biography

Born Kevin Connors in Brooklyn on April 10, 1921, actor Chuck Connors was an avid athlete and intelligent student in his youth. He attended Seton Hall College but dropped out to join the Army. Following the end of World War II, Connors started a basketball career with the Boston Celtics but soon ditched basketball for baseball, playing in both the major and minor leagues. He married first wife Elizabeth in October 1948, and with a growing family that would soon include four sons, Connors longed for a career with a steady paycheck. After stints with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs, Connors was playing baseball for a Los Angeles minor league team when a talent scout spotted him. He was quickly cast in the Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn MGM comedy Pat and Mike (1952; with Aldo Ray).

Chuck ConnorsChuck Connors

Baseball cards featuring Chuck Connors. LEFT: Montreal Royals card from 1950. RIGHT: Los Angeles Angels card from 1952

Connors demonstrated a strong talent for acting and soon abandoned baseball for this new pursuit, where his rugged 6'5" frame made him a natural in westerns and in crime dramas. He freelanced in such films as the Allied Artists war picture Dragonfly Squadron (1954; with John Hodiak and Bruce Bennett), AIP's teen delinquent flick Hot Rod Girl (1956; with Lori Nelson and John Smith), and the MGM western The Hired Gun (1957; with Rory Calhoun and Vince Edwards). He finally found fame as the title character in the ABC TV series The Rifleman (1958-1963).

the films of chuck connors

The Human Jungle (1954)

Jan Sterling and Chuck ConnorsGary Merrill and Chuck Connors

From the Allied Artists noir release The Human Jungle. LEFT: With Jan Sterling. RIGHT: With Gary Merrill

Three Stripes in the Sun (1955)

Chuck Connors, Aldo Ray, and Dick York

With Aldo Ray and Dick York in the war-themed romance Three Stripes in the Sun

Old Yeller (1957)

Tommy Kirk and Chuck Connors

With Tommy Kirk in the Disney tearjerker Old Yeller

The Rifleman (1958-1963 ABC TV Series)

Chuck Connors and Johnny CrawfordChuck Connors and Johnny CrawfordChuck Connors

LEFT and CENTER: With Johnny Crawford in Connors' popular western series The Rifleman. RIGHT: Connors shaves in his dressing room

Geronimo (1962)

Pat Conway and Chuck Connors

Connors as the title character in the western Geronimo with John Anderson

Flipper (1963)

Luke Halpin, Kathleen Maguire, and Chuck Connors

With Luke Halpin and Kathleen Maguire in the MGM family picture Flipper

Move Over, Darling (1963)

Doris Day, Chuck Connors, and James GarnerChuck Connors

From the enjoyable 20th Century Fox farce Move Over, Darling, a remake of My Favorite Wife (1940). LEFT: With Doris Day and James Garner. RIGHT: Connors enjoys attention after being rescued

Synanon (1965)

Alex Cord and Chuck ConnorsChuck Connors and Stella Stevens

LEFT: With Alex Cord in the groundbreaking Columbia drama Synanon, a tale of drug addiction and rehabilitation based on the organization of the same name. RIGHT: With Stella Stevens

Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968)

Chuck Connors

From the spaghetti western Kill Them All and Come Back Alone

Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969)

Chuck Connors

As Senator Fraser in the MGM release Captain Nemo and the Underwater City

The Deserter (1971)

Chuck Connors

From the Italian western The Deserter

99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)

Chuck Connors

As Marvin 'The Claw' Zuckerman in John Frankenheimer's crime thriller 99 and 44/100% Dead

later years

Long days working on The Rifleman series took its toll on Connor's marriage, which ended in 1961. The following year, he met Indian-born actress Kamala Devi on the set of Geronimo (1962), and the couple married in 1963. Devi also appeared on Connor's TV series Branded (1965-1966) and Cowboy in Africa (1967-1968), but the pair divorced in 1972. When filming Soylent Green (1973), he met actress Faith Quabius, and after appearing in a few more films together, Connors and Quabius married in 1977, but this marriage was short-lived and Connors never married again. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Connors did a number of films and continued working in television, but in the early 1990s lung cancer forced him into retirement. Sadly, Chuck Connors passed away on November 10, 1992, at the age of 71. He was survived by four sons and three grandchildren.

