Those of us of a certain age had several opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the talents of Johnny Crawford while we were growing up …
Whether it was as an original member of “The Mickey Mouse Club” …
Or as Mark McCain, son of rancher Lucas McCain on “The Rifleman” …
Or it was through the five hits he placed in The National Top 40 between 1962 and 1963.
Crawford passed away on Thursday, April 29th, at the age of 75.
On the pop side of things, Johnny scored THREE Top 20 Hits
in 1962: “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8), “Your
Nose Is Gonna Grow” (#14) and “Rumors” (#12) ... and he was a regular fixture on the teen magazine covers at the time.
Crawford proved talent was all in the family when, in 1959, he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series for his role as Mark McCain in “The Rifleman;” his older brother, Robert Crawford Jr., was nominated for Best Single Performance By An Actor (for "Playhouse 90") and their father, Robert Crawford, was nominated for Film Editing (for The Bob Cummings Show).
His role on “The Mickey Mouse Club” lasted
for all of one season (the series’ first), after which time the cast was trimmed by 50%.
Crawford used to joke that he was “a has been by the age of nine” ... but the truth is that Johnny would go on to fill many roles in both television and on the big screen
In 2019, it was revealed that he was suffering from
Alzheimer’s Disease and fellow child star (and child star advocate) Paul
Petesen of “The Donna Reed Show” started a Go Fund Me Page to try to help raise
money to help offset some of Johnny’s medical bills. Last year, he contracted Covid 19 (and then
pneumonia), ultimately proving to be more than his body could bear. For those of us who grew up with him (many of us at nearly the same age), he will be missed.