Actor Dies at Age of 88

Actor Dies at Age of 88

( – This year is barely a quarter of the way done, and the world has already lost some prominent stars: Toby Keith, Glynis Johns, and Joyce Randolph, to name a few. Now, Hollywood has lost another actor. M. Emmet Walsh, well-known for playing various roles in television and on the big screen, has passed away at the age of 88.

According to his manager, Sandy Joseph, Walsh passed away on Tuesday, March 19, at a hospital in St. Albans, Vermont. He was three days shy of his 89th birthday. The actor was born in New York on March 22, 1935, to a homemaker and a customs agent. Walsh originally attended school at Clarkson University to study business administration while participating in stage productions. At the insistence of a faculty adviser, he “went to New York,” where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and snuck into theaters during intermission.

While Walsh started his career in regional theaters, he eventually landed a role on Broadway with Al Pacino in “Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?” He also took various roles in commercials, which led to him appearing in “Alice’s Restaurant” as a nondescript Army sergeant. That role led to him securing multiple others, where he played miscreants and lowlifes, earning him the title of “the poet of sleaze” from critic Roger Ebert.

While rarely ever holding the leading role, Walsh was great at moving story plots along, a position he gladly embraced. In fact, directors regularly sought him out to improve upon subpar material because he could “mak[e] it believable.” The actor loved his career and all the characters he played, significant or not. He once appeared on Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast and said of his work, “There’s a lot of stuff out there … I’m not ashamed of any of it.” He said in a previous interview with Drama-Logue in the 80s, he said he roles would “be my epitaph when they throw in that last shovelful of dirt.”

Walsh leaves behind no survivors, just a plethora of roles that show how very good he was at being in the background yet distinguishable enough to pick out every time.

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