Chuck ‘s career included playing professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and the Montreal Royals as well as the Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels. He was also a Boston Celtic in the first year of the Professional Basketball Association and had the dubious distinction of being the first player to shatter a glass backboard.
Although The Rifleman brought Chuck fame, he had already started building a solid career in the entertainment industry. He played bad guys and good guys, cowards and heroes with equal ease. He worked with many Hollywood legends and he rode tall in the saddle in many westerns and fought in the trenches in many war movies. From his childhood in Brooklyn, New York, to his careers in both basketball and baseball, to his entry into Hollywood, Chuck used his natural talents to carve out a life story worth telling. This site is dedicated to that life story. We invite you to join us as we look at Chuck’s history and celebrate his legacy.
Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors was born on April 10, 1921, in Brooklyn, New York, where he was raised by his parents, Allen and Marcella Connors, immigrants from Newfoundland. They were married in Berlin, New Hampshire on April 5, 1920. Marcella was 25 and Allen was 30. In 1923, his sister Gloria, joined the family. The family struggled to make ends meet during the depression years and Chuck recalled how his mother always managed to have good food on the table.
Here is a photo of Chuck's mother, Marcella and her family on the porch of their home in Peter's River, St. Mary's, Newfoundland. The photo was taken about 1910 before several of the members emigrated to the United States. In the photo are Michael Lundrigan, his wife, Anna, and their five daughters: Gertrude, Mary M., Ita, Philomena and Marcella. With special thanks to Jeff Connors for sharing this family treasure with us.
Chuck attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica School and served as an altar boy at that church.One of the defining moments for Chuck was becoming a member of the Bay Ridge Boys' Club and playing sandlot ball as a member of the Bay Ridge Celtics. In his adult life, Chuck credited a man named John Flynn who had created the Bay Ridge Boys' Club and who coached him in the Bay Ridge Celtics, for helping him learn more than just baseball. Chuck was a life-long Dodgers’ fan and always dreamed of a baseball career with his favorite team. His mother, Marcella, was often in the stands cheering for her son often ringing a cowbell when he was at bat.
One of the defining moments for Chuck was becoming a member of the Bay Ridge Boys' Club and playing sandlot ball as a member of the Bay Ridge Celtics. In his adult life, Chuck credited a man named John Flynn who had created the Bay Ridge Boys' Club and who coached him in the Bay Ridge Celtics, for helping him learn more than just baseball. After high school, Chuck was offered several scholarships and chose to attend Seton Hall College. Even while in college, Chuck pursued his dream of playing professional baseball and played minor league ball during the season.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica is the church where the Connors’ family worshiped. Chuck Connors was an altar boy. It's a magnificent looking church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The inset in the picture above is how the church looked when it was first built in the 1890's. Young Kevin “Chuck” Connors attended their elementary school
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica,
Past and Present
Elementary School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
High School, Manual Training High School
Adelphi Academy Seton Hall University
Brooklyn, NY South Orange, NJ
Adelphi Football Team-1939
Adelphi Baseball Team-1940
Leaving Seton Hall after two years, on October 20, 1942, Chuck joined the Army, officially listing his occupation as a ski instructor. After enlistment in the infantry at Fort Knox, he later served mostly as a tank-warfare instructor at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and then finally at West Point. Chuck was discharged early in 1946.
Fort Knox, 1942
St. Charles Borromeo Church where Chuck's Funeral Services were held.
San Fernando Mission Cemetery-Mission Hills, California
where Chuck was buried.
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