Chuck Connors

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    • Chuck Connors: Handling a rifle or a baseball bat takes coordination and practice, that's all.

    • Chuck Connors: (In 1989) I was a bum of a hitter just not cut out for the majors. But, I will never forget Stan's kindness. When he finished watching me cut away at the ball, Stan slapped me on the back and told me to keep swinging.

    • Chuck Connors: (In 1959) Baseball just lost a first baseman.

    • Chuck Connors: (Of Johnny Crawford) When Johnny came on the set in 1958, he was a little twelve year old boy. He called everyone in the cast or crew, sir or ma'am. During the course of the five years of our run, he had two hit records, and he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. And yet, when the show was finished after five seasons, Johnny went around and thanked everyone in the cast and crew, and he still called them sir or ma'am.

    • Chuck Connors: (On his Lucas McCain character) Lucas was a righteous character, despite all the violence. We had the benefit of the father-son relationship, so I could have a little scene at the end of the show where I would explain to Mark, essentially, that sometimes violence is necessary, but it isn't good. And there was a lot of violence on The Rifleman. We once figured out that I killed on the average of two and a half people per show. That's a lot of violence, but it was always covered by the scene with the little boy. And he would say, in essence, Gee, you won Pa.' And I would say, 'Wait a minute son. You never win when you kill someone. It demeans you, it takes something away. People have got to learn to do away with violence and guns, and to love each other.' And the viewers would forget the fact that I had killed three people during the show, because of the tender epilogue with Mark, [Johnny's favorite scenes]. The warm father-son relationship was the heart of the program, and not only did we perform it, but Johnny and I became very close friends.

    • Chuck Connors: (In 1960) What I feel may be honest, but it has to look as well as be good. A good actor gets the audience involved. He brings the audience up to a point, then makes it feel the part from there on.

    • Chuck Connors: (When he was introduced by a then unknown star, Johnny Crawford, to play Mark McCain) I remember the first time I saw him, I was sitting there with the producer and we were interviewing kids to play Mark. We must have interviewed 20 or 30, then Johnny came in and before we even talked to him I said, 'That's him, that's the Rifleman's son.'

    • Chuck Connors: (In 1992) If you're ever being typecasted [as most of us are], that's a great way to be typecasted. So, The Rifleman is still popular, with a lot of people, and I'm proud to be associated.

    • Chuck Connors: I don't want my kids growing up believing that there is nothing destructive in the world. I want them to know that there is good and bad in the world, that you can be hurt physically, that guns can kill you, that drugs are bad for you, that not everyone means well.

    • Chuck Connors: Well, it isn't because I'm the fidgety guy, seriously, I have to sit there like a mummy you can't move. Regular makeup you can turn around and I sit there like that, and the worst part of it is, after working 14 hours, I can't just take it off, I have to sit for another hour because of the way they made these appliances, and they have to be taken out very slowly.

    • Chuck Connors: (On how he remembered landing the starring role in South Sea Woman) I had done just a couple of pictures, and I was sitting outside a little dressing room at Warner Bros, and they were testing a lot of people [for the role of Pvt. Davie White] and I was sitting in my Marine uniform waiting to be called and I went out to get a breath of fresh air, when down the street comes Burt Lancaster in a Marine uniform. And, in those days the stars never tested with the actors. So I said to him, 'Mr. Lancaster what are you doing here?' And he was a baseball fan, so he just decided to come down and test with me. So he took me in the dressing room to, as he said, run the lines, and I didn't even know what that expression meant then. Finally I figured him out and I said, oh you mean you want to practice? So anyhow we read the scene and man he looked at me and said 'Boy we've got to work on this!' About then my name is called on the loudspeaker to come in on stage and Burt goes to the door and yells out to the people. Hey, I'm talking here, we'll be another 20 minutes, go ahead and test somebody else. Well he went over that scene, seven pages long, to give me some semblance of approaching it proper. And then I went in and did it and got the part. But Burt took that time on his own and I gotta give him credit...

    • Chuck Connors: (In 1988) Somebody would like to have that [my agent]. He'll take that instead of commission.

    • Chuck Connors: (On working on a movie that starred Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy) They paid me 500 dollars for my weeks work in that movie, I figured they'd made some mistake on the adding machine, but I stuck the check in my pocket and shut up. Baseball, I told myself, just lost a first baseman.

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