Entertainment

Johnny Crawford, The Child Actor From 'The Rifleman,' Dies at Age 75

Screengrab via YouTube

Johnny Crawford, the child actor who played the son of Chuck Connors' character in classic Western series The Rifleman, died on Thursday (April 29) at age 75.

"It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that the Johnny Crawford Legacy team announce the passing of Johnny Crawford," read a post on the Johnny Crawford Legacy website. "He passed away peacefully this evening, April 29, 2021 with Charlotte, his wife, by his side."

Crawford's 1958-'63 run as Mark McCain on the ABC series The Rifleman made him an Emmy award nominee (Best Supporting Actor) by age 13.

In addition, Crawford was one of 24 original Mouseketeers on the first season of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Throughout his lengthy television career, Crawford appeared on The Lone Ranger, Hawaii Five-O, The Donna Reed Show, Rawhide, The Count of Monte Cristo, Cavalcade of America, Little House on the Prairie, Wagon Train, The Big Valley, William Tell and Murder, She Wrote.

​On the big screen, Crawford starred in The Naked Ape (1973) and got shot by John Wayne in El Dorado (1967).

Crawford's last credit came in the 2019 film The Marshal.

Born John Ernest Crawford on March 26, 1946 in Los Angeles, California, the future child star was surrounded by talent. Older brother Bobby (Robert L. Crawford Jr.) became one of the stars of the TV series Laramie, while their dad, Robert Sr., was an Emmy-nominated film editor.

Crawford also had a recording career for Del-Fi Records. He scored three Top 15 Billboard pop hits in 1962: "Cindy's Birthday," "Your Nose is Gonna Grow" and "Rumors."

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Since the '90s, Crawford had led the dance orchestra JCO (the Johnny Crawford Orchestra).

Crawford reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Charlotte Samco, in 1990, and they married in 1995.

The Hollywood native was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2019. Per Variety, he's since battled pneumonia and contracted COVID-19.

No word yet on Crawford's cause of death.

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Johnny Crawford, The Child Actor From 'The Rifleman,' Dies at Age 75