Chuck had a friendly, outgoing, larger-than-life personality. He wasn’t shy and loved meeting people. He gathered friends from all areas of his life: his Army days, sports days, show business days as well as people from everyday life. He played baseball with some of the greats of the game: Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, Willie Mays, Don Drysdale – and many remained his life-long friends. He often invited sports figures to guest star on his TV series, The Rifleman.

Chuck was also proud of his time as a member of the Boston Celtics – in the first season of the NBA’s existence. He appreciated excellence in sports whether it was Muhammad Ali or Bill Russell or Arnold Palmer or Stan Musial – Chuck enjoyed their company. When he was a young actor, Chuck had the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood’s biggest names: Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, Jennifer Jones, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Angie Dickinson, Gregory Peck, and Charlton Heston. He was well thought of and well liked. Charlton Heston even brought his son, Fraser, to visit Chuck on The Rifleman set.

As he grew in stature in the movie/TV industry, he organized charity golf events and many of the biggest stars in the industry came out to support him.  People like Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Bear Bryant and Joe Namath all played in some of these tournaments.   Famous music executives like Berry Gordy even invited Chuck to attend a family celebration.  When he was an established star, Chuck was always aware that his fans were the reason for his career and often posed with them for photographs and to talk for a while.  Whether it was beautiful flight attendants, a small child or police officers he met while on personal appearance tours, Chuck always took the time to engage his fans. 

Chuck was also very interested in the political world.  He met President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy; he campaigned for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  He often attended political events with prominent politicians like Sen. Robert Dole.   It was international news when Leonid Brezhnev, head of the USSR, invited Chuck to visit – seems he was a huge Western fan and wanted to meet Chuck.  TV Cowboys often got all dressed up and went to one event or another and there you could find Chuck with Hugh O’Brien, Peter Brown, Ty Hardin, Jack Kelly, Clint Walker, Clayton Moore,  and, of course, Chuck and Johnny Crawford remained life-long friends.  “The Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry also went to The Rifleman set to visit with Chuck Connors. 

Friends