Ralph Lamb
Key information
Status Alive
Profession Rancher
Relatives Jack Lamb - brother
Dixon Lamb - son
Relationships Katherine O'Connell - friend
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by Dennis Quaid
Season 1
First episode "Pilot"
Last episode "All That Glitters"
Appearances 3 episodes (see below)
Ralph Lamb is a rancher turned Sheriff of Las Vegas, Nevada.



Ralph is a fourth-generation rancher with property just outside Las Vegas, a gambling and entertainment mecca emerging from the tumbleweeds. Ralph Lamb wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life. Assisting Ralph are his diplomatic, even-keeled brother, Jack, and his charming but impulsive son, Dixon. Ambitious Assistant District Attorney Katherine O'Connell grew up on the ranch next to the Lambs.

Ralph was in the army during World War II. Ralph solved a series of murders committed by the medic of their unit when they were stationed near Naples. Current Las Vegas Mayor Ted Bennet was his unit commander when he solved the crime. Ralph was then recruited to a special investigative unit of the military police.

Season 1Edit


Ralph is frustrated by planes from the McCarran Field Airport disrupting his herd. He rides off to confront the manager, George Blanchford, leaving his brother Jack Lamb and son Dixon Lamb to round up the 176 head of cattle for auction. Blanchford is unapologetic about reneging on his promise to have the planes approach from the East, over the burgeoning Las Vegas strip. He tells Ralph that the town is on the rise and he is happy to take the money from the casino owners. Lamb refuses to back down and Blanchford has his mechanics attack him. Lamb easily fights off all three men at once but his victory is short-lived; he is arrested for his part in the brawl.

A body is found at the Nevada Test Site. The decedent, Samantha Meade, is the niece of the state governor and the current Sheriff Clyde Herrigan is nowhere to be found. Mayor Ted Bennet calls on Ralph, remembering their military service. Lamb is located in a patrol car on his way to jail and driven out to the test site, still handcuffed. Bennet orders his release and asks him to investigate the murder. Lamb sets out his terms; Bennet must intervene on his behalf with the airport. Bennet accepts and Lamb gets to work, his first priority is to move the body to protect it from coyotes.

Ralph prepares for his first day on the job by recruiting his brother Jack. Jack wonders who will take care of the ranch and Ralph reassures him that their hand Francisco can handle it. Jack also worries about leaving Dixon unsupervised and Ralph agrees they should bring him along. Ralph also asks Jack to recruit a Native American tracker named Don Simmons, who has just been released from Warm Springs for transporting stolen cigarettes. Jack takes Ralph to fetch his son, who is fleeing half dressed from a suburban home. He has been sleeping with a married woman and her husband has found out. Dixon jumps into the back of the moving truck and narrowly escapes being shot by the man he cuckolded.

Ralph and Jack meet with Alice Meade at the Mayor's office. She tells them that she was estranged from her daughter, who ran off with a ranch hand named Cale Green. The Lamb brothers meet Don at the crime scene. Ralph discovers a hidden grave and discerns that the murderer was interrupted while trying to dispose of the body. They also find day old motorbike tracks at the scene. Dixon reports that Cale works at a rodeo and they next go to question him. He has no alibi but is not thought to be a likely suspect. He tells them that Samantha often worked late in her role as an accounts clerk at the Savoy Casino and suspected that she was cheating on him. Catherine catches up with them at the rodeo for a report on their progress before they head to the Savoy.

The brothers meet new Savoy Hotel manager Vincent Savino. He feigns readiness to comply with the investigation and invites them to a fundraiser for Mayor Bennet. He introduces them to the Credit Department Manager Bob Perrin. Perrin tells them that Meade was last seen by her colleague Jodie Kent, after he had left for the evening. Dixon reports that security footage picked up Samantha in an elevator at 19:00 but that she was not seen leaving the building. Ralph is intrigued and goes to check out the maintenance area. As Jack and Dixon leave the casino they spot a rowdy motorcycle club stealing a slot machine from the Tumbleweed Club. Dixon connects them to the tracks they found at the scene. Jack stumbles across a couple having sex. He continues his search and finds a spot of blood. He is then assaulted and knocked out.

