J. T. Walsh

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J. T. Walsh
J.T. Walsh.jpg
BornJames Thomas Patrick Walsh
(1943-09-28)September 28, 1943
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 27, 1998(1998-02-27) (aged 54)
Lemon Grove, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1982–1998
 
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Not to be confused with J.D. Walsh (actor).
J. T. Walsh
J.T. Walsh.jpg
BornJames Thomas Patrick Walsh
(1943-09-28)September 28, 1943
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 27, 1998(1998-02-27) (aged 54)
Lemon Grove, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1982–1998

James Thomas Patrick "J. T." Walsh (September 28, 1943 – February 27, 1998) was an American actor. He appeared in many well known films, including Nixon, Hoffa, A Few Good Men, Backdraft, Miracle on 34th Street, Outbreak, Breakdown, Pleasantville, The Negotiator, and Good Morning, Vietnam. He was known for portraying "quietly sinister white-collar sleazeballs" (as stated by Leonard Maltin) in numerous films, and was described as "everybody's favorite scumbag" by Playboy magazine.

Early life[edit]

Walsh was born in San Francisco, California. He had three siblings: Christopher, Patricia, and Mary. From 1948 to 1962, the family lived in West Germany, before moving back to the United States. After studying at Clongowes Wood College in Ireland from 1955 to 1961, Walsh attended the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, and then the University of Rhode Island, where he starred in many college theater productions. In 1974, he was discovered by a theatre director and began working in off-Broadway shows.

Career[edit]

Walsh did not appear in films until 1983, when he had a minor role in Eddie Macon's Run. Over the next 15 years, he appeared in over 50 feature films, increasingly taking the bad guy role for which he is well known, such as Sergeant Major Dickerson in Good Morning, Vietnam. On television, he again portrayed an evil character, prison warden Brodeur on the 1995 X Files episode "The List". Brodeur beats a handcuffed inmate to death because the inmate informs him that he will be next on the list of people a former inmate has threatened to kill.

Walsh wanted to show his range as an actor and play good guys, despite being typecast as a villain. Although he did get to play a few decent people, such as the White House Chief of Staff in Outbreak and Chester Van Damme in Sniper, even those films had him portray a character with an amoral streak. He played a member of Majestic 12 in the 1996 sci-fi drama series Dark Skies. The 1997 thriller Breakdown featured Walsh as the villainous truck driver, which raised his profile to movie audiences. It was his last starring film released during his lifetime. In his final year of life, Walsh starred in the films Hidden Agenda, Pleasantville, and The Negotiator. All three films were dedicated to his memory.

Death[edit]

Walsh died from a heart attack in Lemon Grove, California on February 27, 1998. He was 54 years old. Actor 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.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1985Right to Kill?Maj. Eckworth
1986Hannah and Her SistersEd Smythe
1986PowerJerome Cade
1987Good Morning, VietnamSgt. Major Dickerson
1987Tin MenWing
1987House of GamesThe Businessman / "Cop"
1988Tequila SunriseDEA Agent Hal Maguire
1989The Big PictureAllen Habel
1989WiredBob Woodward
1990Crazy PeopleMr. Drucker
1990DefenselessSteven Seldes
1990MiseryState Trooper Sherman DouglasUncredited
1990The GriftersCole
1990The Russia HouseColonel Jackson Quinn
1991BackdraftAlderman Marty Swayzak
1992A Few Good MenLt. Col. Matthew Markinson
1992Red Rock WestWayne Brown
1992HoffaFrank Fitzsimmons
1993Needful ThingsDanforth "Buster" Keeton IIINominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1993SniperChester Van Damme
1994The Last SeductionFrank Griffith
1994Miracle on 34th StreetEd Collins
1994Blue ChipsHappy
1994The ClientJason McThune
1994Silent FallSheriff Mitch Rivers
1995NixonJohn EhrlichmanNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1995Black Day Blue NightLt. John Quinn
1995The BabysitterHarry Tucker
1995OutbreakWhite House Chief of StaffUncredited
1996Executive DecisionSenator Mavros
1996Persons UnknownLt. Cake
1996Sling BladeCharles BushmanNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1997BreakdownWarren "Red" BarrNominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1998The NegotiatorInspector Terence Niebaum
1998PleasantvilleBig Bob
1998Hidden AgendaJonathan Zanuck

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1995The X FilesWarden BrodeurEpisode: "The List"
1996–1997Dark Skies

External links[edit]