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J. Carrol Naish

Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish (21 January 189724 January 1973) was an American character actor born in New York City, New York. Naish did many film roles, but they were eclipsed when he found fame in the title role of radio's Life with Luigi, which surpassed Bob Hope in the 1950 ratings.

Naish appeared on stage for several years before he began his film career. He began as a member of Gus Edwards's vaudeville troupe of child performers. In Paris after World War I, Naish formed his own song and dance act. He was traveling the globe from Europe to Egypt to Asia, when his China-bound ship developed engine problems, leaving him in California in 1926.

His uncredited bit role in What Price Glory (1926) launched his career in more than two hundred films. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role in the 1943 film, Sahara, then for his performance in the 1945 film, A Medal for Benny, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture.

He was of Irish descent, but he never used his dialect skills to play Irishmen, explaining, "When the part of an Irishman comes along, nobody ever thinks of me." Instead, he portrayed myriad other ethnic groups on screen: Latino, Native American, African American, East Asian, Polynesian, Middle Eastern/North African, South Asian, Eastern European and Mediterranean. Besides his film roles, he often appeared on television later in his career. For his contributions to television and film, J. Carrol Naish has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6145 Hollywood Boulevard.

In 1960-1961, Naish played an American Indian in the ABC sitcom Guestward, Ho! with costars Joanne Dru and Mark Miller.

Naish was married to actress Gladys Hearney. He spent many of his later years in San Diego studying philosophy and theology. He died from emphysema in La Jolla, California and was interred in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.

Selected filmography

Series television roles

Sam Vittorio in Get Smart-1968

External links

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