Profiles in Courage (TV series)

Profiles in Courage

Tom Bosley as George W. Norris, 1965
Genre Historical anthology
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Daniel Petrie
José Quintero
Michael Ritchie (film director)
Alexander Singer
Theme music composer Nelson Riddle
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Robert Saudek
Producer(s) Gordon Oliver
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 44 mins.
Production company(s) Robert Saudek Associates
Original network NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release November 8, 1964 (1964-11-08) – May 9, 1965 (1965-05-09)

Profiles in Courage is an American historical anthology series that was telecast weekly on NBC from November 8, 1964 to May 9, 1965 (Sundays, 6:30-7:30pm, Eastern). The series was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage by President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated the year before.


The series lasted for 26 episodes, each of which would feature a figure from American History who took a stand during a critical moment in the nation's history that was considered unpopular at the time. Seven of the eight Senators from Kennedy's book were profiled, with the exception being Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. Among those who appeared in the anthology series include Edward Asner, Wendy Hiller, Leonard Nimoy, Whit Bissell, Michael Constantine, Walter Matthau, Carroll O'Connor, Tom Bosley, Brian Keith, Barbara Feldon, Dan O'Herlihy, Peter Lawford, Burgess Meredith, John Hoyt, Steve Ihnat, Joan Tompkins, Peggy McCay and Gloria Calomee.

Music for the opening and closing theme was orchestrated by Nelson Riddle, based on the Irish ballad, The Boys of Wexford, home of Kennedy's ancestors.


Season 1

Episode # Original Airdate Episode (main character) Played by
1 November 8, 1964 Oscar W. Underwood Sidney Blackmer
2 November 15, 1964 Mary S. McDowell Rosemary Harris
3 November 29, 1964 Thomas Hart Benton Brian Keith
4 December 6, 1964 Richard T. Ely Dan O'Herlihy
5 December 13, 1964 Sam Houston J. D. Cannon
6 December 20, 1964 John M. Slaton Walter Matthau
7 December 27, 1964 John Adams David McCallum
8 January 3, 1965 Robert A. Taft Lee Tracy
9 January 10, 1965 Anne Hutchinson Wendy Hiller
10 January 17, 1965 Alexander William Doniphan Peter Lawford
11 January 24, 1965 John Peter Altgeld Burgess Meredith
12 January 31, 1965 Frederick Douglass Robert Hooks
13 February 7, 1965 Daniel Webster Martin Gabel
14 February 14, 1965 Woodrow Wilson Whit Bissell
15 February 21, 1965 Prudence Crandall Janice Rule
16 February 28, 1965 Andrew Johnson Walter Matthau
17 March 7, 1965 Hamilton Fish Henry Jones
18 March 14, 1965 Charles Evans Hughes Kent Smith
19 March 21, 1965 Edmund G. Ross Bradford Dillman
20 March 28, 1965 George W. Norris Tom Bosley
21 April 4, 1965 Grover Cleveland Carroll O'Connor
22 April 11, 1965 John Quincy Adams Douglas Campbell
23 April 18, 1965 John Marshall Gary Merrill
24 April 25, 1965 Benjamin Barr Lindsey George Grizzard
25 May 2, 1965 George Mason Laurence Naismith
26 May 9, 1965 Thomas Corwin George Rose


The series won two awards; a Peabody Award for Robert Saudek and a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television.[1]


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