J. M. Kerrigan

J. M. Kerrigan

  • Born on
    • December 15th, 1884
  • Died on
    • April 29th, 1964
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. His first screen appearance was in the silent film Food of Love in 1916. By the 1920s he was appearing on Broadway, often in plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Sheridan. 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." He had 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 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. In 1946, he tried breaking into Broadway shows, playing the discombobulated leprechaun Jackeen J. O'Malley in the show "Barnaby and Mr. O'Malley", based on the Crockett Johnson comic strip. J. M. Kerrigan died in Hollywood on 29 April 1964, aged 79. Kerrigan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6621 Hollywood Blvd.

Starring J. M. Kerrigan on Plex


Acting (34 Credits)

1956The Fastest Gun Alive as Kevin McGovern
195420,000 Leagues Under the Sea as Billy
1953The Silver Whip as Riley
1952Park Row as Dan O'Rourke
1952My Cousin Rachel as Reverend Pascoe
1952The Wild North as Callahan
1951Sealed Cargo as Skipper Ben
1948The Luck of the Irish as Tatie the Innkeeper
1945The Spanish Main as Pillery Gow
1945Tarzan and the Amazons as Splivens
1944The Fighting Seabees as Sawyer Collins
1944Wilson as Edward Sullivan
1943Mr. Lucky as Mr. McDougal (uncredited)
1943Action in the North Atlantic as Caviar Jinks (uncredited)
1942Captains of the Clouds as Foster (storekeeper / Emily's father)
1941The Wolf Man as Charles Conliffe
1940No Time for Comedy as Jim
1940The Long Voyage Home as Crimp
1940Young Tom Edison as Mr. McCarney
1940The Sea Hawk as Eli Matson
1939Union Pacific as Monahan
1939The Great Man Votes as Hot Shot Gillings
1939Gone with the Wind as Johnny Gallagher
1936The General Died at Dawn as Leach
1936Lloyd's of London as Brook Watson
1936The Prisoner of Shark Island as Judge Maiben
1936The Plough and the Stars as Uncle Peter
1935The Informer as Terry
1935Werewolf of London as Hawkins
1935Barbary Coast as Judge Harper
1934The Lost Patrol as Quincannon
1933A Study in Scarlet as Jabez Wilson
1931The Black Camel as MacMaster
1923Little Old New York as John O'Day


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