Veteran Producer Arthur Gardner Dies at 104

He produced the ABC western 'The Rifleman'

Veteran producer Arthur Gardner, who joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences more than five decades ago, has died. He was 104.

He died Friday at the Sunrise Beverly Hills Assisted Living, his son Steven told The Los Angeles Times.

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Gardner was perhaps best known for producing the 1950s Western television series The Rifleman.  Johnny Crawford, who played  Mark McCain on the ABC series, called Gardner "a great role model and a dear friend for many years," in a Facebook post.

Gardner came to Los Angeles from his native Wisconsin in 1929, when he was 18, and enjoyed an early role in All Quiet on the Western Front. During World War II, he served in the Army's motion picture unit, where he made educational films working for Ronald Reagan.

Gardner was believed to be the oldest known voting member of the Academy, voting until he was 100. Gardner also produced one of John Wayne's final films, McQ (1974), and was most recently credited as a producer on 1982's Safari 3000.

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