Broderick O'Farrell

George William Broderick O'Farrell (July 13, 1882 — September 2, 1955) was an American film and stage actor who appeared in both silent and sound films. He began his career at age 14, appearing onstage with the Baker Stock Company in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He subsequently appeared in several locally-produced films, such as The Golden Trail (1920), before pursuing a film career in Los Angeles. He appeared in numerous silent films throughout the 1920s, and later had minor roles in several Laurel and Hardy films, including Beau Hunks (1931).

Broderick O'Farrell
George William Broderick O'Farrell

(1882-07-13)July 13, 1882
DiedSeptember 2, 1955(1955-09-02) (aged 73)

O'Farrell had minor bit parts throughout the 1940s, often appearing as conductors, doctors, and coroners in a variety of films. Some of his later credits include Mourning Becomes Electra (1947), Whispering Smith (1948), and The Girl from Jones Beach (1949). He died in Los Angeles at age 73 from a stroke.


O'Farrell was born July 13, 1882[1] in Portland, Oregon,[2] and where he was a regular performer with the Baker Stock Company[3] beginning at age 14.[4] He appeared in various stage productions in Portland and the Pacific Northwest, including theatrical productions in Seattle and Vancouver.[5]

He began his film career in 1920 during the silent era, appearing in locally-produced films such as the early serial short titled And Women Must Weep, in which he appeared opposite Mayo Methot.[6] O'Farrell married Mae Norton in 1921,[7] and had two children—a son, Kevin, and a daughter, Dawn—before separating.[8]

He went on to appear in numerous silent pictures, followed by sound films. He appeared in several Laurel and Hardy films in minor roles, including Beau Hunks (1931).[9] He supporting roles in numerous films, including No More Orchids (1932) with Carole Lombard,[10] The World Accuses (1934), and the Western The Law of the 45's (1935).[10] In the 1940s, O'Farrell primarily appeared in uncredited bit parts, being cast as butlers, coroners, and doctors.[10] Some of his later credits include the film noir Experiment Perilous (1944), starring Hedy Lamarr[11]; the aviation adventure film Blaze of Noon (1946), and Mourning Becomes Electra (1947).[10]


O'Farrell died in Los Angeles on September 2, 1955, of complications from a stroke.[12] He was survived by his two children, and his second wife, Loretta Fitzpatrick.[5][12] He was interred at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.[12]

Select filmography

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1920 The Golden Trail Bill Lee [10]
1922 And Women Must Weep Serial short film [6]
1926 The Smoke Eaters Roscoe Wingate [10]
1926 Skinner's Dress Suit Mr. Wilkins [10]
1927 The Princess from Hoboken Immigration Officer [10]
1927 The Lookout Girl Hargrave [10]
1928 The Tiger's Shadow Amos Crain
1931 Beau Hunks Fort Arid Commander [9]
1931 The Sea Ghost Chairman of the Court-Martial
1932 No More Orchids Benton [10]
1934 The World Accuses Dr. Jarvis [10]
1934 The Marines Are Coming Doctor [10]
1935 The Law of the 45's Sir Henry Sheffield [10]
1940 Stranger on the Third Floor Minister in Dream [13]
1942 Pittsburgh Doorman [10]
1944 Experiment Perilous Frank - Bedereaux's Butler [11]
1946 Two Sisters from Boston Doorman [10]
1946 Under Nevada Skies Coroner [10]
1947 Blaze of Noon Doctor [10]
1947 Mourning Becomes Electra Station Master [10]
1948 Whispering Smith Conductor [10]
1949 The Girl from Jones Beach Guest [10]


  1. "Cast Member: Broderick O'Farrell". Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  2. United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (8 November 2017). George Broderick O'Farrell, 1942; citing NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.) (subscription required)
  3. Wollstein, Hans J. (1994). Strangers in Hollywood: The History of Scandinavian Actors in American Films from 1910 to World War II. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-810-82938-1.
  4. "Portland Boy Making Good in Stage Career". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. December 24, 1916. p. 34 via
  5. "She Aided Stars to Stardom—Here's Her Success Recipe". Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, British Columbia. July 31, 1947. p. 13 via
  6. "Columbia Theatre advertisement". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. March 24, 1922. p. 4 via
  7. Turnbull, George Stanley (1921). Oregon Exchanges: For the Newspaperfolk of the State of Oregon. 4–5. University of Oregon. p. xx.
  8. Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift (1930). California and Californians. 3. The Lewis Publishing Company. p. 510.
  9. Bradley 2009, p. 314.
  10. "Broderick O'Farrell". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  11. Pitts 2015, p. 98.
  12. "Ex-Actor O'Farrell's Rites Tomorrow". Valley Times. North Hollywood, California. September 5, 1955. p. 3 via
  13. Pitts 2015, p. 311.


  • Bradley, Edwin M. (2009). The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1931. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-44319-2.
  • Pitts, Michael R. (2015). RKO Radio Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1929-1956. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-476-61683-4.
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