Actress Joan Taylor Dies at 82

"Rifleman" regular also co-wrote the 1997 comedy "Fools Rush In" and oversaw the "Hawaii Five-O" business after the death of her husband, writer-producer Leonard Freeman.

Joan Taylor, a regular on 1960s TV series The Rifleman who oversaw Hawaii Five-O following the death of her husband, series creator Leonard Freeman, died Sunday of natural causes in Santa Monica. She was 82.

Taylor played general store owner Milly Scott opposite Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford on ABC's The Rifleman for two years before leaving acting to raise a family.

Earlier, she had appeared in dozens of other TV shows, including Wagon Train, Mike Hammer, Peter Gunn, My Three Sons and 77 Sunset Strip, and in such films as The Savage (1952), War Paint (1953), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) and 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957).

Born Rose Marie Emma in Geneva, Ill., Taylor met writer-producer Freeman in the early 1950s when both were working on a production of Here Comes Mr. Jordan at the Pasadena Playhouse, and they were married in 1953.

After Freeman’s death in January 1974 following heart surgery, Taylor managed Leonard Freeman Productions and the business of Hawaii Five-O, which ran from 1968-80 on CBS and in syndication for years afterward. CBS brought back a remake in 2010.

Taylor also co-wrote the 1997 comedy film Fools Rush In starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek and penned an episode of the ABC drama Family in 1979.