Hugh Edward Ralph O'Connor (April 7, 1962 ? March 28, 1995) was an American actor
Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor (August 28, 1925 – September 27, 2003) was an American dancer, singer, and actor who came to fame in a series of movies in which he co-starred alternately with Gloria Jean, Peggy Ryan, and Francis the Talking Mule. He is best known today for his role as Gene Kelly's friend and colleague Cosmo Brown in Singin' in the Rain (1952).
Though he considered Danville, Illinois to be his home town, O’Connor was born in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago. His parents, Effie Irene (née Crane) and John Edward "Chuck" O'Connor, were vaudeville entertainers. His father's family was from County Cork, Ireland. When O'Connor was only a few years old, he and his sister Arlene were in a car crash outside a theater in Hartford, Connecticut; O'Connor survived, but his sister was killed. Several weeks later, his father died of a heart attack while dancing on stage in Brockton, Massachusetts. O'Connor at the time was being held in the arms of the theater manager, Mr. Maurice Sims.
O'Connor began performing in movies in 1937. He appeared opposite Bing Crosby in Sing You Sinners at age 12. Paramount Pictures used him in both A and B films, including Tom Sawyer, Detective and Beau Geste. In 1940, when he had outgrown child roles, he returned to vaudeville.
In 1942, O'Connor joined Universal Pictures where he played roles in four of the Gloria Jean musicals, and achieved stardom with Mister Big (1943).
In 1944, O'Connor was drafted into the Army. Before he reported for induction, Universal Pictures rushed him through production of three feature films simultaneously and released them when he was overseas. After his discharge, Universal (now reorganized as Universal-International) cast him in lightweight musicals and comedies.
In 1949, he played the lead role in Francis, the story of a soldier befriended by a talking mule. The film was a huge success. As a consequence, his musical career was constantly interrupted by production of one Francis film per year until 1955. It was because of the Francis series that O'Connor missed playing Bing Crosby's partner in White Christmas. O'Connor was unavailable because he contracted an illness transmitted by the mule, and was replaced in the film by Danny Kaye.
O'Connor's role as Cosmo the piano player in Singin' in the Rain earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical. The film featured his memorable rendition of Make 'Em Laugh.
O'Connor was a regular host of NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour. He hosted a color television special on NBC in 1957, one of the earliest color programs to be preserved on a color kinescope; an excerpt of the telecast was included in NBC's 50th anniversary special in 1976. In 1954, he starred in his own television series, The Donald O'Connor Show on NBC. In 1968, O'Connor hosted a syndicated talk show also called The Donald O'Connor Show.
O'Connor overcame alcoholism after being hospitalized in 1978. His career had a boost when he hosted the Academy Awards, which earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations. He appeared as a gaslight-era entertainer in the 1981 film Ragtime, notable for similar encore performances by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. It was his first feature film role in 16 years.
O'Connor appeared in the short-lived Bring Back Birdie on Broadway in 1981, and continued to make film and television appearances into the 1990s, including the Robin Williams film Toys as the president of a toy-making company. He had guest roles in 1996 in a pair of popular TV comedy series, The Nanny and Frasier.
In 1998, he received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars.
O'Connor's last feature film was the Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau comedy Out to Sea, in which he played a dance host on a cruise ship. O’Connor was still making public appearances well into 2003.
The most distinctive characteristic of O'Connor's dancing style was its athleticism, for which he had few rivals. Yet it was his boyish charm that audiences found most engaging, and which remained an appealing aspect of his personality throughout his career. In his early Universal films, O'Connor closely mimicked the smart alec, fast talking personality of Mickey Rooney of rival MGM Studio. For Singin' in the Rain, however, MGM cultivated a much more sympathetic sidekick persona, and that remained O'Connor's signature image.][
O'Connor was married twice and had four children. His first marriage was in 1944 to Gwendolyn Carter, with whom he had a daughter, Donna. The couple divorced in 1954. He married for a second time, to Gloria Noble, in 1956. Together they had three children; Alicia, Donald Frederick and Kevin. O'Connor and Noble remained married until his death in 2003.
O'Connor nearly died from pneumonia in January 1998. He died from complications of heart failure on September 27, 2003 at age 78 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, California. His remains were cremated and buried at the Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
O'Connor was survived by his wife, Gloria, and four children. Gloria O'Connor died from natural causes on June 4, 2013, aged 84.