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filmography

FILM
3 Days to a Kill (1991) with Fred Williamson, Bo Svenson, Henry Silva, and Van Johnson
The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) with Kenny Rogers, Rick Rossovich, Claude Akins, Gene Barry, David Carradine, Johnny Crawford, Brian Keith, Jack Kelly, Doug McClure, Hugh O'Brian, Mickey Rooney, and Clint Walker
Salmonberries (1991) with k.d. lang
Face the Edge (1990) with Russell Todd, Nels Van Patten, and Tracy Scoggins
Last Flight to Hell (1990) with Reb Brown
High Desert Kill (1989) with Anthony Geary and Marc Singer
Skinheads (1989) with Barbara Bain
Taxi Killer (1988) with Van Johnson and Jane Lynch
Trained to Kill (1988) with Ron O'Neal, Henry Silva, and Robert Z'Dar
Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) with Willie Nelson, Richard Widmark, Shaun Cassidy, Ken Curtis, Royal Dano, Jack Elam, Kevin McCarthy, Stuart Whitman, and Angie Dickinson
Inglorious Bastards 2: Hell's Heroes (1987) with Miles O'Keeffe and Fred Williamson
Maniac Killer (1987) with Bo Svenson and Robert Ginty
Sakura Killers (1987)
Terror Squad (1987)
Werewolf (1987) with Gail O'Grady
Summer Camp Nightmare (1987)
Balboa (1986) with Tony Curtis, Martine Beswick, Sonny Bono, Henry Jones, Steve Kanaly, Carol Lynley, and Cassandra Peterson
Hit Man (1982) with Jorge Rivero, Maud Adams, George Peppard, and Max von Sydow
The Vals (1982) with Sonny Bono, Sue Ane Langdon, Tiffany Bolling, and John Carradine
Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) with Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, William Shatner, Raymond Burr, Stephen Stucker, and Kent McCord
The Capture of Grizzly Adams (1982) with Dan Haggerty, Kim Darby, Noah Beery Jr., Keenan Wynn, and June Lockhart
Virus (1980) with Glenn Ford, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Edward James Olmos, Henry Silva, Bo Svenson, and Robert Vaughn
Bordello (1979) with Michael Conrad, John Ireland, and Jorge Rivero
Day of the Assassin (1979) with Glenn Ford, Jorge Rivero, Richard Roundtree, and Henry Silva
Tourist Trap (1979) with Tanya Roberts
Standing Tall (1978) with Robert Forster, Will Sampson, L.Q. Jones, Robert Donner, and Linda Evans
The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977) with Gary Collins, Henry Gibson, Sheree North, Victoria Principal, Gregory Sierra, Phil Silvers, and Stella Stevens
Nightmare in Badham County (1976) with Deborah Raffin, Lynne Moody, Tina Louise, Robert Reed, Della Reese, Lana Wood, and Ralph Bellamy
Banjo Hackett (1976) with Don Meredith, Jeff Corey, Gloria DeHaven, L.Q. Jones, Jan Murray, Dan O'Herlihy, and Anne Francis
The Legend of Sea Wolf (1975) with Barbara Bach and Rik Battaglia
99 and 44/100% Dead (1974) with Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, and Constance Ford
The Mad Bomber (1973) with Vince Edwards and Neville Brand
Soylent Green (1973) with Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Joseph Cotten, Edward G. Robinson, Mike Henry, and Whit Bissell
The Police Story (1973) with Vic Morrow, Edward Asner, Diane Baker, Ralph Meeker, David Doyle, and Barbara Rhoades
The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973) with Buddy Ebsen, Tammy Grimes, France Nuyen, William Shatner, Roy Thinnes, Will Hutchins, and Russell Johnson
Set This Town on Fire (1973) with Carl Betz, Lynda Day George, Jeff Corey, and Nancy Malone
Embassy (1972) with Richard Roundtree, Ray Milland, Broderick Crawford, and Max von Sydow
Pancho Villa (1972) with Telly Savalas, Clint Walker, and Anne Francis
