Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Interview: Darby Hinton of ‘Daniel Boone’

posted by Nell Minow

Darby Hinton played Israel, the son of Daniel Boone on the classic 1960′s television series starring Fess Parker. From the moment he got on the phone to talk with me about the series and its new release on DVD he made me feel like we were old friends.

darby hinton.jpg

I’m so excited to talk to you! When I told my husband I’d be interviewing you, we both started singing that Daniel Boone theme song!

Did you remember all the words?

Well, maybe not all of them!

You know, when we all got together in honor of the DVD release, we couldn’t get it straight between us.

That makes me feel better! How did you originally get the part?

I got it on kind of a fluke. I thought I was going on an interview for “The Sound of Music. At that time the youngest one was supposed to be a boy so I was dressed in lederhosen. My mother was driving me to the audition and she was always late to everything. She dropped me off to find a parking spot and I went into the building and got into the first line of kids I saw. I went in and met with the producer and everybody and came out of the interview. My mom said, “You were supposed to be upstairs!” and I said, “But whatever that is, I just got it.” I started out as Nathan Boone for the pilot with an older brother, but by the time the show began it was just one son named Israel, and that was me.

I always wanted to be Veronica Cartwright.

It was fun to reconnect with her.

And with Fess Parker, too, I imagine.

I stayed close to Fess Parker. We had a great couple of hours, shooting a documentary on the real Daniel Boone, in the places he really was. It was so much fun to sit down and talk with him, talking about america’s first legend with a current legend. It was a magical moment. And Ed Ames’ voice is still so magical.

Did you have a favorite episode?

A lot of them! I always loved animals, so it was always fun to work with the animals for the show. My mom was an only child with strict German parents so she wanted us to have the pets she did not have. I had my own raccoon, foxes, and snakes, even a wild boar! There was the episode where Israel fell in love and had his first screen kiss. The first time we shot it they said Israel shouldn’t kiss that well so we had to reshoot. A little frontier boy wasn’t supposed to be that well-versed.

Did you know the other television child stars of that era?

I was one of four kids from TV that Art Linkletter brought to Washington, DC for a show called “A Kid’s Eye View of Washington.” We had tours of everything, the Smithsonian, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where I got to shred a million dollars worth of bills. We got to meet Nixon and see the Hope Diamond. Maureen McCormick from “The Brady Bunch” was one of the other kids, but I didn’t rate a mention in her new book!

What television shows did you like when you were a kid?

“To Catch a Thief” — there was nobody cooler, nobody more suave with the ladies than Al Mundy. I once crept onto the set and saw Robert Wagner tied up with his arms around the beautiful girl. He looked over at me and said, “Hey kid, do they treat you this good on your set?” It meant the world that he knew who I was. I also loved “The Wild Wild West.”



  • John Fuller

    One of my favorite shows of all time along with the Andy Griffith show. Daniel Boone shows us the importance of family and honor I wish there were more shows on today like them I never miss a rerun of either.
    love my TIVO

  • Your Name

    Daniel Boone was one of my favorites growing up, and is still one today. They don’t make shows like that anymore.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    You are so right! That’s why I am really glad this is now available on DVD. I hope a lot of families watch it together.

  • rick thomas

    Daniel Boone was and still is one my favorite shows. I have six years on DVD.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Rick! It was a classic and I loved speaking with Darby.

  • kenneth horne

    It was and still is a great family show,loved watching it as a kid, and still love watching it now,especially with all 6 seasons on dvd right at my fingertips!! I loved the entire cast,and Darby was fantastic in all of it!!! Loved the shows where Fess and Darby are together!!! It is really fun to be watching this show again!!!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    You are so right, Kenneth! I’m so glad it is available again for a new generation of fans.

  • earthur thatcher

    Daniel boone was the good feeling show for all families to watch and relate too in some way with our own lives. Fess Parker was wholesome, caring guy who could do everything. I loved it and all my generation should know the song so well…great memories

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks so much! I was very glad to get a chance to write about this classic show.

  • Charlotte Smith

    How about a today picture of Darby Hinton?????

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow
  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment danny beasley

    i still watch the daniel boone show everyday that is one of my most favorit shows when i was in school i wrote a book report on daniel boone there could not pick any better actors to play all the parts it is a really great show

    • Nell Minow

      I love hearing that, Danny! Many thanks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment S.

    I was raised my the 50′s grew up in the 60′s.
    I am watching Daniel Boone as I read up on you. Annie Oakley and Daniel were my heroine/hero. I even had a raccoon hat. BTW I am a womyn.
    I often wondered what became of you. Glad you have had a good life. Your mother sounds delightful..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Vm

    I liked Daniel Boone because he traveled.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jeff

    i enjoy the show, too bad it didnt last longer

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Jeff, I agree!

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