Hugh William Paddick (22 August 1915 – 9 November 2000) was an English actor, whose most notable role was in the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne, in sketches such as Charles and Fiona (as Charles) and Julian and Sandy (as Julian). Both he and Kenneth Williams are largely responsible for introducing the underground language polari to the British public.
Paddick also enjoyed success in The Boy Friend.
Born in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, Paddick preferred theatre to any other form of acting and spent most of his life on the stage, from his first role while at acting school in 1937 until his retirement. He appeared in the original Drury Lane production of My Fair Lady. He was also an accomplished musician - singer, pianist and organist. He can be heard at the piano accompanying Julian and Sandy in a number of their sketches on both Round the Horne and The Bona World of Julian and Sandy.
Paddick was gay and lived for over thirty years with his partner Francis, whom he met at a party in London. The two men were keen gardeners at their west London home. He was distantly related to Brian Paddick, Britan's first openly gay police commander.
Paddick died in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire in November 2000, aged 85.
Kemper Military School
University of Cincinnati
Hugh O'Brian (born Hugh Charles Krampe; April 19, 1925) is an American actor, known for his starring role in the 1955-1961 ABC western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.
O'Brian was born in Rochester, New York, the son of Hugh John Krampe, a career United States Marine Corps officer, and his wife, Edith Krampe.
He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, north of Chicago, Illinois, as did Rock Hudson, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret, and many other future stars. He later enrolled at the since defunct Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O'Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.
After World War II, O'Brian moved to Los Angeles to study at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was discovered on the stage by Ida Lupino who signed him to a film, Never Fear, she was directing that led to a contract with Universal Pictures.
O'Brian replaced Bud Abbott in what began and ended up as an Abbott and Costello movie, Fireman Save My Child (1954), with Buddy Hackett cast in the Lou Costello role and Spike Jones and his band also appearing at length.
He was chosen to portray legendary lawman Wyatt Earp on the ABC western series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, which debuted in 1955. Alongside Gunsmoke and Cheyenne, which debuted the same year, these programs spearheaded the "adult western" television genre, with the emphasis was on character development, rather than moral sermonizing. It soon became one of the top-rated shows on television. During its six-year run, Wyatt Earp consistently placed in the top 10 in the United States. Decades later, O'Brian reprised the role in two episodes of the television series Guns of Paradise (1990), TV-movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) and the independent film Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994), the latter mixing new footage and colorized archival sequences from the original series.
O'Brian appeared regularly on other programs in the 1960s, including Jack Palance's ABC circus drama The Greatest Show on Earth. He also appeared as a 'guest attorney' in the 1963 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Two-Faced Turn-a-bout" when its star, Raymond Burr, was sidelined for a spell after minor emergency surgery. He was a guest celebrity panelist on the popular CBS prime-time programs Password and What's My Line?, and served as a mystery guest on three occasions on the latter series. In 1999 and 2000, he co-starred with Dick Van Patten, Deborah Winters, Richard Roundtree, and Richard Anderson miniseries Y2K - World in Crisis.
The actor made a number of motion pictures, among them Rocketship X-M (1950), The Lawless Breed (1953), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), White Feather (1955), Come Fly with Me (1963), Love Has Many Faces (1965), In Harm's Way (1965), Ten Little Indians (1965), and Ambush Bay (1966). While on stage, Elvis Presley introduced O'Brian from the audience at the singer's April 1, 1975, performance at the Las Vegas Hilton, as captured in the imported live CD release "April Fool's Dinner". O'Brian was a featured star in the 1977 two-hour premiere of the popular television series Fantasy Island. He played the last character that John Wayne ever killed on the screen in Wayne's final movie The Shootist (1976). O'Brian was a good friend of Wayne and said he considers this a great honor. O'Brian also appeared in fight scenes with a Bruce Lee lookalike in Lee's last film, Game of Death.
O'Brian recreated his Wyatt Earp role for three 1990s projects: Guns of Paradise (1990) and The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) with fellow actor Gene Barry doing likewise as lawman Bat Masterson for each as well as the independent film Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994). He also had a small role in the Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy film Twins (1988) as one of several men who had "donated" the DNA that later became the "twins". In the film, Schwarzenegger thought he'd found his "father" when he met Hugh O'Brian's character.
For his contribution to the television industry, Hugh O'Brian has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6613½ Hollywood Blvd. In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
On June 25, 2006, O'Brian married for the first time at age 81; his wife is the former Virginia Barber (born ca. 1952). The ceremony was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park with the Reverend Robert Schuller, pastor of the former Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, officiating. The couple was serenaded by close friend Debbie Reynolds.
