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The Vision
Episode 66
Writer: Cyril Hume
Director: Don Medford
Original Air Date 03/22/1960


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
John Abbott as Dr. Hennekin

John Abbott, born John Kefford, was an English character actor.  He appeared in 150 movies and television shows in a career spanning nearly 50 years.  He performed in a wide range of different genres, although several of his early roles were uncredited.  Despite being blacklisted in the 1950s, Abbott remained a sought-after performer.  He is best remembered for his portrayal of Frederick Fairlie in "The Woman in White" (1948).  He also provided the voice of the wolf in Walt Disney's "The Jungle Book" (1967).  Abbott made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Dr. Hennekin in "The Vision" (episode 66).  In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, he also guest-starred in "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) and "Bonanza" (1959–1973).

Dennis Cross as Fance Degnan
Dennis Cross as Fance Degnan in The Vision

Dennis Cross made six appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Witcherly in "The Safe Guard" (episode 8), Ned Dunnell in "The Gaucho," (episode 14), Lafe Oberly in "The Patsy" (episode 41), Dorn in "The Hero" (episode 59), Fance Degnan in "The Vision" (episode 66), and Martin in "The Quiet Fear" (episode 127). Cross studied acting on the G. I. bill at the Actors Lab in Hollywood. He later moved to New York, where he appeared in live television programas and commercials. He appeared in the Philco Television Playhouse show, "A Trip To Bountiful," appearing with Lillian Gish, icon of the silent film era.

Marian (Marion) Seldes as Hazel, the Vision

Marian Seldes was an American radio, stage, film and television actress.  She appeared in nearly 100 movies and television shows during her 70-year career, but the stage was her first love and where she made her greatest professional imprint.  She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and made her Broadway debut in a production of "Medea" (1948).  She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame, and she was a faculty member of Juilliard School of Performing Arts (1967–1991) and an adjunct professor at Fordham University.  Her students included Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Kevin Spacey, Viola Davis and Patti Lupone.

Seldes received several Tony and Drama Desk Awards nominations.  Generally regarded as the seminal interpreter of the works of playwright Edward Albee, Seldes won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in "A Delicate Balance" (1967).  She won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance in "Father's Day" (1971); an Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Actress in a Play for "Painting Churches" (1983); and, in 2010, a Antoinette Perry (Tony) Lifetime Achievement Award.  The "Guinness Book of World Records" lists her as being the "most durable actress," having appeared in every one of the 1,809 Broadway performances of Ira Levin's play "Deathtrap," which premiered in 1978. 

In addition to her successful stage career, Seldes was prolific in radio and film.  She appeared in nearly 180 episodes of the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater. "  Some of her film roles include Rowena Cobb in the biographical action film "The True Story of Jesse James" (1957), starring Robert Wagner; Herodias in the Bible epic "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965), starring Max von Sydow; Ruth in the crime drama "Fingers" (1978), starring Harvey Keitel; Alma Pittman in the mystery drama "Affliction" (1997), starring Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek and James Coburn; President Jocelyn Carr in the romantic drama "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003), starring Julia Roberts; and Barbara in the crime drama "The Visitor" (2007), starring Richard Jenkins.

Seldes guest-starred in many popular television shows, especially in her early career, including the crime dramas "M Squad" (1957–1960), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), "Law & Order" (1990–2010), the drama series "Studio One in Hollywood" (1948–1958), the suspense series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962) and the short-lived comedy series "Good & Evil" (1991), in which she had a recurring role as Charlotte Sandler; and the mystery whodunit "Murder, She Wrote" (1984–1996).  Seldes made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, in which she portrayed Hazel, the apparition of Mark McCain's mother, in "The Vision" (episode 66).  This is the only episode in THE RIFLEMAN's five seasons in which the mother of Mark/wife of Lucas appeared.  Seldes guest-starred in a few other westerns of the 1950s and 60s, including "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness, "Zane Grey Theater" (1956–1961), starring Dick Powell, "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone, and in Chuck Connors' later series "Branded" (1965–1966) .

Hope Summers as Hattie Denton, Owner of the General Store
Hope Summers as Hattie Denton, Owner of the Genera

Hope Summers was an American actress of the stage, radio, film and television.  Her acting career began in the 1930's, when she worked primarily in community and stock theater and radio.  Her career was most active in the 1950's and 1960's, when she appeared in numerous films and television shows.   Her film credits include "Zero Hour!" (1957), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), "Spencer's Mountain" (1963), "The Hallelujah Trail" (1965), "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966), "The Shakiest Gun in the West" (1968), "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), "Charley Varrick" (1973) and her last movie, "Foul Play" (1978).

Summers began working in television in the 1950's, guest-starring in a wide variety of genres, but especially Westerns.  Her television credits include "The Loretta Young Show" (1956–1959), "Maverick" (1957) and "Wagon Train" (1957), "Gunsmoke" (1958–1963), "Dennis the Menace" (1959), "Petticoat Junction" (1963) and "The Phyllis Diller Show" (1966).  She played numerous memorable recurring roles in many hit television series, including "Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel" (1950).  Her best-known role was Clara Edwards, Aunt Bee's gossipy neighbor, in "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) and its spin-off, "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968–1971).  Summers appeared in 16 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN as Hattie Denton, owner of the General Store.  Hattie was first introduced in "Eight Hours to Die" (episode 6).  Her last regular television role was playing Olive in "Another Day" (1978).

