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Part 4: The Conclusion

Johnny reflects on his career after "The Rifleman".

Q: Child actors are usually hindered in their adult work by people who refuse to let them grow up. Has that been a hindrance to you?

JC: Well, I have thought of that, but I donít think so anymore. People nowadays are pretty sophisticated and realize that time marches on for everybody. Mostly, the ones that are surprised that Iím older are young children who watch the show Saturday mornings and have no reference to know that itís an old show, and when theyíre told that Iím the son of the Rifleman in person, they look at me rather oddly and they shake their heads Ďno, he isnítí. But more than the public, itís people who make the movies in Hollywood that really are prone to think rather close mindedly about using former child actors, and tend to be afraid that audiences wonít accept them as grownups. But the profession Iím in is not an easy one and I have always known that, so it doesnít come as a surprise to me when I come up against that and other problems. Iíve been up for so many parts and lost out on so many that I donít get too emotional about it. I can, thank God, look at a movie and see some other actor in a role that I had hoped to get and still enjoy a good perform- ance. Of course, I regret perhaps that Iím not playing that particular role, but I regret it more if the actor doesnít do a good job. I feel eventually I will be doing parts that other people will have wished they had gotten, and as long as I am working and I have continued to work as as actor in theatre around the country and I really enjoy that as much or more than making films, Iím pretty happy, really.

Q: Tell us what youíre doing these days.

JC: Well, I just finished a production of the musical ĎI Love My Wifeí in Canada and I really enjoy doing thetare work very much. I, in fact, prefer it over film in many ways. Thereís something about working in front of a live audience that is very exciting and rewarding, and also, doing theatre you often get to do better properties than you get to work on when youíre doing film, unless youíre among the chosen few. Most films and TV shows just arenít that rewarding for actors other than financially, and even in that area. Doing a TV series is actually kind of scary because so few of them are successful, and one can become overexposed in a relatively short perod of time. So I think Iím most happy when Iím doing a play somewhere, and having the opportunity of doing the same play over and over again and getting to really develop the character. Itís really rewarding and I hope that I continue to be an actor all my life, and I think that doing theatre is the best way to insure that. (Taken from an article in the TV Collector magazine 12-14-82)

Johnny Crawford Today: Johnny continues his love of music today as leader of a swing orchestra appropriately titled ďThe Johnny Crawford Dance OrchestraĒ and will appear in a Sony-Tristar film release in the fall of 1998 titled ďThe 13th FloorĒ. A new CD of Johnnyís current music is expected to be released in August of 1998.

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