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  • Sky King came roaring into American living rooms every Saturday with action and adventure. The stories were well written for juvenile television fare. The cast usually consisted of minor character actors. Sky was played with gusto by Kirby Grant who was an ace pilot in real life. His niece, Penny, was portrayed by Gloria Winters who tended to overact but exuded a winning personality that everyone loved.

    This was my wife's favorite TV show when she was a child. We recently watched several episodes on DVD and were surprised at how well the shows have held up over the past fifty years. They are still entertaining, action-packed with good aerial photography for the time period. One with an ecological angle was "The Wild Man" featuring Jethro Beaudine's (Max Baer, Jr.) uncle, Buddy Baer, a mountain of a man, standing 6'5" tall. In this episode, he is falsely accused of trying to kill a driver for a logging company and stealing the payroll. It's up to Sky and Penny to prove his innocence. The loggers are out to shoot him because he has been trying to sabotage their work in order to save the homes of the woodland creatures. Penny, as usual, plays an active role in helping her Uncle Sky.
  • My mother told me about this show, and she told me she would watch it religiously every Saturday morning. She was starting to think she dreamed it up, because no one she talked to remembered it. So I did a search, and found some episodes on tape, and gave it to her birthday. She watched two of them that very day, and loved them!

    With Kirby Grant as the Sky King, and Gloria Winters Penny, and all the rest, from what I saw, it is a great show! Yes, it is simple, as most shows from the early fifties, but it taught right from wrong, and that's what is missing from most shows today. It might be interesting to see what a remake of this show would look like.
  • Thank you so much for finding "Sky King" I have asked many people from my generation, Do you remember the show Sky King? No one remembers but oh I do. Watching on Saturday mornings was the treat of the week for me. Penny and Uncle Sky were great and I can still see that plane in my minds eye flying in over the hill tops. How I loved that show. If only the kids of today had great shows like we did maybe we'd have less hate and violence in the world today. Whatever became of the shows stars? Did they go on to bigger and better things? I truly hope so. They deserved a lot for all the joy and happiness they brought to countless numbers of youngsters across the nation. Well those of us fortunate enough to have television. Thanks for all the great memories.
  • I fondly recall watching this show during my childhood. Although I haven't seen it since I was about 7 or 8 years old, my memories of it are filled with good, warm feelings, possibly because of the simpler times (seemingly) we enjoyed then. I'm sure that seen through the eyes of today this show would appear to be lacking in some respects, but so what? I had completely forgotten about this one until I had a song request recently to perform Jimmy Buffett's "Pencil Thin Moustache" (an old song of his and one of a very few which I DIDN'T learn to play 30 years ago). I was catapulted into my past as I read and learned Jimmy's lyrics:

    Oh, I remember bein' buck toothed and skinny Writin' fan letters to Sky's niece Penny Oh, I wish I had a pencil-thin mustache, then I could solve some mysteries too...

    The light bulb is back on now. God Bless Gloria Winters and Kirby Grant! Thanks for the memories and a really great show....
  • "Sky King" is one of the first television shows I remember watching, so it has great nostalgic value for me. I'd love to see it again, since it has been 50 years since I last watched the program!

    I do remember the character "Penny," probably more than I remember "Sky King," although the name Kirby Grant (Sky King) was always remembered and I couldn't have told you who played Penny until I read the title page here at IMDb. I do recall Gloria Winters (Penny) has a wholesome, cute blonde. I've read some reviews that say she is annoying in this program, but I can't recall that.

    A cowboy who flew airplanes - now that was a different angle for a storyline! This was an adventure program that was a favorite in our family, too, as my father always had interest in flying and eventually was able to buy a small plane - a Cessna, similar to the one Sky King flew!

    I'd sure love to see some episodes of this again, although I don't know how they would look today. I am encouraged that some of these are available on DVD. One thing for sure: you can't beat the good messages that television shows brought to us families in the '50s, unlike the garbage you see today.
  • I too grew up watching this show. Recently (April 0f 2006) I was in Central Florida and saw Sky King and Fury on a local channel. The plots are thinner than I remembered, much like the Rifleman. As I watch those shows now I realize how the writers took 3 minutes of plot and made a full 30 minute program from it. Even though it was simple and thin, it was so interesting to observe the memories it brought back.

    I think this show made me want to be a pilot as a child. I never pursued flying, but as I was watching the show recently, I realized that was the beginning of my dreaming of someday being a pilot.

