69 (passed away May. 9th, 1985)
Sep. 10th, 1915
New York City, New York, USA
Edmond O'Brien's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1982 - Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
1969 - The Wild Bunch
1966 - Fantastic Voyage
1964 - Rio Conchos
1964 - Seven Days in May
1962 - The Longest Day
1962 - Birdman of Alcatraz
1962 - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
1960 - The 3rd Voice
1959 - Up Periscope
1956 - The Girl Can't Help It
1956 - 1984
1955 - Pete Kelly's Blues
1954 - Shield for Murder
1953 - Man in the Dark
1953 - Julius Caesar
1952 - The Greatest Show On Earth
1951 - Two of a Kind
1950 - The Admiral Was a Lady
1950 - 711 Ocean Drive
1950 - D.O.A.
1950 - Backfire
1949 - White Heat
1947 - Brute Force
1947 - The Web
1947 - A Double Life
1946 - The Killers
1943 - The Amazing Mrs. Holliday
1939 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Guest TV Roles
Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien was one of the most respected character actors in American cinema from his heyday of the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. Born on September 10, 1915, in New York City borough of The Bronx New York, O'Brien learned the craft of performance as a magician, reportedly tutored by neighbor Harry Houdini. He took part in student theatrics in high school and majored in drama at Columbia University. He made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 in 1936 and later that year played The Gravedigger in the great Shakespearean actor John Gielgud's legendary production of "Hamlet." Four years later, he would play Mercutio to the Romeo of another legendary Shakespearean, Laurence Olivier, in Olivier's 1940 Brodway production of "Romeo & Juliet."
Edmond O'Brien worked with another magician, Orson Welles, in the Mercury Theater's production of "Julius Caesar," appearing as Mark Antony. He would later play Casca in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film of the play.
O'Brien is erroneously said to have made his debut as an uncredited extra in the 1938 film Prison Break (1938), but the truth is his stage work impressed R.K.O. studio boss Pandro S. Berman, who brought him to Hollywood to appear in the plum supporting part of Gringoire in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), which starred Charles Laughton in the title role. After returning from his wartime service with the Army Air Force, Edmond O'Brien built up a distinguished career as a supporting actor in A-list films, and as an occasional character lead such as in D.O.A. (1950).
Edmond O'Brien won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and also was received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for his role as a drunken senator ferreting out an attempted coup d'etat in Seven Days in May (1964). He also appeared as the crusty old timer Freddy who antagonizes Ben Johnson (I)'s character Tector Gorch in director Sam Peckinpah's classic Western The Wild Bunch (1969). Increasingly, he appeared on television in the 1960s and '70s, but managed a turn in his old boss Welles' unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind (1972).
O'Brien married and divorced the actresses Nancy Kelly (I) and Olga San Juan, with the latter wife being the mother of his three children, including actors Maria O'Brien and 'Brendan O'Brien (II)'. He died in May 1985 Inglewood, California, of Alzheimer's Disease and was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
- Was original choice to play newspaper reporter Jackson Bentley in _Lawrence of Arabia (1962)_ (qv), but health problems forced him to turn down the role, which eventually went to 'Arthur Kennedy (I)' (qv).
- Was cast in _Black Christmas (1974)_ (qv) as Lt. Kenneth Fuller, but the part was recast with 'John Saxon' (qv) because of O'Brien's poor health. He was rumored to be suffering from Alzheimers.
- Recited Shakespeare with 'Keith Moon (I)' (qv) at 'Sam Peckinpah' (qv)'s surprise birthday party.
- Interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, USA. Specific Interment Location: F, T54, 50.
- At the age of 10 he learned conjuring tricks from his neighbor, 'Harry Houdini' (qv).
- Father-in-law of 'Ingrid K. Behrens' (qv) (wife of son Brendan).
- Performed a reading of "The Red Badge Of Courage" that was available as an LP.
- O'Brien was originally cast as the photo-journalist Jackson Bentley (based on 'Lowell Thomas (I)' (qv)) in _Lawrence of Arabia (1962)_ (qv). After O'Brien filmed several scenes, he suffered a heart attack and had to be replaced.
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