- John Boylan (actor)
name = John Boylan
birthname = John Boylan
January 31, 1912
Canton, Ohio, United States
deathdate = death date and age|1994|11|16|1912|1|31
Bellevue, Washington, United States
yearsactive = 1932–93
John J. Boylan (
January 31 1912– November 16 1994) was an American film, television, and theatrical actor. One of three children born in Canton, Ohioto an Irish-Americanimmigrant family, he began acting in 1932 when he helped found the Players' Guild for a local community theater.cite news | last = Beers | first = Carole | coauthors = | title = Actor John J. Boylan Played The Mayor On "Twin Peaks" | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = " The Seattle Times" | date = November 20, 1994| url = http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19941120&slug=1942814 | accessdate = ] His working life was spent in the Ohioand Pennsylvania steelindustries, but he continued acting whenever the opportunity arose, often travelling to Greenwich Villagein New York Citythe 1930s and 1940s when regular employment was scarce.cite news | last = Adcock | first = Joe | coauthors = | title = Acting career blossomed in the later stages of life | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = " The Seattle Post-Intelligencer" | date = November 19, 1994| url = http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1994/9411200083.asp | accessdate = ] It was during these periods spent in New York that he performed on Broadway, becoming acquainted with fellow actors Burgess Meredithand John Ireland while there.
After over 40 years working in the steel industry, he retired in 1975, with his last job being the works manager at the Milton Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania. Three years later he moved to
Washington state, where he quickly established himself in the local repertory circuit, acting with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Bathhouse Theater, The Empty Space, and the Tacoma Actors Guild.cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = John Boylan, 82, TV and Film Actor | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = " The New York Times" | date = November 23, 1994| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E0DE1630F930A15752C1A962958260 | accessdate = ]
With more time to devote to his craft Boylan's acting career enjoyed an
Indian summer, as he began carving out a successful niche in film and television with his silver-haired, moustached appearance. He played opposite John Travoltain "The Experts" (1989),cite web | last = | first = | title = Full cast and crew for The Experts (1989) | work = | publisher = IMDb| date = | url = http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097314/fullcredits#cast | format = | doi = | accessdate = ] opposite Jeff Bridgesin " American Heart" (1992),cite web | last = | first = | title = American Heart (1992) | work = | publisher = IMDb| date = | url = http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103670/ | format = | doi = | accessdate = ] and most notably in " Twin Peaks", where he was cast as the mayorof the titular town in David Lynch's award-winning television series.cite web | last = | first = | title = Full cast and crew for "Twin Peaks" (1990) | work = | publisher = IMDb| date = | url = http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098936/fullcredits#cast | format = | doi = | accessdate = ] He had been working in a repertory production of " Much Ado About Nothing" when he was spotted for the role, but was unwilling to quit just for the show. Instead, the 79-year old Boylan would fly to Los Angeles every Sunday night after the final stage performance of the evening, spend all day Monday filming his part, before returning to Seattle in time for the Tuesday , as if he had never been away.
His final film role was in 1993's "
Sleepless in Seattle", as an elevator operatorat the Empire State Building,cite web | last = | first = | title = Full cast and crew for Sleepless in Seattle (1993) | work = | publisher = IMDb| date = | url = http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0108160/fullcredits#cast | format = | doi = | accessdate = ] a role that took his life full circle; it was at the Empire State Building sixty years before that he had met his wife Jeanne.
A lifelong smoker, he died of
lung cancerand pneumoniain Bellevue, Washington, leaving behind his wife, son John, daughter Kathy, and two grandchildren. Ironically, his "signature" performance, for which he had won a Best of Festival award at New City Theater's annual directors' festival in 1986, was in Anton Chekhov's one-man comedy " On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco". His son later admitted that even while performing in this play, he had been "smoking on the sly".
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