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The Wrong Man
Episode 27
Writer: N. B. Stone, Jr.
Director: Arnold Laven
Original Air Date 03/31/1959


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
Lyle Bettger as Jay Jefferson
Lyle Bettger as Jay Jefferson

Lyle Bettger was an American stage, film and television actor.  He attended Dickinson College and graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1937.  He went on to appear in more than 50 different films, plays and television shows in a career spanning three decades.  Typecast as the villain, he is best known for playing the role of the wrathful elephant handler Klaus in the film, "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952).

Bettger made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, playing Jay Jefferson in "The Wrong Man" (episode 27) and Holt in "Skull" (episode 124).  Handsome, with blond-hair and steely-eyes, Bettger played the villain in many westerns, including "Denver and Rio Grande" (1952), "The Great Sioux Uprising" (1953), "Drums Across the River" (1954) and "Gunfight at the OK Corral" (1957).

Robert H. Harris as Curly Smith and Frank Hardy

Robert H. Harris, born Robert H. Hurwitz, was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 roles for television, film and theater in a career spanning nearly three decades.  Harris was primarily a television actor, more often than not playing the villain.   Among his many television credits, he appeared eight times in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1956–1961) and six times in "Perry Mason"( 1958—1965).

Prior to his first appearance on THE RIFLEMAN, Harris was a guest star on other western series, including "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), "The Rough Riders" (1958–1959), "The Restless Gun" (1957–1959) and "Wanted: Dead of Alive" (1958–1961).  Harris made two appearances on THE RIFLEMAN.  In "The Wrong Man" (episode 27), the plot revolved around a case of mistaken identity in the characters he portrayed—Col. Beauregard 'Curly' Smith, Frank Hardy, Pete Dawson.  He also played Ezra Martin in "Tension" (episode 45).

Gordon Jones as Carnival Barker
Gordon Jones as Carnival Barker in The Wrong Man

Gordon Jones was an American film and television actor whose career spanned more than 30 years.  Born in California, he broke into the movie business playing small roles and bit parts.  A big burly man, he played supporting characters, often appearing in slapstick roles and light comedies, even developing something of a reputation as a comical sidekick in the B-western genre.

His acting turn co-starring Eddie Cantor in "Strike Me Pink" (1936) garnered him a contract with RKO.  He appeared in a string of films in the 1930's and '40's.  He was cast against type as Britt Reid, the title character of "The Green Hornet" (1940) in the first of two Universal movie serials based on the old radio program.  Ironically, it was "The Green Hornet" role for which Jones is best remembered.  In the same year, Jones played the leading role of a rookie police officer in "I Take This Oath."

After serving a tour of duty in the military during World War II, Gordon returned to acting.  He played comic western villains in a succession of films, including the Danny Kaye classic "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1947), the Abbott and Costello western send-up, "The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap" (1947), and the "horse and bull" western, "The Untamed Breed" (1948).  He went on to play Mike the Cop, Lou Costello's nemesis, on "The Abbott and Costello Show" (1952–1954).

Gordon appeared other television series in the 1950's and early 60's, including "The Real McCoys," and he appeared in two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the Carnival Barker in "The Wronged Man" (episode 27) and Vince Medford in "Stopover" (episode 107).

Jones continued to work in films; notably, he appeared in two successful Disney pictures, "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Son of Flubber," in which he portraying harried school coaches.  His last film role was in John Wayne's western-comedy "McClintock!" (1963).

Frank Sully as Second Spieler

Frank Sully was an American character actor of television and film.  He appeared in more than 270 movies and television shows during a career spanning more than 30 years.  He was typecast as the heavy and is perhaps best-remembered for his portrayal of Danny in "The Virginian" (1962–1971), starring James Drury.

Sully had roles in several memorable films, including Noah Joad in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" (1940), starring Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and John Carradine; and Maude's bartender in the musical comedy "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), starring Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh and Maureen Stapleton; as well as minor parts in the crime drama "Fury" (1936), starring Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel and Bruce Cabot; the romantic comedy "Father's Little Dividend" (1951), starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor; and the biographical drama "Funny Girl" (1968), starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Anne Francis.

Sully guest-starred in many popular television shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the family comedy "I Love Lucy" (1951–1957), the crime drama "Dragnet" (1951–1959), the private detective series "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964), the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), the suspense anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962), the family comedy "Leave It to Beaver" (1957–1963) and the western action adventure "The Wild Wild West" (1965–1969).

Sully made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the second spieler in "The Wrong Man" (episode 27).  He guest-starred in several other westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), starring Clayton Moore; "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), starring Hugh O'Brian; "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962), starring Dale Robertson; "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen; and "Maverick" (1957–1962), starring Jack Kelly and James Garner.

A Marshal from another territory comes to North Fork looking for a wanted man.  To his surprise, he finds that there are two men in town who could easily fit the description of the man he's trailing.  He deliberately kills the wrong man to collect the bounty money, then tries to blackmail the real criminal, who wants to keep his past hidden from the town where he's made a new honest start.  The Marshal's scheme almost works, until Lucas learns the true story from the real criminal.