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"The Sidewinder"

Episode 158

Writer:  Robert Lewin

Director:  Joseph Lewis

Original Air Date:  1/21/1963

 

Cast

Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors

 

Grid Maul, a boy not much older than Mark, confronts Lucas with the announcement that he intends to kill him to avenge his father's death.  Lucas' explanation that Grid's father was killed while trying to rob a bank doesn't dissuade the boy a bit—he even tries to get Mark into the fight.  It remains for Lou, whose women's intuition senses Grid's real unhappiness, to take him in hand and apply the discipline that solves the problem.

Guest Cast

Patricia Blair as Lou Mallory, Owner of the General Store and the Madera House Hotel

Patricia Blair was an American television actress whose career was active primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.   The Texas-born beauty began her career as a teenage model who went on to apprentice in summer stock before being discovered by Warner Bros.  She began acting in films under the names Patricia Blake and Pat Blake.   She appeared in a few films, including "Jump Into Hell" (1955), "Crime Against Joe" (1956) and "The Black Sleep" (1956), which reunited screen icons of the horror film genre Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Basil Rathbone and John Carradine.   She also appeared in the suspense thriller "City of Fear" (1959), starring Vince Edwards.  She portrayed the Fashion Narrator in the Robert Redford romantic western "The Electric Horseman" (1979), co-starring Jane Fonda.

In 1962, Blair replaced actress Joan Taylor in a semi-regular role as Lou Mallory, Chuck Connor's love interest in the last season of THE RIFLEMAN.  Blair played the attractive red-haired, fiery Irish businesswoman, whose character was savvy Landowner and Owner of the General Store and the Madera House Hotel.  Blair's character of Lou Mallory appeared in 17 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN; she debuted in the title role of episode 145.  Blair also made guest television appearances on "The Bob Cummings Show" (1955–1959), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), and she co-starred in "Daniel Boone" (1964–1970), playing wife Rebecca Boone opposite Fess Parker.   She also had a recurring role as Goldy in the western adventure series "Yancy Derringer" (1958–1959). 

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."

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