Pat O'Brien photo

Pat O'Brien

Birth name:
William Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Date of Birth:
15 October 1899 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
5' 9½" (1.77 m)
Brought forth in midland America, far away from any port of immigrant entry, the U.S.-born Pat O'Brien would yet one day come to be called Hollywood's "Irishman in Residence."Deciding against entering seminary to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood, Pat O'Brien would not wear the clerical collar in real life. But he made up amply for that by performing memorably as priest in so many of his films. He appeared as Father Dunne, Father Duffy, Father Connolly, Father This, Father That. And although never a policeman, in movies he carried the cop's badge often enough. And often enough as well, one could discern in his delivery the affectation of an Irish brogue, which, although stereotypical, generally charmed his movie audiences. (His often simultaneous puffing on a tobacco pipe could not have but enhanced his Irishman's aura, at least amongst narrowbacks and non-Irish in the States and elsewhere.) Pat O'Brien excelled in roles of beneficent men but could also give convincing performances as wise guys or con artists. He was a most popular film star during the 1930s and 1940s. Over almost five decades, he co-starred in nine films with 'James Cagney', including his own screen swansong, "Ragtime", in 1981.
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