M. Emmet Walsh

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M. Emmet Walsh
M Emmet Walsh at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Walsh at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Michael Emmet Walsh

(1935-03-22) March 22, 1935 (age 86)
Alma mater Clarkson University, B.A. 1958
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1969–present

Michael Emmet Walsh (born March 22, 1935) is an American actor [1] and comedian who has appeared in over 200 films and television series, including in small but important supporting roles in dozens of major studio features of the 1970s and 1980s. He starred in Blood Simple (1984), the Coen Brothers' first film, which resulted in him winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. He also appeared in Carl Reiner's comedy The Jerk (1979), Robert Redford's drama Ordinary People (1980), Ridley Scott's science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), Barry Sonnenfeld's steampunk western Wild Wild West (1999) and Brad Bird's animated film The Iron Giant (1999).


Early life

Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, New York, the son of Agnes Katharine ( née Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh Sr., a customs agent. [2] He is of Irish descent. [3] He was raised in rural Swanton, Vermont, [4] and attended Clarkson University.

He graduated in 1958 (B.A., Business Administration). In 1998, the Clarkson Alumni Association presented him with the Golden Knight Award. [5]


Walsh came to prominence in the 1978 crime film Straight Time , in which he played a parole officer. He also had a small but memorable role as a crazed sniper in the Steve Martin comedy The Jerk . One of his best-known roles was Captain Harry Bryant in Ridley Scott's cult film Blade Runner . His most acclaimed performance was arguably the double-crossing private detective in Blood Simple (1984), for which he won the 1986 Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

Walsh made occasional guest appearances on Home Improvement as Tim Taylor's father-in-law. In 1992, he appeared as a powerful U.S. Senator in David Winning's Killer Image . In Christmas with the Kranks , he played one of the Kranks' neighbors. He also appeared as Alex Lembeck, a motorcycle cop who appointed himself as Sandy Stockton's chaperone and protector on The Sandy Duncan Show in 1972. He appeared in an episode of the NBC drama series Gibbsville in 1976 and Little House on the Prairie in 1981. [6] He appeared as Dr. Joseph Kroft, a medical examiner with a grudge against Sipowicz, on an episode of “NYPD Blue”.

Some comedy roles include the cynical small town sportswriter Dickie Dunn in the iconic 1977 hockey film Slap Shot, and a college diving coach in the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School .



