J. Warren Kerrigan

George Jack Warren Kerrigan (July 25, 1879 June 9, 1947) was an American silent film actor and film director.[1]

J. Warren Kerrigan
Filmland Favorites, 1915
Born
George Jack Warren Kerrigan

(1879-07-28)July 28, 1879
DiedJune 9, 1947(1947-06-09) (aged 67)
Other namesJack Kerrigan
OccupationActor, director
Years active1910–1924
Partner(s)James Carroll Vincent (c.1914–1947; his death)

Early life and career

Born in New Albany, Indiana,[2] Kerrigan worked as a warehouse clerk in his teens until a chance arrived to appear in a vaudeville production in 1897. He continued to act in traveling stock productions, though he took a brief time away from the stage to attend the University of Illinois.

By the time he was 30 years old, he had begun to make appearances in films for Essanay Studios. A contract with the American Film Corporation opened the door to leading roles, often as a modern man of the age. He starred in over 300 films up to 1924.[1]

Controversy

In May 1917, Kerrigan was nearing the end of a four-month-long personal appearance publicity tour that had taken him across the United States and into Canada. At one of the final stops, a reporter for The Denver Times asked Kerrigan if he would be joining the war. Kerrigan replied:

I am not going to war. I will go, of course, if my country needs me, but I think that first they should take the great mass of men who aren't good for anything else, or are only good for the lower grades of work. Actors, musicians, great writers, artists of every kind—isn't it a pity when people are sacrificed who are capable of such things—of adding to the beauty of the world.

Picked up and reprinted in newspapers across the country, this statement stunned his fans and his popularity plummeted, never to fully recover. Family members later reported in Behind the Screen (2001) by William J. Mann that his slump in popularity was more due to his living with his mother and partner James Vincent in the same house, and not having a business manager to overcome the negative publicity.[1]

Revival

However, when director James Cruze cast him as the rugged lead in The Covered Wagon (1923), Kerrigan found himself back on top, although fleetingly. In the spring of 1924, after John Barrymore bowed out, Kerrigan was assigned the starring role in Captain Blood. While the film was a moderate success, critics were unmoved and Kerrigan found himself working less and less and in smaller roles. In December 1924, Kerrigan was injured in an automobile accident in Illinois. According to the Des Moines Tribune (page 1, Monday, December 8, 1924) his face was badly scarred and it was stated that "he may never star in films again.

Personal life and death

Kerrigan never married and lived with his domestic partner James Carroll Vincent from about 1914 to Kerrigan's death in 1947.[1]

James Carroll Vincent

James Carroll Vincent (November 9, 1897 – May 15, 1948) was silent movie actor. He was born on November 9, 1897, in Baltimore, Maryland. He moved to California to be an actor and met Jack Warren Kerrigan. Vincent moved into Kerrigan's home, at 2307 Cahuenga Boulevard, where they began a long-term relationship. He was listed at various times as Kerrigan's secretary or gardener.[3] Not to be confused with actor James Vincent, born in 1882 therefore only 3 years younger than Kerrigan, while his partner is described as being much younger than Kerrigan,[4] or stage manager James Vincent (who worked with Katharine Cornell and was long-time friend of George Cukor), born in 1900 who committed suicide in 1953 in New York City.[5] In 1919 Vincent, who was a "juvenile" actor with Bessie Barriscale, appeared in the cast of "Out of Court",[6] in 1920 he was in the cast of "The Coast of Opportunity"[7] and in 1924 in the cast of "$30,000", all three of them movies with or by Kerrigan.[8] In 1924 Kerrigan and Vincent, and other friends, were in a automobile accident in Dixon, Illinois, on the route from Sterling to Chicago. In the news James Vincent was again named as Kerrigan's secretary.[9]

On June 9, 1947, Kerrigan died from pneumonia at the age of 67. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles, California.[10]

After Kerrigan's death in June 1947, Vincent married Mitty Lee Turner (1894-1968) on October 24, 1947. He committed suicide by gas in his bedroom at 14716 Magnolia Boulevard, Van Nuys, 9 months after the death of Kerrigan.[11] Vincent died on March 15, 1948, in Van Nuys, California, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale).[12]

Selected filmography

Year Film Role
1913 Calamity Anne's Inheritance The Agent
Calamity Anne's Vanity
Calamity Anne's Beauty
Woman's Honor
Her Big Story
Quicksands
Truth in the Wilderness
For the Flag
For the Crown
Calamity Anne, Heroine
The Restless Spirit
The Girl and the Greaser
The Tale of the Ticker
Back to Life Destiny's Victim
Rory o' the Bogs Rory o' the Bogs
1914 Samson
1915 The Stool Pigeon Walter Jason
For Cash Arthen Owen
The Oyster Dredger Jack, the Oyster Dredger
1916 Langdon's Legacy Langdon
1919 Come Again Smith Joe Smith
1920 The House of Whispers [13]
1922 Night Life in Hollywood Himself (cameo)
1923 The Covered Wagon Will Banion
The Girl of the Golden West Ramerrez
Mary of the Movies Himself (cameo)
Hollywood Himself (cameo)
The Man from Brodney's Hollingsworth Chase
1924 Captain Blood Captain Peter Blood

References

  1. IMDB entry
  2. 1880 Census, Floyd County, Indiana
  3. "13 Jul 1931, Mon • Page 7". Santa Ana Register: 7. 1931. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. Broken Face In The Mirror (Crooks and Fallen Stars That Look Very Much Like Us). Dorrance Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-4349-4723-9.
  5. Frasier, David K. (2005). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. p. 330. ISBN 9781476608075. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  6. "22 Nov 1919, Sat • Page 14". The Indianapolis News: 14. 1919. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  7. "30 May 1920, Sun • Page 47". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 47. 1920. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  8. "$30,000 gives Kerrigan his fill of adventures - 03 Mar 1924, Mon • Page 9". The Post-Crescent: 9. 1924. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  9. "Movie Star Hurt As Autos Collide; Girl Near Death - 08 Dec 1924, Mon • Page 1". The Daily Times: 1. 1924. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  10. Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 25361). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  11. "Ends Life by Gas - 18 Mar 1948, Thu • Page 4". The Van Nuys News: 4. 1948. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  12. "17 Mar 1948, Wed • Page 31". The Los Angeles Times: 31. 1948. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  13. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 222.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
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