J. Carrol Naish

J. Carrol Naish

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J. Carrol Naish

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Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish (January 21, 1896 – January 24, 1973) was an American character actor born in New York City. Naish did many film roles, but they were eclipsed when he found fame in the title role of CBS Radio's Life With Luigi (1948–1953), and which was also on CBS Television (1952-1953).

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. In Paris after World War I, Naish formed his own song and dance act. 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.

His 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 in the movie Sahara (1943), and for his performance 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 played Boris Karloff's assistant in House of Frankenstein (1944).

He was of Irish descent, but he never used his dialect skills to play Irishmen, explaining, "When the part of an Irishman comes along, nobody ever thinks of me." Instead, he portrayed myriad other ethnic groups on screen: Latino, Native American, East Asian, Polynesian, Middle Eastern/North African, South Asian, Eastern European and Mediterranean. ...
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