Chuck Connors Biography

Chuck Connors was a professional basketball and baseball player who became a well-known actor after he quit playing. Check out this biography to know more about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 10, 1921

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors Baseball Players

Died At Age: 71

Sun Sign: Aries

Also Known As: Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors

Born in: Brooklyn, New York City

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'6" (198 cm), 6'6" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Elizabeth Riddell (m. 1948–1962), Faith Quabius (m. 1977–1980), Kamala Devi (m. 1963–1972)

father: Alban Francis Connors

mother: Marcella

children: Jeff Connors, Kevin Connors, Mike Connors, Steve Connors

Died on: November 10, 1992

Cause of Death: Cancer

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

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Chuck Connors was an amazing professional basketball and baseball player who became a well-known actor after he quit playing. In the history of American professional sports, he is one of the twelve athletes to have played in both ‘MLB (Major League Baseball)’ and ‘NBA (National Basketball Association)’. He is the only player in NBA history to have shattered the backboard. He was mostly remembered for his role as Lucas McCain in the TV series ‘The Rifleman’. He was born in Brooklyn, New York to Canadian immigrants of Irish origin. He was named Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors but his nickname Chuck stuck to him. He studied with an athletic scholarship at ‘Adelphi Academy’, a private high school, where he played basketball, baseball, football and ran track. He was offered scholarships by various colleges but he joined ‘Seton Hall College’. During World War II he served in the Army as a tank instructor at West Point. He continued playing after he was discharged from the Army. He started his career in acting when he went to Los Angeles with ‘Chicago Cubs’ farm team. Connor's appeared in nearly 45 films and numerous TV serials. Connors was an incredibly handsome man with a strong athletic physique, a strong jawline, steely blue eyes and deep commanding voice. He was also an impeccable stroke writer. Throughout his career, in basketball, baseball and acting, Chuck carved out a niche for himself by using his talents.

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Childhood & Early life
  • After leaving Seton Hall, Chuck Connors signed on as a baseman with ‘New York Yankee organisation’ for a short time.
  • During World War II Chuck enlisted in the Army in October 1942 as a tank instructor. He continued playing even when he was serving in the Army. He was discharged from the Army in February 1946.
  • He started playing basketball for ‘Rochester Royals’ and then played for ‘Boston Celtics’ till 1948.
  • Chuck played baseball by joining ‘Brooklyn Dodgers’ in 1949. He joined ‘Chicago Cubs’ in 1951 as first baseman.
  • In September 1951, when he was playing for ‘Los Angeles Angels’ Chuck got noticed by Bill Grady, a casting director for ‘MGM’ which made him change his career to acting.
  • He played his first role in ‘Pat and Mike’, a film starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.
  • Chuck acted in several movies. Some of them were ‘Trouble Along the Way’, South Sea Woman’, Walt Disney's ‘Old Yeller’, ‘The Big Country’, ‘Geronimo’ and ‘Soylent Green’.
  • Chuck played various roles in TV serials too. He is mostly remembered for his role as Lucas McCain, a New Mexico homesteader on a ranch bringing up his son by himself, in ‘The Rifleman’ (1958 - 1963).
  • Chuck earned an Emmy nomination for his role in miniseries ‘Roots’. His other TV shows are ‘The Loretta Young Show’, ‘Four Star Playhouse’, ‘GE Theatre’ and ‘Superman’.
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  • He was active in acting till his death in 1992.
Major Works
  • Chuck Connors is well-known for his role as Lucas McCain in ‘The Rifleman’ (1958-1963). He played the role of a single father who lived on a ranch in North Fork, New Mexico.
  • In 1977, his role in the miniseries ‘Roots’ earned him an ‘Emmy’ nomination.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Chuck Connors married Elizabeth in 1948. They had four sons Michael, Jeffrey, Stephen and Kevin. They lived in Woodland Hills, California. Chuck divorced Elizabeth in 1961.
  • In 1963, he married Kamala Devi, his co-star in ‘Geronimo’. He divorced her in 1973.
  • He married Faith Quabius, who was a co-actor in Soylent Green, in 1977 and divorced her in 1979.(He was in a relationship with Rose Mary Grumley before his death.
  • Being a longtime smoker Chuck suffered from lung cancer. He was hospitalized with pneumonia and died on November 10, 1992, at ‘Cedars-Minai Medical Center’, Los Angeles, at the age of 71.
  • Chuck Connors was the first person in the history of the ‘NBA’ to shatter a glass backboard in a pregame warm-up session.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, Chuck was active in Republican politics. He was a strong supporter of Richard Nixon who became the President of the United States in 1968. He also campaigned for his friend Ronald Reagan who was elected as the Governor of California in 1966 and then elected as President in 1980.
  • In 1973, he was invited by President Richard Nixon to meet Leonid Brezhnev. Chuck presented the visiting Soviet leader a cowboy hat and two Colt .45 six shooters. Brezhnev was delighted with this gift.

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Last Updated
- February 25, 2019
Chuck Connors

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