John Crawford, who appeared in more than 200 titles in his over 40-
year career, died of a stroke on Sept. 21 in Newbury Park, Calif. He
Crawford was spotted by a Warner Bros. scout while attending the U. of
Washington's School of Drama and though he failed a screen test he
joined RKO as a laborer.
He followed that up by working at Circle Theater in Los Angeles
building sets and persuaded the producers to cast him in some of its
plays. Soon Columbia signed him to act in its westerns.
He moved to bigger roles in such films as 1958's "Orders to Kill" and
"The Key" in the U.K. On his return to the U.S. he was
cast in 1970s action pics including "The Enforcer," "Towering Inferno"
and "The Poseidon Adventure."
Crawford had recurring arcs in iconic TV shows of the era from "The
Waltons" to "Swiss Family Robinson" and "Gunsmoke." He last appeared
on TV in 1986's "Hardcastle and McCormick."
In 2009, "My Rodeo Years: Memoir of a Bronc Rider's Path to Hollywood
Fame" was published, with Crawford sharing writing credits with
stuntman Yakima Canutt.
Survivors include his longtime companion, Ann Wakefield; four
daughters; and two grandchildren.