Night of Terror (1972) with Martin Balsam, Donna Mills, Agnes Moorehead, John Karlen, and Mary Grace Canfield
The Proud and the Damned (1972) with Aron Kincaid and Cesar Romero
The Birdmen (1971) with Doug McClure, Rene Auberjonois, Richard Basehart, Max Baer Jr., Tom Skerritt, and Greg Mullavy
Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) with James Garner, Suzanne Pleshette, Jack Elam, Harry Morgan, Joan Blondell, and Marie Windsor
The Deserter (1971) with Richard Crenna, Ricardo Montalban, Brandon De Wilde, Slim Pickens, Woody Strode, and Patrick Wayne
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969) with Robert Ryan and Luciana Paluzzi
Kill Them All and Come Back Alone (1968)
Once Upon a Wheel (1968)
Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations (1966) with Burt Reynolds, Greg Morris, Lee Van Cleef, David Brian, and Robert Lansing
Broken Sabre (1966) with Peter Breck, Macdonald Carey, John Carradine, Wendell Corey, Robert Q. Lewis, Cesar Romero, and Patrick Wayne
Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966) with Michael Rennie, Joan Blondell, Gloria Grahame, Gary Merrill, Bill Bixby, and Claude Akins
Synanon (1965) with Edmond O'Brien, Stella Stevens, Alex Cord, Richard Conte, Eartha Kitt, and Alejandro Rey
Move Over, Darling (1963) with Doris Day, James Garner, Polly Bergen, Thelma Ritter, Fred Clark, Don Knotts, Edgar Buchanan, John Astin, Pat Harrington Jr., Max Showalter, and Alvy Moore
Flipper (1963) with Luke Halpin
Geronimo (1962) with Pat Conway, Armando Silvestre, Adam West, Ross Martin, and Denver Pyle
The Big Country (1958) with Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives
The Lady Takes a Flyer (1958) with Lana Turner, Jeff Chandler, Richard Denning, Alan Hale Jr., Jerry Paris, Dee J. Thompson, and Nestor Paiva
Old Yeller (1957) with Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Kevin Corcoran, and Beverly Washburn
The Hired Gun (1957) with Rory Calhoun, Anne Francis, and Vince Edwards
Death in Small Doses (1957) with Peter Graves, Mala Powers, and Merry Anders
Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Sam Levene, Mickey Shaughnessy, Jesse White, Edward Platt, and Alvy Moore
Tomahawk Trail (1957) with John Smith
Walk the Dark Street (1956)
Hot Rod Girl (1956) with Lori Nelson, John Smith, Roxanne Arlen, Frank Gorshin, and Dabbs Greer
Hold Back the Night (1956) with John Payne, Peter Graves, and Mona Freeman
Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) with Jennifer Jones, Robert Stack, Marshall Thompson, Jerry Paris, and Mary Wickes
Three Stripes in the Sun (1955) with Aldo Ray, Philip Carey, and Dick York
Target Zero (1955) with Richard Conte, Peggie Castle, and Charles Bronson
The Human Jungle (1954) with Gary Merrill, Jan Sterling, Regis Toomey, Paula Raymond, and Claude Akins
Naked Alibi (1954) with Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry, Marcia Henderson, Max Showalter, and Billy Chapin
Dragonfly Squadron (1954) with John Hodiak, Barbara Britton, Bruce Bennett, Gerald Mohr, John Lupton, and Benson Fong
South Sea Woman (1953) with Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, and Hayden Rorke
Code Two (1953) with Ralph Meeker, Elaine Stewart, Sally Forrest, Keenan Wynn, Robert Horton, James Craig, Jeff Richards, and William Campbell
Trouble Along the Way (1953) with John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn, Tom Tully, Marie Windsor, Dabbs Greer, and Leif Erickson
Pat and Mike (1952) with Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Aldo Ray

