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J. G. Devlin

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J.G. Devlin
Devlin in an episode of One Step Beyond (1961)
James Gerard Devlin

(1907-10-08)8 October 1907
Died17 October 1991(1991-10-17) (aged 84)
Years active1955–1991

James Gerard Devlin (8 October 1907 – 17 October 1991) was a Northern Irish actor who made his stage debut in 1931, and had long association with the Ulster Group Theatre.[1][2][3] In a career spanning nearly sixty years, he played parts in TV productions such as Z-Cars, Dad's Army, The New Avengers and Bread.[4][5] He also guest starred, alongside Leonard Rossiter, in an episode of Steptoe and Son, "The Desperate Hours".[6] The writers of Steptoe and SonRay Galton and Alan Simpson – later said Devlin was second choice to play the part of Albert Steptoe in the series, behind Wilfrid Brambell.[7] He also appeared as Father Dooley, a Catholic priest, in several episodes of Carla Lane's Bread, his last television appearance.[8]

In 1969, he was in the Abbey Theatre production of Macook's Corner.[9] where he played the part of Neal Macook.[10]

In 1956, he appeared in a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy "Light Falling"[11] where he played the part of Pat Scully, this was produced by Jack MacGowran in the Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith) as an 'opener' for Seán O'Casey play "The Shadow of a Gunman"

In 1978, he had a small part in the Thames Television / Euston Films Drama The Sweeney (Season 4 Episode 5, 'Nightmare'), playing 'Hay' a handyman in an antique dealers yard. The yard owner was a former IRA operative.

He was Vivian Stanshall's personal choice for the role of Old Scrotum, the Wrinkled Retainer in the Charisma Films version of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, released in 1980.

Early life[edit]

Devlin was born at 35 Waterville Street, Belfast, the eldest child of labourer Edward Devlin and Isabella Hamill. He had three younger sisters, Rose, Kathleen and Isabella.


Year Title Role Notes
1955 Captain Lightfoot Tuer O'Brien Film debut
1956 Jacqueline Mr. Lord's Servant
1957 The Rising of the Moon Moran (as Players from the Abbey Theatre Company)
1959 Darby O'Gill and the Little People Tom Kerrigan
1960 A Terrible Beauty Const. Lauden
1961 The Big Gamble The Driving Instructor
The Frightened City Informer
Johnny Nobody Caretaker
Attempt to Kill Elliott
1961 One Step Beyond Leo Episode: Eyewitness
1962 I Thank a Fool Coroner
1963 A Place to Go Neighbour Uncredited
1964 The Comedy Man Gus Sloppitt
1967 The Caper of the Golden Bulls The Tinker
1969 Guns in the Heather Muldoon
The Reckoning Cocky Burke
1970 Dad's Army Patrick Regan Episode: Absent Friends
1972 Innocent Bystanders Waiter
The Alf Garnett Saga Irishman Uncredited
1980 The Outsider Sean Tweeny
Sir Henry at Rawlinson End Old Scrotum
1985 Taggart Bill Lynch 3 episodes
No Surrender George Gorman
1988 The Raggedy Rawney Jake
1991 The Miracle Mr. Beausang
1992 Far and Away Villager #1 Final film


  • Pat Scully in Light Falling (1956)
  • Neal Macook in Macook's Corner 1969 (Abbey)


  1. ^ "J.G. Devlin". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012.
  2. ^ "D". Ulster Actors.
  3. ^ "The Ulster Group Theatre". Culture Northern Ireland.
  4. ^ "Overview for J. G. Devlin". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. ^ "J. G. Devlin". TV.com.
  6. ^ "» Galton And Simpson Present – Part 5". britishclassiccomedy.co.uk.
  7. ^ "Rawlinson End". iankitching.me.uk.
  8. ^ "Bread". comedy.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Abbey Theatre Archive".
  10. ^ "Abbey Theatre Archive".
  11. ^ "Teresa Deevy Archive".

External links[edit]