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The Mescalero Curse
Episode 106
Writer: Margaret Armen
Director: Jesse Hibbs
Original Air Date 04/18/1961


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
Joe Brown as Jake

Joe Brown, Jr. was an American actor who worked primarily in television and film.  Between 1940 and the mid-1970s he appeared in more than two dozen movies and over a dozen television shows.  Most of his film roles were bit parts or uncredited.  He guest-starred in several popular series of the 50s and 60s, including "The Phil Silvers Show" (1955–1959), "Highway Patrol" (1955–1959), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962) and "Bat Masterson" (1958–1961). His last TV role was in the James Garner vehicle, "Nichols" (1971–1972).  Brown made one guest appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Jake in "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106).

Larry Chance as Lobo

Larry Chance was an American film and television actor who appeared in more than 50 films and television shows over a career spanning nearly 30 years.  Although many of his film roles were uncredited, he was cast in most of the major western series of the 1950s and 60s, including "Annie Oakley" (1954–1956), "Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock" (1951–1958), "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962) and "The Virginian" (1962–1971).  He guest-starred in one episode of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Lobo in "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106).

Ralph R. Moody as Doc Burrage
Ralph Moody

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).

Michael Pate as Mogollan
Michael Pate

Michael Pate, born Edward John Pate, was an Australian character actor of radio, film and television, as well as an accomplished writer, director and producer.  He appeared in more than 160 movies and television shows during his 55-year career.  Prior to acting, Pate worked as a writer and broadcaster for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, collaborating with George Ivan Smith on "Youth Speaks."  He spent the latter part of the 1930s working primarily in radio drama.  He also worked as a theatrical and literary critic, in addition to enjoying brief success as an author of short stories.  When World War II broke out, Pate enlisted in the Australian Army and served with the South West Pacific Area command.  As part of the 1st Australian Army Amenities Entertainment Unit, known as "The Islanders," he entertained Australian troops in various combat areas.

After the war ended, Pate not only resumed his work in radio, but ventured into films.  He had his first leading role in the adventure drama "Sons of Matthew" (1949), in which he portrayed Shane O'Riordan.  His other endeavors included adapting, producing and directing the plays "Dark of the Moon" and "Bonaventure" in 1950.  Later that year, he appeared in the American adaptation of "Bonaventure" for Universal Pictures, entitled "Thunder on the Hill" (1951), in which he performed opposite Claudette Colbert and Ann Blyth.  He appeared in many other films, portraying Browning in the action comedy "Ten Tall Men" (1951), starring Burt Lancaster; Talon in the horror film "The Strange Door" (1951), starring Charles Laughton and Borris Karloff; Flavius in the historical drama "Julius Caesar" (1953), starring Marlon Brando, James Mason and John Gielgud; Vittorio the Chiricahua Apache Chief in the action drama "Hondo" (1953), starring John Wayne; Sir Locksley in the adventure comedy "The Court Jester" (1956), starring Danny Kaye; Sir Ratcliffe in the historical drama "Tower of London" (1962), in which he had a starring role opposite Vincent Price; Lt. Reginald Evans in the biographical war drama "PT 109" (1963), starring Cliff Robertson; and Sierra Charriba in the Sam Peckinpah war film "Major Dundee" (1965), starring Charlton Heston and Richard Harris.  Later in his career, Pate wrote and directed the internationally acclaimed film adaptation of Colleen McCullough's "Tim" (1979), starring Piper Laurie and Mel Gibson, which garnered him the Best Screenplay Award from the Australian Writers Guild.

Pate guest-starred in many popular television shows of the 1950s through the 90s, including the mystery action series "Peter Gunn" (1958–1961), the crime dramas "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964) and "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), the adventure series "Route 66" (1960–1964), the long-running family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974), the espionage adventure "The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964–1968), the campy superhero series "Batman" (1966–1968), the western action adventure "The Wild Wild West" (1965–1969), and the espionage thriller "Mission: Impossible" (1966–1973).  He also had several recurring TV roles, including Salvador Quintana in the Disney adventure series "Zorro" (1957–1959); Chief Crazy Horse in "Branded" (1965–1966), starring THE RIFLEMAN's Chuck Connors; Chief Vittoro in the western "Hondo" (1967); and Detective Sgt. Vic Maddern in the drama "Matlock Police" (1971–1976).

