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"Old Man, Running"

Episode 166

Writer:  Martin Zweiback

Director:  Arthur Nadel

Original Air Date:  3/18/1963

 

Cast

Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors

 

An old man appears in North Fork asking for Marshal Torrance's protection from a gang of criminals who are after him.  When the Marshal asks Lucas to stand deputy for him, Lucas refuses, explaining that the old man is Mark's grandfather and was responsible for the death of Mark's mother.  Mark is torn between his father's bitterness and his pity for his grandfather, until the old man risks his life to save Lucas.

Guest Cast

John Anderson as Sam Gibbs

John Anderson was an American actor who had a prolific career in both film and television spanning four decades.  He appeared in over 500 roles in film and television, frequently appearing in recurring roles, including in "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964).  Anderson is perhaps best remembered for his television role as Harry Jackson, MacGyver's grandfather, in the popular Richard Dean Anderson series.  Anderson portrayed President Abraham Lincoln twice, in "The Lincoln Conspiracy" (1977) and in the series "The Voyagers!" (1980), and he portrayed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1979 mini-series "Backstairs at the White House."  Among his many film roles, he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic horror film, "Psycho," Sam Peckinpah's 1962 iconic western, "Ride the High Country," John Sturges's 1965 western spoof, "The Hallelujah Trail," and John Sayles' 1988 chronicles of baseball's 1919 World Series scandal, "Eight Men Out."  Anderson also co-starred with Chuck Connors in the 1962 film, "Geronimo."

Anderson made eleven guest appearances in all five seasons of THE RIFLEMAN, playing a different character in each episode.  He portrayed Owny in "The Retired Gun" (episode 17), Chet Packard in "Shivaree" (episode 19), Eli Flack in "The Hawk" (episode 29), Sully Hobbs in "The Patsy" (episode 41) , Cass Callicott in "Day of the Hunter" (episode 55), Jess in "Mail Order Groom" (episode 56), John Beaumont in "Shotgun Man" (episode 69), Hank Clay in "Face of Yesterday" (episode 95), Will Temple in "The Journey Back" (episode 115), John Gangling in "Incident At Line Shack Six" (episode 156), and Sam Gibbs in "Old Man Running" (episode 166).

Arthur Batanides as Littleboy Sherman

Arthur Batanides, born Joseph George Batanides, was an American actor who worked primarily in television.  He appeared in 130 television shows and movies in a career spanning nearly 40 years.  He co-starred in a crime drama, "Johnny Midnight" (1960) with Edmund O'Brien.  He also appeared in numerous other popular series of the 1960s, including "Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966) and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961–1966).  Batanides remained a familiar face through the 1970s, making several appearances in "Mission: Impossible" (1966–1973), "The Odd Couple" (1970–1975) and "Happy Days" (1974–1984), among many other shows.  Despite a short filmography, he is remembered for his portrayal of Mr. Kirkland in several of the "Police Academy" films.  He also appeared in the Cecil B. DeMille classic, "The Ten Commandments" (1956) and the John Wayne film, "Brannigan" (1975).  Batanides made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Littleboy Sherman in "Old Man Running" (episode 166).  He also guest-starred in several other westerns, including "Yancy Derringer" (1958–1959), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) and "The Wild, Wild West" (1965–1968).

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."

Rex Holman as Bob Sherman

Rex Holman, born Rexford George Holman, is an American actor who has worked primarily in television.  He has appeared in nearly 100 movies and television shows during a career spanning 30 years.  Among his movie credits were roles in the sci-fi thriller "Panic in the Year Zero!" (1962), directed by and starring Ray Milland; the sci-fi adventure "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989), starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley; the Disney comedy western "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" (1973); and the historical drama "The Hindenburg" (1975), starring George C. Scott.  He guest-starred in many popular television shows of the 1960s through the 80s, including Rod Serling's iconic anthology series "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), the medical drama "Ben Casey" (1961–1966), the war drama "Combat!" (1962–1967), the anthology series "The Outer Limits" (1963–1965), the espionage thriller "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964–1968), the science fiction cult classic "Star Trek" (1966–1969), the crime drama "Mannix" (1967–1975), the police dramas "The Mod Squad" (1968–1973) and "The Streets of San Francisco" (1972–1977), and the western action adventure "Kung Fu" (1972–1975).

Holman made three appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Simms in "The Jealous Man" (episode 136), Billy Graves in "Death Never Rides Alone" (episode 147) and Bob Sherman in "Old Man Running" (episode 166).  He guest-starred in several other westerns, including "The Deputy" (1959–1961), starring Henry Fonda; "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts; "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood; "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), hosted by Robert Taylor; "The Big Valley" (1965–1969), starring Barbara Stanwyck; and "The Virginian" (1962–1971), starring James Drury.

Adam Williams as Jeb Sherman

Adam Williams was an American actor with over 120 television credits in the 1950s through the 1970s.  He made six guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying different characters in each episode.  He played Jake Pardee in "The Challenge" (episode 28), Corporal Troc in "The Prisoner" (episode 101), Jax in "The Score is Even" (episode 105), Russell Ganaway in "The Executioner" (episode 142), which he also wrote, Platt in "The Anvil Chorus" (episode 154), and Jeb Sherman in "Old Man Running" (episode 166).

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