Dan O'Herlihy

Dan O'Herlihy

actor, art department

Dan O'Herlihy was born on May 01, 1919 in Ireland. Dan O'Herlihy's big-screen debut came with Hungry Hill directed by Brian Desmond Hurst in 1947, strarring Harry Brodrick. Dan O'Herlihy is known for VR.5 directed by Michael Katleman, Lori Singer stars as Sydney Bloom and Michael Easton as Duncan. Dan O'Herlihy has got 1 awards and 1 nominations so far. The most recent award Dan O'Herlihy achieved is Western Heritage Awards. The upcoming new movie Dan O'Herlihy plays is The Rat Pack which will be released on Aug 22, 1998.

Daniel Peter "Dan" O'Herlihy was born on 1 May 1919 at Odessa Cottage, Wexford Town, County Wexford (Ireland) to John Robert O'Herlihy, a civil servant from Cork who later worked in the Department of Industry and Commerce, and Ellen (née Hanton). Dan had at least two siblings, a sister and a younger brother (Michael O'Herlihy, who became a television director). The family moved to Dublin when Dan was one year old. Educated at CBS Eblana (Dún Laoghaire Christian Brothers School), as a teenager he developed literary ambitions. Upon entering UCD, he applied to study law but rapidly switched to architecture which allowed him to use his drawing skills. While a student he published political cartoons in Irish newspapers under the initials "TOC".O'Herlihy decided not to follow in his father's footsteps, forsaking the life of an architect in favour of the acting profession. The tall, distinguished-looking university graduate boasted a rich, resonant voice which enabled him to easily find work in radio plays, as well on the stage. He first came to note as a small part actor with the Gate and Abbey Theatre Players, on occasion putting his architectural qualifications to use as a set designer. His first leading role was in Sean O'Casey's play 'Red Roses for Me' in 1944. During one of his performances in Dublin, he was spotted by the director Carol Reed and cast as an IRA terrorist in Huit heures de sursis (1947). This, and another London-produced film, Les monts brûlés (1947), resulted in good critical notices , prompting another genial filmmaker, Orson Welles, to cast O'Herlihy in the role of Macduff for his Mercury/Republic production of Macbeth (1948). While this enterprise was far from successful, the actor's rugged, bearded appearance sufficiently impressed Luis Buñuel to cast him in the titular role of Les aventures de Robinson Crusoé (1954).Until the arrival of "Friday", the only other featured character, this definitive version of Daniel Defoe's shipwrecked 17th century mariner was a tour-de-force one man show, a compelling, wordless portrayal of agonised solitude. However, as the Mexican production was considered merely a B-movie in Hollywood, O'Herlihy was forced to invest some of his own money to have the film exhibited in Los Angeles. While he was rewarded with an Oscar nomination, few worthy job offers came his way. For the remainder of the decade, he worked under short-term contracts as a character actor (often billed as "Daniel O'Herlihy") for Universal and 20th Century Fox, typically cast in costume dramas like Le chevalier du roi (1954), Le Cavalier au masque (1955) and Le seigneur de l'aventure (1955). When movie roles became scarce, he branched out into anthology television, eventually becoming a much sought-after guest star on popular prime time shows like Les incorruptibles (1959), Bonanza (1959) and Des agents très spéciaux (1964). Work on radio shows, like 'Johnny Dollar', 'Suspense' and 'Lux Radio Theatre', also continued to provide him with a steady source of income.From the mid-1960s, he was afforded several better film opportunities: first, in a memorable dual role as the sinister, voyeuristic Dr.Caligari AND the handsome psychiatrist treating repressed mental patient Jane Lindstrom (Glynis Johns), in Robert Bloch's off-beat psycho-thriller, Le Cabinet du Dr Caligari (1962). Second, he played an anguished U.S. Air Force general contemplating orders to drop a hydrogen bomb over New York, in Sidney Lumet's gripping anti-war drama Point limite (1964). He was also, among later big screen appearances, one of many name actors in the star-studded military epic Waterloo (1970) (as Napoleon's "Marshal Ney"); unrecognisable in make-up as a reptilian alien in the 'Star Wars' clone Starfighter (1984); as irredeemable villains in Halloween 3: Le sang du sorcier (1982) and RoboCop (1987); and as the inscrutable Andrew Packard in Twin Peaks (1990) on television. He continued to alternate film work with acting on stage in Los Angeles and at the Abbey Theater. Dan O'Herlihy died on 17 February 2005, aged 85. He left his papers to the care of University College Dublin (UCD) where he had graduated with a degree in architecture in 1945.

  • Birthday

    May 01, 1919
  • Place of Birth

    Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland

Known For


1 wins & 1 nominations

Western Heritage Awards
Fictional Television Drama
Winner - Bronze Wrangler

Movies & TV Shows

TV Shows