Tim O’Connor found true love at 50, three doors down the road
The TV actor appeared on M*A*S*H shortly after marrying his neighbor Sheila.
Tim O’Connor is an actor likely best known to classic TV audiences for playing Dr. Elias Huer on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Between 1979 to 1980, O’Connor played the leader of the Earth Defense Directorate, but long before O’Connor stepped into that role, he spent decades as a character actor following early appearances on Fifties shows like I Spy.
In the Sixties, he featured on dramatic hits like The Twilight Zone and The Fugitive, after rising to fame playing Elliot Carson on Peyton Place across hundreds of episodes.
During this first half of his acting career, he was married to an actor named Mary Foskett from 1957 until their divorce in 1974.
After that, he settled into bachelor life, seeming to take more chances and going for a wider array of roles on some of the biggest Seventies shows like All in the Family, Columbo and MAS*H, before Buck Rogers came calling.
Settling into a routine, O’Connor bought his own house and would go jogging in the neighborhood. That’s how he came to meet his second wife and soulmate Sheila Maclurg, who he said lived just three houses down.
In 1980, the year Buck Rogers ended, they got married and made the decision to move into Sheila’s place, because her home was much bigger than his bachelor pad.
“We spent a lot of time sorting out our furniture and the junk people accumulate over the years,” O’Connor told The Pittsburgh Press in 1980. “I’d been in my house for six years and Sheila had lived in hers even longer.”
While O’Connor was moving in with his neighbor and finishing up filming on Buck Rogers, he took his second role on MAS*H.
In an episode called “Operation Friendship,” you can watch the actor operate on B.J. Hunnicutt in 1981.
Much like Hunnicutt, O’Connor loved riding motorcycles, and he and Sheila spent their honeymoon years riding dirt bikes and taking road trips.
They fell deeply in love after meeting as neighbors, and O’Connor continued taking guest roles through the rest of his acting career, because he enjoyed how the shorter film schedule allowed him more time with Sheila.
In 2018, he passed away in the home they shared in California.
O’Connor was happy he decided to tie the knot again.
“I had enough of being a bachelor,” he said. “I was beginning to get accustomed to living alone and that wasn’t good. I like being married.”