Joe Flynn (US actor)

Joe Flynn (US actor)

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Joe Flynn

imagesize = 200px
caption = Joe Flynn with co-star Tim Conway on TV sitcom "McHale's Navy"
dead = dead
birthdate = birth date|1924|11|8|mf=y
birthplace = Youngstown, Ohio
deathdate = death date and age|1974|7|19|1924|11|8|mf=y
deathplace = Los Angeles, California

Joe Flynn (November 8, 1924 – July 19, 1974) was an American character actor best known for his participation in the popular 1960s TV sitcom, "McHale's Navy".cite web | url = | title = Joe Flynn Obituary | publisher = | accessdate = 2007-04-02] He was also a frequent guest star on 1960s sitcoms such as "Batman" and appeared in several Walt Disney film comedies. Later in his career, Flynn worked as a voice actor for Disney animated features.

Early years

He was born to a prominent physician in Youngstown, Ohio, a steel-manufacturing center located near the Pennsylvania border. Flynn graduated from Youngstown's Rayen School, attended the University of Notre Dame for one year, and spent three years in the Army Medical Corps before moving west, in 1946, to pursue acting and complete his education. He majored in political science at the University of Southern California.cite news
title = Actor Flynn Drowns in Pool; Youngstown Native Was TV Comedian
work = The Youngstown Vindicator
page = 1
date = July 20, 1974
accessdate =

Early career

Flynn's interest in theater was evident well before his departure from northeastern Ohio. He established himself early on as a radio deejay and ventriloquist. Flynn also gained local celebrity as a director by guiding the Canfield (Ohio) Players in such productions as "Harvey", "Antigone", and "Pursuit of Happiness". He broke into television in pre-network days and, in 1948, starred in his own situation comedy, "Yer Old Buddy".

After appearing in a number of stage plays, Flynn returned to Youngstown, where in 1950, he conducted an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the Ohio Senate as a Republican.

Following his electoral defeat, he pursued his acting career and got his first real motion picture start in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window". After that, he appeared in nearly 30 films, including many Disney films. Flynn wouldlater recall watching an audience's reaction to his performance in the 1956 film "Indestructible Man". Although he played a serious part in the
horror film, people laughed, which convinced him that comedy was his forte.

McHale's Navy

Over the years, he achieved recognition in the television field, earning credits as a regular on "The Life of Riley" and "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet". In 1961, he was one of the regulars on the first season of "The Joey Bishop Show", but left early on, reportedly because he was stealing too many scenes from star Bishop. From 1962 through 1966, Flynn played the irascible Captain Binghamton (also known as "Old Leadbottom") on "McHale's Navy" and also starred in two theatrical films spun off from the series. In the 1963 comedy Son of Flubber, Flynn had a cameo as a TV announcer; ironcally Flynn would later star in the sequels of the "Flubber" series as Medfield College's "Dean Higgins" in a quartet of Disney Studio films from 1969-1975 "The Love Bug", "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes", "Now You See Him, Now You Don't" and "The Strongest Man in the World". Flynn also starred along with Don Knotts in the 1971 movie "How to Frame a Figg".

Later career and death

In the early 1970s, Flynn spearheaded a movement on behalf of the Screen Actors Guild for more equitable distribution of TV residual payments.

Shortly after completing voiceover work for the Disney animated feature, "The Rescuers" (1977), the 49-year-old Flynn was discovered by family members in the swimming pool of his Beverly Hills home, the victim of an apparent drowning accident. Although some celebrity friends expressed concern about the unusual circumstances surrounding Flynn's death, authorities found no evidence of foul play. Some believe Flynn suffered a heart attack while swimming.

Roots in northern Ohio

Throughout his life, Joe Flynn retained a deep affection for his hometown; and from 1969 to the year of his death, he was actively involved in northeastern Ohio's celebrated Kenley Players. He would often return to Youngstown to visit family residing on Elm Street, on the city's north side. In recognition of his contributions to the broadcasting field, Flynn became the ninth recipient of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters Award.


External links

* [ IMDB entry for Flynn]
* [ Obituary]
* [ Amazon list of DVDs featuring Joe Flynn]

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