AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Merrill Connally

Personal data
Date of birthApril 9, 1921
Place of birthFloresville, Wilson County, Texas, USA
Date of deathSeptember 4, 2001(age 80)
Place of deathFloresville, Texas
Political partyDemocrat
SpouseMary H. Connally (born 1930)
Childrenincluding Merrill Connally, Jr. (born 1956)
OccupationActor, Rancher
County judge of Wilson County, Texas
In office1955 - 1958
Succeeded byDietrich Richard Voges
Preceded byVerner Monroe Butler

     Home | American actors | Merrill Connally

Merrill Lee Connally, Sr. (April 9, 1921 - September 4, 2001), was an American film actor, a county administrative judge, a rancher, and a brother of both Governor John B. Connally, Jr. (1917 1993), and Texas State Senator Wayne Connally (1923 2000).Connally was born, reared, and died in Floresville, the seat of Wilson County southeast of San Antonio. His parents were John Connally, Sr., a hard-working and industrious tenant farmer, and the former Lela Wright. The senior Connally once ran for Wilson County clerk. In addition to Wayne and John, Merrill had five other siblings. Merrill Connally served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.He portrayed Davy Crockett in the 1988 picture Alamo: The Price of Freedom. He also appeared in Steven Spielberg's Sugarland Express and Close Encounters of the Third Kind In the filming of Close Encounters in 1977, Connally was known on the roll-call sheets as "The American Eagle" because of his shock of white hair and his authoritarian demeanor. He physically resembled his brother John. Spielberg was so impressed with Connally's diction that he kept taking lines of dialogue from other actors to give Connally a greater part.

Other Connally film appearances were in Rush starring Jason Patric as a narcotics detective, and in Heaven and Hell: North & South: Book Three. In 1991, he played Judge Bolen in the television production Wild Texas Wind. He was an extra in the 1979 television film The Girls in the Office. On August 12, 1956, he appeared as himself as a contestant on John Daly's What's My Line? CBS quiz program in which a celebrity panel attempts to guess the occupation of the guest. Jimmy Carter of Georgia, before he was nationally-known also appeared on What's My Line?Connally served as the Wilson County judge from 1955 to 1958 and was involved in various Democratic activities. He was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which nominated the Adlai E. Stevenson-Estes Kefauver ticket. In 1968, he managed the unsuccessful candidacy of Eugene Locke, who resigned as deputy ambassador to the former South Vietnam to seek to succeed Connally's brother as governor. John Connally professed neutrality in the primary because the lieutenant governor, Preston Smith, and the former appointed Texas secretary of state, John Luke Hill, an enthusiastic Connally supporter, were also in the running. The nomination and the general election went to Smith, who had made a fortune as a theater owner from Lubbock.

The author could find no evidence that Merrill Connally may also have joined the Republican Party after his brother John switched parties in 1973. Another brother, Golfrey M. Connally (born 1919 - deceased), an economics professor at then San Antonio Junior College, supported George S. McGovern for U.S. President in 1972, while brother John Connally was heading the national "Democrats for Nixon" committee.Connally died of lung cancer. He is interred at Fairview Cemetery in Fairview in Wilson County. The Connally Memorial Medical Center in his native Floresville is named for him and his brothers John and Wayne.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260