M. Emmet Walsh
Walsh at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born
Michael Emmet Walsh

(1935-03-22) March 22, 1935 (age 86)
Alma materClarkson University, B.A. 1958
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1969–present

Michael Emmet Walsh (born March 22, 1935) is an American actor[1] and comedian who has appeared in over 200 films and television series, including in small but important supporting roles in dozens of major studio features of the 1970s and 1980s. He starred in Blood Simple (1984), the Coen Brothers' first film, which resulted in him winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. He also appeared in Carl Reiner's comedy The Jerk (1979), Robert Redford's drama Ordinary People (1980), Ridley Scott's science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), Barry Sonnenfeld's steampunk western Wild Wild West (1999) and Brad Bird's animated film The Iron Giant (1999).

Early life

Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, New York, the son of Agnes Katharine (née Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh Sr., a customs agent.[2] He is of Irish descent.[3] He was raised in rural Swanton, Vermont,[4] and attended Clarkson University.

He graduated in 1958 (B.A., Business Administration). In 1998, the Clarkson Alumni Association presented him with the Golden Knight Award.[5]

Career

Walsh came to prominence in the 1978 crime film Straight Time, in which he played a parole officer. He also had a small but memorable role as a crazed sniper in the Steve Martin comedy The Jerk. One of his best-known roles was Captain Harry Bryant in Ridley Scott's cult film Blade Runner. His most acclaimed performance was arguably the double-crossing private detective in Blood Simple (1984), for which he won the 1986 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

Walsh made occasional guest appearances on Home Improvement as Tim Taylor's father-in-law. In 1992, he appeared as a powerful U.S. Senator in David Winning's Killer Image. In Christmas with the Kranks, he played one of the Kranks' neighbors. He also appeared as Alex Lembeck, a motorcycle cop who appointed himself as Sandy Stockton's chaperone and protector on The Sandy Duncan Show in 1972. He appeared in an episode of the NBC drama series Gibbsville in 1976 and Little House on the Prairie in 1981.[6] He appeared as Dr. Joseph Kroft, a medical examiner with a grudge against Sipowicz, on an episode of “NYPD Blue”.

