Actor Johnny Crawford from ABC series The Rifleman has passed away at 75 years old.
Last night the news of his passing was shared to the Johnny Crawford Legacy Twitter page, “It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that the Johnny Crawford Legacy announces the passing of Johnny Crawford. He passed away peacefully this evening, April 29, 2021 with Charlotte, his wife, by his side.”
The Rifleman aired from 1958 to 1963 where Crawford played Mark McCain in 168 episodes. The show centred around “the adventures of a Wild West rancher, wielding a customized rapid-fire Winchester rifle, and his son.” At just 13 years old, Crawford was nominated for best supporting actor in a dramatic series at the Primetime Emmys in 1959.
Crawford started his career as one of the first 24 Mouseketeers in Season 1 of The Mickey Mouse Club. He was also found on episodes of Mister Ed, Rawhide, Hawaii Five-O, and Murder, She Wrote. The actor then turned singer and went on to have a music career, scoring a recording contract with Del-Fi Records. In 1962 his song Cindy’s Birthday hit number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fans are taking to Twitter to pay their respects to Crawford and his family, some sharing memories and photos while saying their goodbyes. Celebrity Scott Baio posted kind words about the actor after his passing, “My dear friend #JohnnyCrawford just passed away. I pray for his wife Charlotte as she was by his side. Johnny was a real cowboy and will be greatly missed. He was an original Mickey Mouse Club member and played the son on The Rifleman.”
Sadly, Crawford had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019, followed by contracting Covid-19 and then pneumonia.
It is a sad day for western fans as they have lost a legacy. May Johnny Crawford go on in his music and performances. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.