Dec 15, 2015

Bobby and Johnny Crawford

Many Boomer kids aren't aware that Johnny Crawford, the 1950s teen idol, star of The Mickey Mouse Club and The Rifleman, the bodybuilder with full nude scenes in The Naked Ape, had a older and even more muscular brother, Bobby Crawford or Robert Crawford Jr.

Born in 1946, Bobby starred with Johnny on three episodes of The Rifleman, and in Indian Paint (1965),  where the two play Native Americans.  They get many semi-nude shots and, as a bonus, develop a quasi-romantic physical intimacy.



TV and movie magazines love brother acts, and soon Bobby and Johnny were being photographed together, often framing them as if they were a romantic couple.  They released several albums together, including one entitled Pals. 

But Bobby also had a solo career, with guest spots on The Donna Reed Show and Whirlybirds, and a recurring role on Zorro.  

He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance on Child of Our Time, a 1959 episode of Playhouse 90, about a young boy searching for a home in 1930s France.


He starred in the Western Laramie (1959-60), about two brothers who run a stagecoach stop in the Wyoming Territory.  His character idolizes the hunky drifter Jess Harper (Robert Fuller), and soon the two actors were seen out together in real life, "two bachelors" hitting the Hollywood hotspots.











Later in the 1960s, Bobby played an oddball outsider on Kraft Suspense Theater, a World War II French resistance figher on Combat, and a young man who idolizes his outlaw brother on Gunsmoke.  His last small-screen appearances were on My Three Sons in 1968.

Moving behind the scenes, he produced The Sting (1973), The World According to Garp (1982), The Little Drummer Girl (1984), and other movies.