Hec Ramsey

Hec Ramsey is a television Western series that aired on NBC from 1972 to 1974, starring Richard Boone. The series was created by Jack Webb's production company, Mark VII Limited in association with Universal's television productions. The series was first broadcast in the United States by NBC as part of the NBC Mystery Movie, a wheel series format.

Hec Ramsey
Created byHarold Jack Bloom
StarringRichard Boone
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Jack Webb
Producer(s)Douglas Benton
Harold Jack Bloom
Running time90 min.
120 min.
Production company(s)Mark VII Limited
Universal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 8, 1972 (1972-10-08) 
April 7, 1974 (1974-04-07)


The series was one of the first television Westerns set in the early 20th century,[1] at a time when viewer interest in the old West was waning. Two contemporary series with a similar setting were Nichols, starring James Garner, and Bearcats! starring Rod Taylor and Dennis Cole; the latter was set in 1914.

Producer Jack Webb described Hec Ramsey as "Dragnet meets John Wayne", and critics picked up on that.[2] The scripts balanced authentic "modern" investigative methods of the 1900s with action and adventure.

Richard Boone portrayed Hector "Hec" Ramsey, a former gunfighter turned lawman, with a keen interest in the emerging field of forensics. Hec replaced his "gunfighter" rig with a cut-down Colt revolver - "Faster draw, good at short range. Use a rifle for long" that echoed modern detectives' guns - but his most important tools included fingerprinting equipment, magnifying lenses, which enabled him to determine the perpetrators of crimes with greater accuracy.

The series follows Ramsey after he accepts the position of deputy police chief in the fictional town of New Prospect, Oklahoma.

In the series' pilot, "The Century Turns", set in 1901, Hec meets New Prospect's chief of police, Oliver B. Stamp (Rick Lenz), a young, inexperienced lawman who needs help, and after some initial friction, the two men develop a working relationship. They are frequently accompanied by a colorful local doctor, Amos Coogan (played by frequent Webb performer, Harry Morgan, who was also a regular on The Richard Boone Show).

Despite good ratings, the series was canceled after two seasons, following disagreements between Boone and Universal. Douglas Benton and creator Harold Jack Bloom were the producers; Jack Webb was executive producer.

Amongst the guest stars in the series' 10 episodes, were: Claude Akins, Rory Calhoun, Jackie Cooper (in "Dead Heat"), Angie Dickinson, Steve Forrest, Kim Hunter, Rita Moreno, Sheree North, Ruth Roman, Kurt Russell (in "Scar Tissue"), Stuart Whitman (in "A Hard Road to Vengeance"), and Marie Windsor (in "Mystery of the Green Feather").


Season 1 (1972–73)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Century Turns"Daniel PetrieHarold Jack BloomOctober 8, 1972 (1972-10-08)
Deputy sheriff Hec Ramsey uses the latest crime-solving techniques to solve the murder of a homesteading couple.
2"Hangman's Wages"George MarshallShimon WincelbergOctober 29, 1972 (1972-10-29)
Hec searches for a convicted outlaw's admirer who is threatening to kill a person a day unless the outlaw is set free.
3"The Mystery of the Green Feather"Herschel DaughertyJohn MestonDecember 17, 1972 (1972-12-17)
Indians are implicated in the murder of a family of settlers, but Hec is not one to jump to conclusions.
4"The Mystery of the Yellow Rose"Douglas BentonStory: William R. Cox,
Douglas Benton
Teleplay: John Meston
January 28, 1973 (1973-01-28)
Hec tracks a check forger to Santa Rita, New Mexico, where he encounters an old flame who is being framed for murder.
5"The Mystery of Chalk Hill"Harry MorganHarold SwantonFebruary 18, 1973 (1973-02-18)
Hec relocates to Enid, Oklahoma, where he gets involved in a double-homicide case.

Season 2 (1973–74)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
6"A Hard Road to Vengeance"Alex MarchStory: S. Bar-David
Teleplay: S. Bar-David & Harold Jack Bloom
November 25, 1973 (1973-11-25)
The citizens of New Prospect are about to honor a dead outlaw with a monument when the lawman who shot him shows up.
7"The Detroit Connection"Nicholas ColasantoJoseph CalvelliDecember 30, 1973 (1973-12-30)
When a crime syndicate from Detroit murders one of the oil drillers they have tricked into accepting loans, Hec sets out to take them down.
8"Dead Heat"Richard QuineBrad RadnitzFebruary 3, 1974 (1974-02-03)
A young man dies of heart failure and Hec suspects foul play.
9"Scar Tissue"Andrew V. McLaglenMann RubinMarch 10, 1974 (1974-03-10)
Hec helps a hot-headed young man search for his father and uncovers dark secrets along the way.
10"Only Birds and Fools"Harry MorganRichard FielderApril 7, 1974 (1974-04-07)
Hec investigates a murder committed at an exhibition celebrating the first flight.


  1. Rowan, Terry (2013). "The American Western - A Complete Film Guide". Google Books. Books.Google.com. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. Bawden, James (9 December 2011). "Harry Morgan: TV's Best Ever Character Star". James Bawden Blog. James Bawden. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
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