The Rifleman
Bring Your Kids to Work Day
The kids who were in 'The  Schoolmaster'
1 of 6 pages

A Wagon Ride gave Chuck's boys a real chance to join him & Johnny (center), his TV son on screen on the set of "The Rifleman".

At left, Chuck's lap is Kevin Connors, 4.  Mike Connors is behind Chuck & Kevin, you can barely see him.  In the white hat is Jeff Connors, 8.  Peering over Johnny's shoulder is Steve Connors and next to Johnny is Steve Gardner 9, son of Arthur Gardner, co-producer of the show.

“Action!” called the director.  Cameras started to film an episode for TV’s Rifleman – a scene with a wagonload of children.  Just then one of the children said to the star, Chuck Connors, “Daddy I want a drink!” and ruined the scene.  The trouble with that all but one of the children were amateurs at that special kind of party, which was great for them but not the grown-ups who thought it up. 

Rifleman, a popular TV western, Chuck Connors plays a rancher, a widower with one son.  In real life Connors has four sons and the three co-producers have six more.  All ten are wildly jealous of the boy who plays Connors’ son on TV.  So the producers came up with a story about a school to give the small fry a day on screen.  Filming which appeared in October took double the usual time as the children waved at the cameras, missed cues and laughed at the wrong time.  But the scenes were finally done to everyone’s satisfaction - except for a four year old who asked for a ninth retake.  “When does the show begin?”  (Take from Life Magazine article 1960)


Chuck with his son Kevin outside the schoolhouse.

*All four of Chuck's boys were in this episode.  Can you pick any of them out in episode #86
'The Schoolmaster'
They are in the wagon ride to school and some in the class room.  
 In 'Tension' Jeff  played Toby Halpern.  He and Mike both appeared in
 'First Wages.'  Did you see them?  They are the boys that wanted Mark to go fishing.

Connors' family tidbit.....Michael Connors, 13, the oldest son of Chuck Connors, became a full U.S. Citizen on 8/11/64, he was swore in at the Department of Justice in Los Angeles.  Michael was born in Canada while his father was playing baseball for the Montreal Royals.  This gives Michael dual citizenship. 

Johnny Crawford in "The Rifleman" wore Billy the Kid Blue Jeans.  Johnny Crawford looks very Western, but jeans like that were not worn in the 1870s-80s, rather overalls with the bib front was the available style.  This was taken from the Historical boys' clothing.

North Fork had three different school teachers.....Marilee Phelps - played the school teacher, in 'Eight Hours to Die.' (1958)  Depending on where you check this info you will find her credited as Miss Adams or teacher.
Later Patricia Barry played Adele Adams, the towns school teacher in 'Three Legged Terror' and 'The Woman.' (1959) 
 In 'The Schoolmaster' - Arnold Moss played Stephen Griswald, the new school teacher in town. (1960)

Steven Gardner played the boy at the school in 'The Schoolmaster' & 'The Apprentice Sheriff.'
Steven is the son of Arthur Gardner and today is a lawyer.  He was the boy with the black hat & he also had suspenders on.  Today Steve is a well established Lawyer & also the lawyer for LGL Productions.

Arnold Laven's daughter Barbara and his son Larry was also in this episode, but I'm not sure which one is them.  Barbara & Larry were in the back of the wagon.  Arnold could not remember for sure if they were in the classroom.  I sent him a few pictures of the kids in the classroom, but they weren't in them.

Jimmy Fields played Billy Davis.  He's the kid with the jujubes.  There's not much information on Jimmy other then he was a regular on "The Ann Southern Show" for one season.  He also had a guest spot on "The Donna Reed Show" ~ "Star Trek" and the movie "Sweet Charity".  Nothing on him since 1969. 

Pamela Cole played Sally, a schoolgirl
Deidre Cole as a schoolgirl
Pamela & Deidre are Chuck's nieces.

Michael Connors as a schoolboy
Steven Connors as a schoolboy
Jeff Connors as a schoolboy
Kevin Connors as a schoolboy
Barbara Laven as a schoolgirl
Larry Laven as a schoolboy
Mark Levy as a schoolboy
Robert Levy as a schoolboy
Jo Carol "JC" Nadel as a schoolgirl

Bloopers 'The Schoolmaster'
(more on the kids)

*All four of Chuck's boy's were in this episode.  Can you pick any of them out?  You can't see all four of them here but you can in the episode.  They are in the wagon ride to school and some in the class room.  Jeff played Toby Halpern in 'Tension' and he and Mike both appeared in 'First Wages.'  Did you see them?  They are the boys that wanted Mark to go fishing.

*North Fork had three different school teachers.....Marilee Phelps - played the school teacher, in 'Eight Hours to Die.' (1958)  Depending on where you check this info you will find her credited as Miss Adams or teacher.
Later Patricia Barry played Adele Adams, the towns school teacher in 'Three Legged Terror' and 'The Woman.' (1959) 
 In 'The Schoolmaster' - Arnold Moss played Stephen Griswald, the new school teacher in town. (1960)

Although we never saw Miss Pritchard, she is mentioned in 'The Jealous Man'.   So I guess you could say 4 different teachers, but we only met 3 of them.

Here is some info on "the kids" that was in 'The Schoolmaster'

Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows: The Rifleman (U.S., 1958-63)

Connors' family tidbit.....Michael Connors, the oldest son of Chuck Connors, became a full U.S. citizen on 8/11/64, he was sworn in at the Department of Justice in Los Angeles.  Michael was born in Canada while his father was playing baseball for the Montreal Royals.  This gives Michael dual citizenship.
Mike is a Dolly Grip. 

Some of the pictures are from Life Picture Collection/Time Inc. and my own collection.

'The Schoolmaster'/ Bring Your Kids to Work 2

'The Schoolmaster' - Children's Playmate Magazine
February 1961

Bloopers 'The Schoolmaster'
(more on the kids)

'Tension' — episodes #45

'The Schoolmaster' — episode #86

'First Wages' — episode #112

Chuck's boys on the set

'The Schoolmaster' - Bloopers

Bloopers Index
Bloopers for this episode & other episodes

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