    Thank God for the Internet and the ability to easily research anything from the comfort of your couch! It was good to see the bird flying again!
  • As with many of us "of a certain age" (i.e., aged) "Sky King" was a huge part of childhood. It ignited a lifelong interest in airplanes as well as reinforcing another aspect of personality. No one else has bothered to mention that Penny was gorgeous! I recall not one plot and do remember thinking that, like several others, the early 50s series were overshadowed by the mid- to late-fifties Westerns.
  • I can remember watching Sky King as a kid, too. Saturday morning seemed to be filled with shows of this type... Captain Gallant & Tales of Texas Rangers come to mind. I became curious about Sky King because my daughter, now a freshman in college, is pursuing her dream to become a commercial pilot. And of course I remember Penny being Sky's niece; and yes, she must have been pretty; but I remember little else. It seems to me that Penny had her own plane... is this right? And if so, did it have a name as well? It also seems to me that her character would have been considered "ahead of her time". I don't know if shows of this simplicity would "fly well" today.
  • Though it was a nice play on words the character Sky King did not get his moniker from his reliance on air travel, it was simply short for Schuyler. Nevertheless it's a great handle and suggestive of all kinds of romantic fantasies about air travel.

    The last name King was also an interesting choice. One of the largest, if not the largest cattle ranches ever was the King Ranch of Texas. If people thought Sky was one of those Kings, so much the better. And I don't think the King Ranch minded the free publicity.

    The title role in this modern western was played by Kirby Grant who also had played him on radio. He was the owner of a considerable spread, but the main thing with Grant was that he was up to date with the times. He had a private plane that he named the Songbird which he used to both oversee his ranch and help deal with bad guys who couldn't ride horses fast enough to get away from Sky King and the Songbird. As you can imagine, the law had need of Sky and his plane and Sky was only too willing to help out a sheriff in need.

    Sky lived on the ranch with niece Penny {Gloria Winters} and nephew Clipper {Ron Haggerty}. These two headstrong youths got themselves in jams and half the plots of the shows were Uncle Sky using the Songbird to get them out of a jackpot.

    Kirby Grant who broke into film as a singer and not a bad one found his niche on radio playing heroic Sky King. The show transitioned smoothly to television and was a big hit with the kids including this kid.

    Ironically enough Kirby Grant's death was a postscript to the Challenger disaster. Long retired and living in Florida he saw the Challenger blow up and then died in a car accident on the way home. Probably the horror of what he saw unnerved as it did everyone else who witnessed it live or on television. So a man whose fame was as a fictional air hero died after witnessing one of the great air disasters of the last century.

    Sky King was a nice family show and I'm surprised no one has thought to revive it.
  • it's... SKY KING! Neeeeeeooooooowww (plane diving behind announcer's voice) I saw this show when I was a kid - around 5 yrs. old. The shows were syndicated releases shown on my local station. It was around 1959 or 1960 and the series had debuted in 1951. I don't remember much about the shows, other than Sky King wore Western Wear, Penny had blonde hair and they flew around in a plane looking for lost people and stopping baddies from doing dastardly deeds.

    I liked the plane, a Cessna T-50 named Songbird, but I was a little more impressed with jets at the time.

    Sky was friendly and Penny was "Golly-gee-whiz." It was a good show as I remember it.
  • Sky King was also watched at my home when I was a kid. It was sponsored by NABICO and never missed by me; always watched it. I caught the flying fever, and my love for Cessnas, from watching this show on TV. Went to flying school after, high school, but didn't make it as a pilot for medical reasons. Still, I was able to pass the fever to my two son's and one of them is flying today. I was shocked when I heard about Kirby Grants' death, in an automobile accident, on his way to watch the Challenger lift-off from cape Kennedy.(This I heard as I watched the Challenger lift-off and explosion, on 1-28-86). As a child growing up in Brooklyn N.Y., he was my hero; and the Cessna...I'm still crazy about them...especially the twin engine. Something spooky you should know. I was designing the "Song bird" twin engine Cessna for the Microsoft Flight Simulator, back in Dec. 26, 2003, when I suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 52. I stay away from Flight Simulator now but I wish they would bring back Sky King. I'd be a kid again. Oh,yes, I was born Oct. 5, 1951.
  • This show accounted for so many hours of great entertainment during my childhood. The hero was Sky King, a rancher who preferred flying about in a great old twin engine Cessna along with his gorgeous blonde niece Penny. The plot was always simple and like so many of it's contemporary serials, the show always had a moral lesson, designed to keep it's young viewers on the straight and narrow. The aerial scenes were always thrilling and my young imagination kept me constantly in the co-pilot's seat, right beside Sky King. I, along with every other young boy in my neighborhood was in love with Penny. I believe they had a faithful German shepherd dog in the series as well and I believe the ranch was called the "Flying Wing" or "Flying Crown" or something like that. Sky was played by Kirby Grant, who later became the public relations director for Sea World in Florida. He died in the mid 1980s in a car accident. Gloria Winters who played Penny retired from show business after Sky King ended. I'm just waiting for "Deja Vu" or "TVLand" to bring the series back. I'll be watching when they do.
  • tootall112120 September 2006
    there were two main planes in Sky King, the first was the Cessna twin 50, the second, known as the Songbird was a Cessna B310, and is probably the better known plane. I loved this series, though i saw it in Saturday afternoon reruns. Why can't Tvland play it at night for all us old f*rts to enjoy again? I would watch it. By the way, in one episode, I don't know which one, Sky King did fly jets. According to the script, a Air Force General says, The real sky king can fly anything with wings. (seems there was an imposter and thats how he tripped him up, saying that he heard he didn't re-qualify on the jets) Best show of its type at the time. The airplane idea was a nice leap into the now from the old westerns.
  • WESTERNS AND AIRPLANES, what a great combination they make! As a matter of fact, we'll even go so far as to say that this is a near perfect combination of genres. What with all of the hero-worship for the likes of such disparate men such as Charles Lindbergh ("Lucky Lindy") and Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan that had grown to a mountainous zenith of adulation during world War II, the aviator had permanently impressed his image into the American psyche.

