Johnny Crawford, best known for his role as Mark McCain, the son of Chuck Connors’ Civil War vet character on the late ’50s, early ’60s TV show, “The Rifleman,” died on April 29, 2021. He was 75 years old at the time of his death, according to Variety. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019, and later struggled with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
The Johnny Crawford Legacy website posted a tribute in honor of the late actor: “It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that the Johnny Crawford Legacy team announce the passing of Johnny Crawford.”
Crawford was only 13 years old when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series at the 1959 Emmy Awards, per Variety. If that’s not impressive enough, he was also one of the original Mouseketeers on the inaugural season of ABC’s “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
Crawford burst into TV with appearances in “The Lone Ranger,” “Cavalcade of America” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” He also lent his talents in “Rawhide,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “The Big Valley.” The late actor dabbled in film and TV over the years and even starred as Prince Ignatius in the “William Tell” series. His last credit was the 2019 movie “The Marshal,” per IMDb.
Hollywood lost a legend, but Crawford’s legacy will live on for generations. Keep reading for everything we know at this point.
Johnny Crawford was loved by many
Crawford lived in a memory care facility before his bout with COVID-19 and was moved to a smaller care home to be closer to his wife Charlotte. Due to coronavirus restrictions, his family and friends visited him through a window and his wife was beside him when he died, per his website.
Actor Scott Baio is clearly heartbroken over the loss of his friend and shared a touching message on Twitter. He wrote, “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.”
Although Crawford was best known for “The Rifleman,” he starred in the 1999 film “The Thirteenth Floor” and 1997’s “Robert Patterson Wants to Be a Super Hero,” per IMDb. He also appeared on “Little House on the Prairie.”
In addition to acting, Crawford dabbled in music and had a contract with Del-Fi Records. In 1962, his song “Cindy’s Birthday” peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His other tracks include “Rumors,” “Your Nose Is Gonna Grow,” “Proud,” and “Patti Ann.”
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