The Death Valley Days TV show was a 30 minute anthology western action series that aired in sydication on CBS stations for a whopping 23 years from 1952-1975! It was about the pioneers, gunfighters, shopkeepers, and legendary figures who lived in and around Death Valley, California in the 1800s.
Stanley Andrews .... Host (1952-1965)
Ronald Reagan .... Host (1965-1966)
Robert Taylor .... Host (1966-1968)
Dale Robertson .... Host (1968-1972)
John Payne .... Host (1972-1975)
Merle Haggard .... Host (1975)
Death Valley Days Trivia
There was also a Death Valley Days radio show that was broadcast from 1930 to 1945.
The sponsor remained the same throughout the radio and television broadcasts of Death Valley Days. "20 Mule Team Borax was and still is a cleaning agent used as a laundry booster and general housecleaning detergent. It is made from a material mined in Death Valley.
Ronald Reagan's appearances as host of Death Valley Days was his last show business gig before beginning his second career in politics. He did pretty well at that, becoming the Governor of California the very next year! After a couple of failed attempts, he eventually became the 40th President of the United States in 1981.
Ronald Reagan did not simply host Death Valley Days. He also appeared in several episodes as did Robert Taylor who took over as host when Reagan left in 1966.
Death Valley Days got an Emmy nomination in 1955 for "Best Western or Adventure Series" but lost out to "Stories of the Century". Fellow nominees were "Annie Oakley", "The Roy Rogers Show", and "Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok".
You may have seen episodes of Death Valley Days and not even realized it! In 1958 episodes were rerun under the title, "Trails West" and hosted by Ray Milland. In 1963 episodes were rerun as "Western Star Theater" hosted by Rory Calhoun and in 1964 more were rerun as "The Pioneers" hosted by Will Rogers Jr.
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