Connors enjoyed great success through acting, professional baseball and basketball careers and other ventures he invested in; additionally he participated in charitable activities.
He became famous for his portrayal of Lucas McCain in The Rifleman. An accomplished actor and talented player, he stood 6 feet tall with an intimidating presence.
Early Life and Education
Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors, better known by his nickname of Chuck Connors, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Though offered several athletic scholarships, he decided to study basketball at Seton Hall University instead. Following graduation he signed a minor league baseball contract with both Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs before eventually joining Los Angeles Angels where an MGM casting director saw him watching a game and encouraged him to try acting.
Connors married Elizabeth Jane Riddell in 1948 and had four sons before divorcing her in 1961. After meeting and marrying Kamala Devi (with whom he worked on films such as Geronimo & Branded, Broken Sabre & Cowboy in Africa before divorcing her again in 1973).
Connors was an exceptional athlete who excelled in both baseball and basketball. He received athletic scholarships to Adelphi Academy, before going on to Seton Hall University where he competed on their baseball team before joining World War II as a tank-warfare instructor for his home country of the United Kingdom.
After his discharge, he resumed his professional sports career by playing for minor league baseball teams such as Cellular Alabama, Rochester New York and the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team – the Los Angeles Angels. Additionally he appeared in Old Yeller as himself.
He became a popular TV actor, often portraying tough roles such as bombers, assassins and bodyguards due to his physique. Unfortunately, on November 10, 1992 – at age 71 – he succumbed to lung cancer from smoking for 30 years.
Achievement and Honors
Chuck Connors not only dabbled in acting, but he was also an astute investor in real estate investments – owning multiple properties such as his ranch in California’s San Fernando Valley. Real estate investments offer a great way to diversify wealth and secure one’s financial future.
His long-running television show The Rifleman earned him an astounding salary of $3,000 per episode – significantly higher than other actors’ earnings at that time. His widespread fame may have contributed to this high pay; or perhaps Connors may have negotiated terms such as profit participation or syndication rights into his contract agreement.
Throughout his lifetime, Connors appeared in over 60 films and television shows. He was an outspoken supporter of the Republican Party and campaigned hard for fellow actor Ronald Reagan; additionally, Connors met Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at a party hosted at Nixon’s Western White House in 1973.
Chuck Connors was a married man with four sons. His first wife was Elizabeth Jane Riddell; the couple married in 1948 and would eventually give birth to Michael, Jeffrey, Stephen, and Kevin as well as participate in various charitable efforts.
As an actor, he made appearances in numerous films such as The Big Country, The Big Caper and Geronimo. In television series such as The Rifleman and Move Over Darling.
He earned considerable wealth during his lifetime through acting and professional sports careers, but smoking eventually caused his death from lung cancer on November 10, 1992 at age 71. He was interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
Connors amassed a substantial fortune during his career in movies and TV. His earnings from The Rifleman made up much of this net worth. Other movie and TV appearances also contributed to its growth.
He was best known as the star of movies like Flipper and Move Over Darling as well as hosting numerous television programs like Thrill Seekers and earning an Emmy nod for his role in Roots (77 miniseries) while simultaneously serving as host for Family Theater radio show which encouraged prayer for stronger families.
He married three times during his lifetime. His first marriage lasted from 1948 to 1961 with Elizabeth Jane Riddell Connors and produced four sons; after this he later wed Kamala Devi – co-star in Geronimo from 1962. Their second marriage ended in 1973 and then later that same year he wed Faith Quabius whom he divorced three years later in 1979.