Mike Connors, the actor known for playing a tough-as-nails detective on the long-running CBS series Mannix, has died at age 91.
His son-in-law, Mike Condon, told the Associated Press that Connors died Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from recently diagnosed leukemia.
From 1967 to 1975, Connors traded blows with bad guys, engaged in high-speed chases, and righted wrongs as the flinty private eye Joe Mannix. The actor once said that, while previous small-screen PIs were hard-nosed and cynical, Mannix “got emotionally involved” in his cases.
In a career spanning six decades, Connors also appeared in such TV series as Gunsmoke, Maverick, Tightrope, Today’s F.B.I., Perry Mason, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Crimes of the Century, and Two and a Half Men. His film credits included Sudden Fear, Island In the Sky, The Day the World Ended, The Ten Commandments, and Gideon.
Born Krekor Ohanian in Fresno, Calif., Connors was of Armenian descent (a trait carried over to his Mannix character) and served in the Air Force during World War II. He also attended UCLA and played basketball under the legendary coach John Wooden.
Among those paying tribute to Connors on social media Thursday evening were the actors Vincent D’Onofrio and Bruce Campbell and writer-producer Peter M. Lenkov.
“Another great one passed today. Was lucky to call him a friend,” Lenkov wrote. “RIP Mike Connors.”
Loved Mannix. Great actor Mike Connors. Watched every episode. https://t.co/UgydJikDBH
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) January 27, 2017
Mike Connors, Star of 'Mannix,' Dies at 91.
Thanks for guiding me through the formative years, Mike. Well played. https://t.co/Vaus6QYt0M
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) January 27, 2017
Another great one passed today. Was lucky to call him a friend RIP Mike Connors
— Peter M. Lenkov (@PLenkov) January 27, 2017