Chuck Connors

BirthDay:

10 Apr 1921

BirthPlace:

Brooklyn, New York, USA

BirthName:

Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors

Bio:

Chuck Connors was born Kevin Joseph Connors in Brooklyn, New York, to Marcella (Londrigan) and Alban Francis "Allan" Connors. His parents were immigrants from the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada), and were of Irish descent. Chuck and his two-years-younger sister, Gloria, grew up in a working-class section of the west side of Brooklyn, where their father worked the local docks as a longshoreman.

Chuck's natural athletic prowess earned him a scholarship to Adelphi Academy, a private high school, and then to Seton Hall, a Catholic college in South Orange, New Jersey. Leaving Seton Hall after two years, on October 20, 1942, he joined the army, listing his occupation as a ski instructor. After enlistment in the infantry at Fort Knox, he later served mostly as a tank-warfare instructor at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and then finally at West Point. Following his discharge early in 1946, he resumed his athletic pursuits. He played center for the Boston Celtics in the 1946-47 season but left early for spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball had always been his first love, and for the next several years he knocked about the minor leagues in such places as Rochester (NY), Norfolk (VA), Newark (NJ), Newport News (VA), Mobile (AL) and Montreal, Canada (while in Montreal he met Elizabeth Riddell, whom he married in October 1948. They had four sons during their 13-year marriage). He finally reached his goal, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, in May 1949, but after just five weeks and one at-bat he returned to Montreal. After a brief stint with the Chicago Cubs in 1951, during which he hit two home runs, Chuck wound up with the Cubs' Triple-A farm team, the L.A. Angels, in 1952. A baseball fan who was also a casting director for MGM spotted Chuck and recommended him for a part in the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn comedy Pat and Mike (1952). Originally cast to play a prizefighter, but that role went instead to Aldo Ray. Chuck was cast as a captain in the state police. He now abandoned his athletic hopes and devoted full time to his acting career, which often emphasized his muscular 6'6" physique.

During the next several years he made 20 movies, culminating in a key role in William Wyler's 1958 western The Big Country (1958). Also appearing in many television series, he finally hit the big time in 1958 with The Rifleman (1958), which began its highly successful five-year run on ABC. Other television series followed, as did a number of movies which, though mostly minor, allowed Chuck to display his range as both a stalwart "good guy" and a menacing "heavy".

Chuck Connors died at age 71 of lung cancer and pneumonia on November 10, 1992 in Los Angeles, California. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery with his tombstone carrying a photo of Connors as Lucas McCain in "The Rifleman" as well as logos from the three professional sports teams he played for: the Dodgers, Cubs and Celtics.
Filmography

Actor ( 152 credits )

