J. Pat O'Malley

James Patrick Francis O'Malley (March 15, 1904 – February 27, 1985) was an English singer and character actor, who appeared in many American films and television programmes from the 1940s to 1982, using the stage name J. Pat O'Malley. He also appeared on the Broadway stage in Ten Little Indians (1944) and Dial M for Murder (1954).[2]

J. Pat O'Malley
As "Perkins" in the 1955 hit television serial, Spin and Marty
James Patrick Francis O'Malley

(1904-03-15)15 March 1904
Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK
Died27 February 1985(1985-02-27) (aged 80)
OccupationSinger, composer, songwriter, actor, music director
Years active1929–1985
Fay M. O'Malley (m. 1936)

A New York Times drama critic praised O'Malley's performance in Ten Little Indians, calling him "a rara avis, a comedian who does not gauge the success of his efforts by the number of laughs he induces at each performance".[3]

Early years

Born into an Irish family in Burnley, Lancashire,[4] O’Malley began his career in entertainment in 1925 as a recording artist and then as principal singer with Jack Hylton and his orchestra in the United Kingdom from 1930 to 1933. Known at that time as Pat O'Malley, he recorded more than four hundred popular songs of the day. In 1930 he sang Amy, Wonderful Amy, a song about aviator Amy Johnson, performed by Jack Hylton's band.[5] He began a solo recording career in 1935 in parallel with his work with Hylton.

At the end of 1935 Hylton and O'Malley came to the United States to record with a band composed of American musicians, thus emulating Ray Noble and Al Bowlly. The venture was short-lived. O'Malley remained in the US, known professionally as J. Pat O'Malley (to avoid confusion with another film actor named Pat O'Malley); he had a long and varied acting career, including the 1943 film Lassie Come Home as "Hynes".[6]

Television career

O'Malley guest-starred in 1951 as a sheriff on Bill Williams's syndicated western series, The Adventures of Kit Carson. From 1950-55, he appeared in five episodes of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse. From 1951-57 he was cast in eight episodes of another anthology series, Robert Montgomery Presents.[6] Other television work from this period include roles in Walt Disney's Spin and Marty film (1955) and serial (1955-57) as the always-faithful ranch steward, Perkins.[6]

In 1956 he guest-starred in one of the last episodes, "The Guilty", of the NBC legal drama Justice, based on case files of the Legal Aid Society of New York.[7] In 1958 he was a guest star in "Peter Gunn" (Season 1, Episode 3, "The Vicious Dog") as Homer Tweed.

He also appeared in Rod Cameron's syndicated City Detective in the episode "Found in a Pawnshop" (1955). In 1960 O'Malley was cast in another Cameron syndicated series, Coronado 9, set in San Diego. In 1959 and 1960 O'Malley portrayed a judge and a newspaper editor in three episodes of the ABC western series The Rebel, starring Nick Adams, as a roaming former Confederate soldier.[8]

On January 6, 1959 O'Malley played a priest in the episode "The Secret of the Mission" on the syndicated adventure series Rescue 8, starring Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries. In the storyline the priest is trapped with a would-be thief named Carlos (Rafael Campos) under the roof of a collapsed church.[9]

O'Malley was cast as Walter Morgan in the 1959 episode "The First Gold Brick" of the NBC western series The Californians. In 1959-1960 he made eight appearances as Judge Caleb Marsh in Black Saddle. In 1959 he was cast as Dr Hardy in an early episode of Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper.[6] In season 3, Episode 10, titled "The Medicine Man", of the television series Wanted: Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen, O'Malley played the character of Doc. He also appeared in the role of a bank president in an episode of The Real McCoys titled "The Bank Loan", which was released 15 January 1959.[6]

In 1960 O'Malley made guest appearances on The Tab Hunter Show, The Law and Mr. Jones, Johnny Midnight, Johnny Staccato, Harrigan and Son, Adventures in Paradise, The Islanders, Going My Way, The Tall Man, and as Jim Phelan on Lawman episode titled "The Swamper." He made numerous guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason, including as the defendant in the 1960 episode "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor" and as the murderer in the 1961 episode "The Case of the Roving River".[6]

