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  • Date of birth : 15/08/1925

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  • Connors Mike

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Mike Connors (1925)

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  Summary  

Mike Connors is an American actor best known for playing detective Joe Mannix in the CBS television series, Mannix. Before that, he had played a crime-fighting investigator, wielding a .38 handgun hidden in his back, in another CBS series, Tightrope.

  Biography  

 early life
Connors was born in Fresno, California, of Armenian descent. He was an avid basketball player in high school who was nicknamed "Touch" by his teammates. During World War II he served in the United States Army Air Forces. After the war he attended the University of California at Los Angeles on a basketball scholarship, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. William A. Wellman got him into acting after noticing his expressive face while Connors was playing basketball. He appeared on the Los Angeles CBS station as "Touch" Connors in an episode of Jukebox Jury before the program went national via ABC in 1953. Connors is credited in his early films, such as Island in the Sky , Swamp Women, Five Guns West , and Flesh and the Spur as "Touch Connors".

He played basketball for coach John Wooden at UCLA.

Connors recalled in an interview that he was renamed by Henry Willson saying that "Ohanian" was too close to the actor George O'Hanlon and came up with "Touch Connors".

 career
In 1956, still billed as Touch Connors, he played an Amalekite herder in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston.

He appeared in numerous television series, including the co-starring role in the 1955 episode "Tomas and the Widow" of the NBC western anthology series Frontier. He guest starred on Jeannie Carson's unsuccessful 1956-1957 situation comedy Hey, Jeannie!. He appeared in two Rod Cameron syndicated crime dramas, City Detective and the western-themed State Trooper, and played the villain in the first episode filmed of ABC-TV's smash hit Maverick opposite James Garner in 1957. He also appeared on two other syndicated series, The Silent Service, based on true stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy, and Sheriff of Cochise, set about Bisbee, Arizona. Connors also appeared in the episode of the TV Series One Step Beyond called "The Aerialist." In 1965, he co-starred in one of Robert Redford's earliest film roles, a WWII black comedy, Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious alongside Sir Alec Guinness.

Connors later took the starring roles in Tightrope (1959-1960), Mannix (1967-1975) and Today's F.B.I. (1981-1982). Due to the popularity of Tightrope in Mexico during the early 1960s, Discos Orfeon released a 45 rpm single of Connors singing in Spanish. Mannix was originally produced by Desilu Productions and it was then-President Lucille Ball who pushed for CBS to keep the show on air after a lacklustre first season in the ratings. This move enabled the show to become a long-running hit for the network. Connors was able to work with his boss on-screen during a cross-promotion episode of Ball's Here's Lucy series in 1971, showing how adept at comedy he was. The episode opened Lucy's fourth season of that entertainment product and was titled 'Lucy and Mannix are Held Hostage'. It was notable for being the first episode shot at Universal Studios, after Ball ceased producing her show at Paramount Studios.

Connors' long history of police and military roles very possibly was the reason he was chosen to play Air Force Colonel Harrison "Hack" Peters in Herman Wouk's 1988 World War II-based miniseries War and Remembrance.

Connors lives in Encino, California.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Mike Connors", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.