Hugh O'Brian has dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 355,000 young people have been participated in HOBY related programs.
One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an "ambassador," is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries.
The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed "the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves."
Hugh O’Brian’s core message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic.
I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual's development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.
—Hugh O'Brian, "The Freedom to Choose"
Carroll O'Connor (born John Carroll O'Connor; August 2, 1924 – June 21, 2001) was an American actor, producer and director whose television career spanned four decades. A life member of The Actors Studio, O'Connor first attracted attention as Major General Colt in the 1970 movie Kelly's Heroes. The following year he found fame as the bigoted working man Archie Bunker, the main character in the 1970s CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971 to 1979) and Archie Bunker's Place (1979 to 1983). O'Connor later starred in the NBC/CBS television crime drama In the Heat of the Night from 1988 to 1995, where he played the role of southern Police Chief William (Bill) Gillespie. At the end of his career in the late 1990s, he played the father of Jamie Buchman (Helen Hunt) on Mad About You.
In 1996, O'Connor was ranked #38 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
O'Connor, an Irish American, was the eldest of three sons born in Manhattan, New York, to Edward Joseph O'Connor, a lawyer, and his wife, Elise Patricia O'Connor. Both of his brothers became doctors: Hugh, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1961, and Robert, a psychiatrist in New York City. O'Connor spent much of his youth in Elmhurst and Forest Hills, Queens, the same borough in which his character Archie Bunker would later live.
In 1941, Carroll O'Connor enrolled at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, but dropped out when the United States entered World War II. During World War II he was rejected by the United States Navy and enrolled in the United States Merchant Marine Academy for a short time. After leaving that institution, he became a merchant seaman.
O'Connor attended the University of Montana-Missoula where he met Nancy Fields, who would later become his wife. He also worked at the Montana Kaimin student newspaper as an editor. At the University of Montana, he joined Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. At that time, however, O'Connor did not take any drama courses as an undergraduate. O'Connor later left the University of Montana to help his younger brother Hugh get into medical school in Ireland, where he completed his studies at the University College Dublin. It was there that he began his acting career.
After he graduated from the University of Montana in 1951 with degrees in drama and English, O'Connor's fiancée, Nancy, sailed to Ireland to meet Carroll, who was visiting his brother, Hugh. The couple married in Dublin on July 28, 1951. In 1956, O'Connor returned to Missoula to earn a master's degree in speech.
After acting in theatrical productions in Dublin (Ireland) and New York during the 1950s, O'Connor's breakthrough came when he was cast by director Burgess Meredith (assisted by John Astin) in a featured role in the Broadway adaptation of James Joyce's novel Ulysses. O'Connor and Meredith remained close, lifelong friends.
O'Connor made his television acting debut as a character actor on two episodes of Sunday Showcase. These two parts led to other roles on such television series as The Americans, The Eleventh Hour, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Fugitive, The Wild Wild West, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Death Valley Days, The Great Adventure, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Dr. Kildare, I Spy, That Girl, Premiere, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, among many others. O'Connor starred as an Eastern European villain in the first season of "Mission Impossible" Season 1, Episode 18 "The Trial," brilliantly played and recognizable by his intense blue eyes. Late in his career, he appeared on several episodes of Mad About You as the father of Helen Hunt's character.
He was also among the actors considered for the roles of The Skipper on Gilligan's Island and Dr. Smith in the TV show Lost In Space, as well as being the visual template in the creation of Batman foe Rupert Thorne, a character who debuted at the height of All in the Family's success in Detective Comics #469 (published May 1976 by DC Comics).
O'Connor was living in Italy in 1968 when producer Norman Lear first asked him to come to New York to star in a pilot he was creating for ABC called Justice For All, with O'Connor playing Archie Justice, a lovable yet controversial bigot. After three pilots done between 1968 to 1970, a network change to CBS, and the last name of the character changed to Bunker, the new sitcom was renamed All in the Family. The show was based on the BBC's Til Death Us Do Part, with Bunker based on Alf Garnett, but somewhat less abrasive than the original. It has been stated that O'Connor's Queens background and New York accent influenced Lear to set the show in Queens.
