Carroll O'Connor (born John Carroll O'Connor; August 2, 1924 – June 21, 2001) was an American actor, producer and director whose television career spanned four decades. A life-member of The Actors Studio, O'Connor first attracted attention as Major General Colt in the 1970 movie Kelly's Heroes. The following year he found fame as the lovable bigoted working man Archie Bunker, the main character in the 1970s CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971 to 1979) and Archie Bunker's Place (1979 to 1983). O'Connor later starred in the NBC/CBS television crime drama In the Heat of the Night from 1988 to 1995, where he played the role of southern Police Chief William (Bill) Gillespie. At the end of his career in the late 1990s, he played the father of Jamie Buchman (Helen Hunt) on Mad About You.
In 1996, O'Connor was ranked #38 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
Carroll O'Connor, an Irish American, was the eldest of three sons born on August 2, 1924, in Manhattan, New York, to Edward Joseph O'Connor, a lawyer, and his wife, Elise Patricia O'Connor. Both of his brothers became doctors: Hugh, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1961, and Robert, a psychiatrist in New York City. O'Connor spent much of his youth in Elmhurst and Forest Hills, Queens, the same borough in which his character Archie Bunker would later live.
In 1941, Carroll O'Connor enrolled at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, but dropped out when the United States entered World War II. During World War II he was rejected by the United States Navy and enrolled in the United States Merchant Marine Academy for a short time. After leaving that institution, he became a merchant seaman and served in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II ...
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