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M. Emmet Walsh

M. Emmet Walsh defines himself as a working actor. With talent spanning both the comedy and drama arenas, Walsh has over 100 feature films and over one hundred-fifty television credits to his name.

Current films include: DON MCKAY (with Thomas Haden-Church) was accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival and the USA Film Festival in Dallas. The film's first time director Jake Goldberg wrote the role for Walsh. Just completed is Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency starring with Luke Perry for Tom Whitus.

Walsh starred as newspaper editor, ‘Randall Evans' in HBO's comedy series, The Mind of the Married Man. This show took a funny, insightful look at the challenges of modern-day marriage from a decidedly male perspective. Last year he did a pilot for and with William H. Macy called Family Man for TNT.

M stands for Michael -- which he was not allowed to use when he joined his first theatrical union. He was named after his mother's father, Michael Francis Sullivan, and her favorite brother, Emmet, who was named after the Irish patriot, Robert Emmet. He goes ballistic when 'Emmet' is misspelled. His father and grandfather were U.S. Customs officers on the Canadian Border, and his brother recently retired from his post there, with U.S. Immigration.

Walsh spent his childhood in Swanton, Vermont and still maintains a home there on Lake Champlain. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Clarkson College, with a major in Marketing, he moved to New York City and graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts.

His first job in professional theater was at Buck's County Playhouse, Pennsylvania, as a prop man. The following summers found him performing stock throughout New England. He also did regional theater seasons in Buffalo, New Haven, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Washington D.C., and has been an artist in residence at colleges in Kentucky, Vermont and Oklahoma. Numerous off-Broadway productions eventually led to Broadway and runs in That Championship Season and Does The Tiger Wear a Necktie?

In 1999 he starred in Sweet Bird of Youth, by Tennessee Williams at the La Jolla Playhouse; in 2000; All My Sons, by Arthur Miller at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; in 2007 he was delighted to star with Christine Lahti in The Geffen Playhouse's presentation of Wendy Wasserstein's last play Third.

Walsh made his on-screen debut in END OF THE ROAD. Other late 1960's films include; ALICE'S RESTAURANT, THE TRAVELING EXECUTIONER, COLD TURKEY and THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS. He moved west to California in 1970 with WHAT'S UP DOC? and AIRPORT '77 helping to establish him as a working actor in Hollywood.

His films attest to a Yankee work ethic; "I approach each job thinking it might be my last, so it had better be the best work possible." Walsh, the premier character actor, has worked with the best actors of our time. He appeared with Dustin Hoffman in STRAIGHT TIME, Paul Newman in SLAPSHOT, Geraldine Page in THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, Harrison Ford in BLADE RUNNER, Chuck Norris in MISSING IN ACTION, Goldie Hawn in WILDCATS, Denzel Washington in THE MIGHTY QUINN, and Gene Hackman, NARROW MARGIN. For his role in the Coen Brothers' feature BLOOD SIMPLE, he was given the first Independent Feature Projects West Spirit Award for Best Performance by an Actor. He also received critical praise for his performance in CLEAN AND SOBER as a straight-talking Alcoholics Anonymous veteran sponsor who befriends a chemically dependent Michael Keaton.

After an appearance in BRUBAKER, Robert Redford brought him back to play Timothy Hutton's swimming coach in ORDINARY PEOPLE and again as the Governor of New Mexico in THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR.

Walsh was featured as Joe O'Neal, father of the groom, (Dermot Mulroney) in the comedy hit film, MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING with Julia Roberts, The Apothecary in WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO AND JULIET, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes, and a cameo (quite a legal witness) as ‘Dr. Bass,' in A TIME TO KILL.

He starred in THE MAN IN THE CHAIR with Christopher Plummer, a film festival favorite, "Walt Disney Pictures' live-action comedy adventure SNOW DOGS with Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn and WILD WILD WEST with Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh. Other films include; THE JERK, HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, GLASS SHIELD, FLETCH, BACK TO SCHOOL, BLACK PANTHER, FREE WILLY II, THE KILLING JAR, PORTRAITS OF INNOCENCE, GOODBYE SUNRISE, and POOR WHITE TRASH.

Walsh provided the voice of ‘Earl Stutz,' in the sleeper hit animation feature, THE IRON GIANT and has voiced character of ‘Mack' in the television cartoon series, BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE ROBOT. He was also heard on two series produced by Ken Burns for PBS, Baseball and The Civil War.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

M. Emmet Walsh Facts

Birth NameMichael Emmet Walsh
BirthdayMarch 22, 1935 (87)
BirthplaceOgdensburg, New York, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.