Ultimately, director William Wyler took a calculated risk and gave Connors the role of a conniving heavy in
"The Big Country." When several movie columnists suggested in print that Chuck deserved Oscar consideration as a supporting actor, Connors took a deep breath, turned his back on a baseball career, and became a full-time working actor. He had parts in more than 65 TV shows before the producers of "The Rifleman" made the decision that turned him into a star. It also turned him into a businessman.
Throughout his career Chuck Connors has been recognized for his many fine performances in motion pictures, television, and on the stage. His name has become synonymous with the outstanding roles he has created in such classic series' as
"Branded," "Arrest and Trial," and "The Rifleman," to list but a few, and his gripping performance in the 1976 NBC mini-series,
"Roots" earned him an Emmy Award nomination. Throughout his prolific career Chuck's mass of acting talent has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and his contributions as an actor have been shared and enjoyed by people everywhere.
The Big Country (1958) .... Buck Hannassey
But there are other accomplishments, quieter and more personal contributions, that Chuck has given his fellow man.
For several years, Connors lent his efforts helping the children from the Angel View Crippled Children's Foundation located in Desert Hot Springs, California. Through his efforts the Chuck Connors Invitational Golf Tournament has raised over $400,000.00, and all the proceeds have gone to Angel View.
Chuck Connors has also given freely of his time and talents to actively support The United Way cause in the United States, and has participated in film projects for the various United Way programs both here and abroad.
Connors was a member of the Sheriff's Advisory Board of Orange County, California, and in 1981 actively participated in their Project 999 diner to benefit police officers wounded in the line of duty.
Chuck's first love was baseball. He'd rather have been a major league baseball player than an actor, and he really loved the game.
Chuck received a star on
Hollywood's "Walk of Fame" on July 18, 1984.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1991.
"The Rifleman" was nominated for an Emmy as the Best Western Series for 1958-59
``Rifleman" Pioneer in Board Bashing. . . . .'
Long before slam dunks or Darryl Dawkins, a sharpshooter named Kevin ``Chuck'' Connors became the first NBA player to shatter a backboard - with a two-handed set shot (1946).
Before he went on to fame as a baseball player and TV actor on ``The Rifleman,'' Connors was the starting center for the first Boston Celtics team.
It was Nov. 5, 1946, and 4,329 fans had paid up to $2.75 a ticket for the first game of the new NBA.
Former NBA player Chuck Connors Person was nicknamed after Chuck because his mother enjoyed the television show,
Chuck was married 3 times—Faith Quabius (1977 - 1979) (divorced)
Kamala Devi (1963 - 1972) (divorced)
Elizabeth Jane Riddell (1948 - 1961) (divorced)—Which he had four sons with.
Michael (November 6, 1950), Jeffrey (July 30, 1952), Steven (September 4, 1953), and Kevin (June 9, 1956—July 10, 2005)
Chuck never married again—"Three strikes & your out!" As Chuck would say.
Chuck did have a longtime friend, secretary and companion—
Rose Mary (Rosie) Grumley
along with Betty, Mom & Dad & Rosie