James William Flavin Jr.
May 14, 1906
Portland, Maine, U.S.
|Died||April 23, 1976 (aged 69)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||United States Military Academy|
James William Flavin Jr. (May 14, 1906 – April 23, 1976) was an American character actor whose career lasted for nearly half a century.
The son of a hotel waiter of Canadian-English descent,[note 1] the Portland, Maine-born Flavin attended the United States Military Academy, where he played football. 
Summer stock companies flocked to Maine each year, and in 1929 Flavin was asked to fill in for an actor. He did well with the part and the company manager offered him $150 per week to accompany the troupe back to New York. Flavin accepted and by the spring of 1930, he resided in a rooming house at 108 W. 87th Street in Manhattan.
Flavin 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 role in his very first film, a Universal serial, The Airmail Mystery (1932). He married his costar in that film, Lucile Browne, that same year. 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 whom were unnamed. He specialized in uniformed cops and hard-bitten detectives, but also played chauffeurs, cabbies, and even a 16th-century palace guard.
Flavin appeared in nearly four hundred films between 1932 and 1971. He appeared in almost one hundred television episodes, including the NBC sitcom, The People's Choice, starring Jackie Cooper, several episodes as police Detective Sawyer, who was being driven nuts by Gracie Allen on The Burns and Allen Show, and three times as a sheriff on the western aviation adventure series, Sky King, before his final appearance, as U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident (1976), a dramatization of the shooting down in 1960 by the former Soviet Union of the U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
Flavin portrayed Sam Cooper in the 1958 episode, "The Ed Church Case", of the CBS crime drama series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. In 1959, he guest starred as Big Dan Girod in the episode, "Invitation to a Murder", on the ABC/WB detective series, Bourbon Street Beat, starring Andrew Duggan. In 1960, Flavin appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "A Passage for Trumpet".
From 1960 to 1962, Flavin was cast as Robert Howard in 33 episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers drama series, The Roaring 20s, starring with Dorothy Provine, Donald May, Rex Reason, John Dehner, Gary Vinson, and Mike Road.
From 1960 to 1962, Flavin appeared three times on the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams. He also had a recurring role on CBS' talking-horse sitcom Mister Ed as Mr. Kramer, the stable owner. Flavin portrayed Fire Chief Hawkins in the 1964 episode, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", on the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus.
Flavin made his Broadway debut in the 1969 revival of The Front Page, in which he played Murphy and briefly took over the lead role of Walter Burns from Robert Ryan.
Flavin died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on April 23, 1976 after suffering a heart attack. His widow, Lucile Browne Flavin, died 17 days later. The couple is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.