Carroll O’Connor

oconnor1August 2, 1924 – June 21, 2001

Being a bigot is easy.

Playing a bigot is hard.

Playing a bigot that is beloved by millions is the stuff of legend.

Carroll O’Connor did just that. He played abrasive, racist, misogynistic, homophobic…and somehow lovable, Archie Bunker for 13 years on Norman Lear’s landmark TV sitcom All in the Family. Prior to giving the world Archie, O’Connor was a gifted character actor who compiled an impressive roster of roles and appearances.  He broke out in 1970 opposite Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas in the World War II caper Kelly’s Heroes. But it was the debut of All in the Family in 1971 that made him a star. Five years after Family (by then known as Archie Bunker’s Place) went off the air, O’Connor returned to television, reprising Rod Steiger’s role in the TV adaptation of In the Heat of the Night. The stark difference in racial tone between Bunker and Heat‘s Gillespie was not lost on the public. In the end, he won 5 Emmys, a couple of Golden Globes and two NAACP Image Awards for his work on both shows. Much of the later years of his life were dedicated to education and legislation dealing with drug abuse. His son, Hugh, battled addiction and committed suicide in 1995. O’Connor was never able to fully move on from this tragedy but used it for as much good as he could. In June of 2001, Carroll died of a heart attack brought on from diabetes. The world lost a true legend in every sense of the word.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Photo credit: Lonnie DeCloedt

Photo credit: Lonnie DeCloedt1

Specific Location

Chapel Garden Estate; Directly to the East of the Chapel, there is a small garden with 6 family plots (3 on the North side, 3 on the South), Carroll is buried in the middle plot on the South side (between Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon).

westwood_oconnor

1 – The last time I visited Westwood, there was a funeral reception going on right on the Chapel patio and I was unable to get a picture of Carroll’s marker. Next time.

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