Longhorns (2011) Lucas McCain (archive footage) (uncredited)
Fast Backwards (2001) The Star
A Man Who Fell from the Sky (2001) Narrator and host
Three Days to a Kill (1992) Capt. Damian Wright
Salmonberries (1991) Bingo Chuck
Face the Edge (1990) Buddy
Last Flight to Hell (1990) Red Farley
Trained to Kill (1989) Ed Cooper
Skinheads (1989) Mr. Huston
Wolf (1989) (1 episode, 1989)
The Pat Sajak Show (1989)  Himself (1 episode, 1989)
Terror Squad (1988) Chief Rawlings
Taxi Killer (1988)
Guns of Paradise (1988)  Gideon McKay (3 episodes, 1989-1990)
Later with Bob Costas (1988)  Himself (2 episodes, 1989)
Maniac Killer (1987) Professor Roger Osborne
Summer Camp Nightmare (1987) Mr. Warren
Sakura Killers (1987) The Colonel (as Chuck Conners)
Hell's Heroes (1987) Senator Morris
Werewolf (1987)  Janos Skorzeny / ... (8 episodes, 1987-1988)
The Late Show (1986)  Himself (1 episode, 1987)
Spenser: For Hire (1985)  King Powers (2 episodes, 1985)
Our Time (1985)  Himself (1 episode, 1985)
Murder, She Wrote (1984)  FBI Agt. Fred Keller / ... (2 episodes, 1985-1988)
Balboa (1983) Alabama Dern
Afghanistan pourquoi? (1983) Soviet colonel
The Vals (1983) Trish's Father ('Boom-Boom Girls' Producer)
The Yellow Rose (1983)  Jeb Hollister (22 episodes, 1983-1984)
Hit Man (1982) Sam Fisher
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) The Sarge
The Best of Sex and Violence (1982) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Matt Houston (1982)  Castanos (1 episode, 1983)
There Was a Little Girl (1982)
Bordello (1981) Jonathan
Walking Tall (1981)  Theo Brewster (1 episode, 1981)
Best of the West (1981) (1 episode, 1982)
Day of Resurrection (1980) Capt. McCloud - HMS Nereid
Day of the Assassin (1979) Fleming
Tourist Trap (1979) Mr. Slausen
Stone (1979)  Tom Lettleman (1 episode, 1980)
Fantasy Island (1977)  Frank Barton (1 episode, 1982)
The Love Boat (1977)  Roy (1 episode, 1983)
Il lupo dei mari (1975) Wolf-Larsen
NBC Special Treat (1975)  Himself - Host (1 episode, 1976)
99 and 44/100% Dead (1974) Marvin 'Claw' Zuckerman
The Six Million Dollar Man (1974)  Niles Lingstrom (1 episode, 1975)
Soylent Green (1973) Tab Fielding
The Mad Bomber (1973) William Dorn
Police Story (1973)  Lt. Lew Randle / ... (4 episodes, 1973-1976)
Thrill Seekers (1973)  Host (unknown episodes)
Pancho Villa (1972) Col. Wilcox
Embassy (1972) Kesten
The Proud and Damned (1972) Will Hansen
Once Upon a Wheel (1971) Himself
The Devil's Backbone (1971) Reynolds
Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) 'Swifty' Morgan (uncredited)
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (1971)  Himself / ... (1 episode, 1973)
The Don Knotts Show (1970)  Himself (2 episodes, 1970)
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969) Senator Robert Fraser
Night Gallery (1969)  Roderick Blanco (1 episode, 1972)
The David Frost Show (1969)  Himself (1 episode, 1971)
Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968) Clyde Mac Kay
Here's Lucy (1968)  Himself (1 episode, 1973)
The Name of the Game (1968)  Governor Brill (1 episode, 1971)
The Don Rickles Show (1968)  Himself (1 episode, 1968)
The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show (1968)  Himself (1 episode, 1968)
Cowboy in Africa (1967)  Jim Sinclair (26 episodes, 1967-1968)
The Joey Bishop Show (1967)  Himself / ... (7 episodes, 1967-1969)
Dateline: Hollywood (1967)  Himself (1 episode, 1967)
Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations (1966) Jason McCord (archive footage)
Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966) Jonas Trapp, the Tiger
The Jackie Gleason Show (1966)  Himself (1 episode, 1968)
The Hero (1966)  Himself (1 episode, 1966)
Synanon (1965) Ben
Broken Sabre (1965) Jason McCord (archive footage)
Branded (1965)  Jason McCord (48 episodes, 1965-1966)
The Dean Martin Comedy Hour (1965)  Himself (2 episodes, 1974)
Move Over, Darling (1963) Stephen Burkett
Flipper (1963) Porter Ricks
Arrest and Trial (1963)  Attorney John Egan / ... (30 episodes, 1963-1964)
Geronimo (1962) Geronimo
