J. Pat O'Malley

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J. Pat O'Malley
J Patrick OMalley.jpg
As "Perkins" in the 1955 hit television serial, Spin and Marty
Born (1904-03-15)15 March 1904
Burnley, Lancashire, England
Died 27 February 1985(1985-02-27) (aged 80)
San Juan Capistrano
Orange County
California, USA
Cause of death
Cardiovascular disease
Occupation Singer, composer, songwriter, actor, music director
Years active 1929-1985
Spouse(s) Fay M. O'Malley (his death, widow)
Children 2 children[1]

James Patrick O'Malley (15 March 1904 – 27 February 1985) born in Burnley, Lancashire, England was an English singer and character actor, who appeared in many American films and television programmes from the 1940s to 1982, using the stage name J. Pat O'Malley. He also appeared on the Broadway stage in Ten Little Indians (1944) and Dial M for Murder.[1] A New York Times drama critic praised O'Malley's performance in Ten Little Indians, calling him "a rara avis, a comedian who does not gauge the success of his efforts by the number of laughs he induces at each performance".[2]

Early years[edit]

O'Malley began his career in entertainment in 1925 as a recording artist and then as principal singer with Jack Hylton and his orchestra in the United Kingdom from 1930 to 1933. Known at that time as Pat O'Malley, he recorded more than four hundred popular songs of the day. O'Malley began a solo recording career in 1935 in parallel with his work with Hylton. At the end of 1935, Hylton and O'Malley came to the United States to record with a band composed of American musicians, thus emulating Ray Noble and Al Bowlly. The venture was short-lived but O'Malley remained in the United States.

Now known as J. Pat O'Malley (to avoid confusion with another film actor named Pat O'Malley), he had a long and varied acting career including the film Lassie Come Home in 1943 as "Hynes".

Television career[edit]

O'Malley guest starred in 1951 as a sheriff on Bill Williams's syndicated western series, The Adventures of Kit Carson. From 1950 to 1955, he was cast in five episodes of the anthology series, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse. From 1951 to 1957, he was cast in eight episodes of another anthology series, Robert Montgomery Presents.[3] Other television work from this period include roles in Walt Disney's Spin and Marty film (1955) and serial (1955-1957) as the always-faithful ranch steward, Perkins.[3]

In 1956, he guest starred in one of the last episodes, "The Guilty", of the NBC legal drama, Justice, based on case files of the Legal Aid Society of New York.[4]

He also appeared in Rod Cameron's syndicated City Detective in the episode "Found in a Pawnshop" (1955). In 1960, O'Malley was cast in another Cameron syndicated series, COronado 9, set in San Diego. In 1959 and 1960, O'Malley portrayed a judge and a newspaper editor in three episodes of the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams, as a roaming former Confederate soldier.[3]

On January 6, 1959, O'Malley played a priest in the episode, "The Secret of the Mission," on the syndicated adventure series, Rescue 8, starring Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries. In the story line, the priest is trapped with a would-be thief named Carlos (Rafael Campos) under the roof of a collapsed church.[5] O'Malley was cast as Walter Morgan in the 1959 episode, "The First Gold Brick", of the NBC western series, The Californians.

In 1959–1960, O'Malley starred eight times as Judge Caleb Marsh in the ABC western series, Black Saddle starring Peter Breck as a gunslinger-turned-lawyer, with Russell Johnson as a peace officer. In 1959, he was cast as Dr. Hardy in one of the early episodes of the CBS military sitcom/drama Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper.[3]

In 1960, O'Malley guest starred on NBC's short-lived sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show, on ABC's The Law and Mr. Jones, a legal drama with James Whitmore and Conlan Carter, and on the syndicated crime drama Johnny Midnight starring Edmond O'Brien. He appeared as a police officer on John Cassavetes's NBC detective series Johnny Staccato. He guest starred as well on Pat O'Brien's ABC sitcom, Harrigan and Son, and two ABC adventure series, Adventures in Paradise and The Islanders.[3]

In the 1962-1963 television season, O'Malley was cast in two episodes of the ABC drama series, Going My Way, with Gene Kelly, based on the 1944 Bing Crosby film of the same name. He portrayed the character Healy in "The Crooked Angel" and Bathouse O'Connor in "The Boss of the Ward".[3]

O'Malley made numerous guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason, including the defendant in the Season 3, 1960 episode, "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor" and the murderer in the Season 5, 1961 episode of "The Case of the Roving River".[3]

In "Apache Daughter" (December 30, 1961) on the NBC western series, The Tall Man, O'Malley portrays Sam Bartlett, whose daughter, Sally (Sherry Jackson), is released from Apache captivity after nine years. However, Sally wants to return to her husband, Talano, (Anthony Hall, aka Sal Ponti) a Chiricahua warrior, much to the heartbreak of her father.[6]

In 1961, O'Malley guest starred in ABC's drama Bus Stop, starring Marilyn Maxwell as the owner of a diner in a fictitious small Colorado town. O'Malley appeared in 1962 on CBS's Twilight Zone episode called "The Fugitive" (he made also a very short appearance in the episode "Walking Distance"). In the 1962–1963 season, he guest starred twice on the CBS anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show. O'Malley and Spring Byington starred together in the 1964 episode, "This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There," of Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth.[3] In the 1963-1964 season, O'Malley was cast in eight episodes as Harry Burns in the unconventional CBS sitcom, My Favorite Martian with Ray Walston and Bill Bixby.[3]He appeared as bunko man Mr. Fields in one 1963 episode of the Andy Griffith Show.

