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Frederick C. McConnell, also known as Fred, Fredso and Wiener, was a main and recurring character on the ABC-TV series Mork and Mindy. The part of Fred is played on the series by Conrad Janis. He was born on February 11, 1928.

Character Summary[]

Fred is Mindy's father and previous owner of McConnell's Music Store, who sold up to pursue his dream of becoming a Symphony Conductor, ending up as the leader of the Boulder Symphony..


Fred is a hardworking man of tradition, family values and morals. A deeply loving, warm, supportive, if slightly puritanical father, he maintains quite a strong hold on his daughter Mindy's life, until the arrival of Mork serves to start her loosening the paternal apron strings. His life consists of his daughter and music, chiefly classical music and jazz, both of which he loves with a passion. His button down life and style, is the subject of much ribbing by both his mother in law and to some extent Mork he takes it in good part, and has a good sense of humor himself.



Mindy McConnell - Mindy is Fred's only child from his marriage to her mother Elizabeth who passed away after an illness when Mindy was 6. His life since then has revolved around her, and he has been planning her wedding since she was 10 years old. Devoted to his 'little girl' he will make notable sacrifices for her, like giving up his long saved for new car to send her back to college (Mork In Love). Nevertheless he sometimes forgets that she is a grown woman. Her decision to move in with a man (even before he knew Mork was an alien) shattered some rather prudish illusions (though nothing was happening). and he tried to force Mindy to get rid of him. Mork's arrival and expansion of her horizons, serves to strengthen Mindy's ability to stand on her own though, and for the first time in her life she chooses someone other than him. The only conflict the two ever really have tends to revolve around her freedom to make her own choices, and her relationship with Mork. Fred wants her to have a 'normal' happy human life, with marriage and kids. This rears it's head again when she reveals she intends to follow her heart and marry Mork, and he refuses to give his blessing, until she tells him that with or without him she will walk down the aisle to Mork. He relents, as though he may not always agree with her choices he admires and respects his daughter's courage and integrity hugely, and supports her how ever he can, promising to always be there for her.

Mork - Mork ultimately becomes Fred's son-in-law, though his being totally at peace with that is ever in doubt. Although he's a loving father, he at first didn't approve of Mork living with Mindy, an event which sent him spiraling, leading to Mork getting sectioned and put through a sanity hearing (Pilot), though Fred relented and regretted his actions, turning up to speak up (sort of) for Mork. Discovering Mork was an alien, unnerved him further, and made him demand that Mindy make a choice between Mork and himself. Her choosing Mork over him, came as a shock, as his daughter stood up to him, something he no doubt wasn't pleased with Mork about, but his qualms eased slightly when he realized the relationship was (initially) relatively platonic, though he did his best to encourage Mork to look elsewhere (Mork's Seduction) than his daughter. Despite Mork constantly making fun of him being bald, and these attempts to part him and Mindy, Fred went out of his way to work with Mindy to ensure that Mork didn't 'out' himself to the press to get money to help both him and Mindy (Mork Goes Public) There is no doubt that despite his name calling, and put downs of the Orkan Fred likes and even loves Mork, finds him funny and in many ways actively respects him But his relationship with Mork, and Mork's with his is always viewed through the prism of Mindy, and a Father who does not want his daughter involved (at first) with any man outside of marriage, let alone an Alien, and even more an Alien who tends to cause chaos. For that reason when he finds out they want to get married, Fred is 100 percent set against it, relieved when Mindy listens to her head and his (and Cora's) concerns and turns him down, and shocked when she changes her mind. When things are going well, Fred is a good friend to Mork and can even confide in him (The Way Mork Were; Mork's New Look) but when things get bumpy and his daughter is involved, Fred's first instinct, even after they are married, is often for her to cut and run from Mork (Mama Mork, Papa Mindy; I Don't Remember Mama).

Mearth McConnell - Despite his back and forth opinion of his Orkan father, Fred appears to be actively devoted to his unusual half Orkan grandson, completely accepting him as a McConnell.. He bounces back rapidly from the shock of Mearth's size and appearance, to make a conscious decision to be his grandpa, turning up with bat, ball and catcher's mitt (Mama Mork, Papa Mindy), lets him play with his trainset and even has his consciousness swapped with him at one point (Metamorphosis, the TV Show).

Cora Hudson - Fred's mother in law from his marriage to her daughter, Elizabeth Hudson, Mindy's mother. His relationship with her is one where their deep affection for and respect of each other is hidden under a layer of banter. Cora having helped hugely in the raising of Mindy after her daughter's death, lived with them after the death of her own husband, Mindy's grandfather. They have diametrically opposed opinions in regards to life and how they and Mindy should live it, and on almost everything else from how to live life and especially music. They spark and bicker constantly, but deep down both love and respect one another greatly.

Cathy McConnell - Cathy is Fred's second wife, who he met after selling up the Music Store and going out on tour as the Conductor of a travelling Symphony. Cathy is a flautist who he struck up a friendship with, and after 6 months they realized they were perfect for one another. His swift marriage to her, without informing Mindy caused some problems with his daughter which led to a heart to heart about her late mother (A Mommy for Mindy). Some 15 years his junior, Fred is a little more aware of their age difference then Cathy is, and fretted about it to the point of thinking of having plastic surgery Mork's New Look. Cathy is far more supportive of Mork & Mindy as a couple than her husband is, noting how obviously in love they are, but is unaware of Mork's origins which feed Fred's issues. Cathy still travels with a group performing, while Fred has taken over the Boulder Symphony.

Dave McConnell - Dave is Fred's older, constantly busy, and fabulously successful older brother. Incredibly wealthy he owns his own island and vineyard in Napa, bottling his own wine. Their relationship has for the most part been fraught, with Dave who has treated Fred more or less as a joke and a failure, causing Fred to break out into a rash whenever they meet. During a rare trip with his wife Caroline to visit Boulder, Dave eats some of Mork's Orkan 'Fleck', which causes behavioral issues including a regression to childhood where it's revealed that the source of Dave's antipathy towards Fred is childhood jealousy, Dave feeling like Fred 'stole' their parents affection from him. The encounter led to a face off where Fred finally had the nerve to tell his brother off, which cleared the air between them, and led to a new beginning between the two men.


Behind The Scenes[]