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"Dark Day at North Fork"

Episode 100

Writer:  Arthur Browne, Jr.

Director:  Paul Landres

Original Air Date:  3/7/1961

 

Cast

Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

 

Lucas is accidentally blinded while working on his ranch.  The blindness is temporary but total.  When a tough criminal gunman tries to force him into a fight, Lucas has to defend himself against an enemy he cannot see.

Guest Cast

Joe Higgins as Nils Swenson

Joe Higgins was an American actor working primarily in television and commercials from the 1960's through the 1980's.  His acting career began at age nine and while attending the University of Dayton in Ohio, he worked in radio.  He became a prolific character actor who often portrayed a sheriff in commercials, public service announcements and in print ads.  He won the CLIO award on two occasions for his acting in commercials.  His portrayal as a sheriff, "You in a heap o' trouble, boy!," in a series of memorable Dodge car commercials in the 1970's became his iconic signature role.

Higgins appeared in four episodes of THE RIFLEMAN playing different characters, and he played the semi-regular character, Nils Swenson, the Blacksmith, in 17 episodes.  He played recurring roles on other television series in addition to THE RIFLEMAN, including "Arrest and Trial" and later, he co-starred again with Chuck Connors in "Flipper" and "Geronimo."

John Milford as Jack Solby

John Milford was an American actor, whose long career, primarily in television, included more than 164 acting roles spanning five decades.  His first big break came with an uncredited appearance in the 1956 Oscar awarding winning film "Marty," starring Ernest Borgnine.  Milford appeared in every television genre, from crime dramas, including "The F.B.I." (1965–1974) and "Mannix" (1967–1975), among many others, to sci-fi adventures, including "The Six Million Dollar Man" (1974–1978) and its spin-off "The Bionic Woman" (1976–1978).  He appeared in many of the most popular series of their eras, including the sci-fi thriller "The Invaders" (1967–1968), sci-fi mini-series "The Planet of the Apes (1974), the family dramas "Little House on the Prairie" (1974–1983) and "Highway to Heaven" (1984–1989), and the sci-fi mystery "The X-Files" (1993–2002).

Milford played recurring roles in several series, including Ike Clanton for one season in "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955–1961), Sgt. Kagey in "The Lieutenant" (1963–1964), Lt. Paul Hewitt in "The Bold Ones: The Lawyers" (1969–1972), and a co-starring role as Captain Dempsey in the action comedy "Enos" (1980–1981).  In addition to the Wyatt Earp series, Milford appeared in many of the most popular western series of the 1950s through '70s, including "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "The Virginian" (1962–1971) and "The Big Valley" (1965–1969).

John Milford made eleven appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Ross Porter in "The Blowout" (episode 43), Dub in "The Coward" (episode 53), Jonas Winters in "The Horsetraders" (episode 60), Bro Hadley in "A Time for Singing" (episode 64), Morgan in "Meeting at Midnight" (episode 74), Marsh Watson in "The Pitchman" (episode 80), Hadley in "Baranca" (episode 82), Jack Solby in "Dark Day at North Fork" (episode 100), Reade in "The Clarence Bibs Story" (episode 104), Jess Grady in "The Journey Back" (episode 115) and Lt. Price in "The Assailants" (episode 149).  Milford also appeared in two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN spin-off "Law of the Plainsman" (1959–1960).

Milford ran the Chamber Theatre on Cahuenga Blvd. West in Hollywood, where he helped many young actors get a start in the entertainment industry.  He is also credited with the original design for the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ralph R. Moody as Doc Burrage

Ralph Moody was an American actor who appeared in over 50 movies and 100 television shows.  Often cast in Westerns as indians, his many television credits include "The Lone Ranger" (1949 1950), "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1955–1959), "Dragnet" (1952 1959), "The Texan" (1959), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1958–1961), "Perry Mason" (1958–1964), "Gunsmoke" (1959–1966), "Dragnet 1967" (1967–1970) and "Bonanza" (1960 1971).

Moody appeared in 12 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Jonathan Dodd in "The Visitor" (episode 58), Roy Merrick in "The Spoiler" (episode 61), and Eban Muchen in "The Hangman" (episode 76).  Moody also played the recurring character of Doc Burrage in nine episodes, including "Six Years and a Day" (episode 91), "The Actress" (episode 94), "Dark Day at North Fork" (episode 100), "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106), "Man From Salinas" (episode 130), "Quiet Night, Deadly Night" (episode 146), "Mark's Rifle" (episode 150), "Conflict" (episode 155), "Requiem at Mission Springs" (episode 164).

Joan Taylor as Milly Scott, Owner of the General Store

Joan Taylor was an American actress born to a family in the entertainment business.  Her mother, Amelia Berky, was a vaudeville dancer and singer in the 1920s.  Her father operated a movie theater, which inspired in her an abiding interest in the movies from an early age.  Taylor came to Hollywood in 1946 and worked on the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse for four years.  Discovered by Victor Jory when she played Regina in "Another Part of the Forest," she was contracted to Paramount Studios where she appeared in several Western pictures.  She guest-starred in numerous television series in the 1950s and early 60s, retiring from acting in 1962.

Taylor appeared in 18 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN between 1960 and 1962, playing Milly Scott, Owner of the General Store, which she bought from Hattie Denton.  An attractive young woman who figured as a love interest for Lucas McCain, her character was introduced in "Miss Milly" (episode 84).

 

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