James Flavin

Place of birth:
Portland, Maine, USA:
American character actor whose career lasted nearly half a century. James Wilson Flavin Jr. was the son of a hotel waiter of Canadian-English extraction and a mother, Katherine, whose father was an Irish immigrant. (Thus Flavin, well-known in Hollywood as an "Irish" type, was only one-quarter Irish.) Flavin was born and raised in Portland, Maine (a fact that may have enrichened his later working relationship with director John Ford, also a Portland native). He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, but (contrary to some sources) did not graduate. Instead he dropped out and returned to Portland where he drove a taxi. Then as now, summer stock companies flocked to Maine each year, and in 1929 he was asked to fill in for an actor. He did well with the part and the company manager offered him $150 per week to go with the troupe back to New York. Flavin accepted and by the spring of 1930 was living in a rooming house at 108 W. 87th Street in Manhattan. Flavin didn't manage to crack Broadway at this time (his Broadway debut would not occur for another thirty-nine years, in the 1971 revival of "The Front Page," in which Flavin played Murphy and briefly took over the lead role of Walter Burns from star Robert Ryan). He worked his way across the country in stock productions and tours, arriving in Los Angeles around 1932. He quickly made the transition to movies, landing the lead in his very first film, a Universal serial, The Airmail Mystery (1932). He also landed his leading lady, marrying the serial's female star Lucile Browne that same year. However, the serial marked virtually the last time that Flavin would play the lead in a film. Thereafter, he was restricted almost exclusively to supporting characters, many of them without so much as a name. He specialized in uniformed cops and hard-bitten detectives, but played chauffeurs, cabbies, and even a 16th-century palace guard with aplomb. Flavin appeared in nearly four hundred films between 1932 and 1971, and in almost a hundred television episodes before his final appearance, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident (1976). Flavin died of a heart ailment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on April 23, 1976. His widow Lucile died seventeen days later. They were survived by their son, William James Flavin, subsequently a professor at the United States Army War College. James and Lucile Brown Flavin were buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.


Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident (1976)
as President Dwight D. Eisenhower
In Cold Blood (1967)
as Clarence Duntz
Good Times (1967)
as Detective Lieutenant
Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
as Ft. Robinson Sergeant of the Guard
Johnny Rocco (1958)
as Mooney
Night Passage (1957)
as Tim Riley
The Restless Breed (1957)
as Secret Service Chief
Footsteps in the Night (1957)
as Mr. Bradbury
Hold That Hypnotist (1957)
as Jake Morgan
Francis in the Haunted House (1956)
as Police Chief Martin
Never Say Goodbye (1956)
as Timmy
Apache Ambush (1955)
as Col. Marshall
The Naked Street (1955)
as Attorney Michael X. Flanders
Mister Roberts (1955)
as Military Policeman
Massacre Canyon (1954)
as Col. Tarant
The Eddie Cantor Story (1953)
as Kelly
Hot News (1953)
as Al Bragg
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
as First Policeman in Bank
Trouble Along the Way (1953)
as Coach Buck Holman
I Beheld His Glory (1953)
as Longinus
Star of Texas (1953)
as Texas Rangers Capt. Sturdivant
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
as Conductor
Rhubarb (1951)
as O'Leary, Manhattan Police Chief (uncredited)
Fighting Coast Guard (1951)
as Commander Rogers
Follow the Sun (1951)
as Henry Gibbs
According to Mrs. Hoyle (1951)
as Prosecuting Attorney
Oh, Susanna (1951)
as Capt. Worth
Operation Pacific (1951)
as SP Commander
Destination Murder (1950)
as Police Lt. Brewster
Armored Car Robbery (1950)
as Lt. Phillips
Rock Island Trail (1950)
as Railroad Workman
Dakota Lil (1950)
as Secret Service Chief
Prison Warden (1949)
as Guard Capt. Peter Butler
Blondie Hits the Jackpot (1949)
as Brophy
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
as Insp. Wellman
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
as Schultz
Homicide (1949)
as Det. Lt. Boylan
Shockproof (1949)
as Policeman in Park (uncredited)
Bungalow 13 (1948)
as Lt. Sam Wilson
The Plunderers (1948)
