Lazarus Man, The

The Lazarus Man/UPN/1996-1997 (Amnesia)

The Lazarus Man (Robert Urich), a man buried in a shallow grave in San Sebastian, Texas who awoke dressed in a Confederate uniform with only a US Army revolver in his possession.


With no memory of who he was, the man took the name Lazarus after the biblical character who also rose from the dead.

While waiting for his memory to return, Lazarus interacted with a variety of people during his quest, including:

  • Investigating threats against the troops under the command of General George Armstrong Custer.
  • Facing down gunfighters who believed Lazarus had nine lives.
  • Revealing the truth of the murder of a newly rich prospector.
  • Partnering with a Civil War veteran turned bounty hunter.
  • Being accused of stealing a mining payroll from a stagecoach.
  • Protecting pacifist farmers from hostile cattlemen.
  • Fending off enemies from his past like an eccentric card shark with a grudge, and a Federal Agent who wanted Lazarus dead.

Little by little, bits and pieces of memory surfaced in Lazarus’ mind – memories relating to a man with a derby hat and Ford’s Theater where President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated.

“Something has happened to me which I do not understand. All I know for certain is I am alive. How I got here? Who I am? I do not know, but I must’ve seen or done something, something terrible to be buried alive, to be left for dead. I can remember nothing of my life, my friends or my enemies but the key to my identity lies somewhere out there. I will search until I find the man I was…and hope to be again.” — The Lazarus Man

Finally, in an effort to discover the full truth behind his predicament, Lazarus underwent hypnosis. The session jogged his memory and he recalled that he was Captain James Cathcart, an Army intelligence officer who had been ordered away from his post as bodyguard to the President by Union Major Gafney (Wayne Grace), a traitor and the man responsible for leaving Cathcart for dead when he attempted to stop the assassination plot.

The derby wearing Major later abducted Cathcart’s wife, Claire (Isabelle Townsend) and used her for bait to lure Cathcart to his doom. But Cathcart managed to kill the Major, but in doing so, he lost his wife to a stray bullet shot by one of the Major’s men and his son and daughter to other members of the conspiracy. The last we saw of Cathcart, he was searching for his kidnapped children.

Note: The term “Lazarus” refers to the biblical character Lazarus (John 11:1-44 ) who allegedly had died and was then miraculously raised from the dead by a prophet named Jesus. Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.

The series LAZARUS MAN ran 26 episodes. There was no second season due to Urich’s bout with synovial cancer which took his life a few years later. Robert Urich died 04/16/2002.  See also “The Man Called Shenandoah”

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