William O'Malley (Jesuit)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William O'Malley
Exorcist ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Born William O'Malley
(1931-08-18) August 18, 1931 (age 83)[1]
Occupation Priest, Actor, Teacher, Author
Known for The Exorcist
Religion Roman Catholic

The Rev. William O'Malley, S.J. (born August 18, 1931) is an American author and actor. He was born in Buffalo NY and attended Canisus High school there.[2] He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1953. He taught theology, AP English and later an elective called The Problem of God/Morality/Marriage at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx until June 2012. He was an associate professor of theology at Fordham University. O'Malley is now a professor of theology and the humanities at Seattle University.

O'Malley is best known for his portrayal of Father Dyer in The Exorcist, for which he was also a technical advisor. According to one source, he was the first Catholic priest to portray a priest in a commercial motion picture.[2] He has also appeared in the E! True Hollywood Story of the Curse of The Exorcist. He has directed 99 plays and musicals with students and adults.

As an author, O'Malley has published 37 books, including Choosing to Be Catholic, Why Be Catholic?, God: The Oldest Question, Meeting the Living God, Building Your Own Conscience, and The Fifth Week. His book, Help My Unbelief, won a Catholic Book Award in 2009.[3]

O'Malley graduated on June 19, 1963.[1] Before heading to Fordham, O'Malley taught AP English and theology for 22 years at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York.[4] He also directed the school's musical and drama productions.[5]

On stage in Rochester he appeared as Jim, the gentleman caller, in a production of The Glass Menagerie at the Theater at the Tracks [5][6][7] and as the cleric in the Rochester Community Players production of The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene.[6][7]

Awards and honorary degrees[edit]

In 1990, O'Malley received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Le Moyne College in 2007, the F. Sadlier Dinger Award from educational publisher William H. Sadlier, Inc. in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the ministry of religious education in America, for which he received three Best Article Awards from the Catholic Press Association.


  1. ^ a b Jesuit Communities
  2. ^ a b Interview with Bernard Drew, Gannett News Service movie critic, published in the Rochester Times Union in 1972; clip found in the Vol. 28 of the Scrapbooks of the Rochester Community Players, Local History Department, Rochester NY Public Library
  3. ^ Jesuit News, September 16, 2009. Found at Company Magazine. Accessed December 20, 2010.
  4. ^ Bob McCabe, The exorcist: Out of the shadows: the full story of the film, pp. 39-40 (Omnibus Press, 1999) ISBN 978-0-7119-7509-5. Found at Google Books. Accessed December 20, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Rochester Times Union January 18, 1972, Peter B. Taub column
  6. ^ a b Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Dec. 5, 1971, pg. 5C
  7. ^ a b Rochester Times Union, February 12, 1972, Theater Critic Hamilton B. Allen's column

External links[edit]