Mark's girlfriend in The Rifleman also stole Beaver's heart in Leave it to Beaver

Karen Sue Trent appeared in two iconic shows during her short Hollywood career.

The very last episode of The Rifleman opens with Mark riding alongside a friend, Lorrie, who only appears this one time. She challenges Mark to a race and the two gallop away together through the trees, jumping over logs and bushes as they go.

The role was fitting for child actor Karen Sue Trent. She got her start in TV Westerns like Death Valley Days and Wagon Train before playing a tomboy in the show she is most famous for, Leave it to Beaver.

She debuted on Beaver at 11 years old as an unnamed cowgirl who lets Larry and Beav ride her "awful tall horse," Whiskers. Her tough talk and can-do attitude impress the boys.

She evidently made a good impression on the show’s producers as well, because she came back the next season as Beaver's new class rival, Penny Woods. Jeri Weil, who played Beaver's first nemesis, Judy Hensler, appeared in a few episodes alongside Trent before leaving the show.

Penny and Judy were similar in that both were know-it-all tattletales, but Penny was more pretentious with her horse shows and high aspirations. The relationship between Penny and Beaver also had another dimension revealed near the end of her time on the show.

In the episode "Farewell to Penny," Beaver calls his antagonist a "zombie" and refuses to attend her party. But the fact that it's a going-away party changes things a bit. Beaver realizes he might actually miss Penny when she's gone. She calls him cute and he lets slip that he likes her! When Penny decides to stay with her grandmother through the end of the year, Beaver is mortified. They go back to insulting each other, but Beaver's smile hints at the true feelings behind the animosity.

Lorrie and Mark's relationship in The Rifleman finale also went beyond friendship. The two share a moment talking about marriage and how they might be a good fit. Because it's the end of the show, fans can only speculate what the future held for the young pair.

The episode, titled "Old Tony" after a grouchy hermit whom Mark and Lorrie get to know, takes a dramatic turn in the end. While out looking for arrowheads, near a lake familiar to fans of The Andy Griffith Show, Lorrie gets caught in quicksand. The perilous scene reportedly injured Karen Sue Trent so badly that she never acted again.

Though her time in showbiz was short, Trent appeared in two iconic shows. She also stole the hearts of two of TV's most famous kids!

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TheSentinel 27 months ago
Karen Sue Trent passed away on February 20, 2022 in Wimauma, Florida at age 73. After she retired from acting, she dropped out of the public eye, got married and had two sons and became active in church life in her later years.
louannmaryanncplboylefan 30 months ago
Maybe Larry Mondello and his mother
Mrs Mondello moved with Larry's
Father to Cinncinati Ohio .
Who knows where Judy Hensler
Went to when Penny WOODS
Arrived in Mayfield.
I also liked The TV show called
The New Leave It To Beaver on
TBS Superstation.
* Judy Hensler did a comeback on that New Leave It to Beaver as Judy Hensler Benton! ☺
PulsarStargrave 30 months ago
I really love consistent continuity in my fiction and it's impressive to me that they evolved "The Horse Girl" into "Penny Woods" who in turn mentioned entering horse shows! The producers seemed to strive for continuity, referencing earlier plots in later episodes! Any "errors" seemed to involve casting, such as the young lady who played "Julie Foster" I think also played another character!
Cheryl Holdridge played
Gloria Cusic first on Leave It To Beaver and Julie Foster later on
Leave It To Beaver.
Gloria Cusic told Wally (Tony Dow) that he.had a pug nose.
Actors do play different characters on the same TV show.Forrest Compton played
Captain Bronson and Colonel
Robert Foulk played Both Roy
Trendell and Mr. Wheeler on
Green Acres.Chrerio Meredith
Played Emma Brand and Emma watson on The Andy Griffith Show. Skip Young played Both
Wally Dipole and Wally Plumstead on Ozzie And Harriet.
Bunny had 3 different last names on GOMER PYLE USMC
-Harper Olsen and Wilson.
LoveMETV22 30 months ago
It's unfortunate Karen Sue Trent made the decision to leave the acting profession after her injury. She had potential.
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
PENNY WOODS was a Popular
Name For TV Characters:
Leave It To Beaver
Penny Woods: Karen Sue Trent
Good Times
Penny Woods: Janet Jackson
Yes. However if Penny was not adopted by Willona on the series , she would have been Penny Gordon which she did appear as Penny Gordon on 11 episodes.
Andybandit 30 months ago
To bad she wasn't on the Rifleman as Mark's girlfriend in earlier episodes.
shockertheaterforever 30 months ago
Judy HENSLER and Penny WOODS
Were interesting characters on
Leave It To Beaver.
It would have been Double Trouble
For Beaver if Penny WOODS (Karen
Sue Trent) and Judy HENSLER
!Jeri Weil) had been on LITB at
the same time .
Judy and Penny BOTH appeared
In the episode Beaver And Ivanhoe.
Karen Sue Trent was the perfect
choice to play Penny WOODS on
LITB and Jeri Weil was the perfect choice to play Judy HENSLER on Leave It To Beaver.
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Judy Hensler and Larry Mondello were "gone with the
wind " when their replacements
showed up Penny Woods and
Harry Henderson(Keith Taylor.
SoCal72 bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
I agree with you on Penny being the replacement for Judy, but, as for Larry, I would say it was either Gilbert or Richard. From the perspective of being Beaver's best friend, anyway.
Larry Mondello and Harry Henderson had One Thing In
Common - BOTH Larry Mondello and Harry Henderson were
Heavyset Characters on
Leave It To Beaver.
Pacificsun 30 months ago
Mosher and Connelly had a way of casting just the right actors/actresses to play children. They didn't actually play them (I suspect) they projected an aspect of their personality. My guess is both Penny and Judy had a little competitiveness tucked inside of them. No worries, that's how careers start and keep going. The knack of being noticed. Certainly Judy exhibited that trait, and Penny played to being snobby. But it was really enjoyable when they could find the right female children to play opposite Beaver. He so hated girls for such a long time. They needed to help him make that first transition into his young teen years!

LIB is always entertaining no matter how often I watch it!
William386 30 months ago
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