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Chuck Connors

Biography

A regular performer within the bass trombone, along with a longtime person in The Ellington orchestra, Chuck Connors continues to be better known for his section function than his single ability. He gained his level from Boston Conservatory within the middle-’50s, then worked well for nine weeks with Dizzy Gillespie in 1957. Connors became a member of Duke Ellington in 1961. He was using the orchestra before middle-’70s, staying for a restricted period after Duke passed away and Mercer assumed management. Connors not merely recorded frequently with Ellington, but with many music group members on the sessions; included in this Ray Nance, Kitty Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves and Clark Terry within the ’60s and ’70s. He and Terry co-led a touring music group in 1974, and went to Europe twice within the ’70s. Connors could be noticed on several Ellington recordings on Compact disc, in addition to Hodges classes. His most widely known single was on “Perdido,” from your album THE FAVORITE Duke Ellington on RCA within the middle-’60s.

Quick Facts


Full Name Chuck Connors
Died November 10, 1992, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height 1.97 m
Weight 86 kg
Profession Actor, Screenwriter, Baseball player, Basketball player
Education Seton Hall University, Adelphi University
Nationality American
Spouse Faith Quabius, Kamala Devi, Elizabeth Riddell
Children Jeff Connors, Kevin Connors, Steve Connors, Mike Connors
Parents Marcella Connors, Allan Connors
Siblings Gloria Connors
Albums ...And His Mother Called Him Bill, Duke Ellington: Live in Mexico, Second Sacred Concert, The Best of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra
Movies Soylent Green, The Big Country, Old Yeller, Tourist Trap, Airplane II: The Sequel, Pat and Mike, The Proud and Damned, South Sea Woman, Ride Beyond Vengeance, Move Over, Darling, Flipper, Kill Them All and Come Back Alone, Captain Nemo and the Underwater City, Tomahawk Trail, Geronimo, Hot Rod Girl, The Mad Bomber, Trouble Along the Way, Hold Back the Night, Designing Woman, Target Zero, The Deserter, High Desert Kill, Nightmare in Badham County, Salmonberries, Synanon, 99 and 44/100% Dead, The Lady Takes a Flyer, Three Stripes in the Sun, Summer Camp Nightmare, Death in Small Doses, Pancho Villa, The Horror at 37,000 Feet, Good Morning, Miss Dove, Once Upon a Texas Train, Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free, Skinheads, The Hired Gun, The Vals, Naked Alibi, Legend of the Sea Wolf, Terror Squad, The Birdmen, The Human Jungle, Dragonfly Squadron, 3 Days to a Kill, Virus, Walk the Dark Street, Standing Tall, The Night They Took Miss Beautiful, Set This Town on Fire
TV Shows Werewolf, The Yellow Rose, Cowboy in Africa, Branded, Arrest and Trial, The Rifleman, Roots


