‘Mannix’ Star Mike Connors Dies at 91
Mike Connors, the former star of long-running private eye TV drama Mannix, has died at the age of 91.
His son-in-law Mike Condon revealed Connors was surrounded by family when he passed away at a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday afternoon. He was suffering from complications of leukemia, following the diagnosis of the condition just a week before.
He is survived by wife Mary Lou, who he married in 1949, daughter Dana and granddaughter Cooper Wills. Connors and Mary Lou also had a son, Matthew, who died several years after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Connors is most famous for his role as Joe Mannix in the detective drama, which ran on CBS for eight years after its premiere in 1967. Speaking in 1997 about the appeal of Mannix, Connors said: “Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions. Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”
Connors had roles in the television series Tightrope and Today’s FBI, each of which lasted just one season, and appeared in shows including The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder and Two and a Half Men.
Connors also starred in films such as Sudden Fear alongside Joan Crawford in 1952, Island in the Sky, The Ten Commandments and a Stagecoach remake.
Outside of the acting world, Connors served in the Air Force during World War II, as well as enjoying huge success with his basketball playing during his time at the University of California, Los Angeles.
When he graduated from the university, he studied law for two years, but he soon moved in to the acting field after he was encouraged to do so thanks to his handsome appearance.
Connors began in the industry being known as Touch Connors, with Touch being a nickname from his basketball days, before he changed it later to Michael and finally settled on Mike.