J. Carrol Naish

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J. Carrol Naish
J Carroll Naish in Hit The Deck (Trailer).png
from the trailer for Hit The Deck (1955)
BornJoseph Patrick Carroll Naish
(1896-01-21)January 21, 1896
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1973(1973-01-24) (aged 77)
La Jolla, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Resting place
Calvary Cemetery
Other namesCarol Naish
Carroll Naish
Carrol Naish
Years active1926–1971
Spouse(s)Gladys Heaney (m. 1929–73)
AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture (1944)
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J. Carrol Naish
J Carroll Naish in Hit The Deck (Trailer).png
from the trailer for Hit The Deck (1955)
BornJoseph Patrick Carroll Naish
(1896-01-21)January 21, 1896
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1973(1973-01-24) (aged 77)
La Jolla, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Resting place
Calvary Cemetery
Other namesCarol Naish
Carroll Naish
Carrol Naish
Years active1926–1971
Spouse(s)Gladys Heaney (m. 1929–73)
AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture (1944)

Joseph Patrick Carroll Naish (January 21, 1896 – January 24, 1973), known professionally as J. Carrol Naish, was an American character actor. He was nominated twice for an Academy Award for film roles, and he later found fame in the title role of CBS Radio's Life With Luigi (1948–1953), which was also on aired on television.

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, Naish appeared on stage for several years before he began his film career. He began as a member of Gus Edwards's vaudeville troupe of child performers. After World War I, Naish formed his own song and dance act in Paris. He was traveling the globe from Europe to Egypt to Asia, when his China-bound ship developed engine problems, leaving him in California in 1926.[citation needed]


Naish's uncredited bit role in What Price Glory? (1926) launched his career in more than two hundred films. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role in the movie Sahara (1943), and for his performance in the movie A Medal for Benny (1945). For the latter film, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. He played Boris Karloff's assistant in House of Frankenstein (1944).

Of Irish descent, he never played an Irishman. He did play real life Irish-American Philip Sheridan in John Ford's Rio Grande, explaining, "When the part of an Irishman comes along, nobody ever thinks of me." He did play other ethnicities such as Italian, Native American, Hispanic and Chinese, which earned him the moniker "Hollywood's one-man U.N.".[1]

Three generations of Naishes in 1952. Seated is Patrick Naish; standing are his son, J. Carrol, and granddaughter, Elaine. Elaine Naish was an actress who often played supporting roles on Life With Luigi.

By 1971, he appeared in his final film role, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), as a mad scientist; a role descended from the original Dr. Frankenstein takes to murdering young women for experimentation in hopes of reviving his ancestor's creation, with help from his mute assistant, played by Lon Chaney Jr., whose film appearance was also his last.

Personal life[edit]

Naish was married (from 1929 until his death) to actress Gladys Heaney (1907–1987); they had one daughter, Elaine.[1]


Naish died of emphysema on January 24, 1973 at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, three days after his 77th birthday.[2] He is interred at Calvary Cemetery.

For his contributions to television and film, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6145 Hollywood Boulevard.[2]

Partial filmography[edit]

