Hollywood veteran Johnny Crawford passed away at 75. The news of “The Rifleman” star’s demise was made public on Thursday via an official announcement on the late actor’s website.
Crawford was the last living member of the ABC series “The Rifleman.” At 12, the young actor played a son to Chuck Connors’ character, Lucas McCain. But the 'golden age' icon was also known for his appearance as one of the 24 Mouseketeers in the first season of “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
Johnny Crawford suffered from COVID-19
Crawford was hospitalized in 2019 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, a GoFundMe campaign was started to aid the actor’s family in dealing with medical expenses. The late actor was even contracted with COVID-19 and later pneumonia.
The fundraising campaign was organized by Paul Petersen – the advocate who represented former child actors and a one-time star of "The Donna Reed Show."
So far, responses to the GoFundMe page have been growing steadily, with over 2,000 donors and more than $100,000 accumulated. Crawford’s team confirmed that the star’s demise was peaceful and with family by his side.
The news of his passing read:
"It is with great sadness and heaviness of heart that the Johnny Crawford Legacy team announce the passing of Johnny Crawford,” said the post on the Johnny Crawford Legacy website. “He passed away peacefully this evening, April 29, 2021 with Charlotte, his wife, by his side."
Aside from a successful acting career, Crawford even made a splash in the musical world. The star signed a recording contract with Del-Fi Records. The song “Cindy’s Birthday” by Crawford held the No. 8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.
Crawford’s recognition in cinemas can even be attributed to his Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in 1959.
The actor made appearances in many titles after "The Rifleman" was shelved by ABC. Crawford and Connors even worked together on an episode for NBC’s "Branded" in 1965.
Later on, the veteran star appeared in popular shows like “Hawaii Five-O,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Murder, She Wrote.”
Fans throughout the world will truly miss Johnny Crawford.