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The Rifleman, Aladdin, 1961

The Rifleman

Rifleman, the, Lunch Box, Aladdin, 1961, $675
Rifleman, the, Bottle, Aladdin, 1961, $175

The Rifleman is an American Western television program that starred Chuck Connors as homesteader Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show, filmed in black-and-white, ran on ABC, from September 30, 1958 to April 8, 1963, a production of Four Star Television. It was also the first primetime series ever to have a widowed parent raise a child.

Rifleman, the, Bottle, Aladdin, 1961Chuck Connors portrayed Lucas McCain, a rancher and widowed father who used his Winchester firearm as a last resort. Lucas earns enough money from a turkey shoot contest to purchase a ranch near North Fork in the New Mexico Territory, where he dedicates himself to rearing his son, whom he adores and whom he promised to protect and keep safe when Mark's mother was dying, and fending off gunfighters looking to kill the "fastest man in the west." He loved his wife a lot and misses her too much to remarry, although he does have several potential love interests in town.

Chuck Connors (April 10, 1921 November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer and a professional basketball and baseball player. For the course of his four decade career, he was best known for his roles in films of the 1950s, such as Pvt. Davey White, in the movie South Sea Woman, opposite Burt Lancaster, as Det. Ben Merrill in Hot Rod Girl and as Burn Sanderson in Old Yeller, opposite Dorothy McGuire. He was also known for his starring role on television in the 1960s ABC hit western series, The Rifleman. Towards the end of his career, he reprised his role as Lucas McCain in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, with Johnny Crawford and as veteran police officer, Capt. Damian Wright in his last film, Three Days to a Kill.

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain, the son of Lucas McCain. McCain protects Mark often to the point of stifling his development as an independent person, although their relationship is very sweet. He refuses for a long time to let Mark near a gun, although Mark is able to shoot well. Mark idolizes his father. During an episode when Lucas is finding a bad guy, we see Mark moping and missing him greatly while he is gone for months. Mark is about 10 when the series starts and somewhere around 15 when it ends.

John Ernest "Johnny" Crawford (born March 26, 1946) is a prolific American character actor, singer and musician.  At 12, Crawford rose to fame for playing Mark McCain, the son of the Lucas McCain character (played by Chuck Connors), in the popular 1960s ABC western series, The Rifleman, which aired from 1958 to 1963.  He first performed before a national audience as a Mouseketeer.

Paul Fix as Marshall Micah Torrance, who tries to monitor Lucas McCain and keep gunfighters away from him. It is implied that Mark sees him as a grandfather figure. While Torrence is portrayed in some episodes as an ineffectual and even laughable figure, always relying on McCain to step in and handle things, he frequently demonstrates his ability to deal with his own problems, as in "The Marshal", where he kills two gunmen, including the man who has critically injured McCain. He relies on a slug-loaded shotgun as his equalizer and is proficient in its use.

Paul Fix (March 13, 1901, Dobbs Ferry, New York October 14, 1983, Los Angeles, California) was an American film and television character actor, best known for his work in westerns. Fix appeared in more than a hundred movies and dozens of television shows over a 56-year career spanning from 1925 to 1981.  In the 1950s, Fix was best known for portraying Marshal Micah Torrance alongside Chuck Connors in The Rifleman.

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