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 He was most widely known to be a social butterfly.
2 On The Rifleman (1958), his character had used a lot of rifles, in real-life, he owned rifles.
3 Connors wasn't the only baseball star to appear on The Rifleman (1958), a couple of former baseball stars appeared on that show were: Duke Snider and Don Drysdale.
4 He smoked three packs of Camel cigarettes a day until the 1970s.
5 Took part in a parade in New York in support of the Vietnam War in 1967, and campaigned for his friend Ronald Reagan.
6 Was a Boy Scout.
7 Was a member of the Sheriff's Advisory Board of Orange County, California.
8 He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949.
9 Connors was one of only twelve athletes in history to have played for both Major League Baseball and in the NBA.
10 Appeared on the front cover of TV Guide five times.
11 Acting mentor and friend of Johnny Crawford.
12 His father was born in Dunville and his mother in St. Marys, Placentia Bay, both in the Dominion of Newfoundland (now Canada). They were both of Irish descent.
13 Almost one year before his death, his first wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Connors, died on February 27, 1992, after a long illness.
14 Chuck Connors died on November 10, 1992, at 71. A couple of years before his death, he was devastated to hear about Burt Lancaster's stroke. He tried calling his office one day, but his office wasn't releasing any information at that time. Connors sent a letter in support of David Fury's nomination of Lancaster to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and signed the petition David sent to the American film Institute nominating Burt for the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
15 Future The Rifleman (1958) co-star, longtime friend and devoted fan, Johnny Crawford, had once said in an interview that when he was just a little boy, he too was an avid baseball fan, like Connors was, and would bring his baseball equipment whenever both he and Connors would be on location, during filming.
16 Future comedians, Bill Rafferty and Vicki Lawrence, announcers Burton Richardson and Randy West, actors David Cassidy, Kathy Garver, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Bill Mumy, and talk show hostess, Oprah Winfrey describes him as one of their childhood television heroes.
17 Future actor LeVar Burton was also said to be a huge fan of Connors' series The Rifleman (1958), as a little boy.
18 Before he was an actor, he was a professional basketball and baseball player.
19 After he won a scholarship attending a private high school, he played basketball, football & baseball.
20 Had won numerous scholarships while in high school, but chose to attend Seton Hall College (now Seton Hall University).
21 His college studies were interrupted when he was enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
22 Resumed his sports career after the war had ended. Connors had no choice other than to play professional basketball, when he continued to play baseball.
23 He had 10 hobbies: golfing, riding horses, reading, swimming, fishing, poetry writing, spending time with his family, baseball, philanthropy and politics.
24 Was best friends with: James Drury, Doug McClure, John Smith, Adam West, Jerry Lewis, Angela Lansbury, Joey Bishop, Regis Philbin, Paul Fix, Fess Parker, Gregory Peck, Alex Cord, James Arness, Peter Graves, Michael Landon, Robert Reed, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Alvy Moore, Dabbs Greer, Richard Anderson, Gene Barry, Bill Quinn, Charlton Heston, Aaron Spelling, Tom Helmore, Richard Nixon, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Mickey Rooney, Julie Adams, Jeff York, Aldo Ray, Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev.
25 His parents were Allan Connors, who was a longshoreman and Marcella Lundrigan Connors, a housewife.
26 Before he was an actor, he spent most of the war as a tank-warfare instructor in Camp Campbell, Kentucky, before West Point, New York.
27 Future talk show hosts - his friend, Regis Philbin and Arsenio Hall, were once said to be their admirable television heroes. Philbin was a young adult while Hall was just a child.
28 He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6838 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on July 18, 1984.
29 At age 13, he remembered he was a lousy first baseman, and the man who made the biggest impact on his life was his coach on a team called the Celtics, a diminutive gent named John Flynn.
30 Years after The Rifleman (1958), he was a spokesperson for the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the early 1970s.
31 His father, Allan died in 1966, followed by his mother, Marcella, who died in 1971.
