J. M. Kerrigan
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|J. M. Kerrigan|
J. M. Kerrigan in Undercover Agent (1939)
|Born||Joseph Michael Kerrigan
16 December 1884
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, United Kingdom
|Died||29 April 1964
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City|
Joseph Michael Kerrigan (16 December 1884 – 29 April 1964), better known as J. M. Kerrigan, was an Irish character actor.
Kerrigan was born in Dublin, Ireland. He worked as a newspaper reporter until 1907 when he joined the famous Abbey Players. There he became a stalwart, appearing in plays by Lady Gregory, William Butler Yeats and John Millington Synge (for whom he played the role of Shawn Keogh in The Playboy of the Western World.
He settled permanently in Hollywood in 1935, having been recruited along with several other Abbey performers, to appear in John Ford's The Informer. In that film and in Ford's The Long Voyage Home, he plays similar roles, that of a leech who attaches himself to men until they run out of money. Perhaps his best known role was in The General Died at Dawn, where he plays a character actually named Leach, in which he steals scenes from Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll and William Frawley. In it he plays a sinister little petty thief who, holding a gun on Cooper, says, "I may be fat, but I'm agile." Regrettably, in the '40s and '50s he rarely got good parts and eventually became little more than a bit player.
He had very little screen time in films which he starred as minor roles, such as the "First Drayman" in Merely Mary Ann (1931) with Janet Gaynor. One of his most recognizable minor roles was in Gone with the Wind (1939), in which he played John Gallegher, the seemly jovial mill owner who whips his convict labour in to "co-operation." He also appeared in Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), the famous film version of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in a minor role at the beginning of the film.
Despite having small roles, Kerrigan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6621 Hollywood Blvd.
- Little Old New York (1923)
- Under Suspicion (1930)
- Don't Bet on Women (1931)
- Air Hostess (1933)
- Paddy the Next Best Thing (1933)
- The Lost Patrol (1934)
- Werewolf of London (1935)
- The Informer (1935)
- The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
- Hearts in Bondage (1936)
- Motor Madness (1937)
- Gone with the Wind (1939)
- Curtain Call (1940)
- Untamed (1940)
- The Wolf Man (1941)
- Captains of the Clouds (1942)
- Action in the North Atlantic (1943) (uncredited)
- The Fighting Seabees (1944)
- Wilson (1944) - Edward Sullivan
- Tarzan and the Amazons (1945)
- She Went to the Races (1945)
- Call Northside 777 (1948)
- Sealed Cargo (1951)
- The Wild North (1952) - Callahan
- Park Row (1952) - Dan O'Rourke
- My Cousin Rachel (1952) - Reverend Pascoe
- The Silver Whip (1953) - Riley
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) - Old Billy
- It's a Dog's Life (1955) - Paddy Corbin
- The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) - Kevin McGovern