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The Hangman
Episode 76
Writer: Teddi Sherman and Ward Wood
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Original Air Date 05/31/1960


Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain

Johnny Crawford as Mark McCain

Paul Fix as Marshal Micah Torrance

Guest Cast
Amanda Ames (Wallace Earl Sparks Laven) as Myrtle, Owner of the Feed and Grain Store
Wallace Earl Sparks Laven as Amanda Ames

Born Amanda Foulger, Wallace Earl Sparks was an American film and television actress.  She appeared in nearly 40 movies and television shows in a career spanning almost four decades.  Her filmography lists credits under various stage names, including Eileen Harley and Amanda Ames.  According to Laven's daughter Barbara, she took the stage name Eileen from a childhood friend and put it together with Harley, which was a family name.  She borrowed the stage name Amanda from another friend who was a professional dancer and with whom she appeared in several musicals.  According to her daughter, Laven thought Amanda sounded well with Ames.  She was married to Arnold Laven, late co-founder of Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions and creator, producer and director of THE RIFLEMAN.  They sometimes worked together.  Harley guest-starred in many popular television shows, especially crime dramas, including "Arrest and Trial" (1963–1964), which starred Chuck Connors, Ben Gazarra and Roger Perry; "Ironside" (1967–1975), starring Raymond Burr; "Police Woman" (1974–1978), starring Angie Dickenson and Earl Holliman; "The Rockford Files" (1974–1980), starring James Garner; and "Hardcastle and McCormick" (1983–1986), starring Brian Keith; as well as the family comedy "The Donna Reed Show" (1958–1966) and the medical dramas "Dr. Kildare" (1961–1966), starring Richard Chamberlain, and "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1969–1976), starring Robert Young and James Brolin.

Wallace Earl appeared in several films, playing an uncredited part in the dramatic comedy "Blue Astaire" (1946), starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby; Sally in the sci-fi film "The Monster That Challenged the World" (1957), directed by Arnold Laven; an uncredited role in the biographical action film "Geronimo" (1962), starring Chuck Connors and directed by Arnold Laven; and Ellie in the musical comedy "Clambake" (1967), starring Elvis Presley.

Wallace Earl made five appearances (under several different stage names) in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Clair Wheatley Carney in "The Retired Gun" (episode 17), Myrtle in "The Hangman" (episode 76) and "The Silent Knife" (episode 89), Mrs. Lovering in "Short Rope for a Tall Man" (episode 103), and Ruth in "The Executioner" (episode 142).  She also guest-starred in several other westerns of the 1960s and 70s, including "The Big Valley" (1965–1969), starring Barbara Stanwyck, and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.  Wallace Earl Laven passed away February 27, 2012 after a long illness.

Whit Bissell as Volney Adams

Whit Bissell, born Whitner Nutting Bissell, was a prolific American television and film actor who made his acting debut on Broadway.  He appeared in nearly 300 television shows and movies in a career spanning more than 40 years.  Although he appeared in several cult horror films of the 1950s, including the classic sci-fi thriller, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), he is probably best-known for portraying the mad scientist who turned Michael Landon into a beast in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957).  Bissell appeared in numerous TV shows of every genre popular in the 1950s through the early 80s, including "Peyton Place" (1965), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1970–1973), "The Incredible Hulk" (1979–1980), and many western series, including "The Lone Ranger" (1947–1959), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), "Wagon Train" (1958–1964), "Bonanza" (1959–1973) and "The Virginian" (1963–1964).  Bissell also had recurring roles as Bert Loomis in the comedy series, "Bachelor Father" (1957–1962), and Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk in the sci-fi series, "The Time Tunnel" (1966–1967).

Bissell made four appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Sam Barrows in "The Patsy" (episode 41), Gabe Fenway in "The Flourflusher" (episode 72), Volney Adams in "The Hangman" (episode 76) and Henry Waller in "The Long Gun from Tucson" (episode 121).  In 1994, Bissell received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.  He also served on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild and represented the actors branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors.

Richard Deacon as Colonel Simms

Richard Deacon was an American character actor of television and film.  He appeared in more than 150 TV shows and movies during a career spanning 30 years.  Tall, bald-headed and bespectacled, he tended to be cast in roles portraying humorless or imperious authority figures.  Many of his early parts were uncredited.  He had his first recurring role as Sherman Hall in "The Charles Farrell Show" (1956).  In the 1960s, Deacon became a familiar presence in television, playing various recurring roles, including Fred Rutherford in "Leave It to Beaver" (1957–1963) and Mel Cooley in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961–1966), the role for which he may be most beloved and best-remembered.  In addition to his career as an actor, Deacon was also a renowned gourmet chef.  He authored a series of cook books and hosted a television series.  Deacon made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Colonel Simms in "The Hangman" (episode 76).  In addition to THE RIFLEMAN, Deacon also appeared in two other iconic westerns, "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975) and "Bonanza" (1959–1973).

