Christopher Connelly

Active - 1963 - 1990  |   Born - Sep 8, 1941   |   Died - Dec 7, 1988   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Comedy, Action, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Christopher Connelly left his hometown of Wichita at an early age to become an actor. Signed to a 20th Century Fox contract in 1961, he was shunted away to supporting and peripheral film roles. Throughout his TV career, he labored in the shadow of actor Ryan O'Neal, whom he closely resembled. Once O'Neal was firmly established as Rodney Harrington in the prime-time TV soap opera Peyton Place, Connelly was brought in to play Rodney's younger brother, Norman, a role he remained with until the series' cancellation in 1969. And when Peter Bogdanovich's theatrical feature Paper Moon was spun off into a TV series in 1974, Connelly was cast as con artist Moze Pray -- the character played in the original by Ryan O'Neal. Occasionally shedding the "O'Neal clone" onus, Connelly was seen as Henry in the phenomenally popular family film Benji (1974) and as Ben Driscoll in the TV miniseries The Martian Chronicles (1980). He also showed up in such inexpensive action films as Stunt Seven (1979) and Return of the Rebels (1980). Christopher Connelly's last TV appearance was, again, as Norman Harrington in the 1988 pilot film Peyton Place: The Next Generation.

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