Dick O'Neill

Richard Francis "Dick" O'Neill (August 29, 1928 – November 17, 1998)[2] was an American stage, film and television character actor best known for playing Irish cops, fathers, judges and army generals. He began his acting career as an original company member of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Dick O'Neill
Backstage at the Kennedy Center
Richard Francis O'Neill

(1928-08-29)August 29, 1928
DiedNovember 17, 1998(1998-11-17) (aged 70)
Years active1957-1998
Spouse(s)Susan Jacqueline Shaw (1964-1998) (his death) (3 children)[1]
ChildrenGillian O'Neil, Caitlin O'Neill, Meghan O'Neill


Early life and television roles

O'Neill studied at Syracuse University.[2] He served in the Navy then returned to the theater. In the late 1950s, he began appearing on television. His television credits cover everything from Car 54, Where Are You?, The Honeymooners, Barney Miller, Sanford and Son, Good Times, Kaz, M*A*S*H, The Feather and Father Gang,[3] The Facts of Life, Family Matters, Mad About You, Murder, She Wrote, Father Dowling Mysteries,Three's Company, Wonder Woman, One Day at a Time, Magnum, P.I., A Man Called Intrepid, Growing Pains, Dark Justice, Cheers, Dharma & Greg, Cybill, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Home Improvement. He was probably best known for his role as Charlie Cagney in the television hit Cagney & Lacey. Before moving to California, he appeared on the Broadway stage in such hits as Promises, Promises, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Skyscraper.

Film roles

His film credits include The Mugger (1958), To the Shores of Hell (1966), Gammera the Invincible (1966), Pretty Poison (1968), Some of My Best Friends Are... (1971), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), The Front Page (1974), Posse (1975), St. Ives (1976), American Raspberry (1977), MacArthur (1977), The Buddy Holly Story (1978), House Calls (1978), The Jerk (1979), Wolfen (1981), Chiller (1985), Prizzi's Honor (1985), The Mosquito Coast (1986), She's Out of Control (1989) and Loose Cannons (1990).

Personal life

He met his wife Jackie Shaw O'Neill when they appeared together in a production of The Sound of Music. On November 17, 1998, O'Neill died of heart failure at the age of 70 at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1958The MuggerSergeant Cassidy
1961Capture That CapsuleAl
1966To the Shores of HellMaj. Fred Howard
1966Gammera the InvincibleGen. O'NeillUS release only
1968Pretty PoisonBud Munsch
1971Some of My Best Friends Are...Tim Holland
1972HailAttorney General
1974The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeFrank Correll
1974The Front PageMcHugh
1975HustlingKeoghTV film
1976St. IvesHesh
1977American RaspberryGen. Andrews
1977MacArthurCol. Whitney
1978House CallsIrwin Owett
1978The Buddy Holly StorySol Gittler
1979The JerkFrosty
1984FlashpointHinshaw - Pedroza's AttorneyUncredited
1985The Facts of LifeTed MetcalfSeason 6, episode 17: "2 Guys from Appleton"
1985Turk 182Powerhouse chief
1985ChillerClarence Beeson
1985Prizzi's HonorBluestone
1986The Mosquito CoastMr. Polski
1989She's Out of ControlMr. Pearson
1990Loose CannonsCaptain
1994My Summer StoryPulaski, Shopkeeper
1994‘’The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’’Santa ClausSeason 5, episode 3: "Reality Bites"


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