TELEVISION SERIES
Werewolf, 1987-1988 Fox Network TV series. Connors portrayed Janos Skorzeny
The Yellow Rose, 1983-1984 NBC TV series. Connors portrayed Jeb Hollister
Roots, 1977 ABC miniseries. Connors portrayed Tom Moore
Thrill Seekers, 1973-1974 syndicated TV series. Connors served as host for 52 episodes
Cowboy in Africa, 1967-1968 ABC TV series. Connors portrayed Jim Sinclair
Branded, 1965-1966 NBC TV series. Connors portrayed Jason McCord
Arrest and Trial, 1963-1964 ABC TV series. Connors portrayed John Egan
The Rifleman, 1958-1963 ABC TV series. Connors portrayed Lucas McCain

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Guns of Paradise, episode Crossfire, originally aired February 17, 1990
Guns of Paradise, episode Honor Bound, originally aired April 15, 1989
Guns of Paradise, episode A Matter of Honor, originally aired April 8, 1989
Murder, She Wrote, episode Coal Miner's Slaughter, originally aired November 20, 1988
Spenser: For Hire, episode Children of a Tempest Storm, originally aired October 11, 1985
Murder, She Wrote, episode Joshua Peabody Died Here... Possibly, originally aired October 6, 1985
Spenser: For Hire, episode Promised Land, originally aired September 20, 1985
The Love Boat, episode Bricker's Boy/Lotions of Love/The Hustlers, originally aired October 8, 1983
Matt Houston, episode Get Houston, originally aired February 20, 1983
Fantasy Island, episode Sitting Duck/Sweet Suzi Swann, originally aired March 6, 1982
Best of the West, episode Frog's First Gunfight, originally aired January 7, 1982
Walking Tall, episode Kidnapped, originally aired January 31, 1981
Stone, episode Case Number HM-89428, Homicide, originally aired January 28, 1980
Police Story, episode Trash Detail, Front and Center, originally aired November 16, 1976
The Six Million Dollar Man, episode The Price of Liberty, originally aired September 28, 1975
Police Story, episode The Cutting Edge, originally aired September 16, 1975
Police Story, episode Across the Line, originally aired November 12, 1974
The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, episode Celebrity Roast: Bobby Riggs, originally aired March 8, 1974
The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, episode Celebrity Roast: Leo Durocher, originally aired January 17, 1974
Here's Lucy, episode Lucy and Chuck Connors Have a Surprise Slumber Party, originally aired December 17, 1973
Police Story, episode Slow Boy, originally aired March 20, 1973
Rod Serling's Night Gallery, episode The Ring with the Red Velvet Ropes, originally aired November 5, 1972
The Name of the Game, episode The Broken Puzzle, originally aired March 12, 1971
The Virginian, episode The Animal, originally aired January 20, 1971
The Hero, episode A Night to Remember to Forget, originally aired September 8, 1966
Password, episode Chuck Connors vs. Arlene Francis, originally aired October 9, 1961
The DuPont Show with June Allyson, episode Trial by Fear, originally aired February 8, 1960
The Adventures of Jim Bowie, episode Jim Bowie, Apache, originally aired March 28, 1958
The Adventures of Jim Bowie, episode Horse Thief, originally aired March 21, 1958
Zane Grey Theater, episode The Sharpshooter, originally aired March 17, 1958
Love That Jill, episode They Went Thataway, originally aired February 10, 1958
Date with the Angels, episode Double Trouble, originally aired January 15, 1958
Hey, Jeannie!, episode The Bet, originally aired January 1, 1958
The Restless Gun, episode Silver Threads, originally aired December 16, 1957
Wagon Train, episode The Charles Avery Story, originally aired November 13, 1957
G.E. True Theater, episode Thousand Dollar Gun, originally aired October 20, 1957
The Silent Service, episode The Flier Story, originally aired October 18, 1957
The Millionaire, episode The Hub Grimes Story, originally aired May 1, 1957
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode The Thin Rope, originally aired March 18, 1957
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode Sam Bass, originally aired June 10, 1957
West Point, episode The Army-Navy Game, originally aired January 11, 1957
The Gale Storm Show: Oh, Susanna!, episode The Witch Doctor, originally aired December 8, 1956
West Point, episode His Highness and the Halfback, originally aired November 30, 1956
West Point, episode The Operator and the Martinet, originally aired October 12, 1956
Crossroads, episode The Comeback, originally aired October 5, 1956
The Joseph Cotten Show: On Trial, episode The Nevada Nightingale, originally aired September 28, 1956
Gunsmoke, episode The Preacher, originally aired June 16, 1956
The Star and the Story, episode The Thin Line, originally aired March 17, 1956
Frontier, episode Assassin, originally aired March 4, 1956
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode The Thread, originally aired February 21, 1956
Cavalcade of America, episode Barbed Wire Christmas, originally aired December 20, 1955
Matinee Theatre, episode O'Toole from Moscow, originally aired December 12, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Thin Line, originally aired December 1, 1955
Screen Directors Playhouse, episode The Brush Roper, originally aired November 23, 1955
The Star and the Story, episode The Man Who Was Dead, originally aired November 12, 1955
Adventures of Superman, episode Flight to the North, originally aired October 1, 1955
Schlitz Playhouse, episode O'Connor and the Blue-Eyed Felon, originally aired June 10, 1955
Private Secretary, episode Mr. Neanderthal, originally aired May 29, 1955
TV Reader's Digest, episode The Manufactured Clue, originally aired March 28, 1955
City Detective, episode Trouble in Toyland, originally aired March 8, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode The Good Sister, originally aired January 27, 1955
The Loretta Young Show, episode The Girl Who Knew, originally aired January 2, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode Vote of Confidence, originally aired November 4, 1954
G.E. True Theater, episode The Road to Edinburgh, originally aired October 31, 1954
Big Town, episode Semper Fi, originally aired October 25, 1954
Dear Phoebe, episode Bill Gets a Job, originally aired September 10, 1954

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Watch Chuck Connors in a January 12, 1960 episode of The Rifleman titled Day Of The Hunter

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