32 Graduated from Adelphi Academy - a private high school in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940.
33 His series The Rifleman (1958) was canceled at the end of the fifth season, because both the actor himself and co-star Johnny Crawford had decided to move on to other projects.
34 Remained good friends with Johnny Crawford during and after The Rifleman (1958).
35 Best remembered by the public for his starring role as Lucas McCain on The Rifleman (1958).
36 Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume 3, 1991-1993, pp. 116-118. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
37 Was a film "enemy" of Charlton Heston at least twice -- as Buck Hannesey in The Big Country (1958) and as Tab Fielding in Soylent Green (1973).
38 In June 1973, he befriended Soviet Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev in a meeting at the White House. Connors traveled to the Soviet Union in December 1973, and presented Brezhnev with two Colt revolvers. In 1982, he asked his friend President Ronald Reagan if he could attend Brezhnev's funeral service, but he was not allowed to be part of the official US delegation.
39 A longtime smoker, he was hospitalized with pneumonia three weeks before his death.
40 He was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party as well as a frequent guest at the White House during the administration of his close friend President Richard Nixon.
41 Was an altar boy and parishioner at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
42 Before the 1940 baseball season, he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent.
43 On October 10, 1950, he was traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers - with whom he had appeared with in one game in 1949 - with Dee Fondy to the Chicago Cubs for Hank Edwards and cash. He spent part of the 1951 season with the Cubs.
44 Accepted the role of Mr. Slausen in Tourist Trap (1979) because he wanted to "become the Boris Karloff of the '80s".
45 He was the first NBA player to shatter a backboard; he did it while playing for the Boston Celtics in 1946.
46 Lucas McCain, Connors' character on The Rifleman (1958), was ranked #32 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
47 Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1991.
48 In a 1997 biography titled "The Man Behind the Rifle", author David Fury says that "Chuck" Connors acquired his nickname while an athlete playing first base. He had a habit of calling to the pitcher: "Chuck it to me, baby, chuck it to me!".
49 Was elected to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1991.
50 Very likely the only guest commentator on Monday Night Baseball to use the F-word.
51 Almost suffered the same fate in each of his two television westerns. On a 10-2-61 episode of The Rifleman (1958) called "The Vaqueros", he was stripped to the waist, tied to a tree and left to die under a scorching sun by a group of Mexican bandits. On an 11-14-65 episode of Branded (1965) called "Fill No Glass for Me", he was stripped to the waist, tied to a tree and left to die under a scorching sun by a group of Indian warriors (in both cases he survived).
52 According to an article on television westerns in Time Magazine (March 30, 1959), Connors stood 6'5" tall, weighed 215 pounds, and had chest-waist-hips measurements of 45-34-41.
53 Chuck Person, an NBA Player, is named after him.
54 Four sons; Mike Connors, Jeff Connors, Steve Connors, Kevin Connors.
55 Connors also played professional basketball with the Boston Celtics.
56 Played major league baseball (for the Chicago Cubs) in 1951.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Fast Backwards 2001 Short The Star
A Man Who Fell from the Sky 2001 Narrator and host
Three Days to a Kill 1992 Capt. Damian Wright
The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw 1991 TV Movie Lucas McCain
Salmonberries 1991 Bingo Chuck
Face the Edge 1990 Buddy
Guns of Paradise 1989-1990 TV Series Gideon McKay
Last Flight to Hell 1990 Red Farley
High Desert Kill 1989 TV Movie Stan Brown
Wolf 1989 TV Series
Skinheads 1989 Mr. Huston
Trained to Kill 1989 Ed Cooper
Taxi Killer 1988
Murder, She Wrote 1985-1988 TV Series Tyler Morgan / FBI Agt. Fred Keller
Terror Squad 1988 Chief Rawlings
Once Upon a Texas Train 1988 TV Movie Nash Crawford
Maniac Killer 1987 Professor Roger Osborne
Werewolf 1987 TV Series Janos Skorzeny Captain Janos Skorzeny
Summer Camp Nightmare 1987 Mr. Warren
Sakura Killers 1987 The Colonel (as Chuck Conners)
Eroi dell'inferno 1987 Senator Morris
The All American Cowboy 1985 TV Movie
Spenser: For Hire 1985 TV Series King Powers
The Yellow Rose 1983-1984 TV Series Jeb Hollister
Afghanistan pourquoi? 1983 Soviet colonel