Pate made five appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Xavier in "New Orleans Menace" (episode 10), Brad Davis in "The Second Witness" (episode 23), Pete Morgan in "The Visitor" (episode 58), Mogollan in "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106), Sanchez in "The Executioner" (episode 132).  He guest-starred in nearly all of the other notable westerns of the 1950s through 70s, including "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961)

Jack Searl as Tom

Jack Searl, born John E. Searl, was an American radio, film and television actor.  He appeared in more than 90 movies and television shows during his 40-year career, frequently credited as Jackie Searl.  He began acting as a child and was typecast as "the brat."  He was a familiar face during the 1930s, having roles in several films based on classic novels, including Sid Sawyer in both "Tom Sawyer" (1930) and "Huckleberry Finn" (1931), starring Jackie Coogan (appearing in his last film roles), the child actor famous for his roles in Charlie Chaplin's silent movies; Dormouse in "Alice in Wonderland" (1933), starring Richard Arlen and Charlotte Henry Herbert; and he appeared in "Great Expectations" (1934), starring Phillip Holmes.  Other roles as a child actor included Sidney in the family comedy "Skippy" (1931), starring Jackie Cooper, and Tom in the family drama "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1936), starring Freddie Bartholomew and Mickey Rooney.

Following his service during World War II, Searl experienced difficulty reviving his acting career.  He landed the role of Jasper Martin in the western "The Paleface" (1948), starring Bobe Hope and Jane Russell, and he tried to develop as a character actor, mostly playing heavies, but establishing a successful career in film was elusive.  He fared better in television, guest-starring in many popular shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the comedy "The Jack Benny Program" (1950–1965), the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), the suspense series "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (1962–1965), the long-running family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974) and the comedy series "Petticoat Junction" (1963–1970).

Searl made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Tom in "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106).  He guest-starred in several other prominent westerns, including "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood, "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), starring John McIntyre and Ward Bond, "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness, "The Guns of Will Sonnett" (1967–1969), starring Walter Brennan and Dack Rambo, and "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts.

Charles Watts as Joe Beasley

Charles Watts was an American film and television actor.  He appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows in a short but busy acting career of just 15 years.  Born in Clarksville, Tennessee in 1912, in his early life Watts was a high-school teacher and worked in local theater and tent shows.  He did not embark upon a full-fledged acting career until 1950; however, as a portly character actor, Watts was usually cast in supporting roles, frequently portraying glad-handing politicians, voluble businessmen and salesmen, wily bankers, and alternately avuncular or distrustful family elders.  His movie credits include the film adaption of Edna Ferber's "Giant" (1956) starring Rock Hudson, James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, the romantic film classic "An Affair to Remember" (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, the biopic "The Spirit of St. Louis" (19557), starring James Stewart, "The Big Circus" (1959), starring Victor Mature and Rhonda Fleming, among many others.  He guest-starred in many popular shows, including the western "The Cisco Kid" (1951–1954), starring Duncan Renaldo, the comic book superhero series "Adventures of Superman" (1952–1958), starring George Reeves, the mystery anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1957–1968),the crime dramas "Dragnet" (1951–1959), starring Jack Webb and Henry Morgan, and "The Untouchables" (1959–1963), starring Robert Stack.  Watts also appeared in lighter fare, including the family sitcom "Bachelor Father" (1959–1962), in which he played the recurring role of Judge Blandon, and the classic family comedy based on the comic strip "Dennis the Menace" (1959–1963), starring Jay North in the title role.

Watts made three appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Alvah Kemper in "The Brother-in-Law" (episode 5), Maury Cass in "Panic" (episode 47) and Joe Beaseley in "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106).  In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, Watts guest-starred in a number of other westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), starring Clayton Moore, "Maverick" (1957–1962), starring James Garner, "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), starring Hugh O'Brian, "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness, and "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts and Michael Landon.

Lucas at first scoffs at the "curse" of a renegade Indian who has a reputation for witchcraft, but he soon comes face to face with unexplained events that the curse predicted – a mysterious death an a "ghost" stallion.