O'Connor was born in Rome and adopted by the famous American actor Carroll O'Connor (All in the Family) and his wife while he was in Rome in acting in the 1963 film Cleopatra, with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
As an adult he did some acting, including the TV series "In the Heat of the Night (1988-95)."
As a child of 16 he developed Hodgkin's disease but was cured. However about the same time he began the abuse of alcohol and drugs which eventually led to his suicide in 1995. His father publicly named the man who had been his son's cocaine supplier, and when the dealer sued him for slander, O'Connor won. The case was followed by the passing of a new law in Florida, the Hugh O'Connor Memorial Act, which allows people injured by drug dealers to sue them for monetary damages.
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