Some comedy roles include the cynical small town sportswriter Dickie Dunn in the iconic 1977 hockey film Slap Shot, and a college diving coach in the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Alice's Restaurant Group W Sergeant
Midnight Cowboy Bus Passenger Uncredited
Stiletto Racing Partner
1970 End of the Road Crab Man / Tutu Man
The Traveling Executioner Warden Brodski
Little Big Man Shotgun Guard
1971 Cold Turkey Art
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Aide to General Winthrop
They Might Be Giants 1st Sanitation Man
1972 What's Up, Doc? Arresting Officer
Get to Know Your Rabbit Mr. Wendel
1973 Kid Blue Barber
Serpico Chief Gallagher
1974 The Gambler Las Vegas Gambler
1975 At Long Last Love Harold
Crime Club Harold
The Prisoner of Second Avenue Joe
1976 Bound for Glory Husband
Nickelodeon Father Logan
The Invasion of Johnson County Irvine
Mikey and Nicky Bus Driver
1977 Slap Shot Dickie Dunn
Airport '77 Dr. Williams
1978 Straight Time Earl Frank
1979 The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh Wally Cantrell
The Jerk Madman
1980 Brubaker C.P. 'Woody' Woodward
Raise the Titanic Master Chief Walker
Ordinary People Coach Salan
1981 Back Roads Arthur
Reds Speaker At Liberal Club
1982 Cannery Row Mack
The Escape Artist Fritz
Blade Runner Captain Bryant
Fast-Walking Sergeant Sanger
1983 Silkwood Walt Yarborough
1984 Courage Colonel Crouse
Missing in Action Jack 'Tuck' Tucker
Grandview, U.S.A. Mr. Clark
Blood Simple Loren Visser
The Pope of Greenwich Village Burns
Scandalous Simon Reynolds
1985 Fletch Dr. Joseph Dolan
1986 Wildcats Walt Coes
Critters Harvey 'Harv'
The Best of Times Charlie
Vanishing America Earl Crockett
Back to School Coach Turnbull
1987 Harry and the Hendersons George Henderson Sr.
No Man's Land Captain Haun
Raising Arizona Machine Shop Ear-Bender
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Governor
Clean and Sober Richard Dirk
Sunset Chief Dibner
War Party Colin Ditwelier
Red Scorpion Dewey Ferguson
1989 The Mighty Quinn CIA Agent Fred Miller
Catch Me If You Can Johnny Phatmun
Chattahoochee Morris
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Mort
Thunderground Wedge
1990 Narrow Margin Sergeant Dominick Benti
1992 The Naked Truth Garcia
Killer Image Senator John Kane
White Sands Bert Gibson
Equinox Pete Petosa
Four Eyes and Six Guns Mayor Thornbush
1993 Bitter Harvest Sheriff Bob
The Music of Chance Calvin Murks
Wilder Napalm Fire Chief
1994 Dead Badge Sergeant Miller Hoskins
Relative Fear Earl Ladelle
Camp Nowhere T.R. Polk
The Glass Shield Detective Jessie Hall
Cops & Robbersons Captain Ted Corbett Uncredited
1995 Criminal Hearts Martin
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Bill Wilcox
Panther Dorsett
1996 Portraits of a Killer Raymond Garrison
Albino Alligator Dino
A Time to Kill Dr. Bass Uncredited
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Apothecary
1997 The Killing Jar Sheriff Foley
Retroactive Sam
My Best Friend's Wedding Joe O'Neal
1998 Chairman of the Board Freemont
Twilight Lester Ivar
Erasable You Ralph Worth
Nightmare in Big Sky Country US Marshal Phillips
1999 Wild Wild West US Marshal Coleman
The Iron Giant Earl Stutz (voice)
Random Hearts Billy Uncredited
Me and Will Dean
Jack of Hearts Commissioner Menlo Boyce
2000 Poor White Trash Judge Pike
2001 Eyeball Eddie Coach Cook Short film
Christmas in the Clouds Stu O'Malley
2002 Snow Dogs George Murphy
2003 Baggage Sandy Westphall
2004 Christmas with the Kranks Walt Scheel
2005 Greener Mountain Muggs
Racing Stripes Woodzie
2007 Man in the Chair Mickey Hopkins
Big Stan Lew Popper
2008 Sherman's Way Hoyt
Your Name Here Kroger / Maurice Stanz
Haunted Echoes Neil
2009 Don McKay Samuel
Sam Steele and the Jr. Detective Agency Chief Van Owen
Youth in Revolt Mr. Saunders
2010 Chasing 3000 Chuck Ireland
2012 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Bub
Arthur Newman Zazek
Love Sick Love Ed
2013 Cigar Man Cigar Man Short film
2014 Calvary The Writer
2015 Boiling Pot Dean Marison
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power Gorak
2018 Shifting Gears Hank
Change in the Air Walter Lemke
2019 Raising Buchanan Larry Kiesling
Faith, Hope & Love Mr. John
Knives Out Mr. Proofroc
2020 The Mimic The Director
TBA The Immaculate Room Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Doctors Jason Randall Multiple episodes
1969 N.Y.P.D. Freibisch Episode: "Who's Got the Bundle?"
1970 Arnie Cliff Episode: "To Buy or Not to Buy?"
1971 Julia Gus Anderson 2 episodes
All in the Family Billy Hartfield Episode: "The Saga of Cousin Oscar"
The Jimmy Stewart Show Lionel Atkins Episode: "Another Day, Another Scholar"
Ironside Telegraph Clerk Episode: "Dear Fran..."
Bonanza Mattheson Episode: "Warbonnet"
1971–1972 Nichols Gabe McCutcheon 6 episodes
1972 The Don Rickles Show Kingston Episode: "Episode Four"
The Bob Newhart Show Jack Hoover Episode: "P-I-L-O-T"
The Sandy Duncan Show Alex Lembeck 11 episodes
1974 Doctor Fran Mr. Wallace Television film
McMillan & Wife Officer Ames Episode: "Buried Alive"
