Eddie Egan

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For the Olympic boxer/bobsledder, see Eddie Eagan.
For Catholic church official, see Edward Egan.
Eddie Egan
Mike Connors Eddie Egan Mannix 1972.JPG
Egan at right with Mike Connors in the 1972 Mannix episode "The Open Web".[1]
Born Edward Walter Egan
January 3, 1930
New York City, New York
Died November 4, 1995(1995-11-04) (aged 65)
University of Miami Cancer Center, Miami, Florida
Occupation Police detective, actor

Edward Walter "Eddie" Egan (January 3, 1930 in New York City – November 4, 1995 in Miami, Florida) was a New York City Police Department detective whose exploits were the subject of a book and movie, both titled The French Connection. He, his partner Sonny Grosso, and other New York City Police Department detectives broke up an organized crime ring in 1961 seizing 112 pounds of heroin, a record amount at the time. The investigation was the subject of a book by Robin Moore and the subsequent motion picture released in 1971.

The movie was highly fictionalized and very successful. The character based on Egan, Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, was played by Gene Hackman who won an Academy Award for his performance (the film also won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Editing). The character was called "Popeye" because that was Egan's nickname in real life. Egan played a role in the movie as Hackman's supervisor, Simonson. Egan and Grosso were also technical advisors. Hackman reprised this role in the sequel film French Connection II in 1975, which depicts a fictionalized story.

Egan's seizure is mentioned as a throwaway line in the 2007 feature American Gangster, but is portrayed as the very drugs taken out of the Evidence Room by corrupt police officers, cut and resold to the mobsters from whom it was seized.[citation needed]

In 1986, a network television series Popeye Doyle was planned based on the fictionalized character from the two films with Ed O'Neill playing the title character.[2] While the series was never produced, the pilot was broadcast as an NBC-TV Movie, and has been shown in syndication. In 1973 another film, called Badge 373, with Robert Duvall playing the role of Egan, was released detailing Egan's career.

After retiring from the NYPD, Egan became an actor, with small roles in 22 movies and television series.[3] He retired and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1984.[4]


Egan died of cancer in 1995 at age 65, at the University of Miami Cancer Center. He was survived by his fiancee, Cheryl Kyle-Little, and two half-sisters, Maureen Massett and Joan Massett. He was also survived by his children: Michael Egan, Gary Egan, Patty Egan and Victoria Egan, Edward Egan, Jr., Kenneth Egan, and Kerry Egan.



  1. ^ "The Open Web". IMDB. September 17, 1972. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Popeye Doyle". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ IMDb bio
  4. ^ Associated Press obituary

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