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O'CONNOR TIES DRUGS TO SON'S SUICIDE

The 33-year-old son of actor Carroll O'Connor committed suicide Tuesday night after calling his father and telling him he was going to shoot himself, officials said.

O'Connor said his son Hugh, a part-time actor who appeared with him on the television series "In the Heat of the Night," had been despondent after battling drug addiction for years.

"He called me (on the phone) and told me he was going to shoot himself," a grief-stricken O'Connor told reporters. "I couldn't believe it."

The elder O'Connor called police, who rushed to his son's Pacific Palisades home.

When officers were unable to make contact with him, they entered the house and found him dead. "They thought they heard shots, and I guess they did," said O'Connor as he choked back tears. "One shot in the head sitting on the sofa."

Hugh O'Connor was alone in the house and left a suicide note, police said. His wife and child had been staying with his father.

Police Lt. Edward Garcia said "part of the problem was he was separated from his wife and in all probability despondent."

O'Connor, 70, is best known for his role as blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker in the popular 1970s television series "All in the Family." In recent years, he has played a Southern sheriff in "In the Heat of the Night."

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