Amy Prentiss Tom Episode: "Baptism of Fire"
1975 The Rockford Files Edgar Burch Episode: "Counter Gambit"
Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Mr. Wallace Television film
The Waltons David Fletcher Episode: "The Venture"
1975-1976 Baretta McDade / Potter 2 episodes
1976 Gibbsville Yostie Episode: "Afternoon Waltz"
1976-1978 Starsky and Hutch Freddie / Lloyd Herman Eckworth 2 episodes
1977 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Officer Malloy
Red Alert Sheriff Sweeney Television film
1978 Superdome Whitley
James at 15 Coach Federson Episode: "Queen of the Silver Dollar"
1979 The French Atlantic Affair Harry 3 episodes
Dear Detective Captain Gorcey Episode: "Pilot"
No Other Love DeFranco Television film
The Gift Legion Commander
1980 City in Fear Sheldon Lewis
Skag Moran Episode: "Pilot"
High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane Harold Patton Television film
1981 East of Eden Sheriff Horace Quinn 3 episodes
Little House on the Prairie Callahan Episode: "Chicago"
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Joe Lempke Episode: "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
Night Partners Joe Kirby Television film
1984 AfterMASH Samuel Lynn Episode: "The Case of the People of Florida vs. Joseph Landrum"
The Outlaws Warden MacDonald Television film
1985 ABC Weekend Special Rocco Episode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"
The Twilight Zone Peter Episode: "Dealer's Choice"
1986 The Hitchhiker Detective Underhill Episode: "Ghostwriter"
The Right of the People Mayor Television film
Resting Place Sergeant
The Disney Sunday Movie General Presser Episode: "Hero in the Family"
The Deliberate Stranger Detective Sam Davies Television film
Amazing Stories Grandpa Episode: "Magic Saturday"
1987 Broken Vows Detective Mulligan Television film
The Abduction of Kari Swenson Don Nichols
Murder Ordained Vern Humphrey Miniseries
1989 Brotherhood of the Rose Hardy 2 episodes
Unsub Ned Platt 8 episodes
Tales from the Crypt Jonas Episode: "Collection Completed"
1990 True Betrayal Clyde Wilson Television film
The Civil War Various (voice) 9 episodes
The Flash Henry Allen 2 episodes
1991 Deadly Identity Harry Television film
Silverfox Charles Blankenship
1992 Wild Card Mose
1993 The Jackie Thomas Show Arlen Thomas Episode: "Aloha, Io-wahu"
1994 Home Improvement Colonel Fred Patterson 2 episodes
Probable Cause Sadler Television film
1995 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Morris
1996 The Outer Limits Sanford Vallé Episode: "The Refuge"
Early Edition Santa Episode: "Christmas"
Madness of Method Rudolph Thorndyke Television short film
1998 Tracey Takes On... Jimmy Duff Episode: "Sports"
Men in White Junior Assistant Dispatch Trainee Stanley Snyder Television film
1999 The X-Files Arthur Dales Episode: "The Unnatural"
The Wild Thornberrys Gemsbok #1 (voice) Episode: "Rain Dance"
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Mack (voice) Multiple episodes
Monster! Lloyd Reeves Television film
2000 NYPD Blue Joe Kroft Episode: "Roll Out the Barrel"
Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family Aubrey Lang Episode: "The Book of Danny"
Ed Mayor Wally Kendricks Episode: "Home Is Where the Ducks Are"
2001 Gideon's Crossing Dr. Matthews Episode: "A Routine Case"
Night Visions Gus Episode: "Reunion"
The Mind of the Married Man Randall Evans 5 episodes
Frasier Rich Koechner Episode: "Bully for Martin"
2002 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Jeb (voice) Episode: "Scooby-Doo Christmas"
2003 Charlie Lawrence 'Cubby' Episode: "New Kid in School"
Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Wally Westland Television special
The Guardian Ezra Pence Episode: "Big Coal"
2010 'Til Death Uncle Rudolph Episode: "Let's Go"
2010–2013 Pound Puppies Olaf (voice) 46 episodes
2012 Army Wives Bernie Wolzoczak Episode: "Battle Scars"
Damages Lyle Hewes 3 episodes
2012–2015 Adventure Time Cosmic Owl (voice) 4 episodes
2014 Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories Detective Episode: "Toes"
2015 Empire Harold Blakeley Episode: "The Lyon's Roar"
2019 Sneaky Pete 'Tex' Hopkins 7 episodes
The Righteous Gemstones Mr. Gemstone Senior 1 episode

References

  1. ^ "Top 25 Character Actors". Digital Polyphony. Archived from the original on 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  2. ^ "M. Emmet Walsh profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Alex (July 12, 2008). "Walsh marks 50-year reunion". Watertown Daily Times. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Jacobs, Alex (2008-07-12). "Walsh marks 50-year reunion". WatertownDailyTimes.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
  5. ^ "M.Emmet Walsh of Culver City, Calif. And Swanton, Vermont, Receives Clarkson University's Highest Alumni Honor". Clarkson University. August 21, 1998. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "Little House on the Prairie Season 8 Episode 8 Chicago". TV.com. Retrieved July 29, 2016.