The Love Boat 1983 TV Series Roy
Kelsey's Son 1983 TV Movie Boone Kelsey
Balboa 1983 Alabama Dern
Matt Houston 1983 TV Series Castanos
Lone Star 1983 TV Movie Jake Farrell
The Vals 1983 Trish's Father - 'Boom-Boom Girls' Producer
There Was a Little Girl 1982
Airplane II: The Sequel 1982 The Sarge
Hit Man 1982 Sam Fisher
Fantasy Island 1982 TV Series Frank Barton
The Capture of Grizzly Adams 1982 TV Movie Frank Briggs
Best of the West 1982 TV Series
Bordello 1981 Jonathan
Walking Tall 1981 TV Series Theo Brewster
Day of Resurrection 1980 Capt. McCloud - HMS Nereid
Stone 1980 TV Series Tom Lettleman
Day of the Assassin 1979 Fleming
Tourist Trap 1979 Mr. Slausen
Standing Tall 1978 TV Movie Major Roland Hartline
The Night They Took Miss Beautiful 1977 TV Movie Mike O'Toole
Roots 1977 TV Mini-Series Tom Moore
Police Story 1973-1976 TV Series Lt. Lew Randle / Sergeant Ed 'Bugs' Pebbles / Sergeant Barrett / ...
Nightmare in Badham County 1976 TV Movie Sheriff Danen
Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free 1976 TV Movie Sam Ivory
The Six Million Dollar Man 1975 TV Series Niles Lingstrom
Il lupo dei mari 1975 Wolf-Larsen
99 and 44/100% Dead 1974 Claw Zuckerman
Here's Lucy 1973 TV Series Chuck Connors
Soylent Green 1973 Tab Fielding
The Mad Bomber 1973 William Dorn
The Horror at 37,000 Feet 1973 TV Movie Captain Ernie Slade
Set This Town on Fire 1973 TV Movie Buddy Bates
Night Gallery 1972 TV Series Roderick Blanco
Pancho Villa 1972 Col. Wilcox
Night of Terror 1972 TV Movie Brian DiPaulo
The Proud and Damned 1972 Will Hansen
Embassy 1972 Kesten
The Birdmen 1971 TV Movie Colonel Morgan Crawford
Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971 'Swifty' Morgan (uncredited)
The Devil's Backbone 1971 Reynolds
The Name of the Game 1971 TV Series Governor Brill
The Virginian 1971 TV Series Gustaveson
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City 1969 Senator Robert Fraser
Kill Them All and Come Back Alone 1968 Clyde McKay
Cowboy in Africa 1967-1968 TV Series Jim Sinclair
Branded 1965-1966 TV Series Jason McCord
Ride Beyond Vengeance 1966 Jonas Trapp, the Tiger
Synanon 1965 Ben
Arrest and Trial 1963-1964 TV Series John Egan
Move Over, Darling 1963 Stephen 'Adam' Burkett
Flipper 1963 Porter Ricks
The Rifleman 1958-1963 TV Series Lucas McCain / Earl Bantry
Geronimo 1962 Geronimo
The DuPont Show with June Allyson 1960 TV Series George Aswell
The Big Country 1958 Buck Hannassey
The Adventures of Jim Bowie 1958 TV Series Cephas K. Ham
Zane Grey Theater 1958 TV Series Lucas McCain
Love That Jill 1958 TV Series Cliff
Date with the Angels 1958 TV Series Stacey L. Stacey
Hey, Jeannie! 1958 TV Series Buck Matthews
Old Yeller 1957 Burn Sanderson
The Restless Gun 1957 TV Series Toby Yeager
The Lady Takes a Flyer 1957 Phil Donahoe
Wagon Train 1957 TV Series Private John Sumter
General Electric Theater 1954-1957 TV Series Long Jack / Soldier
The Silent Service 1957 TV Series Liddell
The Hired Gun 1957 Judd Farrow
Death in Small Doses 1957 Mink Reynolds
Tales of Wells Fargo 1957 TV Series Sam Bass / Button Smith / Pete Johnson
Designing Woman 1957 Johnnie 'O'
The Millionaire 1957 TV Series Hub Grimes
Tomahawk Trail 1957 Sgt. Wade McCoy
Big-Foot Wallace 1957 TV Movie Big Foot Wallace
The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna 1956 TV Series Ooma
West Point 1956 TV Series Maj. Neilson / Maj. Nielson
Crossroads 1956 TV Series Lou Brissie
The Joseph Cotten Show: On Trial 1956 TV Series Andy
Hold Back the Night 1956 Sgt. Ekland
Climax! 1956 TV Series
Hot Rod Girl 1956 Det. Ben Merrill
Gunsmoke 1956 TV Series Sam Keeler
Walk the Dark Street 1956 Frank Garrick
The Star and the Story 1955-1956 TV Series Attendant / Harry Frazier
Frontier 1956 TV Series Thorpe Henderson
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 1956 TV Series Officer Handley
Cavalcade of America 1955 TV Series Harry
Matinee Theatre 1955 TV Series
Good Morning, Miss Dove 1955 Bill Holloway
Screen Directors Playhouse 1955 TV Series Art Shirley
Three Stripes in the Sun 1955 Idaho Johnson
Target Zero 1955 Pvt. Moose
Adventures of Superman 1955 TV Series Sylvester J. Superman
Schlitz Playhouse 1955 TV Series Stanley O'Connor
Private Secretary 1955 TV Series Mr. Neanderthal
TV Reader's Digest 1955 TV Series Charlie Masters
City Detective 1955 TV Series Sam
Four Star Playhouse 1954-1955 TV Series Stan / Mervyn
The Loretta Young Show 1955 TV Series Jess Hayes
Big Town 1954 TV Series
Naked Alibi 1954 Capt. Owen Kincaide
The Human Jungle 1954 Earl Swados
Dear Phoebe 1954 TV Series Rocky
Dragonfly Squadron 1954 Capt. Warnowski
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)
Your Jeweler's Showcase 1953 TV Series
Pat and Mike 1952 Police Captain
Wake Island 1942 Soldier in meal queue (uncredited)