Ralph talks over the case with the mayor and Katherine at his ranch as he recovers. They tell him that Savino claims that security mistook him for a peeping tom. He is doubtful believing the killer was threatened by his search and relays finding the blood. Katherine tells him that it had been cleaned up by the time they found him. Mayor Bennet is under pressure from the governor and is keen to pursue the bikers. Ralph suggests a roundup; he has his Deputies corner the bikers on the strip. The club president, Monty, makes a break for it but Ralph rides after him and manages to unseat him and bring him in.

Don calls Ralph back to the grave site with new evidence. The grave is damp and was therefore dug the night before Samantha was killed; before the bikers arrived in town. Ralph goes to the fundraiser to look for new leads. He uses the Mayor's speech as a diversion and sneaks into the credit department. He finds the files that Samantha was working on emptied but spots a reference to "Monaco" in her notebooks. He questions the desk clerk and learns that the hotel has a Monaco Suite and that a banker named Stuart Mills was staying there on the night Samantha disappeared and has since left the room in a hurry leaving his luggage behind. The following morning William Van Dyke arrives to represent the bikers and Ralph locks him in the holding cell with the gang.

Jack looks into Mills' background and finds that Samantha was investigating him as a high roller client before her murder. She had discerned that he misrepresented his income and that he was stealing from his bank. Ralph realizes that Mills is on the run and goes to see Arthur Speziali, a barber and pawn broker on the strip. Speziali has bought a watch from Mills and knows that he is staying at the Westward Ho! Motel.

Ralph finds Mills at the motel. Mills admits to stealing from the bank but says that he did not kill Samantha. He reveals that he had an off the books deal with Perrin; he was stealing from his bank to pay off his gambling debt while Perrin kept his credit line open so he could keep gambling. Ralph brings Perrin in to testify before a grand jury; Perrin watches the arrest from his car.

Ralph comes looking for Perrin at the Savoy. Savino is outraged at Ralph raiding the hotel armed and protests that Perrin is not there. Savino accuses Ralph of trespassing but he refuses to leave. He finds a photo of Perrin with a CESSNA airplane on his desk. He heads back to McCarran Field, where Perrin is attempting to flee in the plane. Perrin tries to flee but Ralph has his people cut off his escape and then shoots out the tires of his car as he doubles back. Katherine worries that the case against Perrin is weak; they have no evidence connecting him with the scene. Ralph offers Monty and his club a deal; reveal what they were doing at the scene in exchange for their release. Monty admits that they were there, and interrupted Perrin trying to dispose of the body. He is able to identify Perrin's car, solidifying the case against him. Savino is concerned that Perrin will turn against the organization and orders Red to have him killed in prison.

Ralph returns to the rodeo to see Cale. He reassures him that Samantha was not cheating on him and empathizes with his loss. He offers Cale a job if he should return to Las Vegas. Sheriff Clyde's body is discovered out in the desert. Bennet names Ralph as Clyde's successor.

Money PlaysEdit

Savino arranges for his man Nick "Beansy" Cota to get arrested in order to kill Perrin in jail but the assassination is foiled by Dixon. Instead Savino floods the main road by knocking the top off a fire hydrant. He has a bomb planted on the diversion route, blowing Perrin up as he is being transported to a federal facility.

Ralph investigates the home invasion murder of craps dealer Wes Sutcliffe. Ralph notices that the air conditioning has been left on in the garage and finds the decedent's girlfriend Gloria Reyes locked in the trunk of the car. Deputy Jack Lamb ties the killing to a series of unreported robberies where the victims were tied up and there undeclared earnings from tips were stolen from their home safes. He discerns that the perpetrators are working from a client list sold illegally by the security firm that installed the sades. They arrest the security manager and he admits to selling his client list multiple times but fingers a pair of brothers from St. Louis. They find that the safe at Wes' home was untouched by the perpetrator.

