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The Clarence Bibs Story
Episode 104
Writer: Calvin J. Clements
Director: David Friedkin
Original Air Date 04/04/1961


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
Joe E. Benson as [uncredited]

Joe E. Benson became an actor as a side career.  He appeared in a single move, "Redneck Zombies" (1989) and guest–starred in one episode of "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), portraying the deputy in "The Case of the Crippled Cougar" (1962).  Benson had known Chuck Connors personally, and according to the producers, they hired him on the star's recommendation. Benson appeared in 34 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, mostly playing uncredited parts.  In a small number of episodes, Benson played credited roles, including Mills in "The Actress" (episode 94), Merar in "The Score is Even" (episode 105) and a prison guard in "Requiem at Mission Springs" (episode 164).

Buddy Hackett as Clarence Bibs
Buddy Hackett as Clarence Bibs

Buddy Hackett, born Leonard Hacker, was an American stage, film, voice and television actor; however, he is best-remembered for his work as a comedian.  He appeared in nearly 50 movies and television shows in a career spanning just over 50 years.  Hackett became interested in acting during his high school years, after directing a school production entitled "What a Life."  After serving in the army during World War II, he ventured into the entertainment industry as a stand-up comic, playing at venues from the Catskills to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  He and Lenny Bruce are credited with pioneering "blue" comedy.  Their acts were built around adult humor and off-color jokes that were tame compared against later generations of comics.   After a rough start with a string of unsuccessful east coast stints, Hackett went on to become so successful that he could be the headliner at any major nightclub in the US.  He became well-known to mainstream America with his many appearances on late night talk shows hosted by Jack Paar, Arthur Godfrey, and later Johnny Carson.  He also was a frequent guest on the game shows "What's My Line" and "Hollywood Squares."

Having a gift for physical humor, with a rubbery face and doughy physique, Hackett was typecast as clownish characters.  His performances on stage and in film often were the most memorable feature in otherwise forgettable productions.  His performance, for example, portraying a Coney Island soothsayer in the play "I Had a Ball" (1964) transformed it from a critical failure into a box office success.  Seeing Hackett play serious roles did not resonate with audiences, so most of his movie and TV credits are for comedy-themed productions.  His film credits include the racy humor-tinged film adaptation of "God's Little Acre" (1958), the animated adventure "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" (1962), the musical comedy "The Music Man" (1962), and the madcap action-adventure film "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963).  He also lent his voice to Scuttle in "The Little Mermaid" (1989).  In television, Hackett played the title role in the short-lived sitcom "Stanley" (1956–1957), co-starring Carol Burnett, and toward the end of his career, he played the recurring role of Uncle Lonnie in the comedy drama "Action" (1999–2000), starring Jay Mohr.  He made occasional appearances in popular shows over four decades, from the 1950s through the 90s, including the western "The Big Valley" (1965–1969), starring Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long and Lee Majors, the Buck Henry comedy spy spoof "Get Smart" (1965–1970), starring Don Adams and Barbara Feldman, the comedy variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967–1973), the action-adventure "The Fall Guy" (1981–1986), starring Lee Majors, the mystery whodunit "Murder, She Wrote" (1984–1996), starring Angela Lansbury, and many other shows.  Hackett made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Daniel "Pop" Malakie in "BloodLines" (episode 42) and the title character in "The Clarence Bibs Story" (episode 104).

John Milford as Reade
John Milford

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.

Denver Pyle as George Tanner
Denver Pyle as Georger Tanner in The Clarence Bibb

Denver Pyle appeared in five episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Henry Trumble in "Bloodlines" (episode 42), Seth Mitchell in "Legacy" (episode 51), Harold Tenner in "The Hangman" (episode 76), George Tanner in "The Clarence Bibs Story" (episodes 104), and Frank Hazlitt in "The Decision" (episode 116).  Pyle was a highly recognizable character actor who worked in film and television, mostly in the 1950's through 1970's.  Frequently cast in westerns, he appeared in two classic John Ford films,"The Horse Soldiers," with William Holden, and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."  Pyle played recurring characters in several television series, including the role of Mad Jack in "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" (1977-1978; 36 episodes), Buck Webb, Doris Day's father, during the first two seasons of "The Doris Day Show" (1968-1970), and Briscoe Darling on The Andy Griffith Show.  Pyle's best-known television role may have been the hillbilly, Uncle Jesse Duke, in "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979-1985; 146 episodes).  In later life, Pyle made cameo appearances, notably 1994's "Maverick," with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, and the original Maverick, James Garner.