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Branded 1966 TV Series story - 2 episodes
The Rifleman TV Series story - 3 episodes, 1959 - 1961 story idea - 1 episode, 1959

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
There Was a Little Girl 1982 as Martin Herbert

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Later with Bob Costas 1989 TV Series Himself
The Pat Sajak Show 1989 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Late Show 1987 TV Series Himself - Guest
All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan 1985 TV Special Himself
Our Time 1985 TV Series Himself
The Steel Collar Man 1985 TV Special J.G. Willis
The Great Mysteries of Hollywood 1981 TV Series documentary Himself - Host
When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion 1979 TV Movie documentary Himself
ABC's Silver Anniversary Celebration 1978 TV Special Himself
NBC Special Treat 1976 TV Series Himself - Host
The Dean Martin Show 1974 TV Series Himself
Chuck Connors in the U.S.S.R. 1973 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour 1973 TV Series Himself / Various Characters
Thrill Seekers 1973 TV Series Himself - Host
The David Frost Show 1971 TV Series Himself - Guest
Once Upon a Wheel 1971 Documentary Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1971 TV Series Himself
The Don Knotts Show 1970 TV Series Himself
The Merv Griffin Show 1967-1970 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Joey Bishop Show 1967-1969 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest Host
The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show 1968 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Don Rickles Show 1968 TV Series Himself
The Jackie Gleason Show 1968 TV Series Himself
Western, Italian Style 1968 TV Short documentary Himself
Dateline: Hollywood 1967 TV Series Himself
The Mike Douglas Show 1966 TV Series Himself - Guest Host
The Hero 1966 TV Series Himself
76th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade 1965 TV Movie Himself
Here's Hollywood 1961-1962 TV Series Himself
Password All-Stars 1961 TV Series Himself
Person to Person 1961 TV Series documentary Himself
The Chevy Show 1960 TV Series Himself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show 1960 TV Series Himself
What's My Line? 1959-1960 TV Series Himself - Guest Panelist
The 12th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1960 TV Special Himself
The Big Party 1959 TV Series Himself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1958 TV Series Himself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1957 TV Series Himself
Boy with a Knife 1956 Documentary short Bud Williams (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Longhorns 2011 Lucas McCain (uncredited)
Here's Harry: Remembering Gale Gordon 2011 Video documentary short Clip from 'Here's Lucy'
Pioneers of Television 2011 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself / Lucas McCain from Rifleman
The Western World of Ferdinando Baldi 2005 Video documentary Himself
Images of Indians: How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native American 2003 TV Movie documentary Himself / Sgt. Wade McCoy (from Tomahawk Trail (1957)) (uncredited)
K.D. Lang Talks with Percy Adlon About 'Percy Adlon's Salmonberries': 11 Years Later 2001 Video documentary short Bingo Chuck (uncredited)
Television: The First Fifty Years 1999 Video documentary Lucas McCain
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter 1982 TV Movie documentary Actor - 'Move Over Darling' (uncredited)
The Best of Sex and Violence 1982 Documentary uncredited
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1980 TV Series Burn Sanderson
Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations 1966 Jason McCord
Broken Sabre 1965 Jason McCord

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1984 Golden Boot Golden Boot Awards
1984 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Television On 18 July 1984. At 6838 Hollywood Blvd.

