Mike Connors, who played the super cool, super sleuth, man of action Mannix, has left us at the age of 91.
Born Krekor Ohanian, on August 15th, 1925 in Fresno, California, Mr. Connors attended college where he was a star basketball player earning the nickname ‘Touch’ and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
With his handsome good looks, he kept the Touch moniker in his early days of acting that garnered him several roles including working with John Wayne in Island in the Sky whom he became friends with.
He and Mr. Wayne were at CBS studios when Mr. Wayne was offered the role of, Marshall Dillon in Gunsmoke. Mr. Wayne didn’t feel it was right for him and he recommended an upcoming actor named, James Arness. The rest was history.
Mr. Connors early roles also included working with Roger Corman in Five Guns West, Swamp Women, Oklahoma Woman and The Day the World Ended earning $400.00 a week which those films were shot in a week.
Mr. Connors impressive resume centered mostly around television where he starred in One Step Beyond, The Untouchables, M Squad, Have Gun, Will Travel, Gunsmoke, and Mike Hammer to name a few.
He played the police, undercover agent, Nick Stone that carried a .38 revolver in the small of his back in the series Tightrope that brought him attention and fame with the series’ intricate plots.
But, it was the pilot called Mannix in 1967 that made him a household name. Known as the most violent show on television at that time with every episode filled with fistfights, gun play and car chases, the series started out as Mannix was employed by the detective agency Intertect and as the show progressed, Mannix struck out on his own with his assistant, Peggy Fair, portrayed by Gail Fisher. The show’s snappy theme by Lalo Schifrin and multi-scene credits sequence captured the weekly audience. Mannix lasted 8 years and is still in reruns around the world today.
STARBURST sends our good thoughts to his family and friends to a man who made television history who will always be remembered.
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