Johnny Crawford, best known as one of the original Mouseketeers and for his role on The Rifleman, died yesterday at the age of 75. Mr. Crawford had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 and pneumonia, but his cause of death was not specified.
Crawford first rose to fame as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers. He would then go on to play roles on The Lone Ranger, The Frank Sinatra Show, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Danny Thomas Show, Wagon Train and many other popular television shows before getting his co-starring role on The Rifleman with Chuck Connors. At the age of 13, Johnny Crawford was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for his portrayal of Mark McCain, on The Rifleman. Crawford and Connors developed a friendship that would continue throughout their lives. When The Rifleman ended, Crawford appeared on an episode of Connor’s follow-up series, Branded. Johnny Crawford even spoke at Chuck Connors’ funeral decades later.
Johnny Crawford had a brief career as a singing star. He had four top forty Billboard hits on Del-FI records. Throughout his life Crawford acted in television and feature film roles, and in 1992, he formed the JCO (Johnny Crawford Orchestra) which performed at festivals and special events. Johnny Crawford was an extremely talented individual with a career that spanned over 60 years of performances on stage, television and silver screen.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny Crawford’s family, fans and friends.