In 1961 O'Malley appeared in 3 episodes of Tales of Wells Fargo, in different roles. In the episode "The Has-Been" he had the title role, playing a fading entertainer grieving over the loss of his wife. In one poignant scene, O'Malley displayed his song and dance talent as he performed for an imaginary audience in an abandoned dance hall. Later that year he guest-starred in the television version of Bus Stop and the following year appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone, "The Fugitive" and "Mr. Garrity and the Graves". He also guest-starred twice on The Lloyd Bridges Show in that series' 1962-1963 season. He then co-starred with Spring Byington in the 1964 episode "This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There" of The Greatest Show on Earth.[6]

During the 1963-1964 season O'Malley appeared in eight episodes of My Favorite Martian and returned to The Twilight Zone, playing a bit part in the episode "The Self-Improvement of Salvatore Ross". In the 1964-1965 season, he was cast in Wendy and Me.[6] O'Malley appeared in the Hogan's Heroes episode "How to Cook a German Goose by Radar" in 1966, and the 1967 episode "D-Day at Stalag 13". In 1966 he also appeared as Ed Breck in the episode "Win Place and Die" of Jack Sheldon's short-lived sitcom Run, Buddy, Run. He appeared occasionally as "Vince" in The Rounders. In the 1966 episode "The Four Dollar Law Suit" of the syndicated western series Death Valley Days, O'Malley played the lawyer for Alfred Hall (Strother Martin), a country chicken farmer who sues an insurance company for underpaying him four dollars after his chicken coop burns to the ground.[10]

In 1969 O'Malley portrayed Carol Brady's (Florence Henderson) father in the first episode of ABC's The Brady Bunch.[6] The name "Fleming" was used in O'Malley's first two appearances on The Fugitive (Season 1, See Hollywood And Die; Season 3, Crack In A Crystal Ball). In 1973 O'Malley starred with Shirley Booth in the short-lived comedy A Touch of Grace. He made several appearances on Maude between 1973 and 1975; and he performed on other series such as It Takes a Thief, One Day At A Time, Emergency!, Adam-12, The Practice, Three's Company, and Taxi.[6] O'Malley also appeared on the ABC television series Family in 1979. And on Barney Miller in the 1975 episode “You Dirty Rat” as Mr. Holliman, the likeable homeless man who fell asleep and spent the weekend in Spiegel’s department store.

Voice work

Walt Disney engaged O'Malley to provide voices for animated films such as the Cockney coster in the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" sequence in Mary Poppins (1964); Cyril Proudbottom, Winkie, and a policeman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949); and the role of Colonel Hathi and the vulture Buzzie in The Jungle Book (1967). His voice can be heard in Alice in Wonderland (1951), in which he performs all the character voices in "The Walrus and the Carpenter" segment (besides Alice), including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Walrus, the Carpenter, and Mother Oyster.[6] O'Malley also provided the voice of Br'er Fox in Song of the South (1946) when James Baskett was unavailable. Actor Dick Van Dyke has said that O'Malley was his dialect coach on Mary Poppins, attributing his infamous Cockney accent in that film to O'Malley.[11]


O'Malley died of cardiovascular disease in San Juan Capistrano, California on 27 February 1985.

DVD release

A DVD version of the Adventures of Spin & Marty from the 1955 season was released in 2005 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures series.

Selected TV and filmography

The following is a list of films and television episodes in which J. Pat O'Malley appeared or for which he did voices.

