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USA inks O’Connor biopic

Carroll O’Connor has inked an exclusive development deal with the USA Network to direct, produce and portray himself in “The Carroll O’Connor Story,” which will chronicle the actor’s relationship with his drug-addicted son Hugh and the tumultuous aftermath of Hugh’s suicide death in 1995.

Project is being executive produced by Once Upon a Time Films and Stan Brooks, with Peter Nelson scripting. Only O’Connor is set in the cast.

O’Connor, a five-time Emmy winner who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Archie Bunker on “All in the Family” and its spinoff “Archie Bunker’s Place,” has publicly spoken out against Harry Perzigian, the drug dealer convicted of selling narcotics to O’Connor’s adopted son, and has declared war on drug pushers in general.

Film will focus on Hugh’s life and death, his life with his parents, and on O’Connor’s crusade that found him the target of a slander suit by Perzigian earlier this year.

“Carroll O’Connor changed the face of television, but he has also had to endure and fight through some extremely tough times in life,” said Ian Valentine, VP longform programming for USA Networks.Pic is said to have the support of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Public service announcements will run throughout the pic, with a toll-free 800-number onscreen.

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