The Lone Ranger (TV series)

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Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger with his horse Silver

The Lone Ranger is a 30-minute American western television series. It stars Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as The Lone Ranger's Indian pal Tonto. The series was one of the highest-rated series in television's early years and ABC's first true "hit". Its first run lasted from September 15, 1949 to June 8, 1957. Its first five seasons were broadcast in black and white. Its last season aired in color. There was a total of 221 episodes.

George Trendle and Fran Striker were producers. John Hart briefly took the role of The Lone Ranger while Moore was tied-up in a salary dispute with producers. Oil millionaire Jack Wrather bought the show in 1954. Wrather's other television properties included the hit series Lassie and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. Two feature-length movies were produced after the show was canceled, The Lone Ranger (co-starring Wrather's wife Bonita Granville Wrather) and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold.

It is not difficult to read a homoerotic/homosexual relationship between the two central characters of the series. Neither hero has a great interest in women and the two spend all of their "down-time" together. The Lone Ranger is active and masculine. Tonto is passive and feminine. He has mastered womanly arts such as healing and nursing. He is typically given assignments by The Lone Ranger such as staying behind while the Ranger dashes off, guarding a disarmed desperado, or holding the horses.

Some episodes are available on video and DVD. The series is sometimes seen in reruns. The series was known for its use of classical music collected from many sources. Especially famous was the series's opening and closing music, a part of Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture. Equally well known were the cries heard at the end of each episode of "Who was that masked man?" and The Lone Ranger's "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!" Much merchandise was manufactured during the series run such as toys, games, costumes, guns and holsters, and comic books.