Chuck Connors: The Man Behind the Rifle

Chuck Connors: The Man Behind the Rifle

by David A. Fury

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Overview

To mention just a few of the highlights of his life, Chuck played baseball with and was a teammate of the great pioneer Jackie Robinson, during the decade that Connors starred in minor league baseball. He was truly a minor league baseball star—winning the home run championship of the Piedmont League in 1946, and leading his respective teams to four consecutive championships, 1946-1949. Chuck also made it to the majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. As a young man just out of the military (World War II), he played tough defense on the champion Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League in 1946, and then was the starting center for the Boston Celtics the following season.
Of his sixty motion pictures, Chuck Connors played his first scene with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn (Pat and Mike), and followed his memorable debut with supporting roles first to John Wayne (Trouble Along the Way), and then Burt Lancaster (South Sea Woman). His biggest break might have been The Big Country (1958), as Chuck superbly portrayed a cowardly bully opposite the staunch good guys, played on screen by Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston.
Who could ever forget his immortal character of Lucas McCain, the legendary "Rifleman." Chuck was also the star of four successful dramatic TV series (including Arrest and Trial, Branded, and Cowboy in Africa). In 1958, Connors was named "Most Promising Male Star" by the prestigious Television Champion Awards (Quigley Publications), and in 1959 he won a Golden Globe in the category of "Best Television Performers" (for The Rifleman). His fame was international, and when Chuck met Leonid Brezhnev (a huge fan of The Rifleman) at the Western White House in 1973, the photo of Connors as the recipient of a bear hug from the Russian leader appeared on page one of 1600 newspapers worldwide.
Chuck was also a talented stage actor, and he starred in six off-Broadway productions in the 1970s. In 1977 he was critically acclaimed for his convincing portrayal of slave owner Tom Moore, in the history-making mini-series Roots. Here was a sensitive man who cried when his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated in March of 1985, and a Western hero who was elected to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1991.
So, this is the story of the man from Brooklyn who parlayed his lanky six-foot six-inch frame and a burning desire to succeed into a storybook career—pro sports star, movie and television hero (and sometimes villain), family man and father of four sons, and generally loved by a legion of fans. The man with the lantern-square jaw, mop of golden hair, and rugged features capable of both genuine warmth or frightening menace, had a career in the entertainment business rivaled by few and admired by many. Most assuredly he is remembered as Lucas McCain, "The Rifleman," but as you will find out, he was much more than the one character for which he was most famous.
This is the story of the man behind the rifle... The Chuck Connors' story.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148461319
Publisher: Artist's Press
Publication date: 04/01/1997
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 380
Sales rank: 361,687
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

David A. Fury is an author and songwriter from Minneapolis. He currently resides in the Los Angeles area. The next book project is "Burt Lancaster: In Light and Shadow", which will be published in 2014 by a major publisher... and later, as an E-book edition. David Fury is also the author of "The Cinema History of Burt Lancaster" (1988), "Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero" (2000), and "Maureen O'Sullivan: No Average Jane" (2007). David Fury served in the U.S. Army including a tour of duty in Vietnam as a clerk-typist in 1971, and in the past has been a radio announcer, cab driver, freelance writer and publisher. David also writes pop and folk music, and plays acoustic guitar. He is also an avid swing and tango dancer.

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