Wanting a well-known actor to tackle the controversial material, Lear had approached Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney to play Archie; both declined. O'Connor accepted, not expecting the show to be a success and believing he would be able to move back to Europe. (In her book Archie & Edith, Mike & Gloria : the Tumultuous History of All in the Family, Donna McCrohan noted that O'Connor requested that Lear provide him with a return airline ticket to Rome as a condition of his accepting the role, so that he could return to Italy when the show failed.) Instead, the show became the highest-rated television program on American television for five consecutive seasons until the 1976-1977 season (the sixth season). The Cosby Show has since met the record set by All in the Family.
O'Connor's own politics were liberal. He understood the Bunker character and played him not only with bombast and humor but with touches of vulnerability. The writing on the show was consistently left of center, but O'Connor often deftly skewered the liberal pieties of the day. Although Bunker was famous for his malapropisms of the English language, O'Connor was highly educated and cultured and was an English professor before he turned to acting.
The show also starred a Broadway actress, also from New York City, Jean Stapleton, in the role of Archie Bunker's long-suffering wife, Edith Bunker, after Lear saw her in the play Damn Yankees. The producer sent the show over to ABC twice, but it didn't get picked up. They then approached CBS with more success, and accordingly, All in the Family was retooled and debuted early in 1971. The show also starred unknown character actors, such as Rob Reiner as Archie's liberal son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic and Sally Struthers as Archie and Edith's only child and Meathead's wife, Gloria Bunker-Stivic. The cast had a unique on- and off-camera chemistry, especially Reiner, who became O'Connor's best friend and favorite actor.
CBS was unsure whether the controversial subject matter of All in the Family would fit well into a sitcom. Racial issues, ethnicities, religions, and other timely topics were addressed. Like its British predecessor Til Death Do Us Part, the show lent dramatic social substance to the traditional sitcom format. Archie Bunker's popularity made O'Connor a top-billing star of the 1970s. O'Connor was afraid of being typecast for playing the role, but at the same time, he was protective of not just his character, but of the entire show.
A contract dispute between O'Connor and Lear marred the beginning of the show's fifth season. Eventually, O'Connor got a raise and appeared in the series until it ended. For his work as Archie Bunker, he was nominated for eight Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series; he won the award four times (1972, 1977, 1978, and 1979).
At the end of the eighth season in 1978, Reiner and Struthers left the series to pursue other projects, but O'Connor and Stapleton still had one year left on their contracts. At the start of the final year, the show cast a child actress, Danielle Brisebois, in the role of Archie's and Edith's niece, Stephanie Mills.
All In The Family was renamed Archie Bunker's Place for the show's tenth season and the show ran for four more years. Longtime friend and original series star Jean Stapleton's role as Edith Bunker, was limited to about a half dozen guest appearances in season 10. In the 11th season premere, her character died of a stroke, leaving Archie to cope with the loss. The show was unceremoniously canceled in 1983. O'Connor was angered][ about the show's cancellation, maintaining that the show ended with an inappropriate finale. He vowed never to work in any type of show with CBS again,][ although he starred in In the Heat of the Night, which aired on CBS in that show's last three seasons.
All told, he played Archie Bunker for 13 years in 307 episodes.
While coping with his son's drug problem, O'Connor starred as Sparta, Mississippi, Police Chief Bill Gillespie, a tough veteran Mississippi cop on In the Heat of the Night. Based on the 1967 movie of the same name, the series debuted on NBC early in 1988 and performed well. He cast his son Hugh O'Connor as Officer Lonnie Jamison. The headquarters of the Sparta Police Department was actually the library in Covington, Georgia.
Much like O'Connor himself, Gillespie was racially progressive and politically liberal. But the character of Bill Gillespie was also a smart and tough police officer who was not afraid to use his gun when the occasion called for it.
In 1989, while working on the set, O'Connor was hospitalized and had to undergo open heart surgery, which caused him to miss four episodes at the end of the second season (actor Joe Don Baker took his place in those episodes as an acting police chief.) The series was transferred from NBC to CBS in 1992 and cancelled two years later, after its seventh season. O'Connor reprised his role the following year for four two-hour In the Heat of the Night television films to critical acclaim][.
While on the series, O'Connor recorded "Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella," for the 1991 "In the Heat of the Night" Christmas CD "Christmas Time's A Comin'." He was joined by Grand Ole Opry star mandolinist Jesse McReynolds, Nashville accordionist Abe Manuel, Jr., and Nashville fiddlers Buddy Spicher and Randall Franks. CD Producer and series co-star Randall Franks created the arrangement which was co-produced by series co-star Alan Autry. He joined other members of the cast for a recording of "Jingle Bells" with vocals by Country Music Hall of Fame members Little Jimmy Dickens, Kitty Wells, Pee Wee King, and The Marksmen Quartet, Bobby Wright, Johnnie Wright and Ken Holloway.
