Stephen McNally

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Stephen McNally
Stephen McNally in Split Second trailer.jpg
in Split Second (1953)
Born Horace Vincent McNally
(1911-07-29)July 29, 1911
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died June 4, 1994(1994-06-04) (aged 82)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Lawyer-turned-actor
Years active 1942–1980
Spouse(s) Rita Wintrich (1941–1994; his death); 8 children

Stephen McNally (July 29, 1911 – June 4, 1994) was an American actor remembered mostly for his appearances in many Westerns and action films. He often played hard-hearted characters or villains.

Early years[edit]

Born in New York City as Horace Vincent McNally, he attended Fordham University School of Law[1] and was an attorney in the late 1930s before he pursued his passion for acting.[2] He was a one time president of the Catholic Actors Guild.[citation needed]


He started his stage career using his real name Horace McNally and began appearing uncredited in many World War II-era films. In 1948, he changed his stage name to Stephen McNally (taking the name of his then-2-year-old son)[3] and began appearing credited as both movie villains and heroes. In 1940, he had a leading role in the stage version of Johnny Belinda.[4]

He played menacing roles in such films as Johnny Belinda (1948)[5] and the James Stewart Western Winchester '73 (1950). He co-starred in the Burt Lancaster film noir Criss Cross (1949). Other notable 1950s films included No Way Out (1950), Split Second (1953) and Johnny Rocco (1958).

McNally was cast in three episodes of the ABC religion anthology series Crossroads. He portrayed Monsigneur Harold Engle in "Ringside Padre" (1956) and Father Flanagan of the Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska in "Convict 1321, Age 21" (1957). In between, he was cast as United States Army General George S. Patton, in "The Patton Prayer" (also 1957).[6] Also the episode "Specimen: Unknown" from the anthology series The Outer Limits.

McNally also co-starred on the "Ben Courtney Story" episode of Wagon Train as a former Union soldier turned Sheriff in 1958. In 1959, he portrayed Clay Thompson, a bounty hunter, with Myron Healey as a sheriff, in the CBS Western series, The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun.[7]

McNally was thereafter cast in the 1960 episode "Moment of Fear" of the CBS/Four Star Television anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson, with episode co-stars Edgar Bergen and Darryl Hickman. Thereafter, he appeared in the NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show, and in the Darren McGavin western series Riverboat. In 1961, he portrayed the part of Sky Blackstorm in the episode "Incident of the Blackstorms" on CBS's Rawhide.

In the 1961–62 season, McNally and Robert Harland had their own crime drama on ABC, another Four Star Production called Target: The Corruptors!. The program aired on Friday in a good time slot after the popular 77 Sunset Strip, but it failed to gain renewal for a second season. McNally played a crusading newspaper reporter in the series, with Harland was his undercover agent. During the 1970s, McNally guest starred on television programs such as Fantasy Island, Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and James Garner's The Rockford Files and Police Story.


McNally died of a heart attack June 4, 1994, at age 82, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was survived by his wife, Rita, eight children and eight grandchildren.[1]

Partial filmography[edit]

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1952 Hollywood Sound Stage Ivy[8]


  1. ^ a b "Stephen McNally, 82, Actor in Villain Roles". The New York Times. June 11, 1994. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "News and Comment Of Stage and Screen". Fitchburg Sentinel. November 19, 1940. p. 5. Retrieved May 26, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Carroll, Harrison (April 23, 1948). "Hollywood". The Evening Independent. p. 4. Retrieved May 26, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "'Johnny Belinda' Gets New Blood". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 30, 1940. p. 9. Retrieved May 26, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ Sheaffer, Lew (October 2, 1948). "Screen". Brooklyn Eagle. p. 14. Retrieved May 26, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Stephen McNally". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 9, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]