as Sergeant Major
One Touch of Venus (1948)
as Kerrigan
Secret Service Investigator (1948)
as Police Inspector Thorndyke
The Noose Hangs High (1948)
as Traffic Cop (uncredited)
Sleep, My Love (1948)
as Lieutenant Mitchell
Joe Palooka in the Knockout (1947)
as Policeman
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
as Policeman Reardon (uncredited)
Desert Fury (1947)
as Sheriff Pat Johnson
Robin Hood Of Texas (1947)
as Captain Danforth
Dishonored Lady (1947)
as Police Sergeant Patella
It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
as First Policeman (uncredited)
My Favorite Brunette (1947)
as Det. Lt. 'Mac' Hennessey (uncredited)
Nora Prentiss (1947)
as District Attorney
Nobody Lives Forever (1946)
as Shake Thomas
Cloak and Dagger (1946)
as Col. Walsh
Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
as Bellamy
Step by Step (1946)
as Motorcycle Cop
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
as Police Detective #1
The Missing Lady (1946)
as Police Insp. Cardona
Easy to Wed (1946)
as Joe
Rendezvous with Annie (1946)
as Turnkey
Boys Ranch (1946)
as Policeman
Sentimental Journey (1946)
as Detective Sgt. McFarland (uncredited)
Young Widow (1946)
as Subway Conductor (Uncredited)
Tars and Spars (1946)
as Chief Bosun Mate Gurney
The Spider (1945)
as Officer Johnny Tracy
Mildred Pierce (1945)
as Detective (uncredited)
The Shanghai Cobra (1945)
as H.R. Jarvis
Anchors Aweigh (1945)
as Radio Cop
Over 21 (1945)
as Captain (uncredited)
Circumstantial Evidence (1945)
as Guard
Murder, He Says (1945)
as Police Officer
Hollywood Canteen (1944)
as Marine Sergeant (uncredited)
Laura (1944)
as Det. McEveety (uncredited)
Strange Affair (1944)
as Bank Security Guard (Uncredited)
Abroad with Two Yanks (1944)
as Sgt. Wiggins
Once Upon a Time (1944)
as Man in Subway
Uncertain Glory (1944)
as Captain of Mobile Guard
Christmas Holiday (1944)
as Policeman (uncredited)
Riding High (1943)
as Train Conductor
Swing Shift Maisie (1943)
as Radio Policeman (Uncredited)
Corvette K-225 (1943)
as 1st Lt. Bill Gardner
Murder on the Waterfront (1943)
as Cmdr. Kalin
So Proudly We Hail (1943)
as Captain O'Brien (Uncredited)
I Dood It (1943)
as Federal Agent (uncredited)
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
as Policeman (uncredited)
Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
as Merchant Marine School Lieutenant-Commander (uncredited)
Mission to Moscow (1943)
as American Senator (uncredited)
Air Force (1943)
as Maj. A.M. Bagley
It Ain't Hay (1943)
as Cop (uncredited)
Something to Shout About (1943)
as Policeman
Gentleman Jim (1942)
as George Corbett (uncredited)
Night in New Orleans (1942)
as Egan (Uncredited)
Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942)
as Capt. Luddy
Thru Different Eyes (1942)
as Thomas
Tough as They Come (1942)
as Process Server
Fingers at the Window (1942)
as Police Lieutenant Schaeffer
Kid Glove Killer (1942)
as Keenan - Detective Grilling Eddie
Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
as Railroad Detective #2 (uncredited)
Treat 'Em Rough (1942)
as Joe Trosper
A Yank on the Burma Road (1942)
as Police Dispatcher
The Night of January 16th (1941)
as Policeman Kelly
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
as Detective (uncredited)
New York Town (1941)
as Recruiting Sergeant (uncredited)
Texas (1941)
as Abilene Fight Announcer
Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
as Immigration Guard (uncredited)
We Go Fast (1941)
as Police Lt. Bardette
Belle Starr (1941)
as Sergeant
Manpower (1941)
as Orderly
Affectionately Yours (1941)
as Tomassetti
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
as Buck (Uncredited)
Ride on Vaquero (1941)
as Officer Johnson
Pot o' Gold (1941)
as Sheriff Bud Connolly
Western Union (1941)
as Deputy Sheriff
Buck Privates (1941)
as Recruiting Sergeant (uncredited)
The Wild Man of Borneo (1941)
as Policeman
Four Mothers (1941)
as Demolition Man (uncredited)
Tin Pan Alley (1940)
as Army Sergeant (uncredited)
The Long Voyage Home (1940)
as Dock Policeman
The Devil's Pipeline (1940)
as Dowling
North West Mounted Police (1940)
as Mountie
Knute Rockne All American (1940)
as Army Assistant Coach (uncredited)
The Great Profile (1940)
as Detective
Rhythm on the River (1940)
as Detective
When the Daltons Rode (1940)
as Annabella's Brother
The Golden Fleecing (1940)
as Cop
South of Pago Pago (1940)
as Cafe Customer
The Way of All Flesh (1940)
as Policeman
Private Affairs (1940)
