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A BOOK REVIEW-A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story by Linda Alexander

Updated on September 13, 2012

Book Cover Photo

Memories of Classic Westerns

I am drawn to the classic westerns as much now as I was when they first aired. As a child watching them in black and white through the years until when we got the first burst of color to glamorize the cowboys and their adventures, the actors/actresses rose to fame because of a mass audience of people with interest such as me. This by no means makes me an expert, but the urge to follow these talented illusionist have left me wanting to know more about the people who brought me from the sandbox to the over aged kid I have become today. Age certainly has nothing to do with memories so cherished over the decades as our youth departs. From the television dramas of the 50s, 60s and 70s, viewing to this day of the reruns can be just as entertaining as they were back then. Only this time we are old enough to appreciate them much more.

Jack Kelly in Maverick


Most western tales were based around a certain theme. One particular story comes to mind of a pair of card shark brothers in the 1957 classic western called Maverick. Bart (Jack Kelly) and Bret Maverick (James Garner) traveled the west making their living from gambling at a poker table. For five seasons Maverick went from stories featuring one brother or the other with their clever schemes to escape troubles on their way. As Garner left after season three, Warner Bros. Television introduced a couple new characters to the show. It was Beau (Roger Moore), a cousin, and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) a younger brother to Bart and Bret, who appeared through season four. Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) carried the series alone for the last season in 1962. He was the only Maverick to be there for all five. Jack Kelly made us smile and laugh as we watch his clever schemes unfold. Jack Kelly did his character proud as he made his solo performances as rich as the rest. Bart Maverick will always be Jack Kelly’s title role for those who followed his career.

Forbidden Planet

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly's early childhood years were mostly un-credited performances, but it polished his skills leading to a successful career. You may recall seeing him perform roles in such films as 1953’s The Redhead from Wyoming as Sandy, 1954’s Black Tuesday as Frank Carson, 1955’s Double Jeopardy as Jeff Calder, 1956’s Forbidden Planet as Lt. Jerry Faman and this is only a small example of his credits. As his career expanded to more movies and numerous television shows, Jack Kelly made an impact on viewers for decades to come. A tall handsome display of looks and talent packaged to capture the hearts of millions of devoted fans.

On November 7, 1992, Jack Kelly sadly left this world after suffering a massive brain aneurism. He was sixty five years old. Family and friends were stunned with grief. The media would cause an uproar having him gone long before it was made official. As with every aspect of this talented man’s life coming from a family of entertainers, his good and his bad happenings in his life were exploited often without accurate facts collected.

A Descriptive Biography of Jack Kelly's Life

Twenty years have passed since we lost Jack Kelly. His real story is finally here. And in November 2011, BearManor Media took orders for the new release of A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story by Linda Alexander. With Christmas soon approaching, it was an excellent time to promote the book. Linda Alexander’s book is just what Jack Kelly fans have been waiting for. Jack Kelly’s wide spread ambitions make for one exciting reading experience.

Through extensive research, interviews and hard work, Linda Alexander publishes the first ever descriptive filled biography of Jack Kelly. Let the truth be known without the twist involved of an out spoken media to tarnish his name. Linda Alexander tells Jack Kelly’s story leaving no stone unturned to the information she can uncover. She meets with his family, friends, co-stars and her group of many research assistants to produce a book like no other ever read. Linda Alexander did a fine job bringing Jack Kelly’s memories back into the lives of his admirers. And I can tell you, I closed this book with a complete satisfaction as to the way one of my childhood idol’s Story was told.

Linda's Next Project

Linda Alexander did an excellent job bringing the memories of Jack Kelly to life . Her new project is the voice behind the classic television character Mr. Ed. Allen "Rocky" Lane, we can be sure will have every bit of attention shown to his life story as Jack Kelly did. It is certainly something to look forward to. Good luck, Linda.


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I did this review mainly for the author who I have become good friends with on Facebook. She wrote an excellent book and I was pleased she enjoyed my review. Thanks, dahoglund, I value your comments very much.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I n was in college when Maverick was on the air. I loved the show. I don't recall Jack Kelly in any other parts that I have seen.The shows during that time were more mature than the earlier westerns that were aimed more at kids,. In early TV they played a lot of old movie westerns such as the "Hopalong Cassidy" films.