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The Silent Knife
Episode 89
Writer: Douglas Stevens and John Wilder
Director: Don Medford
Original Air Date 12/20/1960


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 Hardware Store

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.

James Chandler as Harvey Andrews

James Chandler was an American film and television actor who appeared in nearly 70 movies and television shows in a career spanning more than 30 years.  During the 1950s through the 70s, Chandler guest-starred in various popular crime dramas, including "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964), "Bourbon Street Beat" (1959–1960) and "Perry Mason" (1957–1966).  He made two guest appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying the rancher in "The Mind Reader" (episode 40) and Harvey Andrews in "The Silent Knife" (episode 89).  Chandler also appeared in many of the other classic western TV series of the period, including "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), "Laramie" (1959–1963), "Bonanza" (1959–1973) and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).

Richard Devon as Ben Macowan
Richard Devon

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).

Bill Quinn as Sweeney, the Bartender
Bill Quinn as Sweeney, the Bartender

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.

Brad Weston as Big Mark

Brad Weston appeared in 35 movies and television shows during his 20-year career.  He guest-starred in several popular television shows of the 1950s and 60s, including the suspense anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955–1962), the crime drama "Checkmate" (1960–1962), the war drama "Combat!" (1962–1967), the private detective series "77 Sunset Strip" (1958–1964) and the science fiction cult classic "Star Trek" (1966–1969).

Weston made one appearances in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Mark in "Silent Knife" (episode 89).  He guest-starred in several other westerns, including "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), starring Steve McQueen; "Maverick" (1957–1962), starring Jack Kelly and James Garner; "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957–1963), starring Richard Boone; "Laramie" (1959–1963), starring John Smith and Robert Fuller; "Branded" (1965–1966), starring THE RIFLEMAN's Chuck Connors; and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975), starring James Arness.

Robert B. Williams as Harrison

Robert Williams was an American television and film actor who appeared in more than 300 movies and television shows during a career spanning 40 years.  He had roles in many obscure films of the 1930s and 40s, as well as innumerable uncredited roles in many well-known and classic films, including the the noir film "Lady in the Lake" (1947), starring Robert Montgomery, the drama "The Snake Pit" (1948), starring Olivia Havilland, Alfred Hitchcock's noir film "Strangers on a Train" (1951), starring Farley Granger and Ruth Roman, the musical comedy "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, the drama "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), starring James Dean, the comedy "A Hole in the Head" (1959), starring Frank Sinatra, and the biographical drama "Birdman of Alzatraz" (1962), starring Burt Lancaster.

From the 1960s forward, Williams was a busy actor in television, guest-starring in many popular shows, including the family comedies "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (1952–1966) and "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960–1968), the medical dramas "Ben Casey" (1961–1966) and "Dr. Kildare" (1961–1966), the long-running family drama "Lassie" (1954–1974), the espionage thriller "Mission: Impossible" (1966–1973), as well as the crime dramas "Perry Mason" (1957–1966), "Adam-12" (1968–1975), "Mannix" (1967–1975) and "Ironside" (1967–1975).  He had a few recurring roles, playing Dr. Dorfman in "Dennis the Menace" (1959–1963), Barney in the comedy series "Hazel" (1961–1966) and Garth Gimble Sr. in the short-lived comedy talk-show "Fernwood Tonight" (1977).

Williams made one appearance in THE RIFLEMAN, portraying Harrison in "The Silent Knife" (episode 89).  He guest-starred in numerous other westerns of the 1950s through the 70s, including "Hopalong Cassidy" (1952–1954), "Annie Oakley" (1954–1956), "The Lone Ranger" (1949–1957), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955–1961), "Zane Grey Theater" (1956–1961), "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958–1961), "Cheyenne" (1955–1963), "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957–1962), "Rawhide" (1959–1966), "The Big Valley" (1965–1969), "Bonanza" (1959–1973), "The Virginian" (1962–1971), and "Gunsmoke" (1955–1975).

A young man who is mute arrives in North Fork.  Because he cannot speak, he is treated as a "freak" by the townsfolk, except Mark and Lucas, who befriend the boy.  When the mute boy, who is desperate for money, steals $500 from the stagecoach line, Lucas goes after him and faces the boy's deadly skill with a knife.   Lucas persuades him to return the money and give himself up.