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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1954 - On Television - Lassie
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1954!
Lassie made her television debut in 1954. Based upon a 1938 article written by Eric Knight for the Saturday Evening Post, Lassie would follow her many owners through one adventure after another for more than 50 years. The American Kennel Club has credited the character with promoting the popularity of the collie breed.

While the original stories and a series of films were set in the British Isles, as dictated by the original stories, by the time she debuted on television she was on an American farm.

It's interesting to note that Lassie, the ideal of animal motherhood, has always been played by male collies, never by a female.

Lassie premiered on television in 1954
Main Characters:
  • Jeff Miller was played by Tommy Rettig
  • Ellen Miller was played by Jan Clayton
  • "Gramps" Miller was played by George Cleveland
  • Sylvester "Porky" Brockway was played by Donald Keeler
  • Matt Brockway was played by Paul Maxey
  • Timmy was played by Jon Provost
  • Doc Weaver was played by Arthur Space
  • Ruth Martin was played by Cloris Leachman and June Lockhart
  • Paul Martin was played by Jon Shepodd and Hugh Reilly
  • Uncle Petrie Martin was played by George Chandler
  • Boomer Bates was played by Todd Ferrell
  • Cully Wilson was played by Andy Clyde
  • Corey Stuart was played by Robert Bray
  • Scott Turner was played by Jed Allan
  • Bob Erikson was played by Jack De Mave
  • Garth Holden was played by Ron Hayes
  • Mike Holden was played by Joshua Albee
  • Dale Mitchell was played by Larry Wilcox
  • Keith Holden was played by Larry Pennell
  • Lucy Baker was played by Pamelyn Ferdin
  • Sue Lambert was played by Sherry Boucher

Show Concept:

  • The story of a boy and his dog, helping to shape our understanding of American boyhood during that period. The series' rural setting offered a nostalgic conception of national culture at a time when most Americans had left the farm for the city or suburbia. As the series moved forward, she moved from one owner to another, ultimately becoming the helper of a couple of park rangers in a national park. Lassie was consistently portrayed as highly responsible, caring, and nurturing. In so far as she created problems for her owners, they were problems caused by her eagerness to help others, a commitment to a community larger than the family, and more often, her role was to rescue those in peril and to set right wrongs that had been committed.

Hosts or Guests:

  • unknown

Writers or Producers:

  • Producers:
    • Jack Wrather
    • Bonita Granville Wrather
    • Sheldon Leonard
    • Robert Golden
    • William Beaudine, Jr.


  • unknown

Networks or stations:

  • CBS (1954-1971)
  • Syndication (1971-1974)

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered in September 1954
  • Final episode October 1974
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