Carroll O'Connor - Rotten Tomatoes

Carroll O'Connor

Highest Rated:   97% Point Blank (1967)
Lowest Rated:   40% For Love of Ivy (1968)
Birthplace:   Manhattan, New York, USA
Born in the Bronx, NY, to an upper-middle-class Irish family, Carroll O'Connor's father was a well-connected attorney and his mother was a school teacher. The family lived well, in the Forest Hills section of Queens, until O'Connor's father ran afoul of the law and was convicted of fraud. Despite this setback in the family's well-being, O'Connor managed to attend college and considered a career as a sportswriter, but those aspirations were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Rejected by the United States Navy, he enrolled instead in the Merchant Marine Academy, but he later abandoned that pursuit, instead becoming a merchant seaman. After the war, O'Connor considered journalism as a career, but a trip to Dublin in 1950 changed the course of his life, as he discovered the acting profession. While attending college in Dublin, he began appearing in productions of the Gate Theater and also at the Edinburgh Festival, where he played Shakespearean roles. Returning to New York in 1954, he and his wife worked as substitute schoolteachers while he looked for acting work, which he found, after a long dry spell in which he despaired of ever getting a break, in Burgess Meredith's production of James Joyce's Ulysses. O'Connor got a role in which he received favorable notice from the critics, and that, in turn, led to his breakthrough part, as a bullying, greedy studio boss in an off-Broadway production of The Big Knife. O'Connor jumped next to television, at the very tail-end of the era of live TV drama in New York. Beginning in 1960 with his portrayal of the prosecutor in the Armstrong Circle Theater production of The Sacco-Vanzetti Story, he established himself on the small screen as a good, reliable character actor, who was able to melt into any role with which he was presented. Over the next decade, O'Connor worked in everything from Westerns to science fiction. He played taciturn landowners, likable aliens, enemy agents (on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., in "The Green Opal Affair"), and other character roles with equal aplomb. He also appeared in several unsold television pilots during the 1960s, including The Insider with David Janssen, and Luxury Liner starring Rory Calhoun, playing character roles; and he did a pilot of his own, Walk in the Night -- directed and co-written by Robert Altman -- in which he co-starred with Andrew Duggan. O'Connor's movie career followed quickly from his television debut, starting with appearances in three dramatic films (most notably Lonely Are the Brave) in 1961. He was one of many actors who managed to get "lost" in the sprawling 20th Century Fox production of Cleopatra, but he fared better two years later in Otto Preminger's epic-length World War II drama In Harm's Way. O'Connor, playing Commander Burke, was very visible in his handful of scenes with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, and Preminger thought enough of the actor to mention him by name along with the other stars in the film's trailer. He had major supporting roles, serious and comedic, respectively, in such high-profile movies as Hawaii and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, of which the latter proved critical to his subsequent career. O'Connor had been in demand for television roles since the early '60s. In an episode of The Outer Limits, he revealed his flexibility by playing a somewhat befuddled alien investigator from Mars, masquerading as a pawnshop owner in a seedy section of New York, and jumping from a slightly affected, carefully pronounced diction in one line to a working-class dialect and manner in the same shot (for benefit of a human onlooker in the scene). He had also given a very warm, memorable, and touching performance in "Long Live the King," an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and producer Irwin Allen had wanted O'Connor for the role of Dr. Smith on Lost in Space early in the character's conception, when the Smith figure was thoroughly villainous. Although he didn't get the part of Dr. Smith, O'Connor later


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Nightmare In Chicago
  • Actor
61% Return to Me
  • Marty O'Reilly
No Score Yet Gideon
  • Leo Barnes
No Score Yet 36 Hours to Die
  • Uncle Jack O'Malley
No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: Grow Old Along with Me
  • Actor
No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: By Duty Bound
  • Bill Gillespie
No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: Give Me Your Life
  • Actor
No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: Who Was Geli Bendl?
  • Sheriff Gillepsie
No Score Yet In the Heat of the Night: A Matter of Justice
  • Actor
No Score Yet 36 Hours to Die
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Father Clements Story
  • Cardinal Cody
No Score Yet Convicted: A True Story
  • Lewis May
No Score Yet Brass
  • Frank Nolan
No Score Yet Law and Disorder
  • Willie
No Score Yet Of Thee I Sing
  • Actor
No Score Yet Doctors' Wives
  • Joe Gray
80% Kelly's Heroes
  • Gen. Colt
No Score Yet Death of a Gunfighter
  • Lester Locke
71% Marlowe
  • Lt. Christy French
40% For Love of Ivy
  • Frank Austin
No Score Yet The Devil's Brigade
  • Maj. Gen. Hunter
No Score Yet Waterhole No. 3
  • Sheriff John Copperud
97% Point Blank
  • Brewster
No Score Yet Warning Shot
  • Paul Jerez
No Score Yet Not With My Wife, You Don't
  • Gen. Parker
75% Hawaii
  • Charles Bromley
40% What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
  • Bolt
40% In Harm's Way
  • Lt. Cmdr. Burke
56% Cleopatra
  • Casca
No Score Yet Lad: A Dog
  • Hamilcar Q. Glure
90% Lonely are the Brave
  • Hinton
No Score Yet Parrish
  • Fire Chief
No Score Yet By Love Possessed
  • Bernie Breck
No Score Yet Johnny Frenchman
  • Mr. Harper


No Score Yet Party of Five
  • Jake Jacob
  • 1996
No Score Yet All in the Family
  • Archie Bunker
  • 1979
  • 1978
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
  • 1971
No Score Yet The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Brack
  • 1964

Quotes from Carroll O'Connor's Characters

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