1969 Alice's Restaurant Group W Sergeant
Midnight Cowboy Bus PassengerUncredited
Stiletto Racing Partner
1970 End of the Road Crab Man / Tutu Man
The Traveling Executioner Warden Brodski
Little Big Man Shotgun Guard
1971 Cold Turkey Art
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Aide to General Winthrop
They Might Be Giants 1st Sanitation Man
1972 What's Up, Doc? Arresting Officer
Get to Know Your Rabbit Mr. Wendel
1973 Kid Blue Barber
Serpico Chief Gallagher
1974 The Gambler Las Vegas Gambler
1975 At Long Last Love Harold
Crime ClubHarold
The Prisoner of Second Avenue Joe
1976 Bound for Glory Husband
Nickelodeon Father Logan
The Invasion of Johnson CountyIrvine
Mikey and Nicky Bus Driver
1977 Slap Shot Dickie Dunn
Airport '77 Dr. Williams
1978 Straight Time Earl Frank
1979 The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh Wally Cantrell
The Jerk Madman
1980 Brubaker C.P. 'Woody' Woodward
Raise the Titanic Master Chief Walker
Ordinary People Coach Salan
1981 Back Roads Arthur
Reds Speaker At Liberal Club
1982 Cannery Row Mack
The Escape Artist Fritz
Blade Runner Captain Bryant
Fast-Walking Sergeant Sanger
1983 Silkwood Walt Yarborough
1984CourageColonel Crouse
Missing in Action Jack 'Tuck' Tucker
Grandview, U.S.A. Mr. Clark
Blood Simple Loren Visser
The Pope of Greenwich Village Burns
Scandalous Simon Reynolds
1985 Fletch Dr. Joseph Dolan
1986 Wildcats Walt Coes
Critters Harvey 'Harv'
The Best of Times Charlie
Vanishing AmericaEarl Crockett
Back to School Coach Turnbull
1987 Harry and the Hendersons George Henderson Sr.
No Man's Land Captain Haun
Raising Arizona Machine Shop Ear-Bender
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Governor
Clean and Sober Richard Dirk
Sunset Chief Dibner
War Party Colin Ditwelier
Red Scorpion Dewey Ferguson
1989 The Mighty Quinn CIA Agent Fred Miller
Catch Me If You Can Johnny Phatmun
Chattahoochee Morris
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Mort
Thunderground Wedge
1990 Narrow Margin Sergeant Dominick Benti
1992 The Naked Truth Garcia
Killer Image Senator John Kane
White Sands Bert Gibson
Equinox Pete Petosa
Four Eyes and Six Guns Mayor Thornbush
1993 Bitter Harvest Sheriff Bob
The Music of Chance Calvin Murks
Wilder Napalm Fire Chief
1994Dead BadgeSergeant Miller Hoskins
Relative Fear Earl Ladelle
Camp Nowhere T.R. Polk
The Glass Shield Detective Jessie Hall
Cops & Robbersons Captain Ted CorbettUncredited
1995Criminal HeartsMartin
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Bill Wilcox
Panther Dorsett
1996Portraits of a KillerRaymond Garrison
Albino Alligator Dino
A Time to Kill Dr. BassUncredited
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Apothecary
1997The Killing JarSheriff Foley
Retroactive Sam
My Best Friend's Wedding Joe O'Neal
1998 Chairman of the Board Freemont
Twilight Lester Ivar
Erasable YouRalph Worth
Nightmare in Big Sky CountryUS Marshal Phillips
1999 Wild Wild West US Marshal Coleman
The Iron Giant Earl Stutz (voice)
Random Hearts BillyUncredited
Me and Will Dean
Jack of HeartsCommissioner Menlo Boyce
2000 Poor White Trash Judge Pike
2001Eyeball EddieCoach CookShort film
Christmas in the Clouds Stu O'Malley
2002 Snow Dogs George Murphy
2003BaggageSandy Westphall
2004 Christmas with the Kranks Walt Scheel
2005Greener MountainMuggs
Racing Stripes Woodzie
2007 Man in the Chair Mickey Hopkins
Big Stan Lew Popper
2008 Sherman's Way Hoyt
Your Name Here Kroger / Maurice Stanz
Haunted EchoesNeil
2009 Don McKay Samuel
Sam Steele and the Jr. Detective AgencyChief Van Owen
Youth in Revolt Mr. Saunders
2010 Chasing 3000 Chuck Ireland
2012 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Bub
Arthur Newman Zazek
Love Sick LoveEd
2013Cigar ManCigar ManShort film
2014 Calvary The Writer
2015 Boiling Pot Dean Marison
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power Gorak
2018Shifting GearsHank
Change in the Air Walter Lemke
2019Raising BuchananLarry Kiesling
Faith, Hope & Love Mr. John
Knives Out Mr. Proofroc
2020 The Mimic The Director
2022 Shriver Professor Arthur BaldwinCompleted
2022 The Immaculate Room Post-production


