Carroll O'Connor gave the best advice for aspiring actors
Carroll O'Connor, whose first name is John, was the type of man that spoke his mind and was never afraid to talk about the truth. The actor was known as Archie on All in the Family and Bill Gillespie on In the Heat of the Night.
During a 1976 interview, O'Connor revealed that although many knew him for his legendary roles, he didn't always play those types of characters. "I played a lot of villains and [toughies]. Oh, and generals. Judges, lawyers, and not much comedy."
Before becoming a well-known actor, O'Connor was a teacher, and when the interviewer asked how he got into the profession, he said he took teaching jobs when he couldn't land a gig. "Well, I taught in New York for about three years in high schools there when I couldn't get a job as an actor."
Although he faced hardships during his career, when asked if he'd discourage aspiring actors from pursuing their passions, the Emmy winner said no.
"No, not a bit. Not a bit. But, it is a thing that takes a while. I would recommend, to anybody, try to get really good professional advice as to if [they] really have talent," he began. "And, accept that advice too. If someone says you don't have any, accept it. But, if you get the right kind of professional encouragement that you can really count on, go ahead with it, and don't let anyone stop you."
He continued by saying that aspiring actors might have to go through many years of doing free work before they start to see major career earnings, and there will be a lot of pressure from outsiders telling them to leave their dream behind.
"You [have to] go through about ten to twelve years, maybe, without earning a dime," O'Connor said. "And, you'll have all the pressure of people saying, 'Oh, get out of that crazy business. Get into something that is more stable and something that is more secure.'"
O'Connor believed that if an actor had talent, visible by professionals and influential figures, it was vital to stick with it.
After the response, the interviewer asked him if he had any regrets, and the actor said, "not at all."
In today's society, actors have the opportunity to get paid more and more often than back in the earliest decades, but these words of wisdom are still a must for aspiring ears to hear.
Watch All in the Family on Catchy Comedy
Weeknights at 8p ET | 5p PT