See Johnny Crawford in his first acting role in 20 years
The Rifleman star got back in the saddle for an indie Western.
Image: One-Eyed Horse Productions
If you were a kid in the 1950s, you looked back 60 years and idolized the cowboys of the Wild West. Today, when we look back 60 years, the actors who played cowboys on 1950s TV have become just as mythologized in our eyes. Chuck Connors was just as cool and tough as any real-life peacekeeper of the 1880s.
Fortunately, we still have some of them with us. Johnny Crawford, who played young Mark McCain opposite Connors on The Rifleman, became a teen idol thanks to his time on the Western. The former Mousketeer recorded several hit pop singles, including "Cindy's Birthday," "Your Nose Is Gonna Grow" and "Rumors," which all soared into the Top 20 in 1961.
That is why Crawford's most recent film role was a tiny part in the 1999 sci-fi film The Thirteenth Floor. He was billed simply as "Singer."
But in 2019, Crawford climbed back in the saddle to film a Western. One-Eyed Horse Productions cast the 73-year-old as William S. Hart, a real-life cowboy star of silent films throughout the 1920s, in an independent film titled Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws.
The ensemble cast features other familiar faces from classic television and movies, including Lana Wood (Peyton Place), Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds), Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone) and Don Collier (The High Chaparral).
Unfortunately, it is not all good news with Crawford. Earlier this year, the legendary actor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. A gofundme page was created to help raise money for his care. He is in our thoughts.