Paradise


Left to Right: Brian Lando, Lee Horsley, Sigrid Thornton, Michael Patrick Carter, Matthew Newmark, Jenny Beck, and Dehl Berti 


Lee Horsley

 
Main Characters:

Ethan Allen Cord:  Lee Horsely
Amelia Lawson:  Sigrid Thornton
John Taylor:  Dehl Berti
Claire Carroll:  Jenny Beck
Joseph Carroll:  Matthew Newmark
Ben Carroll:  Brian Lando
George Carroll:  Michael Patrick Carter

Other Characters:

Derick Nielson:  Anthony Addabbo
'Tiny':  Joe Bob Briggs
Deputy Charlie:  James Crittenden
Scotty:  Mark Dryden
Mr. Axelrod:  Michael Ensign
Pierce Lawson:  Charles Frank
Mr. Lee: Benjamin Lum
Mr. Dodd:  F. William Parker

Paradise debuted on CBS on October 27, 1988 and finished 56 episodes later on May 10, 1991.   

Lee Horsley, previously of Matt Houston, was cast in the lead as gunfighter Ethan Allen Cord living in Paradise, an 1890ís mining town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Australian actress Sigrid Thornton played Amelia Lawson, the owner of the town bank and Cordís love interest. 

Dehl Berti portrayed John Taylor, an Indian Shaman and was Cordís friend and sometimes mentor to Cord and the members of his young family. Cordís late sister has died and sent her four children to live with him, unbeknown to him. 

The other roles were portrayed by:
Jenny Beck as Clare, the eldest child and only girl.  Matthew Newmark is Joseph, the oldest boy.  Brian Lando as Ben and Michael Patrick Carter is George the youngest.

Cord was originally a loner, hiring his gun out to whoever paid the highest, but with the responsibility of caring for his young niece and nephews now upon him, decides to raise cattle and farm instead.  Trouble still follows him, even though he is no longer interested in gun fighting for a living.  

Quite a number of Ďoldí western stars appeared on the show, William Smith, Robert Fuller (Jess Cooper, Laramie; Cooper Smith, Wagon Train), Jack Elam, Buck Taylor, Chuck Connors (The Rifleman), Gene Barry (Bat Masterson), Hugh OíBrien, Don Stroud, and Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright, Bonanza) to name a few.

The majority of filming took place on Disney Location Ranch in Placerita Canyon Newhall California , with additional scenes for episodes filmed at notable western locations such as Vasquez Rocks and other familiar locations.

The series began with Cord being shot and waking up to find his niece and nephews tending to him.  

The final episode of the series, now called Guns of Paradise, ended with Sheriff Cord sending his family out of town, while he prepared to meet his old arch enemy in one final gunfight to determine who was the fastest on the draw.  (Our money's on Sheriff Cord.)

(Text and photos by Sandy Sturdivant)

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