Michael Fox as Joe Hannah
Michael Fox

Fox guest-starred in many popular television shows, including the sci-fi anthology series "Science Fiction Theatre" (1955–1957), the suspense anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962), the crime dramas "The Untouchables" (1959–1963) and "Arrest and Trial" (1963–1964), Rod Serling's iconic anthology series "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), the superhero parody "Batman" (1966–1968), the sci-fi series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1964–1968), the espionage thriller "Mission Impossible" (1966–1973), the western action adventure series "The Wild Wild West" (1965–1969) and the Michael Crichton medical drama, "ER" (1994–2009).  He also had several recurring roles, including Blake Yedor in the western "Trackdown" (1957–1959), Coroner George McLeord in the detective series "Burke's Law" (1963–1966), various autopsy surgeons in the legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), Amos Fedders in the primetime soap opera "Falcon Crest" (1981–1990) and Saul Feinberg in the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1987).

Fox made four guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Trager in "The Trade" (episode 24), Abel in "Letter of the Law" (episode 50), Joe Hannah in "The Hangman" (episode 76) and Jim Oxford in "Miss Milly" (episode 84).  He guest-starred in a few other westerns, including "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen; "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness; and "The Big Valley" (1965–1969), starring Barbara Stanwyck.

Betty Lou Gerson as Ellie Aikens

Betty Lou Gerson was an American film, radio, television and voice actress who appeared in nearly 50 movies and television shows in a career spanning almost five decades.  She got her start in radio, for which she became known as the "Soap Opera Queen of Chicago."  Upon arriving in Hollywood, she appeared in a string of B-movies including the noir film "Nightmare Alley" (1947), starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell, "The Red Menace" (1949), co-starring Robert Rockwell and Hannelore Axman, and "Undercover Girl" (1950), starring Alexis Smith and Scott Brady.  Gerson also played the role of Nurse Andersone in the classic sci-fi horror film "The Fly" (1958), starring David Hedison and Vincent Price.  In television, she guest-starred in various genres, including several crime dramas such as "The Untouchables" (1959–1963), "Checkmate" (1960–1962), "Perry Mason" (1957–1966) and "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964), the dramatic anthology series "The Loretta Young Show" (1953–1961), Rod Serling's iconic sci-fi mystery series "The Twilight Zone" (1959–1964), and the comedies "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961–1966) and "Hazel" (1961–1966).  In 1950, she began working on Disney productions doing voice work.  She was the narrator for "Cinderella" (1950), had a small cameo role in "Mary Poppins" (1964), and portrayed the evil villainess Cruella De Vil in "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" (1961).  Gerson made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Ellie Aikens in "The Hangman" (episode 76).  She also guest-starred in the western series "Death Valley Days" (1952–1975), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Richard Long, and "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen.

Ralph R. Moody as Eban Muchen
Ralph Moody

Ralph Moody was an American actor who appeared in over 50 movies and 100 television shows.  Often cast in Westerns as indians, his many television credits include "The Lone Ranger" (1949 1950), "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (1955–1959), "Dragnet" (1952 1959), "The Texan" (1959), "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1958–1961), "Perry Mason" (1958–1964), "Gunsmoke" (1959–1966), "Dragnet 1967" (1967–1970) and "Bonanza" (1960 1971).

Moody appeared in 12 episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Jonathan Dodd in "The Visitor" (episode 58), Roy Merrick in "The Spoiler" (episode 61), and Eban Muchen in "The Hangman" (episode 76).  Moody also played the recurring character of Doc Burrage in nine episodes, including "Six Years and a Day" (episode 91), "The Actress" (episode 94), "Dark Day at North Fork" (episode 100), "The Mescalero Curse" (episode 106), "Man From Salinas" (episode 130), "Quiet Night, Deadly Night" (episode 146), "Mark's Rifle" (episode 150), "Conflict" (episode 155), "Requiem at Mission Springs" (episode 164).

Ian Murray as Townsman
Ian Murray

Ian Murray made appearances in seven episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, playing the recurring character of Harley Hannabury in six, including "The Challenge" (episode 28), "Blood Brothers" (episode 35), "Obituary" (episode 44), "The Fourflusher" (episode 72), "Meeting at Midnight" (credited as "Old Man")(episode 74), and "The Illustrator" (episode 88).  He played a Townsman in "The Hangman" (episode 76).

Denver Pyle as Harold Tenner
Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle appeared in five episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Henry Trumble in "Bloodlines" (episode 42), Seth Mitchell in "Legacy" (episode 51), Harold Tenner in "The Hangman" (episode 76), George Tanner in "The Clarence Bibs Story" (episodes 104), and Frank Hazlitt in "The Decision" (episode 116).  Pyle was a highly recognizable character actor who worked in film and television, mostly in the 1950's through 1970's.  Frequently cast in westerns, he appeared in two classic John Ford films,"The Horse Soldiers," with William Holden, and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."  Pyle played recurring characters in several television series, including the role of Mad Jack in "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" (1977-1978; 36 episodes), Buck Webb, Doris Day's father, during the first two seasons of "The Doris Day Show" (1968-1970), and Briscoe Darling on The Andy Griffith Show.  Pyle's best-known television role may have been the hillbilly, Uncle Jesse Duke, in "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979-1985; 146 episodes).  In later life, Pyle made cameo appearances, notably 1994's "Maverick," with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, and the original Maverick, James Garner.

An ex-convict, who has seemingly rehabilitated himself, is accused of robbing and killing his employer.  When the townsfolk of North Fork become infuriated by the brutal crime, a lynching mob begins to assemble.  While trying to prevent the lynching, Lucas accidentally stumbles onto the real truth behind the crime.