Gabby Hays, Sans Beard

Baby Boomers like me spent many hours before their black and white TVs watching Western during our youth, which prompted a previous blog title, “My Heroes Were Cowboys.”

One of the best cowboy stars’ favorite sidekicks was Gabby Hays, whose appearance and voice made us love him.

What I had never seen before just now was a photo of him without his beard.

I doubt most people would recognize him without his characteristic beard shown in the last photo below.


This was the first episode of the television show Dragnet, which originally aired December 14, 1951 when I was about to turn 8-years old. Via regular broadcast TV or via online streaming, I have probably seen every episode of Dragnet.

In it, Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb), Sergeant Ben Romero (Barton Yarborough), and Chief of Detectives Thad Brown (Raymond Burr), confront a bomber in City Hall who wants to free his brother from jail.

The print is damaged, and the audio (at least to me) seems slightly out of sync, but the episode is intact. The missing audio during the end credits was solely due to a copyright notice