Jack Mulhall

Last updated

Jack Mulhall
The Midnight Man.jpg
John Joseph Francis Mulhall

(1887-10-07)October 7, 1887
DiedJune 1, 1979(1979-06-01) (aged 91)
Years active1910–1959
Spouse(s)Laura Mulhall (divorced; 1 child)
Bertha Vuillot
(her death)
Evelyn Mulhall
(m.1924–1979; his death)
Mulhall with actress Madge Kennedy in an episode of Goodyear Theater, 1959. Madge Kennedy Jack Mulhall 1959.jpg
Mulhall with actress Madge Kennedy in an episode of Goodyear Theater, 1959.
Jack Mulhall (left) singing offstage with Conrad Nagel (c. 1920) Mulhal-Nagel.JPG
Jack Mulhall (left) singing offstage with Conrad Nagel (c. 1920)

John Joseph Francis Mulhall (October 7, 1887 – June 1, 1979) was an American film actor beginning in the silent film era who successfully transitioned to sound films, appearing in over 430 films in a career spanning 50 years.

Silent film film with no synchronized recorded dialogue

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation.

Sound film motion picture with synchronized sound

A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades passed before sound motion pictures were made commercially practical. Reliable synchronization was difficult to achieve with the early sound-on-disc systems, and amplification and recording quality were also inadequate. Innovations in sound-on-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.


Early years

Mulhall was born in Wappingers Falls, New York. [1] He was one of six children born to an Irish father and a Scottish mother. [2] He began helping with carnival acts when he was 14 years old. [1]

Wappingers Falls, New York Village in New York, United States

Wappingers Falls is a village in Dutchess County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 5,522. The community was named for the cascade in Wappinger Creek. A portion of the village is in the Town of Wappinger, and the other part is in the Town of Poughkeepsie, with Wappinger Creek forming the dividing line between the towns.


Before acting in films, Mulhall worked in legitimate theater, musical comedy, and vaudeville. He also worked as a model for magazine illustrators. His first film appearance (other than as an extra) was in The Fugitive (1910). [1]

The Fugitive is a 1910 American drama film directed by D. W. Griffith. Prints of the film survive at the film archive of the Library of Congress and at George Eastman House. The script was by John MacDonagh, who would later fight in the Easter Rising under the command of his brother, Thomas MacDonagh, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, who would be executed by the British along with 15 other leaders after the Rising.

During the silent era, Mulhall was a popular screen player, particularly in the 1920s, and he starred in such films as The Social Buccaneer , The Mad Whirl and We Moderns . Some of his more prominent mid-career roles were in The Three Musketeers (1933), Burn 'Em Up Barnes (1934) and The Clutching Hand (1936). He last appeared in a film in 1959 ( The Atomic Submarine ). [1]

<i>The Social Buccaneer</i> 1923 film by Robert F. Hill

The Social Buccaneer was a 1923 American film serial directed by Robert F. Hill. The serial consisted of ten episodes and was based on the novel of the same name by Frederic S. Isham. The Social Buccaneer is now considered to be a lost film.

<i>The Mad Whirl</i> 1925 film by William A. Seiter

The Mad Whirl is a 1925 jazz age black-and-white silent film drama film about the "loosening of youth morals" that took place during the 1920s. Written by Edward T. Lowe Jr. and Lewis Milestone, and directed by William A. Seiter for Universal Pictures, the film stars May McAvoy and Jack Mulhall.

<i>We Moderns</i> 1925 film by John Francis Dillon

We Moderns (1925) is an American silent comedy film directed by John Francis Dillon and starring Colleen Moore. The film was produced by Moore's husband John McCormick (1893-1961), was released through First National Pictures. It was based on the play and novel by Israel Zangwill. The play ran for 22 performances in 1924 at the Gaiety Theatre, produced and directed by Harrison Grey Fiske and starring Helen Hayes and Isabel Irving.

In the late 1940s, Mulhall joined Blackouts, a stage revue produced by Ken Murray. After that production ended in 1949, he went on to appear on television programs in the 1950s. His last television appearance was on 77 Sunset Strip . [1]

Ken Murray (entertainer) Entertainer, producer, author

Ken Murray was an American comedian, actor, radio and television personality and author.

