Carroll OConnor

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John Carroll O'Connor (August 2, 1924June 21, 2001) was an Irish-American actor, famous for his portrayal of the character Archie Bunker in the television sitcoms All in the Family (1971-1979) and Archie Bunker's Place (1979-1983). O'Connor later starred in the television series In the Heat of the Night as Police Chief Bill Gillespie from 1988 to 1994.


File:Coc bigapplediner.jpeg
Carroll O'Connor and wife Nancy.

O'Connor was born in The Bronx, New York and he lived during much of his youth in Forest Hills, New York in the borough of Queens, where his character Archie Bunker would later live. He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and began his acting career shortly afterwards. O'Connor's many film roles include Lonely Are The Brave (1962), Cleopatra (1963), In Harm's Way (1965), Hawaii (1966), The Devil's Brigade (1968) and Kelly's Heroes (1970). O'Connor also appeared on episodes of many popular television series such as Gunsmoke, I Spy, The Fugitive, and The Wild Wild West.

O'Connor was living in Italy in 1970 when producer Norman Lear asked him to star as Archie Bunker in a new sitcom called All in the Family. O'Connor did not expect the show to be a success, and believed that he would be able to move back to Europe. Instead, the show became the highest-rated television program on American television for five years, until 1976.

O'Connor's own politics were left-wing, but he understood Archie Bunker 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. The result is widely considered to be an absorbing, entertaining television show. All in the Family was based on the BBC show Til Death Us Do Part, with Archie Bunker based on Alf Garnett, but somewhat less abrasive.

Although Archie Bunker was famous for murdering the English language by malapropism, O'Connor was highly educated and cultured. In fact, he was an English teacher before turning to acting.

He married his wife Nancy in Dublin, Ireland (and she later converted to Roman Catholicism for him) in 1951, and their only child, adopted son Hugh O'Connor, committed suicide in 1995 after a long battle with drug addiction. He left a widow and small child behind.

Carroll O'Connor died on June 21, 2001, at the age of 76 from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes.


Starring Roles

  • All In the Family (1971-1979) as Archie Bunker
  • Archie Bunker's Place (1979-1983) as Archie Bunker
  • In the Heat of the Night (1988-1995)as Chief/Sheriff Bill Gillespie
  • Mad About You(1996-1999)Gus Stemple #3

Films/Made for T.V. Movies

  • Return to Me (2000) as Marty O'Reilly
  • Gideon )TV) (1999) as Leo Barnes
  • 36 Hours to Die ) (TV) (1999)Jack 'Balls' O'Malley
  • The Father Clements Story (1987) (TV) .... Cardinal Cody
  • Convicted (1986) (TV) .... Lewis May
  • The GLO Friends Save Christmas (1986) .... Santa
  • Brass aka Police Brass (TV)(1985) as Frank Nolan
  • A Different Approach (1978)
  • The Last Hurrah (TV)(1977) as Frank Skeffington
  • Law and Disorder (1974) as Willie
  • Of Thee I Sing (TV)(1972) President Wintergreen
  • Doctors' Wives (1971) Dr. Joe Gray
  • Kelly's Heroes (1970) as Maj. Gen. Colt
  • Marlowe (1969) as Lt. Christy French
  • Death of a Gunfighter (1969) as Lester Locke
  • Ride a Northbound Horse (TV)(1969)
  • Fear No Evil (TV)(1969) as Myles Donovan
  • For Love of Ivy (1968) as Frank Austin
  • The Devil's Brigade (1968) as Maj. Gen. Hunter
  • Waterhole #3 (1967) as Sheriff John H. Copperud
  • Point Blank (1967) as Brewster
  • Warning Shot (1967) as Paul Jerez
  • Not with My Wife, You Don't! (1966) as Gen. Maynard C. Parker
  • Hawaii (1966) as Charles Bromley
  • What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966) as Gen. Bolt
  • In Harm's Way (1965) (uncredited) .... *Cmdr./Capt. Burke (USS Swayback)
  • Nightmare in Chicago aka Once Upon a Savage Night(TV)(1964)
  • The Silver Burro (TV)(1963)
  • Cleopatra (1963)as Casca
  • Lad: A Dog (1962) as Hamilcar Q. Glure
  • Belle Sommers (TV)(1962)
  • Lonely Are the Brave (1962) Hinton the Truck Driver
  • By Love Possessed (1961) .... Bernie Breck
  • Parrish (1961) .... Firechief
  • A Fever in the Blood (1961) .... Matt Keenan
  • The Sacco-Vanzetti Story (tv mini-series)(1960) as Frederick Katzman


