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
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
But there are other accomplishments,
quieter and more personal contributions, that Chuck has given his
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
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
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.
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, The Rifleman.
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
Michael (November 6, 1950), Jeffrey (July 30, 1952 ― February 19,
2004), Steven (September 4, 1953), and Kevin (June 9, 1956 — July
Chuck never married again — "Three strikes & your out!" As Chuck
Chuck did have a longtime friend, secretary and companion — Rose
Mary (Rosie) Grumley.
Chuck's grave is located at
The San Fernando Mission Cemetery Los Angeles, California.
Chuck's family headstones, along with Betty, Mom & Dad &
Chuck was truly talented, and he made the most of his God-given
talents as an athlete and as an actor. He never forgot his roots in
Brooklyn, and he never forgot to be humble.
Be sure and checkout. . . . .
Now available on Kindle.....
Chuck Connors.....The Man Behind
the Rifle by David Fury
Edited version of the 1997 book, with lots of new photos, and also a
complete Rifleman episode/plot synopsis guide.
Baseballs Forgotten Heroes by
Tony Salin, Masters Press
You can also find more information on Chuck's career on
Memory of The Rifleman
1921 - 1992
© 1992 David Fury
Golf Hall of Fame
around The McCain Ranch