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Mike Connors, 'Mannix' star dead at 91

By
Wade Sheridan
Actors Mike Connors (L) and Peter Graves (R) during dedication ceremonies for Graves' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 30, 2009. Connors died Tuesday at the age of 91. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Actors Mike Connors (L) and Peter Graves (R) during dedication ceremonies for Graves' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 30, 2009. Connors died Tuesday at the age of 91. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Mike Connors, best known for playing the lead role on Mannix, has died at the age of 91.

According to his son-in-law Mike Condon, Connors died Thursday in Tarzana, Calif. a week after being diagnosed with leukemia.

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"He was a wonderful father, a wonderful husband, a wonderful father-in-law and a wonderful friend," Condon said in a statement to Deadline. "He was always there for anyone in need."

Connors is said to have been surrounded by his family during the time of his death including his wife Mary Lou.

The actor memorably portrayed brawling detective Joe Mannix on Mannix for eight seasons from 1968 to 1975 earning a Golden Globe in the process.

The series, known for always featuring a fist-fight, also included a series of muscle cars Connors would drive and one of the few African-American actresses on television at the time, Gail Fisher, who portrayed Mannix's secretary.

Connors also appeared in other television shows such as Tightrope!, Today's F.B.I., Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Walker Texas Ranger and most recently in 2007 on Two and a Half Men.

Film credits include roles in Island in the Sky with John Wayne and The Ten Commandments.

Connors is also survived by his daughter Dena and granddaughter Cooper.

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