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John Crawford


Crystal Forests LLC

38 S. Market St. Suite 3

Frederick, MD 21701



Cleve Richardson (aka John Crawford) was born on September 13, 1920, in Colfax, Washington.  Raised primarily by his grandmother, Cleve was a curious and enterprising child despite the poverty of his Depression-era upbringing. 

 In high school, he excelled in football and playing the guitar but was too shy to get up and read in front of the class.  His music teacher recognized his talent and cast him in the spring musical anyway, changing his life forever.  Determined to become an actor, Cleve worked his way through the University of Washington, performing in numerous campus productions while holding down several jobs and building a house for his family.  

A Hollywood talent scout spotted him and encouraged him to go to L.A. for a screen test, where he took the stage name “John Crawford” for his late uncle.  The test didn’t go too well, but John joined a live theater group and honed his skills.  He eventually broke into films such as “The Big Heat” and “The Red Badge of Courage” and serials such as “The Adventures of Frank and Jesse James.”  He went to New York as assistant stage manager and understudy for the Broadway production of “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.”  While living in England for several years after that, he won roles in a number of British films as well as such blockbusters as “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “Solomon and Sheba.”  

Back in Hollywood during the ‘60s and ‘70s, he became a prolific character actor, appearing in such classic TV shows as “The Twilight Zone,” “Time Tunnel,” “Star Trek,” “Lost in Space,” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” among others.  He is best known for his continuing role as Sheriff Ep Bridges on “The Waltons” and as Angie Dickinson’s boss on “Police Woman.”  During this time he continued to appear in movies such as “The Enforcer” with Clint Eastwood and co-wrote the screenplay for “The Ballad of Cable Hogue,” directed by Sam Peckinpah.  John’s book, “My Rodeo Years,” about his close friend, legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt, was published in 2009.  John was a wonderfully talented actor, writer, musician and artist with a big heart, a brilliant mind and a great sense of humor.  His answering machine message was, “How can I make your day brighter?”  The world lost a beautiful person when he crossed over in 2010, but his work will continue to touch others for years to come.