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Carroll O’Connor’s Son Took His Life at 32 Leaving behind Kid Who Is Now Grown & Looks Like Him.

Carroll O’Connor appeared to have it all: celebrity, money, a thriving profession, and an apparently happy family. What no one knew was that his son, Hugh O’Connor, was battling demons.

Hugh struggled with drugs for years, and a few days before his 33rd birthday, he contacted his father to say his final farewell before ending his own life.

Hugh was born in Rome, Italy, in April 1962, and was adopted by Carroll and Nancy. He had Hodgkin’s disease as a child but recovered by the age of 16.

Carroll O'Connor stars with son Hugh in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. Hugh was adopted in Rome and named for Carroll's brother.

Posted by getTV on Thursday, May 12, 2016

From 1988 until 1994, he temporarily followed in his renowned father’s footsteps, playing James Flynn in 1984’s “Brass” and Lonnie Jamison in “In the Heat of the Night.”

Hugh worked as an assistant stage manager in New York before becoming an actor, so he has spent much of his life in the entertainment business.

Sadly, on March 28, 1995, a crisis negotiator and members of the New York Police Department’s Special Weapons squad discovered Hugh’s lifeless body at his house.

The police were summoned to Hugh’s house when Carroll reported that his son had firearms and was depressed, with no desire to live. Officials declared the death a suicide after discovering a suicide note.

Hugh had been addicted to various drugs and chemicals for 16 years, it is important to note. Hugh was survived by his parents, his wife Angela Clayton, and his two-year-old son Sean at the time of his death. 

Hugh passed away on their third wedding anniversary.

Actor Carroll O'Connor, his wife Nancy, and son Hugh. Via The Internet.

Posted by The Way We Were Photos on Sunday, April 10, 2016

Carroll said on TV shortly after Hugh’s death that Harry Thomas Perzigian was a “partner in murder” because he had been exchanging cocaine with Hugh. Carroll went on to say that he intended to hurt Perzigian in the “worst way possible.”

Perzigian was subsequently caught and sentenced to one year in prison for cocaine possession and providing it to Hugh. He asserted, however, that he had nothing to do with Hugh’s death.

For years, the composer acknowledged sharing and delivering narcotics to Hugh. Nonetheless, he said he never made money from it because he and Hugh were good friends. Instead of selling him cocaine, Perzigian is said to divide the cost of his recreational supplies with him.

Perzigian was so certain that he had nothing to do with Hugh’s suicide that he sued Carroll for defamation for referring to him as a “partner in murder.” He was suing for ten million dollars in damages.

Hugh’s family revealed some information about him and his final hours alive in court. Clayton, in sobs, confessed that Hugh died on their third wedding anniversary.

She phoned to check on him, but he wasn’t feeling well. Hugh’s wife claimed that he was delusional and believed their talk had been aired throughout the neighborhood.

Hugh phoned Carroll soon after they hung up. After expressing his intention to commit himself, he delivered his final words: “So long, Pop.” That’s when the “All in the Family” star burst into tears and called the cops.

Posted by In Memoriam Hugh O'Connor on Monday, July 30, 2018

Carroll did not hold Hugh’s other pals responsible for his drug use.

Carroll was questioned about his TV remarks by Perzigian’s counsel, as predicted. The actor acknowledged that he claimed he intended to physically attack Perzigian. He further stated that he had no intention of inciting violence against Perzigian.

Carroll stated that he expected individuals to realize he was speaking metaphorically when he said “partner in murder.” He claimed that he made his statements on TV to show everyone that they should not be humiliated by their addiction, but rather combat it. He elaborated that he  understood that this was going viral across the country. His heart was tearing, yet he was not embarrassed.

Perzigian and his girlfriend, Samantha Polk, testified as well. They claimed to have a scale similar to those used by drug traffickers since he enjoyed weighing his supplements.

His lawyer also questioned why Perzigian continued to share narcotics with Hugh despite the fact that he was a severe drug user, and he stated that he had never seen Hugh in a concerning state.

Lucy Inman, Carroll’s attorney, questioned the actor if hitting Perzigian so soon after his death wasn’t questionable. He said that it wasn’t since, even if his kid was gone, “evil endured.”

The “Archie Bunker’s Place” star stated that he did not blame Hugh’s other pals who may have assisted him in obtaining drugs since they all apologized to him. Perzigian was the only one who didn’t.

Bea Arthur and Carroll O'Connor in 1986. ❤️ "Cousin Maude's Visit" on ALL IN THE FAMILY — 12:30a ET on getTV

Posted by getTV on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hugh’s suicide crushed Carroll’s heart, according to Denise Nicholas, who worked on “In the Heat of the Night.” Carroll never quit trying to save his son from drugs, according to Denise Nicholas. Carroll once stated that nothing will bring him serenity. He  had a son who died. And he’ll go to his grave with no peace about it.

Posted by In Memoriam Hugh O'Connor on Monday, January 17, 2022

Even if he couldn’t find serenity, he tried everything he could to aid others. He was outspoken against the Drug Dealer Liability Act, which took effect in California in 1997 and empowers anyone to sue drug dealers who kill users.

According to Steve Boreman, a lawyer who worked on the case with the actor, he was highly supportive and believed something needed to be done about those who profited from distributing “venom.”

Sean, Hugh’s two-year-old son, was the one who suffered the most as a result of his father’s death. Sean honored his parents on March 28, 2013, by tweeting a photo of their wedding day, which took place in Malibu, California, in 1992.

He wants to keep his personal life out of the limelight and is not active in the entertainment sector, but based on his social media photos, he looks just like his late father.

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