  • In the Heat of the Night (1988-1995)Numerous Episodes(credited as Matt Harris)
  • Brass aka Police Brass ((TV)1985) (credited as Matt Harris)
  • Archie Bunker's Place" (1979) TV Series (writer)
  • The Last Hurrah (TV)(1977)
  • Bronk (TV)(1975)Series creator


  • In the Heat of the Night(TV)(1988-1995) (executive producer)
  • The Last Hurrah (TV)(1977)(executive producer)
  • Bronk )TV)(1975) Series (executive producer)


  • In the Heat of the Night (TV)(1988) Series
  • Archie Bunker's Place(TV)(1979)Series


  • In the Heat of the Night(TV)(1988) Series (executive story editor credited as Matt Harris)


  • Archie Bunker's Place" (TV)(1979)Series "Remembering You"
  • All in the Family" ((TV)(1971)Series "Remembering You")

Series Music

  • All in the Family" (TV)(1971) singing title song

Guest Starring

  • Biography "Carroll O'Connor" 22 June 2001 as Himself
  • The Rosie O'Donnell Show as Himself 4 March 1998
  • Party of Five "Christmas" 18 December 1996

as "Jake Gordon"

  • Party of Five" playing "Spring Breaks: Part 2" 27 March 1996 as Jake Gordon
  • Party of Five" as Jake Gordon "Happily Ever After" 20 March 1996
  • Party of Five" as Jake Gordon "Before and After" 21 February 1996
  • Party of Five" as Jake Gordon "Comings and Goings" 7 February 1996
  • Party of Five" playing "Jake Gordon" "Benefactors" 31 January 1996
  • The Redd Foxx Show" "Old Buddies" 1 March 1986
  • Gloria" playing "Archie Bunker" in episode: "Gloria, the First Day (Un-aired Pilot)" 1982
  • Bill Moyers' Journal" playing "Himself" 16 May 1981
  • Saturday Night Live" playing "Himself" (uncredited) 25 September 1976
  • The Dick Cavett Show" playing "Himself" "London - New York" 8 September 1976
  • The Dean Martin Show" playing "Himself" "Celebrity Roast: Carroll O'Connor" 7 December 1973
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" playing "Himself" 19 March 1973
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" playing "Himself" 5 October 1972
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" playing "Himself" 19 June 1972
  • This Is Your Life" playing "Himself" "Don Rickles" 12 January 1972
  • The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" playing "Himself" 10 January 1972
  • The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" playing "Himself" 27 December 1971
  • Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" playing "Guest Preformer" 13 December 1971
  • Insight" "The Day God Died" 1970
  • Premiere" playing "James Van Ducci" "Walk in the Sky" 15 July 1968
  • Dundee and the Culhane" playing "Mr. James" "The Duelist Brief" 1 November 1967
  • Gunsmoke" playing "Major Glenn Vanscoy" "Major Glory" 30 October 1967
  • Mission: Impossible" playing "Josef Varsh" "The Trial" 28 January 1967
  • The Wild Wild West" playing "Fabian Lavendor" "The Night of the Ready-Made Corpse" 25 November 1966
  • Gunsmoke" playing "Hootie Kyle" in episode: "The Wrong Man" 29 October 1966
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Captain Ted Eyck" "Massacre at Fort Phil Kearney" 26 October 1966
  • The Time Tunnel" playing "General Southall/Colonel Southall" "The Last Patrol" 7 October 1966
  • I Spy" playing "Dr. Karolyi" "It's *All Done with Mirrors" 13 April 1966
  • Slattery's People" playing "Lieutenant Wayne Altman" "A Sitting Duck Named *Slattery" 17 September 1965
  • Dr. Kildare" playing "David Burnside" "The Time Buyers" 8 April 1965
  • Profiles in Courage" playing "Grover Cleveland" "Grover Cleveland" 4 April 1965
  • Ben Casey" playing "Dr. Wendel Clarke" "Three Li'l Lambs" 29 March 1965
  • Slattery's People" playing "Victor Newleaf" "Question: What Did You Do All Day, Mr. Slattery?" 15 January 1965
