Sally Brophy played Jody's widowed mother, Annie O'Connell, who ran the boarding house in the fictitious town of Buckskin, Montana. Mike Road played the marshal, Tom Sellers. The program was unique in that it was a nonviolent Western seen from a child's perspective, with Tommy narrating each episode while sitting on his corral fence and playing his harmonica. The program focused on the interesting individuals who passed through Buckskin in the heyday of the Old West. The series was successful enough for a spin-off comic book with Nolan's character, and his autograph was sought at parades, conventions, and other public gatherings. Brophy and Nolan also appeared as a guest on The Ford Show.
After Buckskin (which continued in repeats on an irregular basis until 1965), Nolan appeared in other Western series, such as CBS's Rawhide and Gunsmoke, ABC's The Rifleman, and Wagon Train (NBC and ABC). He had a recurring role on CBS's Lassie as well. Even before Buckskin, Nolan had unsuccessfully sought the lead role in Circus Boy but lost to Micky Dolenz, later of The Monkees. He was unable to find another regular series, and he ended the first half of his acting career with a small part in The Moonshine War (1970). Nolan has penned articles for Playboy, the Los Angeles Times, and the Village Voice, among other publications.
Tom Nolan later had minor roles in Up the Creek (1984), School Spirit (1985), Pretty Woman (1990), The Thing Called Love (1993), and White Man's Burden (1995). His most recent role was as a valet in Batman Begins (2005).
Tom Nolan is sometimes confused with another actor also named Tom Nolan who appeared in Yanks (1979), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and Tequila Sunrise (1988).
After Buckskin, the then 12-year-old Nolan summed up his situation accordingly:
Nolan resides in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.