One Rifleman episode brought together three different werewolf actors

Cinematic vampire John Carradine also guest starred as the titular "Mind Reader."

Fox / Columbia / American International

Iconic actors from the early days of cinema show up all over classic TV. As they aged out of lead roles on the silver screen, television welcomed them with open arms. Lon Chaney Jr., forever remembered as the Wolf Man from various Universal horror films, guest-starred in small-screen Westerns like Wagon Train, Rawhide, and Have Gun – Will Travel. He also appeared on The Rifleman as Charlie Gordo, one of the meanest outlaws Lucas McCain ever faced.

It turns out, Lon Chaney Jr. wasn’t the only werewolf (werewolf actor, that is) to visit North Fork. Chuck Connors himself later starred in the short-lived but aptly titled 1987 series Werewolf. Michael Landon, before becoming a household name playing Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza, starred in the 1957 movie I Was a Teenage Werewolf before appearing in two episodes of The Rifleman.

But wait, there’s more! The star of the 1956 horror film The Werewolf, Steven Ritch, also acted in one Rifleman episode. And it just so happened to be one featuring Michael Landon — meaning three different werewolf actors, including Chuck Connors, all appeared together in one Western installment.

That fateful episode is called "The Mind Reader" and also happens to be a clever whodunnit. John Carradine, another horror icon who played Dracula in the 1940s, plays James Barrow McBride — a man claiming to have magical insight into people’s thoughts. Mark is enthralled but Lucas isn't sold. When a murder in town throws suspicion on multiple characters, McBride says he can help.

Is it the young man who was seeing the victim’s daughter? Perhaps the knife salesman new to North Fork? Lucas pursues the truth and finds out if "the world’s greatest mentalist" is for real.

John Carradine, a noted scene-stealer in everything from The Twilight Zone to The Beverly Hillbillies, gives a great performance as does Michael Landon — just a few months before the premiere of Bonanza.

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MichaelPowers 42 months ago
I believe that the terrific actor John Carradine was a werewolf in the feature film "The Howling."
Barry22 42 months ago
Awoooooooooo, Werewolves of North Fork, Awoooooooo!
Pacificsun 42 months ago
As someone who wrote for a recurring entertainment site, it can take hours, sometimes a couple of days to figure out a theme, do the research, organize a perspective, assemble the ideas, tie together interesting points, all in order to present a new focus on a long standing classic TV show. More appreciation is offered if doing so is in conjunction with a full time responsibilities or achieving other goals!

MeTV Staff writers: I think many of these stories are fresh, imaginative, creative and well done! Certainly they aren’t worthy of nitpicking. But it is nice to see when you're able to refresh the copy as needed.

We’ve had this discussion here before (too many times), the chase for perfection! The sarcasm over mistakes! I’m just grateful there’s a site to visit (particularly during these heavy times) that offers positive material, fun exchanges, and something new to be learned! Keep up the hard work!

Thank you!! 😉

justjeff Pacificsun 42 months ago
I don't think anyone here is really seeking perfection. It's just fun to find the errors and typos and call them out as [of course] you did with my single quote vs. double quote faux pas.

But let's face it. The MeTV staff is probably a bunch of youngsters who are not always as familiar with some things as we are, and are so busy gathering the facts for their story to meet their deadlines that they often forget to proofread it before posting.

As I've mentioned before, I spell very well... but I am a horrible typist on a keyboard with tight keys (and me with big hands). You wouldn't believe how many times I've proofed, deleted and reposted my comments because of "flying fingers".

Even this post has been proofed and re-proofed by me to correct clumsy misspellings or typos because of my typing inabilities...

I think it's safe to say all of us really do appreciate the "deep dive" stories on our favorite shows and/or the fun quizzes.... but show the MeTV staff m ercy when a glaring error does pop up? Never I say!

Futhermore I'll add "...and I am unanimous in that!" (a famous line by Mrs. Slocombe from the BritCom "Are You Being Served?")
MrsPhilHarris Pacificsun 42 months ago
Well said. 👍👏🏻

Thanks for saying where that quote came from. would have gone bananas trying to remember!
I love AYBS? My favorite episode: {and "I am unanimous in that!"} "Strong Stuff This Insurance." You sounding like you are also a fan, know the scene I'm about to talk about. When Captain Peacock, Mr. Lucas, Mr. Humphries and Mr. Grainger, {I think that was the character when that episode was done. The elder salesman seemed to change every season,} went to get their physicals. While standing naked behind the screen/partition, they were looking about, with their hands in front of them. Well, not so much Mr. Humphries. {We know how Mr. Humphries swung!} Trying not to look. Mr. Lucas, being Mr. Lucas, couldn't control himself any longer, he just had to peek. Once he saw Captain Peacock's and compared it with his...I loved the very expressive and very "proud as a Peacock" grin on his face...when he realized his is bigger that the Captain's! Are You Being Served? Indeed!
I recently picked up the entire series on DVD for a great price... Are you free, Mr. Humphries? Glass of water for Mr. Grainger!
If you're interested in testing out your brain on all things Grace Brothers, there's a few quizzes you can try tackling on Just type in "Are you Being Served" in the "search bar," and several quizzes will come up. {Along with other quizzes that contain some of the same words that the show's title has.} Just read the descriptions, and you'll be able to tell which are the quizzes based on the show. {They are labeled, Difficult Tough Very Tough.} Good Luck!!
I'll pass... I'd probably fail miserably, and would be ashamed to show my face at Grace Brothers... especially if Mrs. Slocomb was taking her pussy out for an airing....

(HEY METV: That reference is about a CAT, as that's what the character called it - as in pussycat... so NO editing or deleting, please!)
stephaniestavropoulos 42 months ago
I just figured out why now?: On Wed. this episode of the Rifleman will probably be aired.
I had no idea that before he we went into politics, Dick Cheney was an actor, and he took the stage name of Lon! Maybe being on The Rifleman is where he honed his shooting skills! All kidding aside: METV I can overlook the misspelling the Man Of A Thousand Faces' last name once, but more than that. I don't think so! By misspelling his name, METV is cheapening the name and gifts of this very talented thespian.
Leave it to MeTV to spell things rong... hrong... wrong... From Wikipedia:

Creighton Tull Chaney (February 10, 1906 – July 12, 1973), known by his stage name Lon Chaney Jr., was an American actor known for playing Larry Talbot in the film The Wolf Man (1941) and its various crossovers, Count Alucard (Dracula spelled backward) in Son of Dracula...
BrittReid justjeff 42 months ago
Also The Mummy and Frankenstein's monster.
justjeff BrittReid 42 months ago
Of course. I just gave a partial quote from Wikipedia to set the spelling of Lon Chaney's name right...
But then you go and make a mistake of your own. The Man of a Thousand Faces was Lon Chaney *Senior*! (Somewhere around here I've got a picture of Lon as the Phantom of the Opera and former vice-president Dick Cheney from roughly the same angle and showing roughly the same one-sided sneer, captioned "Chaney/Cheney; separated at birth?")

BTW, my first name rhymes with Lon, my last name rhymes with Chaney, and I was named after my father so therefore I'm a "Junior". While I've never been seen drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's, I've been told my hair *is* perfect.
stephaniestavropoulos 42 months ago
Why did METV run this story now? Why didn't they do it when it was more relevant? Also, if they had, they could've downloaded it on a certain holiday which just so happens to have been the birthday of one of the lupine portrayers.
ncadams27 42 months ago
Lucas: Werewolf!
Micah: There wolf.
PortelaJ ncadams27 42 months ago
Too funny...Blücher (horse winnies)
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