Tags: mike connors | dies | mannix | actor

Mike Connors Dies; 'Mannix' Star Was 91

Image: Mike Connors Dies; 'Mannix' Star Was 91

Mike Connors of TV's "Mannix" died Thursday at 91. (IMDb)

By    |   Friday, 27 Jan 2017 01:02 PM

Mike Connors, best known for the hit television detective show "Mannix," died Thursday at the Los Angeles hospital at 91.

Connors played the scrappy, athletic detective Joe Mannix on CBS for eight years starting in 1968, according to Variety. His son-in-law Mike Condon said that Connors was diagnosed with leukemia a week ago, the celebrity publication said.

Reuters reported that Connors, of Armenian descent, was born as Krekor Ohanian in Fresno, California in 1925 and went to UCLA on a basketball scholarship. That is when he was noticed by veteran Hollywood director William Wellman, who steered him into acting.

He changed his name to Mike Connors in the 1950s and starred in his first film, "Sudden Fear" with Joan Crawford in 1952, National Public Radio reported.

"Mannix" was the last series produced by Desilu Productions, the entertainment company created by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, Variety noted. Ball went to bat for the series after it received poor ratings the first season, according to Variety.

The show caught on, with the characters using various muscle cars in the series such as Dodge Darts and Chevrolet Camaros. Mannix's secretary was portrayed by Gail Fisher, one of few African-American actresses on a regular network television series at the time, Variety noted.

"Up until 'Mannix,' most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions," Connors theorized in 1997, according to The Associated Press. "'Mannix' got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of."

Connors guest-starred in "Two and a Half Men" in 2007 and other television shows like "Murder She Wrote," "Love Boat," and "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Fellow celebrities shared their condolences on social media.

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Mike Connors, best known for the hit television detective show Mannix, died Thursday at the Los Angeles hospital at 91.
mike connors, dies, mannix, actor
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2017-02-27
Friday, 27 Jan 2017 01:02 PM
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