In 1973, his fraternity conferred its highest honor, Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation, on him.
In July 1991, O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers were reunited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of All in the Family, which made its debut on CBS. Thanks to reruns which aired in syndication, TV Land, Antenna TV, and on CBS, the show continued to be popular. Those reruns led producer Norman Lear to create a new sitcom, Sunday Dinner, which was soon cancelled. The following year, Lear created The Powers That Be, which was also unsuccessful.
In March 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was given a St. Patrick's Day tribute by MGM.
His caricature figures prominently in Sardi's restaurant, in New York City's Theater District.
In 1962, while he was in Rome, filming Cleopatra, O'Connor and his wife adopted a six-day-old boy, naming him Hugh after O'Connor's brother who had died a year earlier. 17-year-old Hugh later worked as a courier on the set of Archie Bunker's Place. O'Connor would eventually create the role of Officer Lonnie Jamison on In the Heat of the Night for his son.
In 1989, O'Connor's long time cigar smoking finally caught up with him.][ He was admitted to the hospital for heart bypass surgery.
In 1995, O'Connor's son Hugh committed suicide after a long battle with drug addiction. Following his son's death, O'Connor appeared in public service announcements for Partnership for a Drug Free America and spent the rest of his life working to raise awareness about drug addiction. O'Connor also successfully lobbied to get the State of California to pass legislation allowing family members of an addicted person or anyone injured by a drug dealer's actions, including employers, to sue for reimbursement for medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. The law, known as the Drug Dealer Civil Liability Act in California, went into effect in 1997. Eleven other states followed with similar legislation, which has been referred to as The Hugh O'Connor Memorial Law.
His son's suicide inspired O'Connor to start a crusade against the man who sold the drugs to Hugh. He called Harry Perzigian "a partner in murder" and a "sleazeball." Perzigian filed a defamation lawsuit against the actor. In 1997, a California jury threw out the case. In an interview on CNN's Larry King Live soon after the verdict, O'Connor said he would never be able to put his son's death behind him. "I can't forget it. There isn't a day that I don't think of him and want him back and miss him, and I'll feel that way until I'm not here anymore," he said.
During the late 1990s, O'Connor established a small automotive restoration shop in Newbury Park, California. Called "Carroll O'Connor Classics" the shop contained many of O'Connor's personal vehicles and the cars once owned by his late son. Among the cars O'Connor owned were a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow sold to him by William Harrah, a Maserati 3500 GT, and a Dodge Challenger equipped with the 440-cubic inch V-8 that was the car he drove during production of All In The Family.
In 1997, the O'Connors donated $1 million to their alma mater to help match a challenge grant to the University of Montana from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The university named a regional studies and public policy institute the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Afterward, O'Connor taught screenwriting at the university.
In 1998 O'Connor underwent a second surgery to clear the blockage in a cardiac artery, to reduce his risk of stroke.
O'Connor died on June 21, 2001 in Culver City, California from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westwood, Los Angeles, California and was attended by All in the Family cast members Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers and Danielle Brisebois, as well as producer Norman Lear. Actress Jean Stapleton, who played O'Connor's onscreen wife and who had been a close friend of O'Connor's since the early 1960s, did not attend the service due to a stage production performance commitment.
In honor of O'Connor's career, TV Land moved an entire weekend of programming to the next week and showed a continuous marathon of All in the Family. During the commercial breaks TV Land also showed interview footage of O'Connor and various All in the Family actors, producers with whom he had worked, and other associates. O'Connor's best friend Larry Hagman and his family were also there, alongside the surviving cast of In the Heat of the Night, including Alan Autry and Denise Nicholas, who also attended the memorial. Actor Martin Sheen, then starring on The West Wing, delivered the eulogy. O'Connor is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery with his son Hugh's cenotaph placed on his grave stone.
