Bat Masterson Series Profile
Between 1958 and 1961, TV sets tuned to NBC on Wednesday nights would unviel
Bat Masterson, a debonair cowboy lawnan who carried a gold topped cane, wore a derby, and clothes that were more suited for an eastern city millionaire than a Sherriff dispatch in Tombstone, Arizona. Bat was also was a professional gambler, a scout, an Indian fighter and a lawman and was actually, in history William Bartley "Bat" Masterson.
Masterson, rhe new breed American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene Barry and the half-hour black and white shows ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961. It was produced by Ziv Television Productions, the company responsible for such hit series as Sea Hunt, Science Fiction Theatre and Highway Patrol.
The show took a tongue-in-cheek outlook, with Barry's Masterson dressed in expensive Eastern clothing and preferring to use his cane rather than a gun to get himself out of trouble (also the case with the real Masterson), hence the nickname "Bat." Masterson was also portrayed as a ladies' man who traveled the West looking for women and adventure. The black derby, fancy vest, black jacket, and elegant cane were his trademarks (and were widely marketed in miniature to child viewers as tie-in products during the run of the show).
Barry went on to star in Burke's Law, a detective series set in modern-day Los Angeles, as well as The Name of the Game, a series in which he alternated the lead with Tony Franciosa and Robert Stack, and appeared in most of his episodes with newcomer Susan Saint James.
Barry recreated the role of Bat Masterson in an episode of the television series Guns of Paradise (1990), alongside Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp, and again in 1991 in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, also with O'Brian as Earp, as well as Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick and Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie.