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The Spiked Rifle
Episode 49
Writer: Palmer Thompson
Director: John English
Original Air Date 11/24/1959


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Guest Cast
Baynes Barron as Gus

Baynes Barron was an American actor.  He appeared in more than 100 television shows and movies over a 30–year career.  Many of his roles were uncredited.  He appeared in many popular western series, including "The Adventures of Kit Carson" (1951–1952), "Death Valley Days" (1954–1955), "Annie Oakley" (1956–1957), "Lawman" (1959–1962), "Bonanza" (1959–1973) and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).  Barron also performed in several popular series of the 1960s, including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962), "The Loretta Young Show" (1953–1961) and "The Untouchables" (1959–1963).  He made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Gus 'Gustav' Kelso in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49) and Trooper Kirk in "The Deserter" (episode 65).  He also appeared in an episode of "Branded" (1965–1966), which starred Chuck Connors in his second hit TV western series.

Virginia Christine as Mrs. Hardy

Virginia Christine, born Virginia Christine Kraft, was an American film and television actress who appeared in more than 150 movies and television shows in a career spanning 35 years.  She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she met her acting coach and future husband, Fritz Feld.  In 1942, Christine signed an acting contract with Warner Bros.  Although primarily a television actress, she appeared in a few high-profile films, including the noir film, "The Killers" (1946), starring Burt Lancaster, in which she played the role of Lilly Harmon Lubinsky; and the sci-fi cult classic, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), in which she portrayed Wilma Lentz.

Christine garnered roles in almost every genre in television, appearing in many popular series, including the thrillers, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962) and "Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), as well as crime dramas and mystery series, including "Peter Gunn" (1958–1961), "The Untouchables" (1959–1963), "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964) and "Perry Mason" (1957–1966).  She is probably best-remembered as Mrs. Olsen in the Folgers Coffee ads.

Christine made two appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Mrs. Hardy in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49) and Mrs. Dalrymple in "The Long Goodbye" (episode 119).  She also guest-starred in numerous westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), "The Restless Gun" (1957–1959), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961) , "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962), in which she had a recurring role as Ovie Swenson, "Bonanza" (1959–1973) and "The Virginian" (1962–1971).

Charles Conrad as Mallory

Charles J. Conrad was an American actor and a politician.  He appeared in more than 30 movies and television shows over 16 years.  Virtually all of his early roles were uncredited.  He made guest appearances in a few popular shows, including "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" (1955–1958) and the crime dramas "Perry Mason" (1957–1966) and "The Lawless Years" (1959–1961).  Conrad guest-starred in one episode of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Mallory in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49).  He also appeared in the westerns "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) and "Laramie" (1959–1963).  Conrad spent his political career serving in the California State Assembly from 1947 to 1972 and was the Republican minority leader in the late 1960s.

Richard Devon as Austin Stark
Richard Devon as Austin Stark in The Spiked Rifle

Richard Devon made seven guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying different characters in each episode. He played Jethroe in "Blood Brothers" (episode 35), Austin Stark in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49), Walt Ryerson in "The Grasshopper" (episode 63), Jack Adams in "Miss Milly" (episode 84), Ben Macowan in "The Silent Knife" (episode 89), Gus Potter in "The Stand-In" (episode 114), and Lovett, the Gunslinger, in "The Most Amazing Man" (episode 151).

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."

Jack Lambert as John Lance

Jack Lambert was an American character actor of stage, film and television who specialized in portraying tough guys and heavies.  He appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows during his 30-year career.  He had many roles in classic films, including Jacques in the war drama "The Cross of Lorraine" (1943), starring Jean-Pierre Aumont and Gene Kelly; "Dum-Dum" Clarke in the crime drama "The Killers" (1946), starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; Philadelphia Tom Zaca in the crime drama "The Enforcer" (1951), starring Humphrey Bogart and Zero Mostel; Red in the western "Bend of the River" (1952), starring James Stewart, Julia Adams and Rock Hudson; and Howard in the biographical action film "Machine-Gun Kelly" (1958), starring Charles Bronson.  Lambert is perhaps best-remembered for his role as Steve "the Claw" Michael in "Dick Tracy's Dilemma" (1947), starring Ralph Byrd.

He guest-starred in many TV shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the suspense series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962), the Buck Henry comedy spy spoof "Get Smart" (1965–1970), and the crime dramas "Richard Diamond: Private Detective" (1957–1960) and "Dragnet" (1951–1959).  He had a recurring role as Joshua Walcek in the adventure series "Riverboat" (1959–1961).  Lambert made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying John Lance in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49).  He guest-starred in numerous other westerns, including "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962), "The Deputy" (1959–1961), "Bat Masterson" (1958–1961), "Wagon Train" (1957–1965), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "Daniel Boone" (1964–1970) and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).

Fay Roope as Baynes Barton
Fay Roope as Baynes Barton in The Spiked Rifle

Fay Roope was an American character actor, born Winfield Harding Roope.  Beginning in the 1920's he was primarily a stage actor, appearing both off and on Broadway for nearly 30 years.  In the 1950's until his death in 1961, he worked primarily in film and television.  His film credits include roles in "From Here To Eternity" (1953, uncredited), the Gary Cooper comedy "You're in the Navy Now" (1951, uncredited), and the original version of the science-fiction classic film "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951, uncredited) and "Viva Zapata" (1952) and "Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki" (1955).  Roope also guest-starred in numerous television series, including "Mr. & Mrs. North" (1952–1953), "Dragnet" (1958), "Perry Mason" (1958) and "Twilight Zone" (1960).  He also appeared in many of the drama anthology shows during the Golden Age of television.

Roope made four appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Jeff Stacey in "The Brother-In-Law" (episode 5), Baynes Barton in "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49), and he was one of six actors to play the recurring character of Doc Burrage—Roope portrayed Doc Burrage in "Panic" (episode 47) and "The Legacy" (episode 51).  He was a recognizable veteran actor in Westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1954), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1958), "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" (1957–1958), "Gunsmoke" (1959), in which he played the recurring character Mr. Botkin, "Bonanza" (1959), "The Texan" (1958–1960), "Rawhide" (1959) and "Cheyenne" (1960).

Glenn Strange as Stagecoach Driver
Glenn Strange

Glenn Strange was an American actor most well known for playing roles in the Western and Horror genres.  Growing up in New Mexico, he had been a rancher, cowboy and rodeo performer—a background that lent authenticity to the Western characters he played.  In the 1920's he learned to play the fiddle and guitar, and toured the country with a radio singing group, the Arizona Wranglers.  He came to Hollywood in 1930 with the ensemble and began landing small parts in "B" Westerns.  At 6' 5" tall, he had a large, rugged frame and heavy features—attributes that tended to typecast him as villainous and nefarious characters.  Later, a different Western characterization would supplant the archetypal villains he portrayed earlier in his career—Sam Noonan, the bartender on CBS's "Gunsmoke" (1961–1973) television series would become his most enduring TV personae.  He appeared in 215 episodes of "Gunsmoke."

Boris Karloff, the quintessential Horror genre star, portrayed Frankenstein's monster in three films, but in 1944 passed the baton to Strange, who played the monster role in three Universal films, "House of Frankenstein" (1944), "House of Dracula" (1945) and the camp horror-comedy film, "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948).  Ironically, in "House of Frankenstein" Karloff was cast as the villainous Dr. Niemann opposite Strange as the monster, formerly Karloff's signature character.

Beginning in the late 1940's, Strange segued into television and for the rest of his career appeared in numerous shows, again, frequently appearing in Westerns.   He guest-starred in six episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, playing variations of the same character in each outing.  He was Cole, the stagecoach driver, in "Duel of Honor" (episode 7) and a shotgun guard on the stagecoach in "The Dead-eye Kid" (episode 20), then Joey, the stagecoach driver, in "The Woman" (episode 32), followed by appearances as an unnamed stagecoach driver in "The Blowout" (episode 43), "The Spiked Rifle" (episode 49) and "Miss Bertie" (episode 90).  Among the many television shows in which he appeared, Strange guest-starred in "Annie Oakley" (1954–1956), "Death Valley Days" (1954 1958), "The Adventures of Champion" (1955–1956), "The Cisco Kid" (1955–1956) and "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955 1960).  He passed away in 1973, ending his career playing Sam Noonan, the bartender on "Gunsmoke," whom he played for 12 years.

Harlan Warde as John Hamilton, President of the North Fork Bank
Harlan Warde as John Hamilton, President of the No

Harlan Warde was an American actor who appeared in 180 films and television series over a 40 year career.  Most of his early film roles were uncredited.  He appeared in 18 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying John Hamilton, President of the North Fork Bank.  His character debuted in "The Safeguard" (episode 8).   Warde had recurring roles in other television series, many in the Western genre.  Among his many other TV credits, he also appeared in "Dragnet" ( 1954), "You Are There" (1953–1956), "Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre" (1955 1957), "Perry Mason" (1958–1966), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), "Bonanza" (1962–1972), "The Big Valley" (1965–1969) and "The Fugitive" (1966 1967).

Lucas agrees to ride shotgun on the North Fork stagecoach as a favor to his friend, Banker Hamilton, who is transporting a large shipment of gold.  When the stage is held up, Lucas is forced to stand by helplessly, because the outlaws are holding his son, Mark, as a hostage.  Lucas finds a way to recover the gold and capture the outlaws before they can harm Mark.