Ben Casey is an American medical drama series which ran on ABC from 1961 to 1966. The show was known for its opening titles, which consisted of a hand drawing the symbols "♂, ♀, *, †, ∞" on a chalkboard, as cast member Sam Jaffe intoned, "Man, woman, birth, death, infinity." Neurosurgeon Joseph Ransohoff was a medical consultant for the show and may have influenced the personality of the title character.
The series stars Vince Edwards as medical doctor Ben Casey, a young, intense but idealistic surgeon at County General Hospital. His mentor was Doctor David Zorba, played by Sam Jaffe. At the beginning of the 1965 season, Jaffe left the show and Franchot Tone replaced Zorba as new Chief of Surgery, Doctor Daniel Niles Freeland. The show began running multi-episode stories and Casey developed a romantic relationship with Jane Hancock (Stella Stevens), who had just emerged from a coma after thirteen years.
In its early run, Ben Casey dominated its time slot. In the 1962-1963 season, it swamped Loretta Young's return to weekly television in her family sitcom The New Loretta Young Show on CBS. In 1963, it moved to Wednesdays as the preceding program for ABC's drama about college life, Channing.