"Welcome to The McCain Ranch"
Joe E. Benson
Joe E. Benson was born September 7, 1915 in Stamfort, Texas
Birth Name: Joe Eric Benson
He died March 27, 1989 in Thousand Oaks, California
Here is a list of
episodes that I've seen Joe in.....
Here is a list of episodes that I've seen
The Prodigal as the bad dude who Billy St.
John shot in the beginning
of this episode
Nora as the bartender
The Hangman as a cowboy in town
Strange Town as a barfly in Droshek’s
as one of Baranca's Angels
Miss Milly as a customer in The General
Miss Bertie as a card player in the saloon
The Actress - Mills - patron in the saloon at
The Wyoming Story as a cowboy on horse in
Fork & the bartender in La Mesa
Closer than a Brother as the bartender at
& as a townsman outside the
North Fork Saloon
Dark Day at North
the cowboy who steadiest
the horse when Lucas
almost gets hit with a
Prisoner as a cowboy in the saloon
Written by Joe's son, Eric.....
Joe was born in Stamfort, Texas in
1915. He spent time in the Merchant Marines during
WWII. During his early years he did stunt plane
parachute jumps and barn storming at small town fairs
and air shows throughout Texas and the South. In
1936 the entire Benson Clan, two brothers, their
families, their mother and father packed up and drove to
California with Joe driving the family tractor all the
way to Van Nuys. He worked many odd jobs and lived
with his first wife, Julie, in a Hollywood studio
warehouse where props and stage sets were stored.
He eventually worked for the studios as a set builder.
His talent as a finish carpenter lead
to several remolding jobs with the Hollywood people such
as Dan Durayea, William Wilder, Dean Smith,
Connors and many others. This works along with
being on the studio sets and his great "actor looks"
lead him to jobs on TV and film, such as "Redneck
Zombies" & "Rough Night in Jericho" (movies) -
"The Rifleman" - "Perry Mason" - "Untouchables" - "Men
from Shiloh" - Arrest & Trial" - "Gunsmoke."
George Lindsay and Joe meet on the set for
at Mission Springs’, it was my understanding that it
was George’s first role on TV after arriving in
Hollywood. They became long lasting friends. Goober told
me once that when he first arrived on the set Joe
approached him with a cup of coffee . . . reviewed the
script with him and discussed the scene set-up. Goober
thought Joe was the Director or some other person in
charge . . . and was grateful that he was so nice and
welcoming to him. Our dad I learned, was a “take charge”
kind of guy . . . not an “IN CHARGE” guy but hated
all the wasted time spent on the set while things got
organized. I worked for him on several remolding
projects and believe me their was no time wasted. He had
a wonderful ‘work ethic’. As an example, I once talked
to him about my fear of job security, he looked at me,
held up his two hands and said “these are your only
job security . . .learn to use them and use them well.”
George Lindsay gave the eulogy at
He was well liked and respected by all his piers.
Joe had five children: first child was
Diane, mother Julie, then came Sylvia, Rita and Eric,
mother Kathleen followed by Randy, mother Marge.
special thank you to Joe's son Eric for the article and pictures!
Joe E. Benson was in a lot of the episodes but went mostly
I asked Arnold Laven about Joe E.
Benson.....Got a question to ask you about Joe E.
Benson. I have several episodes that Joe was in, but not
credited. He mostly appeared as a townsfolk, maybe an extra
from time to time? Is this correct? Do you
remember him at all?
Arnold's reply.....Both Arthur and
I tried to zero in on the details regarding Joe
Benson...best we can remember (going back sixty
years) is that he was a professional carpenter and
jack-of-all-trades when it came to working on
homes...and that he did a lot of work for Chuck on
his house...as a result Chuck asked if we could find
a small part for Joe on some of the episodes...I'm
not sure, but I think Joe told Chuck of his interest
in acting...which led to our finding small parts for
Joe on the episodes you mentioned...as I remember,
Joe was not much of an actor, but he was an awful
nice guy....neither Arthur or I are sure whether or
not we used Joe as one of the townspeople in
different episodes...my guess is that we did...as I
seem to remember Joe became part of "The Rifleman"
atmosphere during the latter years.
Thanks Arnold & Arthur!
house that Chuck & Joe built
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?
around The McCain Ranch