TitleSalary
Cowboy in Africa (1967) $25,000 /week (1967)
Branded (1965) $12,000 /week + percentage
Arrest and Trial (1963) $7,500 /week

#Quote
1 [About being a rugged sports player before he became a rugged leading man] I'm in about as good shape as when I quit baseball in 1952.
2 [In 1958] You're doing fine work. That pitch was right in there.
3 [of Barry Goldwater who suggested he try for the Senate in February 1967 during a conversation at the Tucson National Country Club] I was in the foursome in front of him and Arnold Palmer. We've met several times before and we were talking about Ronnie's [Ronald Reagan] election and politics in general when the senator said I should run for the Senate. I was flattered. I told him I didn't think it would be possible. He told me I might change my mind later on.
4 There were two things wrong with me. I had a crew cut and I've never been on a horse. I did something about it. I let my hair grow and I shopped around for a horse.
5 [on the cancellation of The Rifleman (1958)] I knew what [The Lucy Show (1962)] would do to our ratings and I didn't want to wait around until our show was dropped and I might be an actor nobody wanted. The show would have gone five years, and that's long enough. By that time, you have done everything possible with your characters. If you keep on going, you're just cheating the public.
6 [on his popularity while playing the 40-something Lucas McCain on The Rifleman (1958)] What did I find out? That the concept of "Rifleman" is sound. I asked if people wanted any changes. Most of them said to leave it as it is. I asked if they wanted Lucas McCain to marry. They said no.
7 [In 1961] I've been wanting to do a movie. I've had some offers, but they always wanted me to play the same kind of character as Lucas McCain [The Rifleman (1958)]. So I turned the pictures down, including The Alamo (1960). People see me for free every week as Lucas; why would they pay to see me in the same type of role?
8 [In 1953] I owe baseball all that I have and much of what I hope to have. Baseball made my entrance to the film industry immeasurably easier than I could have made it alone. To the greatest game in the world I shall be eternally in debt.
9 [on how he landed the starring role in South Sea Woman (1953)] I had done just a couple of pictures, and I was sitting outside a little dressing room at Warner Bros, and they were testing a lot of people [for the role of Pvt. Davie White] and I was sitting in my Marine uniform waiting to be called and I went out to get a breath of fresh air, when down the street comes Burt Lancaster in a Marine uniform. And in those days the stars never tested with the actors. So I said to him, "Mr. Lancaster what are you doing here?" And he was a baseball fan, so he just decided to come down and test with me. So he took me in the dressing room to, as he said, "run the lines", and I didn't even know what that expression meant then. Finally I figured him out and I said, "Oh, you mean you want to practice?" So anyhow we read the scene and man he looked at me and said, "Boy we've got to work on this!" About then my name is called on the loudspeaker to come in on stage and Burt goes to the door and yells out to the people, "Hey, I'm talking here, we'll be another 20 minutes, go ahead and test somebody else". Well he went over that scene, seven pages long, to give me some semblance of approaching it proper. And then I went in and did it and got the part. But Burt took that time on his own and I gotta give him credit.
10 [on working in Pat and Mike (1952)] They paid me $500 for my week's work in that movie. I figured they'd made some mistake on the adding machine, but I stuck the check in my pocket and shut up. Baseball, I told myself, just lost a first baseman.
11 I'm more than satisfied to stay put in Los Angeles. The Coast League is one of the best leagues in baseball and the living and playing conditions are superior.
12 I have only five days to win the job. So I can't take time out for injuries.
13 [regarding his baseball career] I was a switch-hitter, remember? At most things, I'm a good with one hand as the other.
14 [In 1988] Somebody would like to have that [my agent]. He'll take that instead of commission.
15 [comparing his baseball and acting careers] So why not be a switch hitter with the rifle, too? Let's learn both ways.
16 [In 1960] What's cost? This is insurance. At what we pay Connors, what will it cost if he's crippled?
