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The Adventures of Champion
(1955-1956)

TV Series

AKA: Champion the Wonder Horse

Country: USA

Genre: Adventure, Western

IMDb

Synopsis

Champion, a wild stallion, befriends 12-year-old Ricky North (Barry Curtis), a boy who lives with his Uncle Sandy on their ranch in the American Southwest in the 1880's; and together with Ricky's German shepherd dog, Rebel, boy and stallion have various adventures.

Notes

  • Comprising a single season of 26 half-hour episodes
  • In real life, 'Champion' was owned by Gene Autry, who over many years owned a succession of celebrity horses bearing the same name. The one who played Champion was known as Television Champion - or 'TV Champ' for short. Unlike the horse that he played, TV Champ was a gelding (i.e. he had been castrated).
  • Rebel was played by a dog called 'J.R.' who was owned by Frank Barnes, and who also appeared in The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (1954-1959). However, the title sequence for "The Adventures of Champion" credits J.R. as 'Blaze'.
  • Concerning Curtis' experience of acting in this series, his co-star Jim Bannon wrote "Barry was a nice enough little guy, but his mother may be a shade hard to take. She gets panicky every time Barry is even near the horse, which was embarrassing as hell for the kid. He was more than willing and eager to learn what he needs to know." ("The Son That Rose in the West", Jim Bannon, Devil's Hole Printery, 1975)
  • Although Frankie Laine later made a recording of the series' theme tune, "Champion the Wonder Horse", it was Mike Stewart who sang the theme for the credits of the actual series, due to Frankie Laine's unavailablility for the recording session.
  • In the UK, this series was broadcast as "Champion the Wonder Horse". The series was still being repeated in the UK during school holidays as late as the early 1980s.
Picture for The Adventures of Champion

Cast

  • Barry Curtis
    (Ricky North)
  • Jim Bannon
    (Sandy North)
  • TV Champ
    (Champion)
  • J.R./Blaze
    (Rebel)

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Page Last Modified: 28th June 2018
Page Added: 27th June 2018

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