Monday, February 25, 2013

J. T. Walsh

The name, J. T. Walsh may not ring a bell, but unless you're a movie hermit, you've seen this underrated supporting actor many, many times. Often cast as the creepy white collar type, he made audiences hiss and squirm throughout his short but memorable film career.

I first noticed him on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross, playing the role that Kevin Spacey had in the movie. Spacey was good, but I would have rather seen Mr. Walsh revive his wonderfully layered performance that he brought to the stage as the sleazy office manager.

He had the curse of often being typecast as the heavy, which brought him a lot of work, but not always the variety that most actors seek. Whatever role he was offered, though, he played to perfection. His brief but memorable appearance as a mental patient in Sling Blade and his staring role as the crazed truck driver in Breakdown are two of the scariest, intense characters ever put on film.

Whether it was his role as the opposing attorney in the television remake of Miracle on 34th Street, or the troubled witness who kills himself in A Few Good Men, or the contributions he made to the movies, Red Rock West, Nixon, The Client, The Negotiator and so many others too numerous to mention, make the late J. T. Walsh the pick of the day for Not Very Famous...but should be.

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