Chuck Connors considered himself to be corny compared to other Western actors

Like his character, Connors wasn't afraid of anything, not even a little corniness.

"Have you ever seen a 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound pile of corn? Well, every time you view The Rifleman you see it in me," Chuck Connors said in a 1961 interview with The Salt Lake Tribune

That may sound like the setup to a bad joke, but it's completely true.

Chuck Connors was many things: He was Lucas McCain, he was brave, friendly, athletic, a Western hero and he was one of the corniest men in the Old West.

"I freely and unashamedly admit to being one of the corniest guys in Hollywood," Connors said. "The sophisticates of my profession may consider it beneath their intellectual (and artistic) level to appear in films or TV shows that are primarily concocted of corn, but I consider it a privilege."

In the interview, Connors explained that The Rifleman format consisted of the problems faced by a father-son relationship. He said it was a "love story." One very big "corny love story."

"It's a close love story between a father and a son," Connors said. "Can you get any cornier than that?"

The Rifleman followed the story of a widowed rancher and his son, Mark McCain. Connors' character, Lucas McCain, was a skilled sharpshooter and a great single dad.

Despite some added corniness, The Rifleman became one of the most successful, and longest-running Western series of all-time. In part because of Connors' approach to the series. 

"But here's the angle that my fellow actors, who frown on this type of drama, fail to acknowledge," Connors said. "It is a mirror on life and at times reflects the honest problems of every family, at one time or another, must meet and solve. The average family can identify with The Rifleman."

Connors said he owed another debt of gratitude to The Rifleman as well. He gave credit to his series for providing him with many adoring fans, a long-running gig, and a platform to be himself.

"As a direct result of my series, I now enjoy a popular acceptance that I never thought would come," Connors said. "As a consequence of this public acceptance, my acting career has been enhanced."

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5 Comments

Runeshaper 1 month ago
Connors was a cool dude. I agree with him in that the show did display concepts reflecting problems that many families face.
Andybandit 1 month ago
Sorry, I meant to say I love how they help each other out.
Andybandit 1 month ago
TR was my favorite western. I love seeing a single father, raising his son. They about help each other out. BTW CC grew in Brooklyn, NY like I did. It is cool to see a city boy playing in a western.
GOOSEYGOOSE9 1 month ago
My mom
And dad liked Chuck connors. My mom and lin Cumberbatch as well as Lois Olsen didn’t like Michael landon. I didn’t like michael landon either .
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