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J. Carrol Naish

Twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role as Giuseppe in the movie Sahara (1943) and the Hispanic father in the movie A Medal for Benny (1945).

J Carrol Naish

Filmography

1926      

What Price Glory

 

1930      

Cheer Up and Smile

 

1931      

The Royal Bed

Surrender

Tonight or Never

The Finger Points

 

1932      

The Hatchet Man

The Beast of the City

The Mouthpiece

Two Seconds

Big City Blues

Tiger Shark

The Kid from Spain

Frisco Jenny

 

1933      

No Other Woman

The Past of Mary Holmes

Infernal Machine

Central Airport

The World Gone Mad

Elmer, the Great

Arizona to Broadway

Captured!

Ann Vickers

The Mad Game

Havana Widows

The Mystery Squadron

 

1934      

Murder in Trinidad

British Agent

Maria Galante

 

1935      

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

Black Fury

Front Page Woman

The Crusades

Little Big Shot

Special Agent

Captain Blood

 

1936      

Two in the Dark

Charlie Chan at the Circus

Anthony Adverse

Ramona

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Exclusive Story

Crack-Up

 

1937      

Border Cafe

Think Fast, Mr. Moto

Sea Racketeers

Bulldog Drummond Comes Back

Daughter of Shanghai

 

1938      

Her Jungle Love

Bulldog Drummond in Africa

King of Alcatraz

 

1939      

Hotel Imperial

Beau Geste

Island of Lost Men

 

1940      

Queen of the Mob

Golden Gloves

Down Argentine Way

 

1941      

That Night in Rio

Blood and Sand

Forced Landing

Birth of the Blues

The Corsican Brothers

 

1942      

A Gentleman at Heart

Sunday Punch

Jackass Mail

The Pied Piper

Tales of Manhattan

Dr. Renault’s Secret

 

1943      

Batman

Behind the Rising Sun

Sahara

Calling Dr. Death

Gung Ho!

 

1944      

Voice in the Wind

The Whistler

The Monster Maker

Jungle Woman

Waterfront

Dragon Seed

Enter Arsène Lupin

House of Frankenstein

 

1945      

A Medal for Benny

The Southerner

Strange Confession

Star in the Night

 

1946      

Bad Bascomb

The Beast with Five Fingers

Humoresque

 

1947      

Carnival in Costa Rica

The Fugitive

 

1948      

Joan of Arc

The Kissing Bandit

 

1949      

Canadian Pacific

That Midnight Kiss

 

1950      

Black Hand

Please Believe Me

Annie Get Your Gun

The Toast of New Orleans

Rio Grande

 

1951      

Across the Wide Missouri

Bannerline

 

1952      

Denver and Rio Grande

Clash by Night

The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima

 

1953      

Fighter Attack

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

 

1954      

Saskatchewan

Sitting Bull

 

1955      

New York Confidential

Hit the Deck

Rage at Dawn

Violent Saturday

The Last Command

 

1956      

Rebel in Town

 

1957      

This Could Be the Night

 

1971      

Dracula vs. Frankenstein

Awards

J Carrol Naish was nominated for two Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Awards:

  • Sahara (1943)
  • A Medal for Benny (1945)

J. Carrol Naish was born Joseph Patrick Carroll Naish on January 21, 1896 in New York City, son of Patrick Naish, who had emigrated from County Limerick, Ireland in about 1890.

Naish appeared on stage for several years before he began his film career. He began as a member of Gus Edwards’s vaudeville troupe of child performers. After World War I, Naish formed his own song and dance act in Paris. He was traveling the globe from Europe to Egypt to Asia, when his China-bound ship developed engine problems, leaving him in California in 1926.

Naish’s uncredited bit role in What Price Glory? (1926) launched his career in more than two hundred films. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role as Giuseppe in the movie Sahara (1943) in which he delivers one of the most moving speeches in any wartime film and for his performance as the title character’s Hispanic father in the movie A Medal for Benny (1945). For the latter film, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

He often played villains from gangsters in numerous Paramount pictures to mad scientists, such as Dr. Daka in the Batman film serial. In the 1940s, Naish was a supporting character in several horror films. He played Boris Karloff’s assistant in House of Frankenstein (1944).

He portrayed numerous other ethnicities including Southern European, Eastern European, Latin American, Native American, Middle Eastern, South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander—even African American, which earned him the moniker “Hollywood’s one-man U.N.”.

On radio, Naish starred as Luigi Basco on the popular CBS program Life with Luigi (1948–1953). Luigi’s popularity resulted in a CBS television series of the same name, with Naish reprising his role.

In 1971, he appeared in his final film role, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), as a mad scientist; a role descended from the original Dr. Frankenstein takes to murdering young women for experimentation in hopes of reviving his ancestor’s creation, with help from his mute assistant, played by Lon Chaney Jr., whose film appearance was also his last.

Naish was married (from 1929 until his death) to actress Gladys Heaney (1907–1987); they had one daughter, Elaine.

He retired to San Diego, CA and died of emphysema on January 24, 1973, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in the northern community of La Jolla, California, three days after his 77th birthday. He is interred at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California.

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