R.I.P. Johnny Crawford, Mark McCain on The Rifleman and original Mouseketeer

The former teen idol was 75.

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Johnny Crawford, best known for co-starring in The Rifleman along Chuck Connors, has passed away at the age of 75.

After becoming one of the original Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, Crawford landed the role as Mark McCain just three years later. He was nominated for an Emmy at 13 years old for his work as the son of single dad Lucas McCain, played by Chuck Conners. The two remained incredibly close after the series ended and Crawford even gave a eulogy at Connors' funeral in 1992.

Even at his young age, Crawford was a dedicated actor. In a 1982 interview with TV Collector, he named "The Vision" as his favorite in the long run of The Rifleman. 

"At the time I remember thinking that it was very imaginative and unusual," Crawford said. "Also, at that time, one of my favorite shows was The Twilight Zone, so that was where my tastes were."

He adored the episode despite the painful process of filming it. Mark McCain was not the only one suffering from a fever — the actor himself was running a high temperature.

"I was actually ill," Crawford recalled. "Normally, it took us three days to do an episode and we worked like crazy, but I think it was on the first day of the show, I had a fever and I was trying to keep it a secret.

By that precocious age, he was a veteran of showbiz, not just for his work with Walt Disney, but also thanks to his pop career. Crawford scored five Top 40 hits in the early 1960s, the biggest of which was "Cindy's Birthday." The string-drenched love song peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1962.

His work on The Rifleman allowed him the chance to thrice work with his brother, Bobby Crawford, who appeared in three episodes, "Eight Hours to Die," "The Gaucho" and "The Second Witness." Mark's first crush on the show was also a reunion of sorts with another former Mouseketeer.

Aside from his notable run as Mark McCain, he also appeared on Rawhide, Hawaii Five-O, and The Big Valley.

Two years ago, after a two-decade absence from the screen, Crawford returned to his Western roots for a role in an indie WesternBill Tilghman and the Outlaws.

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ItalGal68 1 month ago
RIP Johnny Crawford. I hope MeTV will do a "remembering Johnny Crawford" on one of the Rifleman showings this week! Or did I miss it? Sad to hear he suffered from dementia. Loved young Mark McCain.
dinska ItalGal68 1 month ago
I am very surprised that they haven't done this considering he recorded promos for them a few years back and because of how long The Rifleman has been on their schedule.
StrayCat 1 month ago
The obituary said he was suffering from dementia, had Pneumonia, and covid. Not a pleasant way to exit this mortal plane of existence.
kimayoung81 1 month ago
RIP Johnny. Prayers for you family and friends
DaBossLadi 1 month ago
Mr.Johnny Crawford Will Truly Be Missed And Loved By Many,And Always Will Be Remembered As Mark McCain The RIFLEMAN'S SON.May He Enjoy Eternal Life In Paradise 🙏🕊💔
retired2019 1 month ago
I might have missed it but I didn’t see a report on my local Chicago tv stations about Johnny’s death.
AnnKyes 1 month ago
So sorry to hear of his passing. "The Rifleman" was one of my favorite shows as a child and of course I had a crush on Mark ☺
RobertReynolds 1 month ago
Sorry to hear Johnny past I like watching him on the rifleman
Charlotte 1 month ago
Hard to believe watching those old shows & hearing of them passing away. Sad to hear :(
yperdomo 1 month ago
I am really sad after I heard the bad news on TV Friday morning . RIP Johnny and thank you for had giving us so much on the Western sitcom The Rifleman . I watch it every day and thank you so much for making it so enjoyable and memorable . You'll always be remembered and missed !!! May God bless your soul .



Mark091 1 month ago
Hope Summers who played Clara
Edwards on THE Andy Griffith Show
And she was also a regular on The
Rifleman and Frank Bank (Lumpy Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver)
Meredith MacRae (Billie Jo on Petticoat Junction) and Tommy Leonetti (Cpl Nick Cuccinelli)
And Skip Young (Wally Plumstead)
In Ozzie and Harriet ) will welcome Johnny Crawford to Heaven.
So many actors Actresses and singers have passed away over the years including the 3 Stooges
Johnny Crawford is in good company
In the afterlife (Heaven) and fans of
Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford
Will look forward to meeting them
When the fans of all of these actors
Arrive in Heaven. Anyway Chuck
Connors and Johnny Crawford are
Now reunited in Heaven
I'm sure that Johnny Crawford is
Very happy to be reunited with
His TV dad Chuck Connors in
Heaven . Persons on Earth mourn their Favorite actors and singers
When they pass Away but our loss
Of these performers is Heaven's
Gain . Remember someday we will
Reunited with these performers
When we arrive in Heaven.
Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors
And all of the other actors will live
Forever on film and video tape.
These performers will always be
With us on film and in our memories and in our hearts.
joerekab 1 month ago
He was also in El Dorado a scene with the Duke, John Wayne
bariayda 1 month ago
Rest In Peace Johnny; the Rifleman was much watched in my young years growing up. Thank you for making it enjoyable and memorable.
dujon55 1 month ago
RIP Johnny Crawford.Condolences to the family
lastmeal 1 month ago
Very sad. Another unforgettable TV icon no doubt. Condolences to his family and his friends. Rest your soul Mark McCain. You leave many good friends here.
JohnJPaoli 1 month ago
Sad to hear of this Rest In Peace Johnny Crawford aka (Mark Mc Cain)
Such a great career and the best Tv show that I ever watched The Rifle man.
I still watch it to this very day.
I wonder why tv can’t be like these shows and promote good in stead of the bad and evil junk on today.
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