<i>77 Sunset Strip</i> television series

77 Sunset Strip is an American television private detective series created by Roy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith, Richard Long and Edd Byrnes. Each episode was one hour long including commercials. The show ran from 1958 to 1964.

After he left acting, Mulhall worked for the Screen Actors Guild as a contract negotiator until 1974. [1]

Screen Actors Guild American labor union

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was an American labor union which represented over 100,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. On March 30, 2012, the union leadership announced that the SAG membership voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA.

Personal life

During the peak of his success in films, Mulhall bought "large land holdings in what is now Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley." [1] However, losses in the Great Depression wiped out his fortune. [1]

Mulhall's first wife was Bertha Vuillot, who died soon after they wed. His second wife, Laura Brunton, committed suicide in 1921. Later in 1921, he married Evelyn Winans. They remained married until his death in 1979. [3]


In 1979, Mulhall died from congestive heart failure [4] at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. [1] He was 91. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. [5]


For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Mulhall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street. [6] [4] It was dedicated on February 8, 1960. [7]



Related Research Articles

Regis Toomey actor

John Regis Toomey was an American film and television actor.

Ray Teal was an American actor who appeared in more than 250 films and some 90 television programs in his 37-year career. His longest-running role was as Sheriff Roy Coffee on NBC's western series Bonanza (1960–1972). He also played a sheriff in the film Ace in the Hole (1951).

Harold Goodwin (American actor) actor

Harold Goodwin was an American film actor who performed in over 225 films.

Kenneth Harlan actor

Kenneth Daniel Harlan was an American actor of the silent film era, playing mostly romantic leads or adventurer types.

Creighton Hale American actor

Creighton Hale was an Irish-American theatre, film, and television actor whose career extended more than a half-century, from the early 1900s to the end of the 1950s.

George Chandler American film and television actor

George Chandler was an American actor who starred in over 140 feature films, usually in smaller supporting roles, and he is perhaps best known for playing the character of Uncle Petrie Martin on the television series Lassie.

Ralph Byrd actor

Ralph Byrd was an American actor. He was most famous for playing the comic strip character Dick Tracy on screen, in serials, movies and television.

Philip Van Zandt actor

Philip "Phil" Van Zandt was a Dutch-American actor of film, stage and television. He made over 220 film and television appearances between 1939 and 1958.

Wheeler Oakman American silent film actor

Wheeler Vivian Oakman was an American film actor.

Edwin Stanley actor

Edwin Stanley, was an American film actor. He appeared in more than 230 films between 1916 and 1946. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and died in Hollywood, California.

Duke York American actor

Duke York was an American film actor and stuntman who appeared in nearly 160 films between 1932 and 1952.

Jack Rice was an American actor best known for appearing as the scrounging, freeloading brother-in-law in Edgar Kennedy's series of short domestic comedy films at the RKO studio, and also as "Ollie" in around a dozen of Columbia Pictures's series of the Blondie comic strip.

Ralph Dunn was an American film, television, and stage actor.

George Eldredge was an American actor who appeared in over 180 movies during a career that stretched from the 1930s to the early 1960s. He also had a prolific television career during the 1950s. He was the older brother of actor John Dornin Eldredge.

Anthony Warde actor

Anthony Warde was a noted American actor who appeared in over 150 films between 1937 and 1964.

Roy Engel was an American film and television actor.

Charles Quigley American actor

Charles Quigley, was an American actor.

William Newell (actor) American film actor

William M. Newell was an American film actor.

Gordon De Main American actor

Floyd Wood better known as Gordon De Main, was an American film actor. He was leading man for the New York-based Excelsior company in the early 1910s, and was later a supporting actor in many films, particularly Westerns.

Paul Bryar was an American actor.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. pp. 212–213. ISBN   9780786477623 . Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  2. Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 273. ISBN   9780786446933 . Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  3. Slide, Anthony (2010). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. p. 255. ISBN   0813137454 . Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  4. 1 2 Jack Mulhall - LA Times Hollywood Star Walk
  5. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. p. 537. ISBN   9780786479924 . Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  6. Hollywood Walk of Fame - Jack Mulhall
  7. "Jack Mulhall". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.