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John "Johnny" Ernest Crawford (born March 26, 1946) is an Americanmarker prolific character actor of stage, singer, and musician. At 12, Crawford rose to fame for playing Chuck Connors's son, Mark McCain, in The Rifleman (from 1958 to 1963). He also got his start as one of the Mouseketeers.


Johnny Crawford was born in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker. One of Walt Disney's original Mouseketeers in 1955, Crawford has acted on stage, in films, and on television.

Disney started out with 24 original Mouseketeers. At the end of the first season, the studio had reduced the number to 12 and Johnny was released from his contract. His first important break as an actor followed with the title role in a Lux Video Theatre production of "Little Boy Lost," a live NBC broadcast on March 15, 1956. Following that performance, the young actor worked steadily with distinguished actors and directors. Within two and a half years, he had accumulated almost sixty television credits, including featured roles in three episodes of "The Loretta Young Show" and an appearance as Manuel in "I Am an American," an episode of the crime drama Sheriff of Cochise. By the spring of 1958 he had also performed fourteen demanding roles in live teleplays on NBC's Matinee Theatre, appeared on CBS's sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, and made three pilots for a series. The third pilot, made as an episode of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, was picked up by ABC and the first season of The Rifleman began filming in July of 1958.

He received an Emmy Award nomination at the age of thirteen for his role as "Mark McCain," the son of Lucas McCain, played by Chuck Connors, in the Four Star Television series The Rifleman, which originally aired from 1958 to 1963 on ABC. During this time, he had wide popularity with American teenagers and a recording career that generated five Top 40 hits, including the single "Cindy's Birthday," which peaked at #8 on Billboard's Top 40 in 1962. His other hits included "Proud" (#29, 1963), "Your Nose is Gonna Grow" (#14, 1962) and "Rumors" (#12, 1962).

Among his films, he plays a native American in the all-Indian adventure film, Indian Paint (1965). He gets mixed up with a disturbed young girl, played by Kim Darby, in The Restless Ones (1965), and he gets shot by John Wayne in El Dorado (1967).

He served in the United States Army for two years, reaching the rank of E-5 and receiving an honorable discharge in December 1967.While enlisted, he worked on training films as a production coordinator, assistant director, script supervisor and occasional actor.

In 1968 he was an Army corporal wanted for murder in "By the Numbers," an episode of Jack Lord's Hawaii Five-O.

His short film, The Resurrection of Broncho Billy, won the Academy Award in 1971 for Best Live Action Short Subject. He starred with Kristin Nelson, and the film was released theatrically by Universal Studios in the U.S. and Canada.

The Naked Ape, was a 1973 feature film starring Johnny Crawford and Victoria Principal. In an article about that movie he became the first male to be shown in full-frontal nudity in Playboy magazine.

Crawford had a key role in the early career of Victoria Jackson of Saturday Night Live fame; after appearing together in a summer stock production of "Meet Me in St. Louis," he presented her with a one-way airline ticket to California and encouraged her to pursue a Hollywoodmarker career. This led to her early TV appearances on The Tonight Show before she was cast as a regular on Saturday Night Live.

Since 1992, Crawford has led the California-based Johnny Crawford Orchestra, which specializes in vintage dance music. The orchestra's first album, Sweepin' the Clouds Away, was released August 5, 2008.

He reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Charlotte Samco, in 1990, and they wed in 1995.

Stills from The Resurrection of Broncho Billy


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