Year Film Role(s) Notes
1940Captain CautionFish Peddler
1941Paris CallingSgt. Bruce McAvoy
1943Thumbs UpSam Keats
1943Lassie Come HomeHynes
1944The White Cliffs of DoverMartinUncredited
1949The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. ToadCyril Proudbottom, Mr. Winkie, Policeman, and Paper boy (unseen)Voices
1951Alice in WonderlandTweedledum and Tweedledee / Walrus and Carpenter / Mother OysterVoices
1955Spin and Marty: The MoviePerkins
1956The Fastest Gun AliveCross Creek TownsmanUncredited
1957Four Boys and a GunFight manager
1957Courage of Black BeautyMike Green
1957Witness for the Prosecution The shorts salesmanUncredited
1958The Long, Hot SummerRatliff
1958Playhouse 90 "Bomber's Moon"Pubkeeper
1960 LawmanJim PhelanEpisode "The Swamper"
1960–1964The Twilight ZoneVarious roles4 episodes
1961Tales of Wells FargoVarious roles3 episodes
1961One Hundred and One DalmatiansJasper and Colonel [12]Voices
1961The Saga of Windwagon Smith Mayor Crum
1961Blueprint for RobberyPop Kane
1962The Cabinet of CaligariPerkins
1962GunsmokeGabeEpisode: "Old Comrade"
1963Son of FlubberSign-PainterUncredited
1963The Andy Griffith ShowMr. FieldsEpisode: ″Up in Barney's Room″
1963Shotgun WeddingBuford Anchors
1964Hey There, It's Yogi BearSnivelyVoices[6]
1964A House Is Not a HomeMuldoon
1964Mary PoppinsPearly Drummer, Master of Hounds, Huntsman, and various other rolesVoices[6]
1964Apache RiflesCaptain Thatcher
1964The Lucy ShowMajor MacFarland[6]Episode: "Lucy Goes Into Politics"
1964The Dick Van Dyke ShowSam PetrieEpisode: "The Plots Thicken"[6]
1965Jonny Quest ChopperEpisode: "Attack of the Tree People"[6]
1966The Man From U.N.C.L.E.Various roles2 episodes
1966-1967Hogan's Heroes Various roles2 episodes
1966-1968Green Acres Various roles4 episodes
1967The Jungle BookColonel Hathi, the Elephant / Buzzie, the VultureVoices
1968It Takes a ThiefThoreauEpisode: "A Matter of Royal Larceny"
1968The Flying NunCaptain BarnabyEpisode: "The Sister and the Old Salt"
1969Hello, Dolly!Park policeman
1969Daniel Boone Uncle BrianEpisode: "Copperhead Izzy"
1970The Cheyenne Social ClubDr. Foy
1971WillardJonathan Farley
1971Skin GameWilliam
1973Robin HoodOtto the Blacksmith - a dogVoice, Uncredited
1973A Touch of GraceHerbert MorrisonRegular cast member; 13 episodes
1975Emergency!Mr. WilsonEpisode: "Messin' Around"
1975-1977MaudeBert Beasley8 episodes
1976The Gumball RallyBarney Donahue
1979Three's CompanyLeo MoranEpisode: "Old Folks at Home"
1979–1981Barney MillerVarious roles, (Mr. W. Dewley, 1981)2 episodes (The Rainmaker, 1981)
1981Cheaper to Keep Her Landlord


  1. "Social Security Death Index: Fay M. O'Malley". Rootsweb Ancestry. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  2. "J. Pat O'Malley". The New York Times. 2 March 1985. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  3. Theodore Goldsmith (30 July 1944). "One of the 'Ten Little Indians'". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  4. "J. Pat O'Malley". www.originalmmc.com. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  5. "AMY - Lyrics - International Lyrics Playground". lyricsplayground.com.
  6. J. Pat O'Malley on IMDb
  7. ""The Guilty", Justice". Internet Movie Data Base. 5 February 1956. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  8. "J. Pat O'Malley". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  9. "The Secret of the Mission, Rescue 8". Internet Movie Data Base. 6 January 1959. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  10. "The Four Dollar Law Suit". Internet Movie Data Base. April 1966. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  11. "Dick Van Dyke apologizes to Brits for his 'atrocious' Cockney accent in 'Mary Poppins'". nydailynews.com.
  12. Staff, Moviefone (27 January 2011). "101 Things You Never Knew About '101 Dalmatians'". AOL Moviefone. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
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