Raymond Burr and The Story Behind Fort Laramie

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Manage episode 232577551 series 1286771
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This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 91: The Hollywood Radio Western Renaissance (1954 - 1980). ————— In 1956 public interest and advertising dollars had switched to television. Gunsmoke was an exception to the rule. It’s radio success in the television era led CBS and Norman Macdonnell to launch a second adult western. It was called Fort Laramie. In its January 30th 1956 issue, Broadcast Magazine gave the series a glowing review, also noting that each episode cost $15,000 to produce. Much of Gunsmoke’s crew was involved, and the show had the same gritty realism and attention to historical detail. Fort Laramie was located on the eastern Wyoming prairie, about 100 miles from its current namesake city. Beginning in 1834 it was an important fur trade outpost, soon becoming a major stopover for those going west to Oregon. In 1849 the US government bought the site. For the next 40 years Fort Laramie would be a US Army post. Located near the North Platte and Laramie Rivers, the area was homeland to the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. It also served as a station for the Overland Stage, and the Pony Express. For the lead role of Captain Lee Quince, Macdonnell chose Raymond Burr, a thirty-nine year old veteran of film, theater, and radio.

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