O'Connor met Broadway and character actress Jean Stapleton in a 1962 episode of The Defenders. Nine years later, she auditioned for the role of Archie's wife Edith in All in the Family. She and O'Connor shared a remarkable husband and wife chemistry for the next decade. She made limited guest appearances on its later spin-off show, Archie Bunker's Place, before leaving in the show's second season. During Stapleton's run as Edith Bunker, she and O'Connor became close friends. She was distressed in 1995 when she heard of the passing of Carroll's son, Hugh, who had committed suicide. She remained close and supportive while O'Connor was in court to testify concerning his son's death. On the first day of summer in 2001, while performing on stage, she received word that O'Connor had died. Though she was unable to attend the service, she delivered her condolences to his wife Nancy.
O'Connor had a long-running friendship with actor Larry Hagman, beginning in 1959, when Carroll was working as an assistant stage manager for the Broadway play God and Kate Murphy, in which Hagman starred. Later as the two struggled as young actors, they rented apartments near each other in New York. Over the years they had a lot in common; just as O'Connor concluded contract negotiations for his salary on All in the Family, in 1974, missing two episodes, Hagman eventually found himself re-negotiating his salary on Dallas, with similar results. Hagman's daughter, Heidi, whom O'Connor had known since her childhood, joined the cast for one season of Archie Bunker's Place. Hagman directed several episodes of O'Connor's later series, In the Heat of the Night. They both endured serious health issues, with O'Connor's heart bypass surgery, and Hagman's liver transplant. Hagman remained close after O'Connor's loss of his son Hugh, and through the rest of O'Connor's life, delivering a eulogy at the funeral.
"Nothing will give me any peace. I've lost a son. And I'll go to my grave without any peace over that."
"It was a lack of system that made the '30s Depression as inevitable as all others previously suffered."
"Get between your kid and drugs, any way you can, if you want to save the kid's life".
"I thought that the public would kick us off the air, because of this egregious guy. No. They loved ... they knew him."
On his son: "I should have spied on him. I should've taken away all his civil rights, spied on him, opened his mail, listened to telephone calls, everything."
"I never heard Archie's kind of talk in my own family. My father was a lawyer and was in partnership with two Jews, who with their families were close to us. There were black families in our circle of friends. My father disliked talk like Archie's—he called it lowbrow."
"The biggest part of my life was the acquiring and the loss of a son. I mean, nothing else was as important as that."
"Conventional show-biz savvy held that Americans hated to be the objects of satire."
(He would never be able to put his son's death behind him, he said) "I can't forget it. There isn't a day that I don't think of him and want him back and miss him, and I'll feel that way until I'm not here anymore," (In an interview on CNN's Larry King Live)
Bernard Aloysius Kiernan "Barnard" Hughes (July 16, 1915 – July 11, 2006) was an American actor of theater and film. Hughes became famous for a variety of roles; his most-notable roles came after middle age, and he was often cast as a dithering authority figure or grandfatherly elder.
Hughes was born in Bedford Hills, New York, the son of Irish immigrants Madge (née Kiernan) and Owen Hughes. He attended La Salle Academy and Manhattan College in New York City. Hughes was married to actress Helen Stenborg. They married on April 19, 1950, and remained married until his death. Hughes was five days shy of his ninety-first birthday when he died. The Hugheses had two children, he theatre director Doug Hughes, and a daughter, Laura. Hughes and his wife are interred at Church of the Transfiguration in Manhattan.
Hughes changed the "e" in his first name to an "a" to help his acting career on the advice of a numerologist. Through high school and college, Hughes worked a series of odd jobs, including a stint as a dockworker and as a salesman at Macy's. He auditioned for the Shakespeare Fellowship Repertory company in New York City on the advice of a friend, and ended up joining the company for two years.
Hughes played more than 400 theatre roles, including the one for which he was perhaps most famous, in Hugh Leonard's Da. He won Broadway's 1978 Tony Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of the title role; in 1988 he recreated the role for the film Da.
On screen, he appeared in the film transcription of Hamlet (1964), Midnight Cowboy (1969) (the only X-rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture), and also appeared in such films as Cold Turkey (1971) The Hospital (1971), Oh, God! (1977), First Monday in October (1981), Tron (1982), The Lost Boys (1987), Da (1988) - the screen reprise of his most successful stage-role, and Doc Hollywood (1991). He also played the old man who gave a ride to Felix and Oscar on The Odd Couple II (1998) and was featured in The Fantasticks (1995).
