TARZANA, Calif. (A.W.)—Famed Armenian American actor Mike Connors—born Krekor Ohanian—passed away on Jan. 26, at the age of 91.
Connors had been diagnosed with leukemia a week ago, according to his son in law Mike Condon. Born in Fresno in 1925, served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, he attended University of California at Los Angeles on a basketball scholarship where he played under coach John Wooden. It was during basketball where he received the name “touch” from his teammates.
His film career started in the early 1950’s. He was best known for playing detective Joe Mannix on the television show Mannix, which aired from 1967 to 1975. Connor was nominated for an Emmy four times for his work on Mannix and won a Golden Globe award in 1970 for best actor in a dramatic series.
In addition to many other films that he appeared in, he was contacted by Armenian-American documentary film maker K. Michael Hagopian to narrate several of his documentaries on various Armenian topics. Among some of these documentaries included The Forgotten Genocide (1975) and Ararat Beckons (1995).
He also narrated a documentary film directed by Paul Kalinian titled William Saroyan: The Man, The Writer (1994).
In 2000, Connors appeared in a documentary film titled The Armenian Americans which celebrated three generations of Armenians in America and highlighted their contribution to American culture. With Andrea Martin, he participated in a live broadcast of the documentary that appeared live from KCET studios.
In 2004, Connors was the guest star at a special fundraiser event titled “Mistletoe and Miracles,” which was hosted by the Ani and Narod Foundation to benefit the Millennium Armenia Children’s Vaccine Fund.
In 2014, Connors was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ARPA International Film Festival.
Connors is survived by his wife Mary Lou, daughter Dena, and granddaughter Cooper.