The Virginian (1962)  Gustaveson (1 episode, 1971)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)  Himself (1 episode, 1971)
The Merv Griffin Show (1962)  Himself (2 episodes, 1967-1970)
Password All-Stars (1961)  Himself (1 episode, 1961)
The Mike Douglas Show (1961)  Himself - Guest Host (1 episode, 1966)
Here's Hollywood (1960)  Himself (2 episodes, 1961-1962)
The DuPont Show with June Allyson (1959)  George Aswell (1 episode, 1960)
The Chevy Show (1959)  Himself (1 episode, 1960)
The Big Party (1959)  Himself (1 episode, 1959)
The Big Country (1958) Buck Hannassey
The Rifleman (1958)  Lucas McCain / ... (168 episodes, 1958-1963)
Love That Jill (1958)  Cliff (1 episode, 1958)
The Lady Takes a Flyer (1957) Phil Donahoe
Old Yeller (1957) Burn Sanderson
The Hired Gun (1957) Judd Farrow
Death in Small Doses (1957) Mink Reynolds
Designing Woman (1957) Johnnie 'O'
Tomahawk Trail (1957) Sgt. Wade McCoy
Wagon Train (1957)  Private John Sumter (1 episode, 1957)
Tales of Wells Fargo (1957)  Button Smith / ... (2 episodes, 1957)
The Restless Gun (1957)  Toby Yeager (1 episode, 1957)
The Silent Service (1957)  Liddell (1 episode, 1957)
Date with the Angels (1957)  Stacey L. Stacey (1 episode, 1958)
Hold Back the Night (1956) Sgt. Ekland
Walk the Dark Street (1956) Frank Garrick
The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1956)  Cephas K. Ham (2 episodes, 1958)
Zane Grey Theater (1956)  Lucas McCain (1 episode, 1958)
The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna (1956)  Ooma (1 episode, 1956)
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1956)  Himself (1 episode, 1958)
West Point (1956)  Maj. Neilson (3 episodes, 1956-1957)
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956)  Himself (2 episodes, 1960)
Hey, Jeannie! (1956)  Buck Matthews (1 episode, 1958)
The Joseph Cotten Show: On Trial (1956)  Andy (1 episode, 1956)
Hot Rod Girl (1956) Det. Ben Merrill
Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) William 'Bill' Holloway
Three Stripes in the Sun (1955) Idaho Johnson
Target Zero (1955) Pvt. Moose
Gunsmoke (1955)  Sam Keeler (1 episode, 1956)
The Millionaire (1955)  Hub Grimes (1 episode, 1957)
Matinee Theatre (1955) (1 episode, 1955)
Crossroads (1955)  Lou Brissie (1 episode, 1956)
Screen Directors Playhouse (1955)  Art Shirley (1 episode, 1955)
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre (1955)  Officer Handley (1 episode, 1956)
TV Reader's Digest (1955)  Charlie Masters (1 episode, 1955)
The Star and the Story (1955)  Harry Frazier / ... (3 episodes, 1955-1956)
Frontier (1955)  Thorpe Henderson (1 episode, 1956)
Naked Alibi (1954) Capt. Owen Kincaide
The Human Jungle (1954) Earl Swados
Dragonfly Squadron (1954) Capt. Warnowski
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954)  Burn Sanderson (2 episodes, 1980)
Dear Phoebe (1954)  Rocky (1 episode, 1954)
Climax! (1954) (1 episode, 1956)
South Sea Woman (1953) Pvt. Davey White
Code Two (1953) Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Trouble Along the Way (1953) Stan Schwegler
The Silver Whip (1953) Minor Role (uncredited)
General Electric Theater (1953)  Long Jack / ... (2 episodes, 1954-1957)
The Loretta Young Show (1953)  Jess Hayes (1 episode, 1955)
Private Secretary (1953)  Mr. Neanderthal (1 episode, 1955)
Person to Person (1953)  Himself (1 episode, 1961)
City Detective (1953)  Sam (1 episode, 1955)
Pat and Mike (1952) Police Captain
Adventures of Superman (1952)  Sylvester J. Superman (1 episode, 1955)
Four Star Playhouse (1952)  Mervyn the Moose / ... (3 episodes, 1954-1955)
Cavalcade of America (1952)  Harry (1 episode, 1955)
Your Jeweler's Showcase (1952) (1 episode, 1953)
Schlitz Playhouse (1951)  Stanley O'Connor (1 episode, 1955)
What's My Line? (1950)  Himself - Guest Panelist (2 episodes, 1959-1960)
Big Town (1950) (1 episode, 1954)
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)  Himself (1 episode, 1957)
Wake Island (1942) Soldier in meal queue (uncredited)

Writer ( 2 credits )

Branded (1965) (2 episodes, 1966)
The Rifleman (1958) (3 episodes, 1959-1961)

Director ( 1 credit )

There Was a Little Girl (1982) (as Martin Herbert)