Rifleman TV star Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Fund Big discounts on
stuff you want!


Save money!
Nathan Stringer Summer Music Show on DVD Carol Burnett Christmas on DVD The Flash Season 1 on DVD Batman 1966 TV Show on DVD Greensboro Wrestling Book 1950's Saturday Morning Shows

 

Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Fund

Child Stars Paying it Forward

by Jim Longworth

As a child actor starring in “The Rifleman”, Johnny Crawford had to memorize lines at a grueling pace. As an adult, he had to memorize lyrics to the songs he sang while conducting his own orchestra. Today at age 73, Johnny’s memory skills have been significantly diminished by Alzheimer’s, and the care he receives is expensive. That’s why his friend and fellow child star Paul Petersen (Jeff on “The Donna Reed Show”), along with members of Petersen’s support organization, “A Minor Consideration”, started a Go Fund Me campaign to lessen the financial burden on Johnny and his wife Charlotte.

I first met Johnny at the 2014 Western Film Festival and have kept in touch ever since. He and Paul, however, have been friends since 1955 when they were both cast by Walt Disney to be in the original group of Mouseketeers. I spoke with Paul last week about Johnny’s condition, and about the fundraising effort.

Jim Longworth and Johnny CrawfordJim: When did you first know that Johnny had Alzheimer’s?

Paul: Last Summer, my wife and I, Tony Dow, Johnny and others were at the Hollywood Museum to honor Annette (Funicello), and we noticed that something was amiss with Johnny. He seemed to be a little confused, but we covered for him because that’s what you do for friends. Later when Charlotte had to put him in a facility, we knew what it was and how severe it was.

Jim: When did you start the Go Fund Me campaign?

Johnny Crawford and Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson
and Johnny Crawford

Paul: Well we had to get approval from my board of directors, and most importantly we had to get permission from Charlotte because it would be a public affair.

She was grateful for the help, and frankly kind of surprised because Johnny had always been the one helping other people, and now, here was the whole bunch of former kid stars taking care of one of their own.

So we started the campaign formally about five weeks ago, and it just exploded right out of the gate because people know who Johnny is. He’s like everybody’s brother because we had all watched him grow up on “The Rifleman”.

In recent years, GoFundMe pages have come to the rescue for people in special circumstances. Last Fall, for example, following complications from knee surgery, Dawn Wells, star of “Gilligan’s Island”, was faced with staggering medical bills. Paul and his gang of former child stars contributed to that fund, which raised over $200,000.

Paul: It’s rare when you try to help someone that all of the monies end up going to the person who needs it. Go Fund Me did right by Dawn.

And while fundraising efforts like those for Johnny and Dawn offer financial assistance, that’s not the main focus of “A Minor Consideration”, a group that Paul and his wife Rana formed in 1991 to advocate for the rights of child actors, and offer them guidance and support as they transition into adulthood.

Paul: In too many instances the parents take the money (that kids make). In fact, in 50% of all the troubles when it comes to high profile kids, whether it’s sports or music, or the film business, the parents are at fault. They have not prepared the children and that’s a shame. In other cases, kids are cheated by managers and agents. In the other half of problems, chalk it up to kids who make bad decisions.

Paul knows something about the pitfalls of fame at an early age, and not long after his successful run on “The Donna Reed Show”, an award-winning former child star took the time to offer him support.

Paul: Mickey Rooney showed up at my front door, barged into my front room, took over my couch, and said, “Paul, you’ve got to get out of town, get your education, and find something else to do because they won’t let you work for 25 years.” And I said, “What the heck are you talking about, Mick? Why are you saying that?” And he said, “Because Paul, it happened to me.” Mickey paid it forward to me, and I have paid it forward by having that same kind of conversation with other prominent kids.

Paul’s pal Johnny Crawford has paid it forward over the years too, and now, as fans, we can repay Johnny for the great joy he has given us over the years. To make a donation to the Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Fund, visit www.gofundme.com . To learn more about A Minor Consideration, visit www.aminorconsidertation.org .


TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
It is what it is!

 

The Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Fund

Rifleman TV star Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Fund

 

 

 


Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments

 

 

Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / 1970s Commercial Jingles / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / What's In Oprah's Purse? / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Sammy Davis, Jr / Steve & Eydie/ Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Biff Burger / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You /  Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales /The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor big brotherShow / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 


Save money!