Writer: Sam Peckinpah
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Original Air Date 10/21/1958
Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain
Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain
Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance
R. G. Armstrong was an American playwright and film and television actor. Trained at the Actors Studio in New York, his filmography lists more than 180 credits spanning 50 years. Armstrong made his first film appearance in "Garden of Eden" (1954). While working on the television show "The Westerner," he met writer/director Sam Peckinpah, who cast him in several of his films, including "Ride the High Country" (1962), "Major Dundee" (1965), "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" (1970) and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973). Armstrong was also cast in three Warren Beatty films, including "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), "Reds" (1981) and "Dick Tracy" (1990), in which he played the villain Pruneface. Other film credits include the role of Cap'n Dan in "The Great White Hope" (1970) and General Phillips "Predator" (1987).
Armstrong was best-known as a character actor in television Westerns. He appeared in two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, playing Sheriff Tomlinson in the pilot episode "The Sharpshooter," which was written by Sam Peckinpah, and episode 4, "The Marshal," which was both written and directed by Peckinpah. "The Marshal" introduced the title character played by Paul Fix after Armstrong's sheriff was killed by marauding outlaws. Other TV series in which he guest-starred include "The Texan" (1958–1959), "Lawman" (1959), "Maverick" (1959–1960), "Bonanza" (1959–1966), "Cheyenne" (1960–1961), "Perry Mason" (1958–1962), "Laramie" (1960–1962), "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1960–1962), "Gunsmoke" (1961–1967), "Wagon Train" (1962), "The Virginian" (1963–1967), "The F.B.I." (1965–1967), "T.H.E. Cat" (1966), "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979–1983), "Dynasty" (1982), "Friday the 13th" (1987–1989) and "L. A. Law" (1992–1993). R. G. Armstrong passed away on July 27, 2012 at age 95.
Abby Dalton, born Marlene Wasden, is an American actress who spent most of her 50-year career working in television. She has nearly 50 acting credits and was most prolific in the 1960s, when she appeared in many TV shows and is best-remembered for several shows in which she had a recurring role, including Martha Hale in "Hennesey" (1959–1962), Joey Bishop's wife, Ellie Barnes, in "The Joey Bishop Show" (1961–1965) and later in her career, Julia Cumson in the drama series "Falcon Crest" (1981–1990). Dalton also was a regular panelist on the game shows, "Match Game" (1962–1969) and "Hollywood Squares" (intermittently aired from 1966–1984). Dalton made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Nancy Moore in "The Marshall" (episode 4).
James Drury is an American actor in television and film. He has nearly 70 acting credits in a career spanning 50 years. Frequently cast in westerns, in 1991, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City. Among his more illustrious film credits, Drury appeared in the Sam Peckinpah western, "Ride the High Country" (1962). Drury had his first major role in the western series "The Virginian" (1962–1971), portraying the title character. In 2000, he reprised the role in a TV movie homage, "The Virginian," to the 1960s series.
Drury made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, playing the role of Lloyd Carpenter in "The Marshal" (episode 4) and Spicer in "Death Trap" (episode 109). In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, Drury also appeared in other iconic westerns of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, including "Lawman" (1958–1962), "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) and "Wagon Train" (1957–1965).
Warren Oates was an American actor who began his acting career in 1957, starring in a live New York production of the television series "Studio One." He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in numerous television western series. Oates made four appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Andrew Shelton in "The Marshal" (episode 4), Jud Malackie in "Bloodlines" (episode 42), Santos in "The Prodigal" (episode 71), Marty Ryan in "Miss Milly" (episode 84), Will Breen in "Day of Reckoning" (episode 139). He met Sam Peckinpah working on THE RIFLEMAN, which began a collaborative relationship on later film projects. He was a prolific actor best-known for his roles in the Peckinpah classics, "The Wild Bunch" (1969) and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" (1974). His most critically acclaimed role was playing GTO in the 1971 Monte Hellman cult classic "Two-Lane Blacktop." Oates passed away in 1983 and a decade later, in 1993, Tom Thurman produced a documentary tribute film honoring his career, "Warren Oates: Across the Border."
