Chuck Connors real name was Kevin Joseph Connors. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 10, 1921 and was educated at Seton Hall College.
He was a tall man at 6'5" and began his athletic career as a basketball player but later switched to baseball, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.
His real love was the film industry, however, and he once said "I owe baseball all that I have and much of what I hope to have. Baseball made my entrance to the film industry immeasureably easier than I could have made it alone. To the greatest game in the world I shall be eternally in debt."
He officially changed careers in 1953 after he appeared with Spencer Tracy and Kathryn Hepburn in "Pat & Mike" in 1952. He went on to make a number of films including "Target Zero" in 1954, "Hold Back the Night" in 1956, and "The Big Country" in 1958 but it was the role of Lucas McCain in the TV series "The Rifleman" for which he will always be best remembered.
He did many other movies and other short-lived TV series during and after "The Rifleman" and he also narrated 52 episodes of a documentary on stunts called "Thrill Seekers".
Chuck Connors was married 3 times and had 4 sons - Mike, Jeff, Steve, and Kevin. His career was still flourishing when he died suddenly on Nov. 10, 1992. The cause was found to be lung cancer.
Johnny Crawford said of him, "He was just my hero. He was very expressive and always concerned, but he was also tough as nails."