    WHEN THE AIRMEN arrived in our mythological mirror world, they found that it was already the home of some other historical stock characters. The Explorer, the Colonists, the Pioneer, the Soldier and the Seaman all had their permanent residences staked out here. They had one good neighbor, so typical yet peculiar to the American over-soul. He is the Westerner; being subdivided into categories such as: Cowboy, Gunman, Lawman, Drifter, Rancher, Gambler and Outlaw.

    SO WITH NO particular fanfare, SKY KING appeared and with him he brought a weekly crossover of story-types. A typical SKY KING Story involved some wrong being done to some one. The main character, Schuyler "Sky" King (Mr. Kirby Grant), with the assistance of niece Penny (Gloria Winters) and (sometimes) nephew Clipper (Ron Hagerthy). To be sure that the audience was reminded that this was an Aviation/Western story, there were plenty of references to "Uncle Sky's" Flying Crown Ranch and liberal use of Sky's plane, the Songbird.

    SUPPORTING CAST BOASTED of so many of those nameless faces who populated the "B" Westerns and Serials for so many tears. A typical cast roll call boasted of names like: Dennis Moore, I. Stanford Jolley, Monte Blue, Chubby Johnson, Stanley Andrews ("The Old Ranger' on DEATH VALLEY DAYS), Rusty Westcoatt, Frank Richards, Glenn Strange and Sam Flint. There were even some more accomplished "A" film supporting players like: James Flavin, Pierre Watkin, Steven Geray and Buddy Baer.

    THE STORIES THAT were offered were pretty much standard Cowboys & Outlaws fare, with Sky and Company's getting involved and pretty much saving the day for a variety of Sheriffs as portrayed by many other familiar faces from the Cactus Circuit.

    IN THE RYAN household on Damen Avenue, in the West Englewood Neighborhood of Chicago, St. Theodore Catholic Parish, SKY KING was a regular. In those days, Schultz would come over to our house to watch with us. His Sister always wanted to watch OZZIE & HARRIET instead!

    BUT, WHERE ARE you now Uncle Sky, now that we need you the most?
  • Sometime in the early sixties, when I was very young, I used to devour this show every Saturday morning. Cowboys and airplanes... that's what I called QUALITY!!!

    Then the inevitable. Maybe about midway between now and then I saw it again. Just one episode, but it was painfully evident that this was NOT a good show. Fortunately, I am under no obligation to remember that fact, and I will sit here for a while dreaming about cowboys and airplanes again.
  • trz19514 August 2018
    "Sky King" was MUST viewing when I was a kid in the 50s. Saturday mornings: "Mighty Mouse", Sky and reruns of Buster Crabbe "Flash Gordon" on WGN, I think, in Chicago. And I also remember something I liked: "Sealtest Circus" or something like that (have to do some research).

    After the television viewing on Saturday mornings, it was get the heck out of the house, go play baseball, baseball, baseball and other wholesome activities depending on the season. Thank God computers and smart phones weren't around. These poor kids today.
  • Later it was shown weekday afternoons. Penny King was my first heart(?)throb, but I got enjoyment from the bad guys being apprehended and or shot up. I never became a pilot despite my desire brought on by this show. I still use the name Nellybell (spelling is unsure) for exclamation.