DeCamp filled in as the host for a short time. Then the Death Valley Day hosting position went to Reagan's friend and fellow Hollywood actor Robert Taylor. Like Reagan, Taylor appeared in some of the shows, including "The Day All Marriages Were Cancelled" (1966), also based on the career of Charles Poston.

This page was last edited on 18 June 2018, at 20:38 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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