Johnny Crawford, co-star of The Rifleman and mainstay in western films and TV died last night at the age of seventy-five. He passed away in his home with his wife at his side.
Fans of The Rifleman remember Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain. He was the son of Chuck Connors’ character, Lucas McCain. Outside of that iconic role, Crawford had a long career both in front of and behind the camera.
Before his role on The Rifleman, Johnny Crawford appeared in classics like The Lone Ranger. Later in life, he would act alongside the legendary John Wayne in El Dorado. Crawford was nominated for his first primetime Emmy Award before he could drive, according to Variety. He was only thirteen years old when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series for his role in The Rifleman.
Crawford was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019. He later contracted COVID-19 as well as pneumonia. At this time, it is unclear if either of the latter conditions contributed to his death.
The team at The Johnny Crawford Legacy Site announced his death earlier today. Their announcement was brief but heartfelt. “It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that the Johnny Crawford Legacy team announce the passing of Johnny Crawford. He passed away peacefully this evening, April 29, 2021, with Charlotte, his wife, by his side.”
The site also says that more information on Crawford’s passing will be made available at a later date. For now, however, the team is sending prayers to his surviving family.