Published on 11-17-2010 04:25 AM
Henry Fonda had one of the most illustrious careers in motion pictures and on Broadway but television was a more elusive target. In 1959 he embarked on a TV series called 'The Deputy', one of 25 or so westerns crowding the primetime schedule in 1959. Surprisingly, Fonda's series failed to crack the top 25 and never reached the ratings heights that 'Gunsmoke' or 'Maverick' attained.
The show was important not only for Fonda's involvement but it was the first TV series that Norman Lear co-created; he went on to produce 'All in the Family', 'The Jeffersons', 'Good Times' and so many other seminal sitcoms of the 1970s.
Timeless Media has just released the entire run of 'The Deputy' on DVD for the first time and, somewhat coincidentally, there's a new book out about Fonda's mostly forgotten horse opera. I spoke with Glenn Mosley, the author of 'Henry Fonda and The Deputy' from BearManor Media, a book that chronicles the Oscar winning actor's first foray into series' television.