He additionally appeared on the primary season of ‘The Mickey Mouse Membership’ and had hit songs on the Billboard Scorching 100.
Johnny Crawford, the unique Mouseketeer who starred because the younger son of the Civil Struggle veteran portrayed by Chuck Connors on the 1958-63 ABC collection The Rifleman, died Thursday, it was announced. He was 75.
In 2019, it was revealed that Crawford had been identified with Alzheimer’s illness, and a GoFundMe campaign organized by Paul Petersen — the advocate for former youngster actors and onetime star of The Donna Reed Present — was set as much as assist the household cope with bills.
Crawford was 12 when he appeared for the primary time as Mark McCain, son of the widower Lucas McCain, on The Rifleman. The 4 Star Tv collection, set within the New Mexico Territory with storylines crafted by Sam Peckinpah, ran for 5 seasons, from September 30, 1958, to April 8, 1963, after which for many years in syndication and reruns.
In a 2018 interview, Crawford famous that the power of this system was its father-and-son dynamic.
“That, and the truth that there was at all times a lesson on the finish of each episode. Actually, it is such a healthful present — a wholesome present,” he mentioned. “And Chuck was so good. You recognize, I nonetheless miss him [he died in 1992]. He was distinctive — I will by no means meet anyone else like him once more. He tried to be affect for me, even off-camera. And he handled me like an grownup once we have been working. He made it a lot simpler than it may need been. He was a whole lot of enjoyable.”
In 1959, when Crawford was nominated for an Emmy for greatest supporting actor (persevering with character) in a dramatic collection, his older brother, Robert Crawford Jr., was nominated for greatest single efficiency by an actor (for Playhouse 90) and their father, Robert Crawford, was nominated for movie enhancing (for The Bob Cummings Present).
Born in Los Angeles on March 26, 1946, John Ernest Crawford did a tap-dancing routine, confirmed producers he may fence — his dad was a state champion — and imitated singer Johnnie Ray throughout his audition for ABC’s The Mickey Mouse Membership.
That received him a job as one of many 24 authentic Mouseketeers for the primary season (1955-56) of the present. Nonetheless, when the variety of youngsters was diminished by half for season two, his possibility was not picked up.
“I used to be a has-been at 9,” he said in 1982. “I instructed my agent that I might have labored at Disney for nothing. That is when she instructed me that I was working for them for nothing.
“[But] with the ability to go in and say that I had simply completed working for a yr as a Mouseketeer was to my profit, as a result of they weren’t many nine-year-olds who had expertise in movie. It gave me a sure confidence that I hadn’t had earlier than, and I began getting a number of small components.”
He had appeared in an uncredited position in The Man within the Grey Flannel Go well with (1956), starring Gregory Peck, then labored on such TV applications as The Lone Ranger, Climax!, Matinee Theatre and The Loretta Younger Present earlier than starring in Braveness of Black Magnificence (1957).
After The Rifleman was canceled, Crawford and Connors labored collectively once more on a 1965 episode of NBC’s Branded, and he appeared reverse John Wayne in El Dorado (1967) and on TV reveals together with Hawaii 5-O, Little Home on the Prairie and Homicide, She Wrote.
Beginning within the late Nineteen Fifties, Crawford had a recording contract with Del-Fi Information and managed hits together with “Cindy’s Birthday,” which reached No. 8 on the Billboard Scorching 100 in 1962, “Rumors,” “Your Nostril Is Gonna Develop” and “Proud.”
Within the Nineteen Nineties, he led the Johnny Crawford Orchestra.
Survivors embody his spouse, high-school sweetheart Charlotte Samco, whom he married in 1995, and his brother.