Jack MacGowran - Biography - IMDb
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Overview (4)

Born in Dublin, Ireland
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (influenza)
Birth NameJohn Joseph MacGowran
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jack MacGowran was an Irish actor, probably best known for his work with Samuel Beckett.

He established his professional reputation as a member of the Abbey Players in Dublin, while he achieved stage renown for his knowing interpretations of the works of Samuel Beckett. He appeared as Lucky in Waiting For Godot at the Royal Court Theatre, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Endgame at the Aldwych Theatre. He released an LP record, MacGowran Speaking Beckett, to coincide with Samuel Beckett's 60th birthday in 1966, and won the 1970-71 Obie for Best Performance By an Actor in the off-Broadway play MacGowran in the works of Beckett.

He also specialized in the work of Seán O'Casey, creating the role of Joxer in the Broadway musical Juno in 1959, based with O'Casey's 1924 play about the Troubles, Juno and the Paycock. He played O'Casey's brother Archie in Young Cassidy (1965), one of John Ford's last films.

In 1954 he moved to London, subsequently becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. There he struck up a lasting friendship with Peter O'Toole, with whom he later appeared in Richard Brooks' Lord Jim (1965).

MacGowran played the title role of "Gandhi" in the Broadway play written by Gurney Campbell in 1971, directed by Jose Quintero.

MacGowran's film career started in Ireland with the film No Resting Place (1951), and many of his earlier films were set in Ireland. Notably The Quiet Man (1952), The Gentle Gunman (1952), Rooney (1958) and Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). His last film was The Exorcist (1973), where he played Burke Dennings, an alcoholic director and Regan's first victim.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tango Papa

Family (1)

Spouse Aileen Gloria Nugent (21 March 1963 - 30 January 1973)  (his death)  (1 child)

Trivia (7)

Father of Tara MacGowran.
Shortly after completing his role in The Exorcist (1973), he died in New York (he was appearing as Fluther in "The Plough and the Stars" with Siobhan McKenna at the time).
Born in Dublin, Jack MacGowran worked as an insurance assessor for eight years before becoming an actor with the Abbey Theatre. He made his film debut in John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952). He was also a noted stage actor specializing in works by Sean O'Casey and Samuel Beckett. He appeared in "Waiting For Godot" at the Royal Court Theatre London, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in "Endgame" at the Aldwych Theatre. He released an LP record, "MacGowran Speaks Beckett", to coincide with Samuel Beckett's 60th birthday. While Jack MacGowran was making Dance of the Vampires (1967), Roman Polanski and Gérard Brach, wrote the original story for Wonderwall (1968), especially for MacGowran to play the part of Professor Collins.
Won the 1970-1971 Obie for Best Performance By an Actor in the off-Broadway play "Beckett".
Has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Quiet Man (1952), Tom Jones (1963), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and The Exorcist (1973). Of those, Tom Jones (1963) is a winner in the category.
He was awarded the 1972 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Performance for the play, "The Works of Beckett," at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Biography is "The Beckett Actor: Jack MacGowran, Beginning to End" by Jordan R. Young (Moonstone Press, 1987) ISBN 978-0940410824.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on working with Roman Polanski]: Both "Cul-de-Sac" and "Dance Of The Vampires" suffered from awkward translations of the original French scripts. After we had struggled on for a while, Roman said, "Throw away the script and say what you want to say." In my opening scene in "Cul-de-Sac", where I am marooned in the flooded car, I originally had a speech half-a-page long - completely unnecessary. I cut it completely and spoke one line only, off my own bat.

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