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The Deadly Wait
Episode 26
Writer: Arthur Browne, Jr.
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Original Air Date 03/24/1959


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
Edgar Buchanan as Doc Burrage
Edgar Buchanan as Doc Burrage

Edgar Buchanan was an American character actor who appeared in over 100 films and dozens of television series, including several long-lived sitcoms.  In a career spanning four decades, he played grizzled, gravelly-voiced characters and was frequently cast in westerns.  His most well-known and lovable character was Uncle Joe Carson, who appeared in all 222 episodes of "Petticoat Junction," (1963-1970), 17 episodes of "Green Acres" (1965-1969), and, in 1968, three episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962-1971).  In his last role, the 1974 film "Benji," he co-starred with the dog (Higgins) from his stint on "Petticoat Junction."  Buchanan made six appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Grandpa Fogerty in "The Long Goodbye" (Episode 119) and the recurring character of Doc Burrage in five, including "The Pet" (episode 15), "The Second Witness" (episode 23), "The Trade" (episode 24), "The Deadly Wait" (episode 26), and "The Angry Man" (episode 31).

John Harmon as Eddie Halstead, Hotel Clerk at the Hotel Madera/California House
John Harmon as Eddie Halstead, Hotel Clerk at the

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."

Bill Quinn as Sweeney, the Bartender
Bill Quinn as Sweeney, the Bartender

Bill Quinn was an American actor whose early career began in the 1920's in silent films and ended with the 1989 science fiction film, "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier."  Perhaps, his best-known role was Mr. Ranseleer, Archie Bunker's blind friend in "All In The Family" (1971-1978).  He also was a regular character in the Carroll O'Connor spin-off, "Archie Bunker's Place."  Quinn's other television credits include roles in "The Odd Couple" (1970-1975), "McHale's Navy" (1962-1966), and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1970-1977), in which he play Mary Richard's father.  In 1971, he appeared in Universal Pictures' "How to Frame a Figg" starring Don Knotts.  Quinn was a regular character in THE RIFLEMAN, appearing in 40 episodes as Sweeney, the Owner/Bartender of the North Fork Saloon.

Lee Van Cleef as Dan Maury
Lee Van Cleef as Dan Maury with Chuck Connors as L

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."

An old enemy of Marshal Micah Torrance arrives in town, bent on revenge.  Knowing that Micah's crippled arm makes it difficult for him to use a six-shooter, the enemy assumes he can best Micah in a gunfight; however, he soon learns that Micah has developed the habit of carrying a shotgun wherever he goes.  The enemy decides to wait out Micah, knowing that sooner or later he will put down the shotgun.  Lucas is wounded when he tries to interfere and help the Marshal, but he and Micah concoct a trick that they hope will improve Micah's chances in a gunfight.