Mike Connors, who is remembered for his portrayal as Joe Mannix on CBS detective drama “Mannix,” has died. The actor passed away surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon. He was 91.
Born Krekor Ohanian on August 15, 1925, his film career started in a title called “Sudden Fear” with Joan Crawford in 1952. Billed as Touch Connors, early film roles included “The 49th Man,” “Sky Commando” and “Island in the Sky” with John Wayne. In 1956, still billed as Touch Connors, he appeared in Cecil B. Demille’s “The Ten Commandments.” On television, early guest appearances included “The Millionaire,” “The Loretta Young Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “The People’s Choice” and “Hey, Jeannie!”
Connors’ first regularly scheduled series role was CBS police drama “Tightrope,” which aired in the 1959-60 season. “Mannix,” which began in 1967, ran for eight seasons, resulting in a Golden Globe Award for Connors in 1970 and an appearance as the character on Lucille Ball sitcom “Here’s Lucy” in 1971. In the 1981-82 season, Connors headlined “Today’s F.B.I.” on ABC.
His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.” He also guest-starred on series including “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Walker Texas Ranger.”