as Doorman (uncredited)
Queen of the Mob (1940)
as Third FBI Director
Lucky Cisco Kid (1940)
as Ranch Foreman
The Ghost Breakers (1940)
as Hotel Porter (uncredited)
Brother Orchid (1940)
as Parking Attendant at Fat Dutchy's (uncredited)
Florian (1940)
as Policeman
Girl in 313 (1940)
as Det. Carvin
La Conga Nights (1940)
as Grogin
Johnny Apollo (1940)
as Prison Guard In Library (uncredited)
It All Came True (1940)
as Roaring 90's Club Doorman (uncredited)
And One Was Beautiful (1940)
as McRafferty
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
as Guard (uncredited)
Women Without Names (1940)
as Guard
Double Alibi (1940)
as Patrolman Johnson
Castle on the Hudson (1940)
as Death Row Guard (uncredited)
Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
as Clancy (uncredited)
The Fighting 69th (1940)
as Supply Sergeant (uncredited)
Remember the Night (1940)
as Court Attendant (uncredited)
The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)
as Sergeant
Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President (1939)
as Policeman
The Roaring Twenties (1939)
as Policeman (uncredited)
Fast and Furious! (1939)
as Policeman Guarding Entrance
Irish Luck (1939)
as Fluger
They Shall Have Music (1939)
as Police Sergeant (uncredited)
When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
as Coast Guard Man on Road
They All Come Out (1939)
as Officer (uncredited)
Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)
as Police Sgt. Jerry
Each Dawn I Die (1939)
as Policeman (uncredited)
Mickey the Kid (1939)
as Sanders
Tell No Tales (1939)
as Officer Simmons
The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939)
as Turnkey
Union Pacific (1939)
as Paddy (uncredited)
Rose of Washington Square (1939)
as Guard (uncredited)
Big Town Czar (1939)
as George Mitchell
Code of the Streets (1939)
as Doorman
Everybody's Baby (1939)
as Police Announcer (uncredited)
Sergeant Madden (1939)
as Police Interrogator
The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939)
as Doorman (Uncredited)
Jesse James (1939)
as Cavalry Captain (uncredited)
The Duke of West Point (1938)
as Plebe Hockey Coach
While New York Sleeps (1938)
as 2nd Cop
Convicts at Large (1938)
as Detective Sgt. Berkovich
Blondie (1938)
as Policeman in Accident Car (uncredited)
Lightning Carson Rides Again (1938)
as Justice Department Agent
Too Hot to Handle (1938)
as Young Reporter (uncredited)
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
as Jailer (uncredited)
Gateway (1938)
as Guard
Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
as Army Captain (uncredited)
Start Cheering (1938)
as Gas Station Attendant
Night Spot (1938)
as Kidnapper
Mannequin (1938)
as Burly Man (Uncredited)
Everybody's Doing It (1938)
as Detective Hayes
Big Town Girl (1937)
as State Trooper
Live, Love and Learn (1937)
as Marine Who Likes Painting (uncredited)
Hot Water (1937)
as Policeman (uncredited)
Dangerously Yours (1937)
as Driver
My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937)
as Dr. Spitzy Calahan (uncredited)
Angel's Holiday (1937)
as Detective
I Promise to Pay (1937)
as Bill Seaver
Midnight Taxi (1937)
as Detective McCormick
You Only Live Once (1937)
as State Trooper (uncredited)
Dangerous Number (1937)
as Cab Driver
They Met in a Taxi (1936)
as Policeman
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936)
as Detective
Shipmates Forever (1935)
as Lieutenant (uncredited)
Special Agent (1935)
as Agent Arresting Julie (uncredited)
Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)
as Chauffeur
Woman Wanted (1935)
as Mac - Policeman (uncredited)
The Daring Young Man (1935)
as Informant on Telephone
Chinatown Squad (1935)
as Detective
Public Hero Number 1 (1935)
as Flavin - Federal Agent (uncredited)
'G' Men (1935)
as Agent with Jean (uncredited)
Captain Hurricane (1935)
as Freighter Officer
Secrets of Chinatown (1935)
as Brandhma
The Brand of Hate (1934)
as Holt Larkins
Baby Take a Bow (1934)
as Flannigan
The Big Race (1934)
as Bill Figg
Beloved (1934)
as Wilcox
Only Yesterday (1933)
as Billy (Uncredited)
Ship of Wanted Men (1933)
as Frank Busch
Riot Squad (1933)
as Det. Mack McCue
Hello, Sister! (1933)
as Fireman
King Kong (1933)
as Mate Briggs
The All-American (1932)
as Don Lindsay
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
as First Mate on Yacht (uncredited)
Okay, America! (1932)
as Undetermined Role (uncredited)
The Airmail Mystery (1932)
as Bob Lee

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