The Rifleman
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The VisionEpisode 66

TV Viewers to see Dead Wife of The Rifleman
Article for March 19, 1960
Charleroi Mail ― Charleroi, Pennsylvania
 

After two seasons on the air TVs The Rifleman series will give viewers an opportunity to see the dead wife of hero Lucas McCain. A deluge, of requests finally convinced producers Arthur Gardner and Jules Levy that they should depict the deceased character. But the question was, how?

They couldn't have her appear out of thin air, claiming she had been kidnapped by Indians, nor would it be plausible for the mother to be worked into a script as if she'd been hanging around the kitchen unseen for 67 shows. So it had to be a dream sequence or something of the kind. Gardner and Levy came up with a vision.

 Appears In Vision ―

In the course of the March 22 show (ABC), Johnny Crawford (who plays Mark McCain) becomes desperately ill. When he is about to breathe his last, his mother appears in the vision, giving him the will to live. Unfortunately widower McCain (Chuck Connors) doesn't see the vision. It may sound kind of hokey, but it serves the purpose.

"Every parent will sympathize with the father and son," Gardner explained. "We had to find a good actress for the mother role,' Levy added. "We went clear to New York to find Marian Seldes for the part. Viewers had been asking to see the mother for so long we didn't want them to be disappointed in her."

Next to depicting the late Mrs. Mc Cain, the producing team has been most plagued by matchmakers insisting that rifleman Connors be married off to some comely wench so his son will have a mother.

Many Marriage Requests ―

"There are hundreds of requests for a marriage," Gardner grinned. "But we don't have any plans in that direction. Such a thing would change the entire concept of the program," Levy explained. "Our show is concerned with the relationship of a widower and the son he is trying to raise alone in the West. We have been thinking about bringing in a regular girl friend for Chuck, but we're taking our time, waiting for the right situation and the kind of actress who could be believable in the role."

The Rifleman, among the top 10 or 15 shows, has six regulars in the series--- a bartender, blacksmith, storekeeper, marshal, doctor, and hotel clerk--- who occasionally take over featured parts. "A girl friend could be worked in without too much trouble." But we don't want to rush the rifleman into romance yet."

The Vision

One, Careless Love, which was written for this episode.

The main song in the episode is a poem set to music by Herschel Burke Gilbert & Lyrics by Alfred Perry. The song was based on a poem by Charles Kingsley, the same man who wrote Water Babies.
It's called..... ♫ Oh! That we are Maying

Songs of The Rifleman
Can you name the episodes these songs were in?

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