Hughes appeared on TV in such series as Naked City, The Secret Storm, Blossom and Homicide: Life on the Street. In 1973, he had a notable recurring role on All in the Family as a Roman Catholic priest, Father John Majeski, doing battle with Archie Bunker, and won an Emmy for his portrayal of a senile judge on Lou Grant. Hughes made 3 appearances in The Bob Newhart Show as the father of Dr. Robert Hartley. He was the central character in three sitcoms: Doc, which ran on CBS from 1975–77, where he played a physician; Mr. Merlin, in which he played Merlin, a magician mentoring a 20th-century teenager; and The Cavanaughs, co-starring Christine Ebersole, in which he played the family patriarch (Art Carney played his brother, and Glynis Johns made guest appearances). Hughes sang "Danny Boy" in one episode. He made a memorable appearance as The King (with Jim Dale as The Duke) in the PBS mini-series Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Hughes also made recurring appearances on daytime dramas including Guiding Light and As the World Turns as well as a brief appearance in an early episode of Dark Shadows. He also did voice-overs for television commercials advertising Kix cereal.
For the Canadian filmmaker see Hugh O'Connor (filmmaker). Not to be confused with Hugo Oconór.
Hugh Edward Ralph O'Connor (April 7, 1962 – March 28, 1995) was an American actor. The son of actor Carroll O'Connor, he portrayed Det./ Lt. Lonnie Jamison on the television drama In the Heat of the Night from 1988-1995. O'Connor committed suicide in 1995.
Hugh O'Connor was born in Rome, Italy. When he was six days old, he was adopted by Carroll O'Connor and his wife Nancy. Carroll was in Rome filming Cleopatra. He was named after Carroll O'Connor's brother, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1961. When he was 16, Hugh was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He survived the cancer with chemotherapy and two surgeries, but became addicted to drugs. He had been taking prescription drugs for the pain and marijuana for nausea, but later became addicted to harder drugs. Despite numerous stays at rehabilitation clinics, he never conquered his addiction and remained in recovery.
He was married to Angela Clayton, a wardrobe assistant on In the Heat of the Night, on March 28, 1992, and their son Sean Carroll O'Connor was born in 1993.
On March 28, 1995, the third anniversary of his marriage, O'Connor called his father to tell him he was going to end his life. He told his father he believed he could not beat the drugs and could not face another drug rehabilitation program. Carroll called the police, who arrived at Hugh's Pacific Palisades, California home just as he shot himself in the head. The police later determined he had cocaine in his blood.
Hugh O'Connor's remains were cremated and were originally buried at the Church of St. Susanna in Rome, Italy. Later, his remains were moved to the North American College in Rome. Today, he has a cenotaph at the Church of St. Susanna and at his father's gravesite in Los Angeles, leading many people to believe that he is buried at the places marked.
Six months before Hugh's death, Angela told Carroll O'Connor that a man named Harry Perzigian had been furnishing the younger O'Connor with drugs. Carroll had retained a private detective to investigate. About a week before Hugh's death his father brought the evidence to the Los Angeles Police asking them to arrest Perzigian. Several hours after Hugh's death, his father publicly named Perzigian as the man who caused Hugh O'Connor's death. Harry Perzigian was arrested the next day for drug possession and furnishing cocaine, after a search of his apartment turned up cocaine and drug paraphernalia. In January 1996, he was sentenced to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, 200 hours of community service, and three years of probation.
Perzigian later sued Carroll O'Connor for slander for calling him a "sleazeball" and saying "he was a partner in murder, not an accessory, a partner in murder" in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime Live. After a highly publicized civil trial, Carroll O'Connor was found not liable. He dedicated much of the rest of his life to speaking out on drug awareness.
After Hugh's death, his father successfully lobbied to get the state of California to pass legislation that allows family members of an addicted person or anyone injured by a drug dealer's actions, including employers, to sue for reimbursement for medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. The law, known as the Drug Dealer Civil Liability Act in California, went into effect in 1997.
Eleven other states followed with similar legislation, which has been referred to as The Hugh O'Connor Memorial Law.
Timeline of United States history
Hugh O Connor
Hugh Edward Ralph O'Connor
History of the United States (1945–1964)
Events from the year 1962 in the United States.
For the Canadian filmmaker see Hugh O'Connor (filmmaker). Not to be confused with Hugo Oconór.
Hugh Edward Ralph O'Connor (April 7, 1962 – March 28, 1995) was an American actor. The son of actor Carroll O'Connor, he portrayed Det./ Lt. Lonnie Jamison on the television drama In the Heat of the Night from 1988-1995. O'Connor committed suicide in 1995. Entertainment Culture
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.