17 [on his first introduction to Johnny Crawford, who was auditioning to play his son Mark in The Rifleman (1958)] I remember the first time I saw him, I was sitting there with the producer and we were interviewing kids to play Mark. We must have interviewed 20 or 30, then Johnny came in and before we even talked to him I said, "That's him, that's The Rifleman's son".
18 [In 1987 about playing the lead in Werewolf (1987)] It's played very straight and dramatically, but with a tinge of black humor, I play evil incarnate, a 1,600-year-old man in full control of his werewolfism. Janos will kill and eat anybody and anything. Eric, on the other hand, kills only bad people in defense of his own life or those of innocent victims.
19 [In 1992, about being typecasted because of The Rifleman (1958)] If you're ever being typecasted--as most of us are-- that's a great way to be typecasted. So, "The Rifleman" is still popular with a lot of people, and I'm proud to be associated.
20 [In 1989] I was a bum of a hitter just not cut out for the majors. But, I will never forget Stan's kindness. When he finished watching me cut away at the ball, Stan slapped me on the back and told me to keep swinging.
21 [About the character he was best-known for] I can never get rid of The Rifleman (1958), and I don't want to. It's a good image. Basically, [the show] was the simplicity of the love between the father and the son. That was the foundation. The rifle was for show, but the relationship was for real. There was some violence, but at the end, I would explain to the boy that the violence was not something we wanted to do, but had to do.
22 Now who goes to the games in LA? Producers, directors, writers, casting directors. So because of the good year, I became a kind of favorite of the show business people, unbeknownst to myself.
23 [on his Lucas McCain character] Lucas was a righteous character, despite all the violence. We had the benefit of the father-son relationship, so I could have a little scene at the end of the show where I would explain to Mark, essentially, that sometimes violence is necessary, but it isn't good. And there was a lot of violence on The Rifleman (1958). We once figured out that I killed on the average of two and a half people per show. That's a lot of violence, but it was always covered by the scene with the little boy. And he would say, in essence, "Gee, you won Pa". And I would say, "Wait a minute son. You never win when you kill someone. It demeans you, it takes something away. People have got to learn to do away with violence and guns, and to love each other". And the viewers would forget the fact that I had killed three people during the show, because of the tender epilogue with Mark [Johnny's favorite scenes]. The warm father-son relationship was the heart of the program, and not only did we perform it, but Johnny and I became very close friends.
24 [Of Johnny Crawford] When Johnny came on the set in 1958, he was a little 12-year-old boy. He called everyone in the cast or crew "Sir" or "Ma'am". During the course of the five years of our run, he had two hit records, and he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. And yet, when the show was finished after five seasons, Johnny went around and thanked everyone in the cast and crew, and he still called them "Sir" or "Ma'am".
25 Well, it isn't because I'm the fidgety guy, seriously, I have to sit there like a mummy you can't move. Regular makeup you can turn around and I sit there like that, and the worst part of it is, after working 14 hours, I can't just take it off, I have to sit for another hour because of the way they made these appliances, and they have to be taken out very slowly.
26 [on The Rifleman (1958)'s theme song] I hear the same thing everywhere I go.
27 [In 1973] The President gave me about two dozen presidential tie clips and ladies' pins, with instructions to spread them around when I thought it appropriate, Brezhnev [Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev] will get more than a tie clip. I've ordered two engraved Colt revolvers for the General Secretary, Brezhnev is quite a western buff.
28 I don't want my kids growing up believing that there is nothing destructive in the world. I want them to know that there is good and bad in the world, that you can be hurt physically, that guns can kill you, that drugs are bad for you, that not everyone means well.

#Trademark
1 His rifle.
2 Brooklyn accent.
3 Deep commanding voice
4 Strong jawline and bold blue eyes
5 Towering height and athletic physique

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