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" playing "Old John" "Long Live the King" 21 December 1964
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E." playing "Walter Brach" "The Green Opal Affair" 27 October 1964
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Lawson""The Turncoat" 23 October 1964
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre" "Once Upon a Savage Knight" 2 April 1964
  • The Fugitive" playing "Sheriff Bray" "Flight from the Final Demon" 10 March 1964
  • The Great Adventure" playing "Johann Sutter" "The Pathfinder" 6 March 1964
  • The Outer Limits" playing "Deimos" "Controlled Experiment" 13 January 1964
  • The Great Adventure" playing "O'Rourke" "The Man Who Stole New York City" 13 December 1963
  • The DuPont Show of the Week" playing "N.S. Kellogg" "The Silver Burro" 3 November 1963
  • The Defenders" playing "Dr. Hugh Morgan" "Conspiracy of Silence" 26 October 1963
  • East Side/West Side" playing "George Audette" in episode: "Age of Consent" 30 September 1963
  • Bonanza" playing "Tom Slayden" "The Boss" 19 May 1963
  • The Eleventh Hour" playing "Dr. Dave Conway" "Pressure Breakdown" 15 May 1963
  • Alcoa Premiere" playing "Charles Campion" "The Dark Labyrinth" 21 March 1963
  • Stoney Burke" playing "Harry Clark" "Webb of Fear" 18 February 1963
  • The Dick Powell Show" playing "Dr. Lyman Savage" "Luxury Liner" 12 February 1963
  • Death Valley Days" playing "Senator Dave Broderick" "A Gun Is Not a Gentleman" 8 February 1963
  • Naked City" playing "Tony Corran" "Spectre of the Rose Street Gang" 19 December 1962
  • The Defenders" playing "Joshua Ryder" "The Hidden Jungle" 1 December 1962
  • Ben Casey" playing "Father Joseph McGavin" "Behold! They Walk an Ancient Road" 5 November 1962
  • The Untouchables" playing "Arnie Kurtz aka Albert Krim" "Bird in the Hand" 30 October 1962
  • Dr. Kildare" playing "Roy Drummond" "The Burning Sky" 4 October 1962
  • Naked City" "Goodbye Mama, Hello Auntie Maud" 20 June 1962
  • The Dick Powell Show" playing "Leonard Barsevick" "Pericles on 31st Street" 12 April 1962
  • The Untouchables" playing "Barney Lubin""Power Play" 19 October 1961
  • The Americans" playing "Captain Garbor" "The Coward" 8 May 1961
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre" "Engineer of Death: The Eichmann Story" 12 April 1961
  • Play of the Week" "He Who Gets Slapped" 30 January 1961
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre" "Medicine Man" 18 January 1961
  • Shirley Temple's Storybook" playing "Appleyard" "The Black Arrow" 27 November 1960
  • Adventures in Paradise" playing "Henry Gresham" "Hangman's Island" 21 November 1960
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre" "Engineer of Death: The Eichmann Story" 12 October 1960
  • The United States Steel Hour "Shadow of a Pale Horse" 27 July 1960
  • Sunday Showcase"The Sacco-Vanzetti Story: Part 1
  • Sunday Showcase "The Sacco-Vanzetti Story: Part2


  • A&E Biography: Carroll O'Connor - All in a Lifetime (2001) Himself
  • All in the Family: The E! True Hollywood Story (2000) Himself
  • Intimate Portrait: Minnie Driver (2000) Narrator
  • All in the Family: 20th Anniversary Special (1991) Himself
  • The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1978) Himself Winner
  • CBS: On the Air (1978) mini-series part VII co-host
  • An All-Star Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor (1977) Himself

Archive Footage Featuring Carroll O'Connor

  • The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002)Memorial Tribute
  • Inside TV Land: African Americans in Television (2002)
  • The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2001) Memorial Tribute
  • Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey (2000) (V)

External links

nl:Carroll O'Connor