Stagecoach West

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1960-1961 DAD’S JOB: Stagecoach Driver KIDS: David Kane (Richard Eyer) (13) WHERE’S MOM?: Unknown STAND-IN “MOM”: Possibly Luke Perry (Wayne Rogers) / Stagecoach Co-pilot Uh, this is kinda like Love Boat on a stagecoach, and without the comedy. Simon and Luke drove the stagecoach between California and Missouri, and Simon’s son travelled with them. Maybe someday they’ll make a …

My Little Margie

Jim 1950s - 1960s

AIRED: 1952-55 DAD: Vernon Albright (Charles Farrell) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Investment Banker KIDS:  Margie (Gale Storm), 18 WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – so is Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”:Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoff) The granddaddy of them all, My Little Margie set the stage for most TV Single Dad sitcom plots: the child decides Dad needs a new wife, and goes “shopping” for …

O.K. Crackerby!

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Richest man in the world KIDS: Cynthia (Brooke Adams), Hobart (teenagers), and O.K. Jr. (age unknown) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – unknown causes. STAND-IN “MOM”: St. John Quincy (Hal Buckley), the Crackerby kids’ tutor O.K., like Jed Clampett, was a recent billionaire. The difference was that O.K. was not okay about his roots, and was always trying to get …

Bachelor Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) / Single (!) DAD’S JOB: Lawyer KIDS: Kelly (Noreen Corcoran)(14) WHERE’S MOM?: Mom and Dad both dead. Bentley was Kelly’s parents’ attorney and executor – wound up with wardship! STAND-IN “MOM”: Peter Tong (Sammee Tong) Should have been called “Suddenly Dad;” this show was a retake on the My Little Margie scenario, except Uncle Bentley …

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Magazine Editor (or something like that) KIDS: Eddie (Brandon Cruz) (10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead recently – unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki) This show is based on the 1963 Glenn Ford movie of the same name. The epitome of TV Single Dads, Bill Bixby is, along with Brian Keith, among the first TV Single Dads brought …

Ichabod and Me

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Newspaper editor KIDS: Benjie (Jimmy Mathers) (6) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown. The “Ichabod” of the title is Robert Major’s boss at a small-town paper called the Phippsboro Bulletin. Robert moved from New York City to raise his young son in a small town. Strange how much this sounds like a modern-day sitcom version of …

Life with Luigi

Jim 1950s - 1960s

AIRED: 1952-53 DAD: Pasquale (Alan Reed) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Restaurant owner KIDS:  Rosa Pasquale (Jody Gilbert), 18 WHERE’S MOM?: Dead STAND-IN “MOM”:unknown A radio crossover (started on radio in 1948) – this show missed being the first TV Single Dad show by only a few months. Pasquale sponsored the title character's immigration in the hopes of having him marry …

Hank

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Student-in-disguise KIDS: Tina Dearborn (Katie Sweet) (5) WHERE’S MOM?: Parents are dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Franny (Kelly Jean Peters) / babysitter Okay, adult brothers can be TV Single Dads, too! (See “Kirk” on my ’90’s page.) Hank Dearborn’s parents died when he was 15, leaving him to support his little sister, Tina. Hank’s determination to go to college despite …

Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1955-57 DAD’S JOB: Legionnaire KIDS: Cuffy Sanders (Cullen Crabbe)(11) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – – so’s Dad – he’s an orphan. STAND-IN “MOM”: Sergeant Du Val (Gilles Queant) Somewhat like Rin-Tin-Tin, only subtract the dog and add the desert. I’m pretty sure this is a first: Buster Crabbe’s foster child was played by his real-life son Cullen. This show was …

Mayberry R.F.D.

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: City Councilman of Mayberry, NC. KIDS: Mike (Buddy Foster)(7) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Aunt Bee (again!) (Frances Bavier) What do you do when Andy Griffith wants off The Andy Griffith Show? Easy – you replace him (and Opie, too) with Ken Berry and son, keep Aunt Bee(!) and continue the franchise. The show lasted …