The Lamb's identify the thieves car and go to arrest them. The thieves fire at the sheriffs. Ralph chases one outside but loses track of him. He gets the drop on Ralph but Dixon intervenes, killing him. They bring in the surviving thief but the murder does not fit the pattern of the other crimes. Ralph uses physical evidence of a rancher's knot at the scene to develop a new suspect, Ted Ermin. He questions Carol and she admits dating Ted a year earlier. He interrogates Ermin and extracts a confession; he killed Wes out of jealousy over his relationship with Carol.

All That GlittersEdit

Ralph and Jack Lamb wait for Assistant District Attorney Katherine O'Connell at an upscale restaurant. Ralph is approached by a reporter, Clay Winthrop, who is writing a piece about his transition from rancher to lawman. Ralph brushes aside his request for an interview. Katherine arrives and tells them that Chicago organized crime boss Angelo LaFratta is visiting Las Vegas. She points out Angelo and his key lieutenant Johnny Rizzo as they arrive at the restaurant. They discuss the outfit's structure at the Sheriff's Office and she tells Ralph that Johnny is in the Las Vegas gambling commission's black book, prohibiting him from gambling in the city.

The US Army boxing team arrives in Las Vegas to fight at the convention center fresh from victory at the Rome Olympics. Gold Medalist Tommy Carrol is spotted on the street with a head injury before he collapses and dies.

Ralph investigates the death. Tommy's teammate Ray Humphreys comes to the scene and attacks fight promoter Scotty Garrity, accusing him of murder. Lamb finds Tommy's gold medal in Scotty's pocket and arrests him. Dixon Lab finds a bloody lead pipe in an alley which matches Tommy's injury. Garrity claims that Tommy sold him his gold medal for cash and suggests that he is a drug addict, having seen needles in his bag.

Ralph interviews Tommy's trainer and learns that he was having pain relief injections for a serious neck injury sustained during his Olympic bout. He searches Tommy's locker and finds a coat check stub. Dixon identifies the logo on the ticket as that of the Lost Oasis Nightclub. The Lambs find that Tommy left a bag full of cash. The checker describes Tommy as sweaty and pale when he dropped it off and says that he told her that a friend might pick it up. The bag also contains a sheet of paper with "LASTUS7" written on it. The Lambs stake out the club to wait for Tommy's friend to claim the bag. Ralph returns to the Convention Centre and finds Ray watching footage of Tommy's last fight. Ray tells him that Tommy came from an abusive home and spent his whole life fighting. Dixon is distracted talking to the staff at the nightclub and the bag is collected while he is not looking.

Ralph gets a call to tell him that Johnny is breaking the restriction on him and he goes to the Savoy to arrest him. Johnny is livid at the public arrest and warns Lamb that he will be released in an hour. His prediction is not far wrong and he is soon released on bail.

Yvonne Sanchez realizes that the code refers to a bus from Las Vegas to Tucson. The Lambs pick up a woman at the bus station, recognizing that she is carrying Tommy's bag. She gives a false name but Ralph recognizes her from the fight footage; she is Stephanie Davidson, the wife of another boxer on the team. She admits that Tommy was helping her to leave her abusive husband, Ronnie Davidson and that the cash was for her escape. Ronnie is arrested on suspicion of attacking Tommy. He admits to hitting Tommy with the lead pipe, believing that he was sleeping with Stephanie.

Katherine gets the coroner's report on Tommy's death, which states that he died from a heart attack. Ralph learns that the combination of the pain killers he was taking with many prescription medications could have caused his death. He determines that Ray was worried about Tommy's neck and gave him asthma medication to make him feel too ill to fight, triggering the heart attack. Ralph explains what happened to Ray, but does not file charges against him. Katherine charges Ronnie with assault with a deadly weapon.




Behind the scenesEdit

Ralph Lamb is a major character in the first season. He is played by starring cast member Dennis Quaid and debuts in the series pilot.


Season 1 appearances
"Pilot" "Money Plays" "All That Glitters" "(Il)legitimate" "Solid Citizens"
"The Real Thing" "Bad Seeds" "Exposure" "Episode 9" "Episode 10"
"Episode 11" "Episode 12" "Episode 13"