These three actors from The Rifleman were family in real life
Paul “Micah Torrance” Fix had his in-laws on the show multiple times.
Fans of The Rifleman know actor Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance. He was a reliable friend and ally to Lucas McCain in the fight to keep the peace in North Fork.
What fans might not know is that Fix acted alongside members of his extended family in three different Rifleman episodes.
Prolific western character actor Harry Carey Jr. appeared twice on the show— as two different Army Lieutenants with orders to bring in a deserter. Carey played Lt. Paul Rolfe in “The Deserter” and Lt. Vaughn in “The Journey Back.” But what does Harry Carey Jr. have to do with Paul Fix? Carey married Paul Fix’s daughter, Marilyn. They wed in 1944 and over 15 years later, father and son-in-law acted together in the same TV western.
But Harry wasn’t the only member of the Carey family to be in The Rifleman. His mother, Olive Carey, played rowdy Ma Wilson in the season one episode “Shivaree.” The episode stars Paul Carr (Lt. Kelso in the Star Trek episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”) and Luana Anders (Miss Clark from The Andy Griffith Show) as a young couple forced to marry by a raucous group of cowboys who want to throw a party.
Olive Carey’s career first started in silent films (where she met actor Harry Carey Sr.) and continued throughout the 1960s. Harry Carey Jr. had over 100 credits to his name, including nine John Wayne films. In one of those films, The Searchers (1956), Harry’s mom, Olive, played his mom onscreen as well.
The family connections between actors on The Rifleman is quite fitting for a show that, despite its action and drama, is ultimately about family.