Chuck Connors died of lung cancer and pneumonia complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on November 10, 1992. The cancer was likely a result of Connors' heavy smoking in earlier years.
Chuck Connors was best known for his portrayal of Lucas McCain in the television series "The Rifleman." As a young man, Connors pursued a career in athletics. He played for the Boston Celtics before switching to baseball for several years, playing in both the minor and major leagues, including stints with the Cubs and the Dodgers. It was during a baseball game that he was spotted by a casting director. After appearing in several movies, Connors landed the leading role on "The Rifleman."
After the series' five-year run, Connors continued to appear in film and television, most notably in the mini-series "Roots" and the science fiction movie "Soylent Green." In interviews, Connors admitted to smoking around three packs of cigarettes per day in the 1970s. Though he eventually quit smoking, the habit caught up to him and would ultimately cause his death. He had been seemingly healthy until he checked himself into the hospital just days before his death. It was at this time that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He left behind four sons.