An actress in the series finale of The Rifleman injured herself so badly doing a stunt that she gave up a promising acting career.
According to Television’s New Frontier, Karen Sue Trent, who played Lorrie, was supposed to be stuck in quicksand for a scene in the “Old Tony” episode. Turns out, things were more real than anyone on set realized. She actually got stuck in the muddy bog, and the crew had to find a way to get her out. Producers didn’t report the extent of her injuries, but the ordeal “prompted her to quit her acting career” as a result. IMDB said it “soured her” toward the business.
It was the only episode of The Rifleman in which she appeared.
Some fans may best remember Karen Sue Trent as Penny Woods, Beaver’s nemesis in the show Leave it to Beaver. She’d also appeared on Broadway, in at least one film, and in shows such as Wagon Train. Her’s was shaping up to be a long and fruitful career. But after her incident on the set of The Rifleman little is know about her life.
However, one fan did track her down many years later, but there wasn’t much of an update.
“I did get to talk to Karen,” the fan wrote on his blog about The Rifleman. “She was a very interesting person, I could relate to most of the things she had done. I loved listening to her stories.”
‘The Rifleman’ Star Played in the NBA and MLB
Chuck Connors looked good in a saddle because he was a naturally gifted athlete. Before his turn as Lucas McCain in The Rifleman, Chuck Connors was a two-sport professional athlete. In fact, he’s one of only 12 people to ever compete in both the NBA and MLB. The last to do it was Bobby Ainge, who played for the Celtics and Blue Jays in the late 1970s and mid-1980s.
His two-sport career was short-lived, but it’s still a wonder to pull off. The 6-foot-6-inch-tall, left-handed Connors played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, his career began in 1941 with the Dodgers farm system. However, it was cut short when he joined the Army to serve as a tank instructor.
After being sent back down to the minors, Connors tried his hand at basketball. His tall-and-lean frame helped him during that era of the NBA. He averaged four points a game during his 53-game career.
But he felt the call of Hollywood soon after and began taking on small bit parts until his break out role in The Rifleman.