'Mannix' star Mike Connors dead at 91


Mike Connors, who played a suave, hard-hitting private eye on the long-running TV series "Mannix," died Thursday, The Associated Press reported. He was 91.

>> Read more trending news

Connors’ son-in-law, Mike Condon, said the actor died Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from recently diagnosed leukemia. His death comes a day after another late 1960s/early ‘70s TV star — Mary Tyler Moore — passed away.

"Mannix" debuted on CBS in 1967 and ran for eight years. Connors played a smartly dressed, well-spoken Los Angeles detective who was not afraid to get dirty and fight with criminals. Most episodes on the hour-long series climaxed with a brawl, and critics opposed the violence on the show.

Connors once said that until "Mannix," TV private investigators were hard-nosed and cynical, while Joe Mannix "got emotionally involved" in his cases.

In the first season, Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. But after tepid ratings the show was revamped, with Mannix opening his own office and striking out against criminals alone. The ratings soared, Fox News reported.

In the second season Mannix hired a secretary, played by black actress Gail Fisher. CBS was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but "there wasn't any kind of backlash," Connors said.

Another highlight was the brassy theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360

#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy
#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and thousands of children may have a chance to see it for free thanks to the #BlackPantherChallenge.  Earlier this month, Frederick Joseph, of New York, launched a GoFundMe to help students from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem “see a black major cinematic...
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs

Nominations were announced for the 90th Academy Awards‬‬ Tuesday, and although a number of actors and filmmakers and films have multiple noms, some names expected to be called were snubbed. >> Read more trending news  According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Franco was considered by many to likely be nominated for his...
30 movies to tide you over till the summer blockbusters
30 movies to tide you over till the summer blockbusters

The first quarter of a calendar year is often when studios dump movies that are neither worthy of summer blockbuster status nor potential Oscar material. Which is to say, often the pickings are a tad slim. However, in recent years, in a fit of counterprogramming, a few studios have busted out some potential tentpoles and other surprises (see also:...
Shiner is launching its first-ever Super Bowl commercial 
Shiner is launching its first-ever Super Bowl commercial 

The maker of Shiner Bock has made it to the big leagues with the launch of the brewery’s first Super Bowl commercial, a $1.2 million spot. It’s the first time Spoetzl Brewery is debuting a TV commercial at this level, according to a news release — and the 30-second ad will continue to air around Texas throughout the rest of the year...
Jordan Peele makes history with ‘Get Out’ Oscar nomination
Jordan Peele makes history with ‘Get Out’ Oscar nomination

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, “Get Out,” has earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. The nomination puts him among just four other black directors nominated for the award. >> Read more trending news  The Los Angeles Times reported that John Singleton (“Boyz n the Hood”), Lee Daniels (2009&rsquo...
More Stories