John Anderson

John Anderson was born October 20, 1922 in Clayton, Illinois. Anderson was perhaps one of the steadiest working character actors from the mid-50s into the early 90s. A most versatile Anderson could play both a youthful trail hand or an aged mountain man and had a very recognizable voice. Anderson's television work included many roles on "Gunsmoke", "The Twilight Zone", "Perry Mason", "The F.B.I.", "Kung Fu", and "MacGyver" among many others. He made many appearances in motion pictures such as "Psycho", "Young Billy Young", "Smokey And The Bandit II", "Lone Wolf McQuade", and "Eight Men Out". Anderson has notably made more visits to the town of North Fork and "The Rifleman" than any other non-resident. He has made eleven appearances on the show between 1959-63. Perhaps one of the more interesting roles was in the episode titled "Old Man Running" in 1963, in which he played Mark's grandfather Sam Gibbs, whom Lucas still blames for the death of his wife, who had left for medicine and stops for "one" drink. Lucas saves the man's life although he still maintains his dislike for Gibbs. It is Mark who forgives his grandfather in yet another touching moment of "The Rifleman". John Anderson was from the period of television in which there were a number of often-seen, but outstanding and believable character actors. He was a great talent. He died August 7, 1992 of a heart attack.

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