Joan Taylor as Milly Scott, Owner of the General Store
Joan Taylor as Milly Scott, Owner of the General S

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).

Lee Van Cleef as Wicks
Lee Van Cleef

Lee Van Cleef was an American actor born in Somerville, New Jersey.  He was one of the great movie villains, whose distinctive hawk nose, steely glint in his eyes and perpetual snarl in the turn of his mouth destined him to play the heavy in some of the most memorable Westerns and action pictures of the 1950's and 60's.  Van Cleef appeared in 90 films and over 100 television series spanning nearly four decades.  Before breaking into films, during World War II, Van Cleef served in the United States Navy aboard minesweepers and subchasers.  Later, he had a brief career as an accountant and became involved in amateur theatrics in his spare time.  An audition for a professional role led to a touring company job in "Mr. Roberts."  His performance was seen by Stanley Kramer, who cast him as henchman Jack Colby in "High Noon" (1952), a role that brought him great recognition, despite having no dialogue in the film.  Over the next decade, he played a string of memorably villainous characters, primarily in Westerns but also in crime dramas such as "I Cover the Underworld" and "The Big Combo," both released in 1955.  He played another outlaw henchman in John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962).  In 1965, Sergio Leone cast him as the tough but decent Colonel Mortimer opposite Clint Eastwood in the Spaghetti Western, "For a Few Dollars More."  The following year, he portrayed the character Sentena/Angel Eyes in Leone's "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" (1966).  The roles revitalized his flagging career, but now as a western hero, or at least an anti-hero, and he became an international star.  His later films, however, were of lesser quality.  In the 1980's he moved into action and martial-arts movies.

Lee Van Cleef appeared in four episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Dan Maury in "The Deadly Wait" (episode 26), Stinger in "The Prodigal" (episode 71), Wicks in "The Clarence Bibs Story" (episode 104), Johnny Drago in "Death Never Rides Alone" (episode 147).  He also co-starred with Chuck Connors in "Trial by Fear," an episode of "The DuPont Show with June Allyson" (1960), and in two episodes of Chuck Connors' later series, "Branded" (1965-1966).  Of his career, Van Cleef once quipped, " Being born with a pair of beady eyes was the best thing that ever happened to me."

X Brands as Longden

X Brands was an American actor who worked primarily in television, especially the western genre.  He appeared in more than 60 movies and television shows during a career spanning nearly 30 years.  He had a few memorable film roles, including Tago in the western "Escort West" (1958), starring Victor Mature, Elaine Stewart and Faith Domergue; Hook in the western "Santee" (1973), starring Glenn Ford and Dana Wynter; and Marty Brenner in the action drama "Avalanche" (1978), starring Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow.  Despite his European heritage, X Brands is best-remembered for his portrayals of Native American characters, particularly Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah in the western "Yancy Derringer" (1958–1959), co-starring Jock Mahoney and Kevin Hagen.

X Brands guest-starred in a handful of popular television shows other than westerns, including the espionage adventure series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964–1968) and "Mission: Impossible" (1966–1973), as well as the crime drama "Adam-12" (1968–1975).  He also had a recurring role as Nock-Ay-Del in the western "The High Chaparral" (1967–1971).  X Brands made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Pretty Man Longden in "The Clarence Bibbs Story" (episode 104).  He guest-starred in many other westerns, both film and television, including "Cowboy G-Men" (1952), "The Adventures of Kit Carson" (1951–1955), "Judge Roy Bean" (1956), "Annie Oakley" (1954–1956), "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" (1956–1958), "Maverick" (1957–1962), "Bat Masterson" (1958–1961), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Rawhide" (1959–1966), "Cheyenne" (1955–1963), "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), "Daniel Boone" (1964–1970), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).  He also had the opportunity to work with THE RIFLEMAN's Chuck Connors in his later hit series "Branded" (1965–1966).

Bibs, an amiable slow-witted handyman in town, has secret dreams of becoming a famous gunfighter.  While practicing with a borrowed gun he stumbles and falls, the gun fires and kills a famous gunslinger.  In the resulting confusion and kidding from two town bullies, Clarence actually begins to believe he is faster with a gun than the man he accidentally killed.  His bragging gets him into real trouble when the dead man's partner arrives in town bent on revenge, and Lucas is saddled with the responsibility of protecting Bibs from his own exaggeration.