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J. Carrol Naish

J. Carrol Naish



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Also Known As: Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish,J. Carroll Naish,Carrol Naish Died: January 24, 1973
Born: January 21, 1897 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor extra stuntman


J. Carrol Naish was a character actor who launched his prolific film career on the cusp of the transition from silent films to talkies (between 1926 and 1930), eventually appearing in nearly 200 films total. The Irish-descended New Yorker became legendary for mastering a potpourri of foreign accents, yet he ironicaly played virtually every ethnicity except Irish over the course of his career. After making scores of appearances--including roles as numerous villains and gangsters, among other types--throughout the '30s and early '40s, Naish first earned critical acclaim in 1943, playing Giuseppe, the Italian prisoner in the Humphrey Bogart war drama "Sahara," for which Naish received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination. He followed up that accolade in 1945 with another Oscar nomination (and a Golden Globe win) for his key, non-ethnic supporting role in "A Medal for Benny," a drama which starred Dorothy Lamour. In the '50s, Naish went from straight western roles, such as a Union lieutenant general in the John Ford classic "Rio Grande" (starring John Wayne) to playing the title character in "Sitting Bull," a role which was more vintage Naish. Meanwhile, he gained greater fame that same decade on television, where he first appeared in 1952 as the star of the two-episode comedy "Life with Luigi," and later, in his highest profile TV role, playing the title character of the syndicated mystery "The New Adventures of Charlie Chan," where he appeared for 39-episodes in 1957. Naish passed away from emphysema at the age of 77.


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Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish (21 January 1897 – 24 January 1973) was an American character actor born in New York City, New York. Naish did many film roles, but they were eclipsed when he found fame in the title role of radio's Life with Luigi, topping Bob Hope in the 1950 ratings. He began as a member of Gus Edwards's vaudeville troupe of child performers. 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. His uncredited bit role in What Price Glory (1926) launched his career in more than 200 films. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role in the 1943 film, Sahara, then for his performance in the 1945 film, A Medal for Benny, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. He was of Irish descent, but he never used his dialect skills to play Irishmen, instead, he portrayed myriad other ethnic groups on screen: Latino, Native American, East Asian, Polynesian, South Asian, Eastern European and Mediterranean. Besides his film roles, he often appeared on television later in his career. Naish was married to actress Gladys Hearney. He spent many of his later years in San Diego studying philosophy and theology. He died from emphysema in La Jolla, California and was interred in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.

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