Chuck Connors


  1. Ricky Nelson, Rio Bravo, 1958.
  2. Rod Taylor, The Birds, 1963.    Hitchcock’s chosen scenarist, novelist Evan Hunter, was a better writer than casting director. He suggested Connors for the hero, Mitch Brenner – or Ron Harper, who had played Detective Bert Kling for 30 episodes of 87th Precinct, 1961-1962, created by Hunter as Ed McBain.
  3. Ben Gazzara, Arrest & Trial, TV, 1963-1964.     Saddle-sore after five years as The Rifleman, Connors wanted to go straight.  And pulled rank by refusing Sergent Anderson and insisting on being the  slick defense lawyer John Egan – already given to Gazzara, fresh in from Broadway.  He was the better actor but Connors was the bigger star in LA. Much bigger! They were never shot standing together as Ben was 5ft 10ins to Chuck’s  6ft 6ins.  “There we were,” said Gazzara. “The giant and me.”
  4. Richard Widmark, A Talent For Loving, 1969.      Hollywood director Richard Quine first announced plans to film Richard Condon’s Western novel in in 1964 – with TV’s Rifleman. Richard Lester tried t set it up for his third film with The Beatles, even though there were no roles for them in the book. Quine finally made it (badly) with Richard Widmark and Topol, Cesar Romero, Ma Showalter…as John, Paul, George and Ringo?!
  5. Robert Vaughn, The Protectors, TV, 1972-1974.    Chuck was lined up for the troubleshooter hero when he was called Craig Bradford. Opposite Nyree Dawn Porter, Vaughn lasted 52 London episodes – as Harry Rule.
  6. Ron Ely, Doc Savage: Man of Bronze1974   The Doc Savage pulp fiction was selling almost as well as James Bond. Therefore, Columbia agreed to Connors being Clark Savage Jr in a 1965 movie version of The Thousand-Headed Man.  The rights battle was not settled, however. As the cast, script  and locations were on standby,  they were churned into an instant Western, Ride Beyond Vengeance. It would be another nine years before Ely, an ex-Tarzan with a blonde rinse, became Doc for Warner Bros.  Doc wasn’t 007 and the franchise never took off.  Although Dwayne Johnson may rectify that lapse in  the 2020s.
  7. Lee Marvin, The Klansman, 1974.   Chuck Connors?!!  Shows you how important wqs thuis  the movie of a decent enough William Bradford Huie book. Originally, TV director Don Stewart and Connors were signed.  Finally, Marvin Lee Marvin was the lawman opposite Richard Burton  – allegedly dso runk  that  his scenes had to have him sitting, laying (or falling?) down. “There would be times when he couldn’t move,” reported OJ Simpson  (making his screen debut in this mess).
  8. Jean Ferch, Eve, Canada, 1989.     For some odd reason,the job of voicing Lucifer was offered to cowboys Connors, Rory Calhoun and Clint Walker. They all stayed in their saddles. 


 Birth year: 1921Death year: 1992Other name: Casting Calls:  8