Writer: Margaret Armen
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Original Air Date 12/04/1961
Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain
Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance
Jack Elam was an American film and television actor whose career spanned more than 40 years. He grew up in difficult circumstances, moving from the households of relatives and father, stepmother and siblings after his mother passed away. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in California, then worked as an accountant and later, he briefly was manager of the Bel Air Hotel. Purportedly, he got his first movie job by trading his accounting services for a role. His film debut was a role in "She Shoulda Said No!" (1949), an exploitation film about the vices of marijuana. Elam quickly became one of the most memorable supporting players in Hollywood and became well-known for playing villains in western genre and gangster films. He played up a near-demented screen persona, which was enhanced by a wandering left eye rendered sightless from a childhood fight. Although he was a highly recognizable villain throughout most of his acting career, in later years he played more comedic roles, becoming more winsome, if still grizzled and slightly crazed.
Elam made five guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying different characters in each episode. He played Sim Groder in "Duel of Honor" (episode 7), Gavin Martin in "Tension" (episode 45), Gus Smith in "Shotgun Man" (episode 69), Gates in "The Knight Errant" (episode 117) and Russell, the Pool Shark, in "Shattered Idol" (episode 120). In 1994, Elam was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
John Harmon was an American actor who appeared in over 250 roles in film and television from the 1930's through the 1970's. His early roles were mostly uncredited, but he was cast in a wide variety of genres and played many different kinds of characters. Harmon appeared in 15 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN as Eddie Halstead Hotel Clerk at the Hotel Madera. The character of Halstead was first introduced in episode 7, "Duel of Honor."
Kevin McCarthy was an American stage, film and television actor whose prolific career spanned more than six decades. Brother of renowned author, Mary McCarthy, he made his Broadway debut in 1938 in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" and appeared in 18 theatrical productions throughout his career, notably, portraying Harry S. Truman in "Give 'Em Hell Harry," which toured the United States for two decades. McCarthy appeared in over 200 film and television roles. His portrayal of Biff in the 1951 film adaptation of "Death of a Salesman" garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won him a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year, Actor. His best-known role was Dr. Miles Bennell in the 1956 science fiction horror classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." The iconic film was selected for the National Film Registry in 1994 and in 2008 was named one of the Top 10 science fiction films of all time by the American Film Institute. In later years, he embraced the cult camp status of the picture and his role in it, even making a cameo appearance in the 1976 remake of the "Body Snatchers."
McCarthy made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Mark Twain in "The Shattered Idol" (episode 120) and Winslow Quince in "Suspicion" (episode 157). He continued to work until the year before his death at age 96—his last screen appearances were in two 2009 releases, the 18th century period film, "Wesley," and the short comedy film "I Do."
Bud Osborne, born Lennie B. Osborne in 1884, was a prolific American film and television actor, as well as a stuntman, working primarily in the western genre. He appeared in more than 600 movies and television shows during a career spanning more than 50 years. He had a rugged, weather-beaten appearance, and so was typecast in outlaw roles. He made his acting debut in silent films, starring in "Galloping Devil" (1921). Among his several film roles were minor parts in the romantic comedy "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur; the western "Dodge City" (1939), starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan and Bruce Cabot; the noir film "Stranger on the Third Floor" (1940), starring Peter Lorre; the western "Return of the Bad Men" (1948), starring Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys and George "Gabby" Hayes; and the crime drama "Please Murder Me" (1956), starring Angela Lansbury and Raymond Burr.
Osborne made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the hangman Taos in "Eight Hours to Die" (episode 6) and Loomis in "The Shattered Idol" (episode 120). He guest-starred in many other westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), starring Clayton Moore, "Laramie" (1959–1963), starring John Smith and Robert Fuller, "The Deputy" (1959–1961), starring Henry Fonda, "Cheyenne" (1955–1963), starring Clint Walker, "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts, "Maverick" (1957–1962), starring Jack Kelly and James Garner, "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood, "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone, and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.
Mary Jo Tierney made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Holly in "The Shattered Idol" (episode 120).
When the famous writer Mark Twain visits North Fork, Mark, who idolizes him, is dazzled at first, then bitterly hurt by Twain's brusque rudeness. Lucas, trying to protect Mark's feelings, stumbles upon the secret of a bitter personal tragedy, which explains Twain's attitude, and eventually brings the two Marks together as friends.