1968 The Doctors Jason RandallMultiple episodes
1969 N.Y.P.D. FreibischEpisode: "Who's Got the Bundle?"
1970 Arnie CliffEpisode: "To Buy or Not to Buy?"
1971 Julia Gus Anderson2 episodes
All in the Family Billy HartfieldEpisode: "The Saga of Cousin Oscar"
The Jimmy Stewart Show Lionel AtkinsEpisode: "Another Day, Another Scholar"
Ironside Telegraph ClerkEpisode: "Dear Fran..."
Bonanza MatthesonEpisode: "Warbonnet"
1971–1972 Nichols Gabe McCutcheon6 episodes
1972The Don Rickles ShowKingstonEpisode: "Episode Four"
The Bob Newhart Show Jack HooverEpisode: "P-I-L-O-T"
The Sandy Duncan Show Alex Lembeck11 episodes
1974Doctor FranMr. WallaceTelevision film
McMillan & Wife Officer AmesEpisode: "Buried Alive"
Amy Prentiss TomEpisode: "Baptism of Fire"
1975 The Rockford Files Edgar BurchEpisode: "Counter Gambit"
Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Mr. WallaceTelevision film
The Waltons David FletcherEpisode: "The Venture"
1975-1976 Baretta McDade / Potter2 episodes
1976 Gibbsville YostieEpisode: "Afternoon Waltz"
1976-1978 Starsky and Hutch Freddie / Lloyd Herman Eckworth2 episodes
1977 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Officer Malloy
Red Alert Sheriff SweeneyTelevision film
1978 Superdome Whitley
James at 15 Coach FedersonEpisode: "Queen of the Silver Dollar"
1979 The French Atlantic Affair Harry3 episodes
Dear DetectiveCaptain GorceyEpisode: "Pilot"
No Other LoveDeFrancoTelevision film
The Gift Legion Commander
1980 City in Fear Sheldon Lewis
Skag MoranEpisode: "Pilot"
High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane Harold PattonTelevision film
1981 East of Eden Sheriff Horace Quinn3 episodes
Little House on the Prairie CallahanEpisode: "Chicago"
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Joe LempkeEpisode: "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
Night PartnersJoe KirbyTelevision film
1984 AfterMASH Samuel LynnEpisode: "The Case of the People of Florida vs. Joseph Landrum"
The OutlawsWarden MacDonaldTelevision film
1985 ABC Weekend Special RoccoEpisode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"
The Twilight Zone PeterEpisode: "Dealer's Choice"
1986 The Hitchhiker Detective UnderhillEpisode: "Ghostwriter"
The Right of the People MayorTelevision film
Resting Place Sergeant
The Disney Sunday Movie General PresserEpisode: "Hero in the Family"
The Deliberate Stranger Detective Sam DaviesTelevision film
Amazing Stories GrandpaEpisode: "Magic Saturday"
1987 Broken Vows Detective MulliganTelevision film
The Abduction of Kari SwensonDon Nichols
Murder Ordained Vern HumphreyMiniseries
1989 Brotherhood of the Rose Hardy2 episodes
Unsub Ned Platt8 episodes
Tales from the Crypt JonasEpisode: "Collection Completed"
1990True BetrayalClyde WilsonTelevision film
The Civil War Various (voice)9 episodes
The Flash Henry Allen 2 episodes
1991Deadly IdentityHarryTelevision film
SilverfoxCharles Blankenship
1992Wild CardMose
1993 The Jackie Thomas Show Arlen ThomasEpisode: "Aloha, Io-wahu"
1994 Home Improvement Colonel Fred Patterson2 episodes
Probable CauseSadlerTelevision film
1995 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Morris
1996 The Outer Limits Sanford ValléEpisode: "The Refuge"
Early Edition Santa Episode: "Christmas"
Madness of MethodRudolph ThorndykeTelevision short film
1998 Tracey Takes On... Jimmy DuffEpisode: "Sports"
Men in White Junior Assistant Dispatch Trainee Stanley SnyderTelevision film
1999 The X-Files Arthur DalesEpisode: "The Unnatural"
The Wild Thornberrys Gemsbok #1 (voice)Episode: "Rain Dance"
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Mack (voice)Multiple episodes
Monster!Lloyd ReevesTelevision film
2000 NYPD Blue Joe KroftEpisode: "Roll Out the Barrel"
Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family Aubrey LangEpisode: "The Book of Danny"
Ed Mayor Wally KendricksEpisode: "Home Is Where the Ducks Are"
2001 Gideon's Crossing Dr. MatthewsEpisode: "A Routine Case"
Night Visions GusEpisode: "Reunion"
The Mind of the Married Man Randall Evans5 episodes
Frasier Rich KoechnerEpisode: "Bully for Martin"
2002 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Jeb (voice)Episode: "Scooby-Doo Christmas"
2003 Charlie Lawrence 'Cubby'Episode: "New Kid in School"
Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Wally WestlandTelevision special
The Guardian Ezra PenceEpisode: "Big Coal"
2010 'Til Death Uncle RudolphEpisode: "Let's Go"
2010–2013 Pound Puppies Olaf (voice)46 episodes
2012 Army Wives Bernie WolzoczakEpisode: "Battle Scars"
Damages Lyle Hewes3 episodes
2012–2015 Adventure Time Cosmic Owl (voice)4 episodes
2014 Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories DetectiveEpisode: "Toes"
2015 Empire Harold BlakeleyEpisode: "The Lyon's Roar"
2019 Sneaky Pete 'Tex' Hopkins7 episodes
The Righteous Gemstones Mr. Gemstone Senior1 episode

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  2. "M. Emmet Walsh profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  3. Jacobs, Alex (July 12, 2008). "Walsh marks 50-year reunion". Watertown Daily Times . Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  4. Jacobs, Alex (2008-07-12). "Walsh marks 50-year reunion". WatertownDailyTimes.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
  5. "M.Emmet Walsh of Culver City, Calif. And Swanton, Vermont, Receives Clarkson University's Highest Alumni Honor". Clarkson University. August 21, 1998. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  6. "Little House on the Prairie Season 8 Episode 8 Chicago". TV.com. Retrieved July 29, 2016.