1926What Price GloryFrench SoldierUncredited
1930Cheer Up and SmileBit PartUncredited
1931The Royal BedLakerCredited as Carrol Naish
1931SurrenderFrench Prisoner of WarUncredited
1931Tonight or NeverRadio AnnouncerUncredited
1932The Hatchet ManSun Yat MingCredited as J. Carroll Naish
Alternative title: The Honorable Mr. Wong
1932The Beast of the CityCholo
1932The MouthpieceTony RoccoCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1932Two SecondsTonyCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1932Big City BluesBootleggerUncredited
1932Tiger SharkTonyCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1932The Kid from SpainPedro
1932Frisco JennyEd HarrisUncredited
1933No Other WomanBonelli
1933The Past of Mary HolmesGary Kent
1933Infernal MachineBryanUncredited
1933Central AirportDrunk in wreckUncredited
1933The World Gone MadRamon Salvadore
1933Elmer, the GreatJerryCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1933Arizona to BroadwayTommy Monk
1933Captured!Cpl. GuarandCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1933Ann VickersDr. SorelleCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1933The Mad GameChopper Allen
1933Havana WidowsFirst Taxi DriverUncredited
1933The Mystery SquadronCollinsFilm serial
1934Murder in TrinidadDuval
1934British AgentCommissioner of War TrotskyCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1934Maria GalanteFrench Sailor Painting ShipUncredited
1935The Lives of a Bengal LancerGrand Vizier
1935Black FurySteve Croner
1935Front Page WomanRobert CardozaCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1935The CrusadesArab Slave DealerUncredited
1935Little Big ShotBertCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1935Special AgentJoe DurellCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1935Captain BloodCahusacCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1936Two in the DarkBurt Mansfield
1936Charlie Chan at the CircusTom Holt
1936Anthony AdverseMaj. DoumetCredited as J. Carroll Naish
1936RamonaJuan Can
1936The Charge of the Light BrigadeSubahdar-Major Puran Singh
1936Crack-UpOperative #77
1937Border CafeRocky Alton
1937Think Fast, Mr. MotoAdram
1937Sea RacketeersHarry Durant
1937Bulldog Drummond Comes BackMikhail Valdin
1937Daughter of ShanghaiFrank Barden
1938Her Jungle LoveKuasa
1938Bulldog Drummond in AfricaRichard Lane
1938King of AlcatrazSteve Murkil
1939Hotel ImperialKuprin
1939Beau GesteRasinoff
1939Island of Lost MenGregory Prin
1940Queen of the MobGeorge Frost
1940Golden GlovesJoe Taggerty
1940Down Argentine WayCasiano
1941That Night in RioMachado
1941Blood and SandGarabato
1941Forced LandingAndros Banshek
1941Birth of the BluesBlackie
1941The Corsican BrothersLorenzo
1942A Gentleman at HeartGigi
1942Sunday PunchMatt Bassler
1942Jackass MailSignor Michel O'Sullivan
1942The Pied PiperAristide Rougeron
1942Tales of ManhattanBurglar
1942Dr. Renault's SecretNoel
1943BatmanDr. Tito Daka/Prince DakaFilm serial
1943Behind the Rising SunReo Seki
1943SaharaGiuseppeNominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1943Calling Dr. DeathInspector Gregg
1943Gung Ho!Lt. C.J. Cristoforos
1944Voice in the WindLuigi
1944The WhistlerThe Killer
1944The Monster MakerDr. Igor Markoff
1944Jungle WomanDr. Carl Fletcher
1944WaterfrontDr. Karl Decker
1944Dragon SeedJapanese Kitchen Overseer
1944Enter Arsène LupinGanimard
1944House of FrankensteinDaniel
1945A Medal for BennyCharley MartinWon: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1945The SouthernerDevers
1945Strange ConfessionRoger GrahamAlternative title: The Missing Head
1945Star in the NightNick CatapoliShort film
1946Bad BascombBart Yancy
1946The Beast with Five FingersPolice Commissario Ovidio Castanio
1946HumoresqueRudy Boray
1947Carnival in Costa RicaPapa Rico Molina
1947The FugitiveA Police Informer
1948Joan of ArcJohn, Count of Luxembourg (Joan's captor)
1948The Kissing BanditChico
1949Canadian PacificDynamite Dawson
1949That Midnight KissPapa Donnetti
1950Black HandLouis Lorelli
1950Please Believe Me"Lucky" Reilly
1950Annie Get Your GunChief Sitting Bull
1950The Toast of New OrleansNicky Duvalle
1950Rio GrandeLt. Gen. Philip Sheridan
1951Across the Wide MissouriLooking Glass
1951BannerlineFrankie Scarbine
1952Denver and Rio GrandeGil Harkness
1952Clash by NightUncle Vince
1952The Miracle of Our Lady of FatimaNarratorUncredited
1953Fighter AttackBruno
1953Beneath the 12-Mile ReefSocrates "Soc" Houlis
1954Sitting BullSitting Bull
1955New York ConfidentialBen Dagajanian
1955Hit the DeckMr. Peroni
1955Rage at DawnSimeon "Sim" Reno
1955Violent SaturdayChapman, Bank Robber
1955The Last CommandGeneral Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
1957This Could Be the NightLeon
1971Dracula vs. FrankensteinDr. Frankenstein, aka Dr. Duryea
1952-1953Life with LuigiLuigi BascoUnknown episodes
1956Climax!Mr. CombieEpisode: "An Episode of Sparrows"
1956The Alcoa HourMurilloEpisode: "Key Largo"
1956CrossroadsRabbi Arnold Fischel2 episodes, including "The White Carnation"
1957-1958The New Adventures of Charlie ChanCharlie Chan39 episodes
1957The TexanWalt PierceEpisode: "The First Notch"
1958Westinghouse Desilu PlayhousePapaEpisode: "My Father, the Fool"
1958Wanted: Dead or AliveMiguel RamierezEpisode: "Ricochet"
1958Cimarron CityRare CrowderEpisode: "The Blood Line"
1959The Restless GunMaj. Quint LangleyEpisode: "Blood of Courage"
1959WhirlybirdsTaylorEpisode: "Two of a Kind"
1959-1960Wagon TrainVarious roles2 episodes
1960The UntouchablesKaty O'Connor93 episodes
1960-1961Guestward, Ho!Hawkeye38 episodes
1963Route 66Mike DonatoEpisode: "And Make Thunder His Tribute"
1964The Hanged ManUncle PicaudTelevision film
1964Burke's LawMr. TotoEpisode: "Who Killed Supersleuth?"
1965I Dream of JeannieBilejikEpisode: "Djinn and Water"
1966The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Uncle GiulianoEpisode: "The Super-Colossal Affair"
1967Green AcresChief Yellow HorseEpisode: "It's So Peaceful in the Country"
1969BonanzaAnselmoEpisode: "A Severe Case of Matrimony"
1968Get SmartSam VittorioEpisode: "The Secret of Sam Vittorio"


  1. ^ a b "Character Actor J. Carrol Naish Dies". The Washington Post. January 27, 1973. p. B10. "Among the hundreds of roles he played over the years...were members of enough nationalities to win him the title of "Hollywood's one-man U.N."" 
  2. ^ a b "Hollywood Star Walk". latimes.com. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Barry Fitzgerald
for Going My Way
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
for A Medal for Benny
Succeeded by
Clifton Webb
for The Razor's Edge