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J.T. Walsh Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (27)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (5)

Born in San Francisco, California, USA
Died in La Mesa, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJames Thomas Patrick Walsh
Nickname Jim
Height 5' 11½" (1.82 m)

Mini Bio (1)

J.T. Walsh was born on September 28, 1943 in San Francisco, California, USA as James Thomas Patrick Walsh. He was an actor, known for Sling Blade (1996), Breakdown (1997) and A Few Good Men (1992). He was married to Susan West. He died on February 27, 1998 in La Mesa, California.

Spouse (1)

Susan West (1972 - 1982) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Often played cowardly, sinister villains
Deep authoritative voice

Trivia (27)

Jack Nicholson dedicated his Best Actor Academy Award (for As Good as It Gets (1997)) to Walsh. [1998]
Discovered by a director in 1974 and began working in off-broadway shows.
Big break in 1984 while working in David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross" on broadway.
In just over a decade, he appeared in more than two dozen films.
He died of a heart attack while vacationing near San Diego, CA. Walsh fell ill while staying at a resort hotel & was taken to Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, CA, where he was pronounced dead. He lived in Encino (Los Angeles) with his son, John West, at the time of his death.
Graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where he starred as an undergraduate in many college theater productions and was president of Students for a Democratic Society, an organization that grew out of the anti-war movement of the 1960s.
Early jobs included social worker, encyclopedia salesman, junior high school teacher, and reporter.
Father of John West.
Brother of Christopher Walsh, Patricia Walsh and Mary Walsh.
During his childhood, he attended a Jesuit boarding school in Ireland.
He spoke fluent German.
Early jobs also included tending bar at some of Manhattan's best seafood restaurants.
Before his death, he was hoping to follow the example of Gene Hackman and get away from playing the psychopaths and cowards he had been typecast as, playing more complicated and substantial character parts.
Had appeared in four movies along with Kurt Russell: Tequila Sunrise (1988), Backdraft (1991), Executive Decision (1996) and Breakdown (1997).
Held a bachelor's degree in sociology from Rhode Island University.
His father died of a brain tumor and his mother died of Alzheimer's disease.
Had a strong interest in metaphysics.
Although he acted in college at the University of Rhode Island, as well as on and off-Broadway productions, he did not act in his first film until he was nearly 42 years old.
In his last year, Walsh starred in the 1998 films Hidden Agenda, Pleasantville, and The Negotiator. All three movies, plus Outside Ozona (Walsh died shortly before production commenced) were dedicated to his memory.
He appeared in two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and A Few Good Men (1992).
Appeared in four films with William H. Macy: House of Games (1987), Things Change (1988), The Client (1994) and Pleasantville (1998).
Appeared in three films with Kevin Spacey: Dad (1989), Outbreak (1995) and The Negotiator (1998). Additionally, Spacey played John Williamson in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), based on the stage play in which Walsh had played the same role in the first U.S. production.
His remains were cremated and his ashes were given to his family members.
Played a military official in 2 films with the word 'good' in the title: Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) and A Few Good Men (1992). The former was the first of 2 Robin Williams films with 'good' at the beginning of the title, with the second being "Good Will Hunting" (1997), which was released shortly before Walsh's death in 1998.
He was of Irish ancestry through both of his parents: his paternal grandfather, his paternal grandmother's father and all of his maternal great-grandparents were originally from Ireland.
He was a lifelong Democrat who, as an undergraduate, was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, and participated in the group's protests and sit-ins against the Vietnam War.
He was cast in Loose Cannons (1990) but was fired after only two days of work. He had co-starred in Wired (1989), a sensationalized biography about John Belushi, and his involvement in the film upset his co-star Dan Aykroyd, who was a friend of Belushi. Walsh was compensated $50,000 and replaced by Paul Koslo.

Personal Quotes (4)

(1997) I like to read fiction because it transports me away from Hollywood, and I like travel novels. I also drive up the coast to Santa Barbara to escape and get out of town. I stay the most at the San Ysidro Ranch. It's a quiet and simple, protected village and no one bothers you. It's also very pretty.
I never resented being called a character actor in New York, but with the caste system they have in Hollywood, you feel the little sting of it. There is a distinction made between the person who is getting $20 million and everyone else. You're the one directors know they don't have to worry about, so they can turn their attention to more pressing problems, like finding the star a bigger trailer.
[on Barry Levinson] I was a little bit in awe of Barry's ability. Tin Men (1987) is much more complicated than the usual movie. It's intelligent. The rhythms of the language are real.
[on his role as John Ehrlichman in Nixon (1995)] He was a foil to the slavish adoration of Nixon [Richard Nixon], with this meek moral voice that would ask the questions no one else asked.

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