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.
Bert Stevens, born Malcolm Byron Stevens and older brother of Barbara Stanwyck, was a prolific American actor who worked primarily in film. He appeared in more than 270 movies and television shows during a career spanning 30 years. Despite his extensive filmography, virtually all of his roles were uncredited. Among his roles in notable films were the romantic comedy "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur; the Orson Welles' classic "Citizen Kane" (1941), starring Orson Welles; the crime comedy "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), starring Charlie Chaplin; the biographical drama "Houdini" (1953), starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh; the George Stevens drama based on the Edna Ferber novel of the same name, "Giant" (1956), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean; the crime drama "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957), starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton; the Alfred Hitchcock mystery adventure "North by Northwest" (1959), starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint; the Billy Wilder comedy "Some Like It Hot" (1959), starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon; the historical drama "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster and Richard Widmark; the political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury and Janet Leigh; and the musical drama "The Sound of Music" (1965), starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
Stevens guest-starred in a few popular television shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the family comedy "I Love Lucy" (1951–1957), the crime drama "The Untouchables" (1959–1963) and the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966). Stevens made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the doctor in "The Marshal" (episode 4). He guest-starred in many other westerns, including "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen, "Bat Masterson" (1958–1961), starring Gene Barry, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), starring Hugh O'Brian, "Maverick" (1957–1962), starring Jack Kelly and James Garner, "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone, "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts, and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.
Robert J. Wilke was a prolific American film and television actor. He appeared in nearly 300 movies and television shows during a career spanning 35 years, sometimes working as a stuntman. A familiar face in westerns, Wilke was typecast as a heavy. He portrayed Jim Pierce in the western "High Noon" (1952), starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly and Lloyd Bridges. Following this role, Wilke began garnering roles in more prominent movies and television shows. He had a recurring role as Capt. Mendoza in the Disney adventure series "Zorro" (1957–1959).
Wilke had many film roles, including Madden in the western "The Far Country" (1954), starring James Stewart; the First Mate of the Nautilus in the sci-fi adventure "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954), starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre; the guard captain in the film adaptation of Howard Fast's "Spartacus" (1960), starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons; Wallace in the John Sturges epic western "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and James Coburn. He portrayed the farm foreman in the romantic tragedy "Days of Heaven" (1978), starring Richard Grace, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard; and in his final role, he played General Barnicke in the war comedy "Stripes" (1981), starring Bill Murray.
Wilke guest-starred in many popular television shows of the 1950s through the 70s, including the superhero series "Adventures of Superman" (1952–1958), the family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974), the crime drama "The Untouchables" (1959–1963), the private detective series "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964), the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), the family comedy "My Three Sons" (1960–1972), the adventure drama "The Fugitive" (1963–1967), the western action adventure "The Wild Wild West" (1965–1969) and the western action adventure "Kung Fu" (1972–1975).
Wilke made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Florry Sheldon in "The Marshal" (episode 4) and Haskins in "The Pet" (episode 15). He guest-starred in many other westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), starring Clayton Moore; The Gene Autry Show (1950–1956), Cheyenne (1955–1963), starring Clint Walker, "The Deputy" (1959–1961), starring Henry Fonda; "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen; "Rawhide" (1959–1966), starring Clint Eastwood; "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), starring John McIntyre and Ward Bond; "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), hosted by Robert Taylor; "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness; and "Bonanza" (1959–1973), starring Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts. His actor friend Claude Akins, who also guest-starred in THE RIFLEMAN (episodes 8, 74 and 81), quipped that Wilke, who was a passionate golfer, earned more money playing golf than from acting.
Micah Torrance, formerly a famous Marshal, but now a drunken derelict with a crippled arm from a gunfight, turns up in North Folk and is taken on as a hired hand by Lucas McCain, who wants to give the man a chance to rehabilitate himself. His good deed backfires when three outlaws ride into town bent on avenging themselves for past troubles with Micah. The outlaws kill the local sheriff, leaving Lucas and Micah to protect the town alone.