J. T. WALSH Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: James Thomas Patrick Walsh                                                       
Born: 28 September 1943 San Francisco, California                                       
Died: 27 February 1998 San Diego, California                                           
James Thomas Patrick Walsh (September 28, 1943 – February 27, 1998) was an           
American character actor known for his roles as "quietly sinister white-collar         
sleazeballs" (quote from Leonard Maltin) in numerous feature films and "everybody's     
favorite scumbag" from Playboy Magazine.                                               
Walsh was born in San Francisco, California. He had three siblings, Christopher,       
Patricia, and Mary. After returning from studying at Clongowes Wood College in         
Ireland, Walsh attended the University of Rhode Island, where he starred in many       
college theater productions. In 1974, he was discovered by a director and began         
working in off-Broadway shows.                                                         
Walsh did not start appearing in feature films until 1983, when he had a minor         
role in Eddy Macon's Run. Over the next 15 years, he played in over 50 feature         
films, increasingly taking the bad guy role for which he is so well known, e.g.         
the loudly irascible Sgt. Maj. Dickerson in Good Morning, Vietnam. Walsh had one       
of his best[citation needed] roles as Wayne in Red Rock West (1992). In his last       
year, he starred in Hidden Agenda, Pleasantville, and The Negotiator. All three         
of those movies were dedicated to his memory, after he died from a heart attack         
on February 27, 1998. In addition, Jack Nicholson dedicated his Academy Award           
for As Good as It Gets to the memory of Walsh, with whom he had starred in A Few       
Good Men and Hoffa in 1992. The 1997 thriller Breakdown featured Walsh as the           
villainous truck driver, which raised his profile to movie audiences. Sadly, it         
was said that Walsh wanted to show his range as an actor and play good guy parts       
despite being typecast as a baddie, although the actor did get to play a few           
decent people such as the White House Chief of Staff in Outbreak and Chester Van       
Damme in Sniper but even those roles had Walsh putting an amoral streak within         
his characters. Walsh played a member of Majestic-12 in the 1996-1997 sci-fi/drama     
television series Dark Skies.