Carroll O'Connor

Carroll O'Connor

Highest Rated: 93% Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Lowest Rated: 20% Doctors' Wives (1971)

Birthday: Aug 2, 1924

Birthplace: New York, New York, USA

Carroll O'Connor's apprenticeship as an actor was long; he spent many years as a substitute schoolteacher living with his wife in cold-water flats awaiting the "big break." He was well into his thirties when steady, albeit supporting, work came as an actor. But at age 46, Carroll O'Connor became Archie Bunker, the endearing bigot who grew to accept diversity (somewhat) on the ground-breaking CBS series, "All in the Family." When the series premiered in January 1971, audiences did not quite know what to make of it--a sitcom which followed the lives of a conservative, loading dock foreman, his "dingbat" wife, daughter and liberal son-in-law. The premise was typical TV fare, but the content was surely not: Archie Bunker's bigoted views would be challenged by his daughter and son-in-law, and often by his good-hearted wife. Even if audiences and the nation took awhile to swallow sitcom storylines dealing with rape, affirmative action, gender debates, and integration, they fell in love with O'Connor. Not only did "All in the Family" become CBS'--and the nation's--top show for five seasons, but O'Connor won four Emmy Awards and eventually took de facto creative control of the series.