Ever heard of the TV show, The Rifleman? It was an American Western TV series with the main characters played by Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. They live in the fictional town of North Fork, New Mexico territory in the 1870s and 1880s.
The show was in black-and-white with half-hour episodes. The Rifleman aired on ABC from 1958 to 1963 and was one of the first prime-time series on American TV to show a widowed parent raising a child.
The episodes were simple enough to be understood by children and there was always a lesson to be learned in between flying bullets that never killed anyone and a reminder for all at each show’s end that your life could be worse. Click on to find out the real story behind the once most watched show.
12. Worth More Money
Chuck Connors was first offered the lead of Lucas McCain in the show but he turned down the part because of the small salary he was offered. The show’s producers then considered James Whitmore and John Anderson for the role, thinking they would accept their minimum wage offer. But then they made an amazing discovery that changed their minds.
Chuck Connors had a box office hit in 1957 with Disney’s Old Yeller where he starred with charismatic child actor Tommy Kirk. When producers saw the chemistry between the two actors on screen and that Connors could talk to a kid with such respect and understanding, they knew Connors was worth more money. They raised the price and Connors accepted their new offer.