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Born as John Ernest Crawford on the 26th March 1946 in Los Angeles, California USA, he is now a retired actor, and musician, who came to prominence in the late ‘50s and early ’60s with the role of Mark McCain in the TV series “The Rifleman”. He has had a number of other roles in films and television series, but this one marked his career.

Early Life

The son of film editor Robert Lawrence Crawford and his wife Betty, Johnny is of Belgian, German, British and Russian ancestry. He has an older brother, Robert L. Crawford Jr., who has also become a successful actor. His whole family turned towards performing arts, as his grandfather was violinist Alfred Eugene Megerlin.

Career Beginnings

Johnny made his first appearance on screen in “The Pinky Lee Show” when he was only four years old. Five years later he became a Mouseketeer as he joined the “The Mickey Mouse Club”, one of 24 original members, so Johnny featured on screen and on stage, honing his skills, but Johnny was let go when the studio decided to reduce the number of actors to 12. Nevertheless, this didn’t discourage the young star in the making, as he continued his career with minor roles in such TV series as “The Lone Ranger” (1956), “Telephone Time” (1956-1957), “Have Gun – Will Travel” in 1957, and “Make Room for Daddy”.

Rise to Fame

Johnny was then selected for the part of Mark McCain in the western series “The Rifleman” (1958-1963), starring with Chuck Connors, and Paul Fix. The role made him popular in the US, and earned him a number of awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination; coincidentally, the same year his brother and father earned an Emmy nomination for their work on the TV series “Laramie”.

After “The Rifleman”

The series ended in 1963 and he started looking for new acting engagements; in 1965 he secured one of the lead roles in the sci-fi comedy film “Village of the Giants” alongside Tommy Kirk and Beau Bridges, and the same year starred in the western drama “Indian Paint”.

USA Army Sergeant

In the mid- ’60, Johnny was conscripted into the US Army and in two years reached the rank of a sergeant; he was honorably discharged in 1967.

Johnny was immediately back into acting, with a role in the legendary western “El Dorado”, with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan, however, from that point his acting career began to decline, and he failed to secure another major role. Be that as it may, John continued as an actor until the late ‘90s, making his last appearance in the sci-fi thriller film “The Thirteenth Floor”, in which Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol and Armin Mueller-Stahl had the lead roles.

Did You Know, Johnny is an accomplished Musician?

With his popularity on the rise in the late ’50 and early ’60s, John launched a musical career, and achieved even greater fame with music hits such as “Cindy’s Birthday”, “Rumors”, and “Your Nose is Gonna Grow”, all of which entered the top 20 on the Billboard Top 40 hits. He also released three studio albums – “The Captivating Johnny Crawford” (1961), “A Young Man’s Fancy”, and “Rumors” (1962). He subsequently stayed away from music until the early ‘90s, when he became the leader of the vintage dance orchestra entitled JCO. Financed by the Playboy Jazz Festival, he and his bandmates were chosen to perform at annual Art Directors Guild Awards shows held at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills. They have one studio album “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away”, released on the 21st August 2012.

Do you know just how rich Johnny Crawford is?

Well, since his childhood years and teen popularity, Johnny has maintained a decent net worth; according to authoritative sources, Crawford’s net worth has been estimated at $1.2 million, earned through his successful career. Humble from his beginnings, Johnny has never flaunted any luxurious possessions, living a simple life, devoted to his career and family.

Life Behind the Scene

Relationships
A sooth career and private life, what more can a man possibly want? During his high school days, Johnny was in a relationship with a girl named Charlotte Samco; the two broke up later, but reunited in 1990, and five years later exchanged their wedding vows. However, in 2015 their marriage came in question and since then the couple has lived separately, though there isn’t any information about the divorce.

Before reuniting with his high school sweetheart, Johnny was in a romantic relationship with Debra Tate, younger sister of the tragically murdered actress Sharon Tate.

A Friend in Need

Back in the early ‘80s, Johnny used his influence and knowledge to help launch the career of actress and comedian Victoria Jackson. He cast her in one of his nightclub acts, and after acknowledging her talent, Johnny bought her a ticket for Hollywood, and Victoria’s on-screen career was ready to start. We all know what happened next, since Victoria has become one of the stars of “Saturday Night Live”.

Social Media Presence

Although he is now in his 70s, Johnny is quite a modern man and has always been ahead of his times. His Twitter account has a decent number of followers and he has used it primarily to promote his work, informing followers of his show, while his official Facebook page has more than 100,000 followers.

9 Comments

  1. Maxine Freeman Reply

    Glad to know Johnny Crawford is still living at age 72. I’m 68 years old and am an avid viewer of “The Rifleman”. Now that I’m a retired person, I think I have watched every episode. I love westerns and other decent shows.

  2. Faye Williams Reply

    It’s very sad to see what happens to us when we age. Johnny has Alzheimer’s disease and he tries to communicate with everyone. God Bless him.There is a go fund me for Johnny Crawfords medical care .please help if you can.

  3. Parker Higby Reply

    What a wonderful time in TV history with all these great Westerns for us kids to watch everyday.

  4. Miss Jill Marie Zeman Reply

    As My mother was an actress, also my Dad a Soldier,, Actor – Cowboy as many n the 40’s 50’s enjoyed the Hollywood years. I had the chance to be taken to several Hollywood set’s where I was babysat by many actors & actresse’s,. Johnny Crawford was caring for me on one on one of the Rifleman shows. I’m thankful to have been a part of his career. I ,had also been in many commercials, Bit parts in Movies an won an award for upcoming child actress, Names seem to change from on day to the next. Seems that Mom was involved with drugs so that was it for her…& we left, As fate had it I moved on to greener fields, But in life things change & I cherish the time I was there. I’ve studied much of life Journeys thru time and What’s Right and What’s Wrong, Also I have been working on plans for a movie for Mr. Steven Spielburg since I received an Award for upcoming Child actress. Hope I can find the right angle to achieve success, & I hope to win the human Race with the truth that I intended to start with. since being on The Mickey Mouse Show, where My Twin brother & I were guests. Unfortunately My Mother an Twin Brother messed up everything for our family by lying about who they were & Cheating The World. Thank You Johnny for your caring arms that held me safely..

  5. Anthony R. Loya Reply

    As memory fades us from time to time, your song Cindy’s Birthday came to mind and I had to play the song cause I was only 7-years old. Your song brings back the times of childhood, growing up in the times where love was a blessing and valuable to our hearts to be alive. Being close to 65, those ages are in the dark for most of us. Thank you Mr. Crawford for being that memory of childhood.

  6. Audrey Culver Paris Reply

    Watching The Rifleman now, “Sporting Chance” . Today 23 Jul 20. Always love to watch The Rifleman for years. I’m 69 yrs old. Thank you Johnny for many years of outstanding entertainment ‼️👍🏾 Godspeed🙏🏾

  7. My parents were Actors, As a child I was taken to many hollywood sets to be cared for while my parents worked, also to be a fill in for several shows. On 1 episode of The Rifleman Johnny Crawford had the chore of taking care of me, what name they used, I cant remember. I am hoping to put together a movie that has many startling storyies in it regarding complications of both of our mothers, Also the strange or dangerous world we are faced with ect. ect. If My friend would like to help me with this Story of a lifetime. As Mr. Steven Spielburg asked me to come up with, That for years I’ve gathred info. Its heavy, covering life, liberty, and The dangers all around us. A Chore I Plan to Tangle; Tackle, & Win.

  8. Joseph Wojcicky Reply

    Who were you really singing about in Cindy’s Birthday? Wasit a girl or a dog. Doesn’t really matter, I still like the song anyway. Take Care and God Bless!

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