Around Town | 2 New Stars Brighten Western Walk
Two new stars are brightening the Western Walk of Stars with the induction of Johnny Crawford and the late Hal Needham.
Crawford and Needham were both honored with a plaque from the city and a star on the Western Walk of Stars in Old Town Newhall Thursday night. (Needham, who died in 2013, was represented by his grandson Mike Needham.)
The event drew a big crowd on Main Street between Market Street and 8th Street and was be followed by a movie night event at Hart Hall.
Johnny Crawford appeared in over twenty Western television shows and movies in his long career, and is best known for his role on the popular Western TV series, The Rifleman,” which ran from 1958 to 1963. In the show, Crawford portrayed Mark McCain, the son of the Rifleman himself, Chuck Connors. Crawford also appeared in shows such as The Lone Ranger, Have Gun-Will Travel, Wagon Train, Branded, and Little House on the Prairie. His film work included roles in Westerns, such as El Dorado, Indian Paint, and two of the Kenny Rodgers as the Gambler TV Movies.
Hal Needham was a legendary director, stuntman, and actor who did stunt work in over 250 Western films and television shows, and appeared in over 140 Westerns. Needham, who passed away in 2013, is perhaps best known for his directing work on the Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run films with Burt Reynolds, but he also directed the 1979 Western The Villain. His work as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, or actor on classic Westerns includes Blazing Saddles, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Laramie, Little Big Man, McLintock!, How the West Was Won, Bandolero, Rawhide, and The Wild, Wild West.