Karl Swenson as Nils Svenson
Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson was an American actor of theater, radio, film and television whose career spanned more than 35 years.  He met his second wife, stage and radio actress Joan Tompkins, while working in radio, and they performed together in various media, including film and television, throughout their careers.  Swenson's long career began on the stage and in radio, appearing in numerous serials, including "Inner Sanctum Mysteries" (1941–1952), and the title roles in "Lorenzo Jones" (1937–1949) and the detective serials, "The Adventures of Father Brown" (1945) and "Mr. Chameleon" (1948–1953).

Beginning in the 1950's, Swenson guest-starred in 160 films and television shows.  A fair-haired, strapping man of Swedish ancestry, Swenson was frequently typecast in roles playing Scandinavian characters.  Usually appearing in minor parts, his film credits include "Kings Go Forth" (1958), "North to Alaska" (1960), Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963) and "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965).  He had a prolific career in television, frequently appearing in Westerns; his many TV credits include "Gunsmoke" (1957–1971), "The Texan" (1958–1959), "Zane Grey Theater" (1958–1959), "Bachelor Father" (1958–1960), "Laramie" (1959–1963), "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1963), "Bonanza" (1959–1967), "Perry Mason" (1962–1965), "The Virginian" (1962–1969), "Lassie" (1962–1972), "Dr. Kildaire" (1965), "The Big Valley" (1965–1967) and "The Mod Squad" (1970–1972).

Swenson appeared in two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, playing the recurring character of Nils Svenson (variously Swenson, Swensen), the Blacksmith in "The Vision" (episode 66) and Chris Manse in "The Jailbird" (episode 73).  Swenson is probably best remembered for his role playing lumber mill owner Lars Hanson in "Little House on the Prairie" (1974–1978).  He had met actor/writer/producer/director Michael Landon on the set of "Bonanza" (1959), and remembering him when casting his successful "Little House" franchise, Landon gave Swenson a recurring role, which the veteran actor played until his death in 1978.

Natividad Vacio as Pedro

Natividad Vacio, born Jose Natividad Dominguez Vacio, was an American character actor of film and television, in addition to being a musician and a teacher.  He appeared in more than 70 movies and television shows during a career spanning 40 years.  Due to his Hispanic heritage, Vacio almost always was cast in ethnic roles.  During high school, he became friends with George Reeves, who encouraged him to enroll at the Pasadena Community Playhouse.  Following military service in World War II, he began working as a teacher and appearing in films and television.  In addition to acting, Vacio was a guitarist and singer, making recordings with composer Laurindo Almeida.  He was also the director of the Commedia del Artistes stage company in Padua Hills, California.

Vacio made appearances in many classic films, including the role of Jose in the film noir thriller "The Hitch-Hiker" (1953), starring Frank Lovejoy, Edmund O'Brien and William Talman; an uncredited role in the film adaptation of the Edna Ferber classic "Giant" (1956), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean; Miguel in "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallack and Steve McQueen; and Ramon in the Steve Martin comedy "The Man with Two Brains" (1983).  He guest-starred in a wide variety of popular television shows of the 1950s through the 80s, including the superhero series "Adventures of Superman" (1952–1958), starring his best friend George Reeves, the family comedy "Mister Ed" (1958–1966), the mystery action series "Peter Gunn" (1958–1961), the horror series "Thriller" (1960–1962), the action adventures "I Spy" (1965–1968), "It Takes a Thief" (1968–1970) and "The Fugitive" (1963–1967), the action undercover police drama "Mod Squad" (1968–1973), the espionage thriller "Mission: Impossible" (1966–1973), the crime drama "Barnaby Jones" (1973–1980), and the family comedies "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960–1968), "My Three Sons" (1960–1972) and "The Flying Nun" (1967–1970), and the Buck Henry spy spoof "Get Smart" (1965–1970).

Vacio played several recurring roles, including Fronk in the the family comedy "Father Knows Best" (1954–1960) and Senor Leal in the drama "Knots Landing" (1979–1993).  He made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Pedro in "The Vision" (episode 66).  He guest-starred in several other westerns, including "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), starring Clayton Moore, "Branded" (1965–1966), starring THE RIFLEMAN's Chuck Connors, "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1954–1959), starring Lee Aaker and James Brown, "The Texan" (1958–1960), starring Rory Calhoun, "The Guns of Will Sonnett" (1967–1969), starring Walter Brennan and Dack Rambo, and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.

Jeane (Jeanne) Wood as Mrs. Nils Svenson

Jeane Wood was an American film and television actress.  She appeared in more than 40 movies and television shows during a career spanning nearly four decades.  She had several film roles, including Mrs. Buddy in the western "The Fastest Gun Alive" (1956), starring Glenn Ford; as well as minor parts in the Cecil B. DeMille Bible epic "The Ten Commandments" (1956), starring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Anne Baxter leading an ensemble cast; and the film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives.

Wood guest-starred in several popular television shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the family comedy Bachelor Father (1957–1962), crime dramas "M Squad" (1957–1960) and "Checkmate" (1960–1962), Rod Serling's iconic anthology series "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964) and the adventure drama "The Fugitive" (1963–1967).  She made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Mrs. Svenson "The Vision" (episode 66).  She also guest-starred in the western "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), hosted by Robert Taylor; and "The Virginian" (1962–1971), starring James Drury.

Lucas and Mark clash over Lucas' insistence that Mark maintain deep affection for his dead mother, whom Mark can barely remember.  During this troubled period between father and son, Mark is stricken with typhoid fever, and in his delirium, sees a vision of his mother.