In the 1964–1965 season, O'Malley was cast as a likeable handyman on the ABC's sitcom, Wendy and Me, with costars George Burns, Connie Stevens, Ron Harper and James T. Callahan. He guest starred as Dooley in the 1965 episode "South Wind" of Christopher Jones's ABC western series, The Legend of Jesse James.[3] In 1966, he appeared as Ed Breck in the episode "Win Place and Die" of Jack Sheldon's short-lived unconventional CBS sitcom, Run, Buddy, Run.[7]

O'Malley appeared occasionally as "Vince" in the 1966 ABC comedy/western series The Rounders, with Ron Hayes, Patrick Wayne, and Chill Wills. That same year he played an old prospector who helps David McCallum in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode, "The Nowhere Affair".[3] In 1968, he played a bit part as 'Thoreau' in an episode of It Takes a Thief called "A Matter of Royal Larceny".

In 1969, O'Malley portrayed Carol Brady's (Florence Henderson) father in the premiere episode of ABC's The Brady Bunch. That same year, he appeared as a cop on the beat in 20th Century Fox's film production of Hello, Dolly!. In 1973, he starred with Shirley Booth as a member of cast of the short-lived ABC situation comedy A Touch of Grace. He made several appearances in the CBS situation comedy, Maude as the beau of Hermione Baddeley between 1973 and 1975. He appeared in two episodes on NBC's Emergency!, and several episodes of Adam-12.[8] In 1976 he appeared in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom The Practice.

In 1979, O'Malley appeared on the sitcom Three's Company as "Leo" in the episode "The Old Folks at Home." In 1982, O'Malley made what would be his final television appearance ever in "The Road Not Taken", a two-part episode of the ABC sitcom Taxi.

Voice work[edit]

Walt Disney also engaged O'Malley to provide voices for animated films such as the Cockney coster in the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" sequence in Mary Poppins (1964), Cyril Proudbottom,Winkie and a policeman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) and the role of Colonel Hathi and the vulture Buzzie in The Jungle Book (1967). His voice can also be heard in Alice in Wonderland (1951), in which he performs all the character voices in the "The Walrus and the Carpenter" segment (besides Alice), including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Walrus, the Carpenter, and Mother Oyster. He performed the roles of the Colonel and Jasper in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) and in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in several roles including the original voice of the Pirate Captain dunking the magistrate into the well.


O'Malley died of cardiovascular disease in San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California, shortly before what would have been his 81st birthday. He was survived by his wife, Fay M. O'Malley (1926–2002)[9] and two children.[1]

DVD release[edit]

A DVD version of the Adventures of Spin & Marty from the 1955 season was released in 2005 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures series.

Selected filmography[edit]

The following is a list of notable films and television episodes that J. Pat O'Malley appeared in or did voices for.

Year Film Role(s) Notes
1941 Paris Calling Sgt. Bruce McAvoy
1943 Lassie Come Home Hynes
1943 Thumbs Up Sam Keats
1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Cyril Proudbottom, Mr. Winkie, Policeman, and Paper boy (unseen) (Voices)
1951 Alice in Wonderland Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Walrus, Carpenter and Mother Oyster (Voices)
1958 The Long, Hot Summer Ratliff
1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians Jasper Badun and Colonel (Voices)
1962 The Cabinet of Caligari Perkins
1962 The Fugitive (Twilight Zone) Old Ben
1963 The Andy Griffith Show Mr. Fields Episode: ″Up in Barney's Room″
1964 The Twilight Zone Gooberman Episode: ″Mr. Garrity and the Graves″
1964 Mary Poppins Pearly Drummer, Master of Hounds, Huntsman, and various other roles (Voices) [10]
1964 Hey There, It's Yogi Bear Snively (Voices) [11]
1964 The Lucy Show Major MacFarland[12] Episode: "Lucy Goes Into Politics"
1964 The Dick Van Dyke Show Sam Petrie[13] Episode: "The Plots Thicken"
1966 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Old Prospector Episode: "The Nowhere Affair"
1966 Hogan's Heroes Corp. Walter Tillman Episode: "How To Cook A German Goose With Radar"
1967 The Jungle Book Colonel Hathi and Buzzie the Vulture (Voices)
1967 Hogan's Heroes British General Episode: "D-Day At Stalag 13"
1969 Hello, Dolly! Policeman in park
1969 Daniel Boone Uncle Brian Episode: "Copperhead Izzy"
1973 Robin Hood Otto the Blacksmith - a dog (Voice)
1973 A Touch of Grace Herbert Morrison Regular cast member; 13 episodes
1975 Emergency! Mr. Wilson Episode: "The Mouse"
1976 The Gumball Rally Barney Donahue
1979 Three's Company Leo Moran Episode: "Old Folks at Home"
1979 Barney Miller Walter Hathaway Episode: "The Counterfeiter"
1981 Barney Miller Walter Dooley Episode: "The Rainmaker"


  1. ^ a b c "J. Pat O'Malley". The New York Times. 1985-03-02. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  2. ^ Theodore Goldsmith (30 July 1944). "One of the 'Ten Little Indians'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "J. Pat O'Malley". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ ""The Guilty", Justice, February 5, 1956". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Secret of the Mission, Rescue 8, January 6, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  6. ^ ""Apache Daughter", December 30, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  7. ^ CTVA Comedy - "Run, Buddy, Run" (Talent Associates/CBS) (fall 1966) starring Jack Sheldon
  8. ^ screen credits, Emergency!, Season three DVD, disk 4
  9. ^ "Social Security Death Index: Fay M. O'Malley". Rootsweb Ancestry. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0641729/
  11. ^ name="imdb page"
  12. ^ name="imdb page"
  13. ^ name="imdb page"

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