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  • BIRTH 14/05/1906
  • DEATH 23/04/1976
  • Country United States
  • SHOWS 9
  • MOVIES 43

James Flavin

American character actor whose career lasted nearly half a century. James Wilson Flavin Jr. was the son of a hotel waiter of Canadian-English extraction and a mother, Katherine, whose father was an Irish immigrant. (Thus Flavin, well-known in Hollywood as an "Irish" type, was only one-quarter Irish.) Flavin was born and raised in Portland, Maine (a fact that may have enrichened his later working relationship with director John Ford, also a Portland native). He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, but (contrary to some sources) did not graduate. Instead he dropped out and returned to Portland where he drove a taxi. Then as now, summer stock companies flocked to Maine each year, and in 1929 he was asked to fill in for an actor. He did well with the part and the company manager offered him $150 per week to go with the troupe back to New York. Flavin accepted and by the spring of 1930 was living in a rooming house at 108 W. 87th Street in Manhattan. Flavin didn't manage to crack Broadway at this time (his Broadway debut would not occur for another thirty-nine years, in the 1971 revival of "The Front Page," in which Flavin played Murphy and briefly took over the lead role of Walter Burns from star Robert Ryan). He worked his way across the country in stock productions and tours, arriving in Los Angeles around 1932. He quickly made the transition to movies, landing the lead in his very first film, a Universal serial, The Airmail Mystery (1932). He also landed his leading lady, marrying the serial's female star Lucile Browne that same year. However, the serial marked virtually the last time that Flavin would play the lead in a film. Thereafter, he was restricted almost exclusively to supporting characters, many of them without so much as a name. He specialized in uniformed cops and hard-bitten detectives, but played chauffeurs, cabbies, and even a 16th-century palace guard with aplomb. Flavin appeared in nearly four hundred films between 1932 and 1971, and in almost a hundred television episodes before his final appearance, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident (1976). Flavin died of a heart ailment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on April 23, 1976. His widow Lucile died seventeen days later. They were survived by their son, William James Flavin, subsequently a professor at the United States Army War College. James and Lucile Brown Flavin were buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

James Flavin

Shows (9)

The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone
1962 Policeman / Truck Driver
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Dan / Joe Felix / Tony - The Doorman
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy
Immigration Officer
Four Star Playhouse
Four Star Playhouse
Mr. Swanson
Death Valley Days
Death Valley Days
Perry
Hallmark Hall Of Fame
Hallmark Hall Of Fame
Captain Kimble / General Charles Lee
Dr. Kildare
Dr. Kildare
John Dolan
General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater
Callahan
Burke's Law
Burke's Law
Officer Danny Robin

Movies (43)

King Kong
King Kong
Mate Briggs
Anchors Aweigh
Anchors Aweigh
Radio Cop
Song of the Thin Man
Song of the Thin Man
Policeman Reardon (uncredited)
Night Passage
Night Passage
Tim Riley
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Police Detective #1
Never Say Goodbye
Never Say Goodbye
Timmy
In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood
Clarence Duntz
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris…
Insp. Wellman
Nightmare Alley
Nightmare Alley
Hoatley - First Carnival Owner (uncredited)
Carrie
Carrie
Mike - Bartender (uncredited)
Air Force
Air Force
Maj. A.M. Bagley
Affectionately Yours
Affectionately Yours
Tomassetti
Heaven Can Wait
Heaven Can Wait
Policeman (uncredited)
Laura
Laura
Det. McEveety (uncredited)
The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
First Mate on Yacht (uncredited)
The Spider
The Spider
Officer Johnny Tracy
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Man in Subway (uncredited)
Nora Prentiss
Nora Prentiss
District Attorney
Blondie Hits the Jackpot
Blondie Hits the Jackpot
Brophy
Broadway Melody of 1940
Broadway Melody of 1940
Clancy (uncredited)
The Further Adventures of Gallegher
The Further Adventures of Gallegher
Lt. Flynn
One Touch of Venus
One Touch of Venus
Kerrigan
It Happened on Fifth Avenue
It Happened on Fifth Avenue
First Policeman (uncredited)
The Ghost Breakers
The Ghost Breakers
Hotel Porter (uncredited)
Trouble Along the Way
Trouble Along the Way
Coach Buck Holman
Shockproof
Shockproof
Policeman in Park (Uncredited)
Cloak and Dagger
Cloak and Dagger
Col. Walsh
Uncertain Glory
Uncertain Glory
Captain of Mobile Guard
Mighty Joe Young
Mighty Joe Young
Schultz
I Dood It
I Dood It
Federal Agent (uncredited)
Nobody Lives Forever
Nobody Lives Forever
Shake Thomas
The Ghost Breakers
The Ghost Breakers
Hotel Porter (uncredited)
You Only Live Once
You Only Live Once
State Trooper (uncredited)
Mississippi Rhythm
Mississippi Rhythm
Stan Caldwell
Over 21
Over 21
Captain (uncredited)
Irish Luck
Irish Luck
Fluger
My Man Godfrey
My Man Godfrey
Detective (uncredited)
Belle Starr
Belle Starr
Sergeant
Desert Fury
Desert Fury
Pat Johnson
Murder, He Says
Murder, He Says
Police Officer (uncredited)
The Long Voyage Home
The Long Voyage Home
Dock Policeman
Million Dollar Mermaid
Million Dollar Mermaid
Conductor
Dakota Lil
Dakota Lil
Secret Service Chief