Annie Oakley

I must admit that my memories of the "Annie Oakley" show are a little sketchy but what could be neater for a young girl (me!) to see a show about a young woman who was such a good shot that she gave all the badmen a run for their money! Now that was different!

What I do remember most was that Annie's horse "Target", and 2 other horses in the show, were considered the show's co-stars!

All About the Show

The "Annie Oakley" tv series ran for 3 years, from 1953 to 1956. Gail Davis played the part of Annie Oakley. She was a cute little gal, only about 5-foot-2 and 95 pounds who usually wore her hair in pigtails. You can imagine that this was probably the most unusual Western tv show of the '50's, especially considering that this young girl could shoot better than anybody around!

The show took place in a town called Diablo, where Annie lived with her kid brother Tagg, played by Jimmy Hawkins. The rest of the immediate family was unaccounted for; Annie seemed to take real good care of Tagg on her own. By the way, Tagg's horse's name was "Pixie" (another co-star).

The town sheriff, Luke MacTavish, was Annie's uncle. He was seldom seen but that didn't seem to be a problem. The tall and handsome deputy Lofty Craig was played by Brad Johnson. By the way, he silently carried a torch for Annie (surprise!). Lofty always managed to corral any bad guys, with the help of Annie and her sharpshooting skills; they made a real good team! And Lofty's horse was "Forest" (another co-star).

"Annie Oakley" show reruns were on tv from 1959 to 1960 and again from 1964 to 1965.

What famous cowboy discovered Gail Davis?

More about the Actors

GAIL DAVIS was born Oct. 5, 1925 in Arkansas, the daughter of a small town physician. Her real name was Betty Jeane Grayson.

She did a lot of singing and dancing in her childhood and, after high school, attended the Harcum Junior College for Girls in Bryn Mawr, PA. She completed her education at and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, where she met her husband Bob Davis. They had 1 daughter, Terrie Davis.

They moved to Hollywood, CA to pursue careers in the movie industry, and Betty Jeane signed a contract with MGM in 1946. It was then that she took the name "Gail Davis". She played many supporting roles in films, mostly Westerns, and was discovered by Gene Autry who created and produced the "Annie Oakley" TV show casting her as the star.

Gail was a very good rider and trick shot and continued to perform in Gene Autry's traveling rodeo. She has been quoted as saying "As far as I'm concerned, I'll be Annie Oakley for the rest of my born days." She died of cancer in 1997, in Los Angeles, at the age of 71, and is interred there in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

Gail has a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame, and was inducted posthumously into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, TX.

What is your favorite memory of Annie Oakley?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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When she shot something! 
Every time Annie fired her gun, my cat bit me!

Her horse! 
Her horse Target was adorable, and looks a lot like my horse!

Almost met Annie Oakley in person Not rated yet
I live in southwestern Ohio, near Cincinnati, and both my dad and I had an interest in Ohio history. Dad learned that Annie Oakley's niece still lived …

She always had a moral code and conduct Not rated yet
She would say.... "Two wrongs do not make a right".

Annie and her 'boyfriend', the deputy Not rated yet
When the telephone came to their town, Annie was talking on it one day trying to get in touch with/talk to Lofty about a date they had made. Of course …

I still love Annie Oakley! Not rated yet
I watched every episode of Annie Oakley when I was growing up. She was then, and continues to be now, one of my heroines. I still have the Annie Oakley/Target …

Annie Oakley and Minnie Pearl Not rated yet
I'm trying to find out if Annie Oakley did a show in our auditorium. It was Gail Davis and Minnie Pearl touring our area. It would have been in the 50's …

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