Tim O'Kelly

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Tim O'Kelly
Tim O'Kelly in 1968 film "Targets".jpg
O'Kelly in Targets (1968)
Timothy Patrick Wright

(1941-03-12)March 12, 1941
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJanuary 4, 1990(1990-01-04) (aged 48)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1965–1970

Tim O'Kelly (variously O'Kelley; born Timothy Patrick Wright, [1] March 12, 1941 – January 4, 1990) was an American actor best known for playing the homicidal sniper in Peter Bogdanovich's film Targets (1968).



O'Kelly first gained attention as a stage actor with the Santa Monica Group Theater. [2] [3] [4] He later served as a director and acting coach with the group. [5] [6] Among the stage productions he appeared in was Peter Shaffer's The Private Ear/The Public Eye. [7] Much of his television work was in Western series such as The Monroes , [8] Cimarron Strip , [9] The Big Valley , [10] and The Guns of Will Sonnett , [11] although he also made appearances in Batman . [12] [13] O'Kelly also played Detective Danny "Danno" Williams in the pilot episode of Hawaii Five-O , but was replaced by James MacArthur after a preview audience found O'Kelly "too young" for the part. [14] [15]

His one major film appearance was opposite Boris Karloff in Peter Bogdanovich's directorial debut Targets (1968), in which he played the spree killer Bobby Thompson, a character loosely based on Texas tower sniper Charles Whitman. [16] His final confirmed acting role was the 1970 film The Grasshopper (as the boyfriend of Jacqueline Bisset's character), [17] after which he faded from the public eye. [lower-alpha 1]

Personal life

O'Kelly was the son of Maurice Wayne Wright and Billie Jo Chew. [1] [19] [20] He had a brief marriage to actress Evelyn Rudie, whom he married in 1968. [1] [21] Vital records indicate he died of cardiomyopathy in Los Angeles on January 4, 1990, aged 48. [20] [22] [23]

Partial filmography


  1. AllMovie states he appeared in the low-budget exploitation film Schoolgirls in Chains aka Let's Play Dead (1973), [18] but this is not corroborated by other sources.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Luncheon, Bridal Shower, Honors Former Child Star". Valley News. Van Nuys, California. 18 July 1968. p. 101. Retrieved 26 March 2016 via Newspapers.com. Timothy Patrick Wright ... known professionally as Tim O'Kelly.
  2. Thomas, Kevin (September 6, 1968). "Bogdanovich Debuts as Director with 'Targets'". Los Angeles Times.
  3. "S.M. Group Theater Mentor". Los Angeles Times. September 26, 1968. p. 3.
  4. "'Burning of The Lepers' will be staged Friday". Los Angeles Times. February 3, 1966. p. 3 via Newspapers.com.
  5. "Acting Classes Being Conducted by Theater Unit". Los Angeles Times. February 1, 1968. p. 6 via Newspapers.com.
  6. "Mercy, Mercy". Los Angeles Times. January 23, 1969. p. 3 via Newspapers.com.
  7. Harford, Margaret (June 18, 1968). "Shaffer Plays on Las Palmas Stage". Los Angeles Times via Newspapers.com.
  8. "O'Kelly Inked". Santa Ana Register . June 5, 1966. Note: this article refers to The Monroes by its working title, The Wild Country.
  9. "TV Previews". Indianapolis Star. September 21, 1967. p. 31.
  10. "TV Scout Reports: The Big Valley". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. October 1, 1966. p. 5 via Newspapers.com.
  11. "Tim O'Kelly Signed for Sonnet [sic] Episode". Los Angeles Times. June 21, 1968. p. IV-17.
  12. Muir, John Kenneth (2008). The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television. McFarland. p. 100. ISBN   9780786437559.
  13. Berard, Jeanette M.; Englund, Klaudia (2009). Television Series and Specials Scripts, 1946-1992: A Catalog of the American Radio Archives Collection. McFarland. p. 27. ISBN   9780786454372.
  14. Nelson, Valerie J. (October 29, 2010). "James MacArthur dies at 72; actor played 'Danno' on 'Hawaii Five-0'". Los Angeles Times.
  15. Salas, Randy A. (7 March 2007). "'Hawaii Five-O' Returns on DVD". The Spokesman-Review. p. D9. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  16. Feldschreiber, Jared (October 3, 2017). "A Tale of Two Films – Both by Peter Bogdanovich". HuffPost . Archived from the original on September 25, 2019.
  17. Lamberto, Nick (May 28, 1970). "Bisset Film: Many Vices, Few Virtues". Des Moines Tribune via Newspapers.com.
  18. "Let's Play Dead (1973)". AllMovie . Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  19. "Death Notices: M. Wayne Wright". Los Angeles Times. April 5, 1980. pp. III-9 via Newspapers.com.
  20. 1 2 Certificate of Death: Timothy Patrick Wright. Certificate no. 39019001125. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, County of Los Angeles, State of California. January 17, 1990
  21. Lamparski, Richard (1982). Whatever Became Of...? . New York: Crown Publishers. p.  259. ISBN   051754346X. [Rudie's] marriage to actor Tim O'Kelly ended in an annulment after four months.
  22. "California, Death Index, 1940-1997" . Retrieved 17 August 2019 via Ancestry.com.
  23. "U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007" . Retrieved 17 August 2019 via Ancestry.com.