Image of Sean McClory

Sean McClory

Sean McClory was born in Dublin, Ireland, but spent his early life in Galway. He was the son of Hugh Patrick, an architect and civil engineer, and Mary Margaret Ball, who had been a model. Sean decided to become an actor and joined Dublin's renowned Abbey Theater (also known as the National Theater of Ireland, opened in 1904). He rose through the ranks playing in productions of the works of such authors as William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, and soon began to play leads mostly in comedies (popular through most of the 1940s and into the 1950s). When comedies began to fade from the theater after World War II, McClory with turned an eye toward film. In early 1947 he decided to make the jump to America and break into Hollywood. His first roles were that of a staple in American films: the Irish cop, which he played in two of the "Dick Tracy" series in 1947. In 1949 he signed a short contract with 20th Century-Fox. By 1950 he was showing up in more notable films - though uncredited, particularly in The Glass Menagerie (1950). Within a year McClory's talents were being showcased in various small feature roles. John Ford finally began casting - a painstaking process for the finicky director -- for his long conceived The Quiet Man (1952) and chose McClory for a small but showy part, in which he was seen throughout the film feature with Charles B. Fitzsimons, the younger brother of the film's star, Maureen O'Hara, playing an Irish villager. Although some of the cast were familiar members of the "John Ford Stock Company", many roles were filled by actual Irish villagers (the film was shot on location) and included a generous helping of Abbey Theater alumni: the Shields brothers (Barry Fitzgerald and Arthur Shields) and Jack MacGowran, in addition to O'Hara McClory. Ford wanted him for roles in several of his subsequent films, however McClory's busy film and TV schedule only allowed him to accept roles in two other Ford films, The Long Gray Line and Cheyenne Autumn. McClory had a cultured, neutral Irish brogue that fit well in small- or big-screen performances, unlike such Irish actors as Barry Fitzgerald who, though very effective and beloved, had a thick brogue that kept him forever cast as an Irishman. As a result, McClory was much more at home in American TV and had many memorable roles from 1953 onward, appearing in a gamut of episodic TV in addition to his feature film work. However, it was his frequent appearances on the small screen that enabled McClory to stand out in viewers' memories, especially in a range of western and adventure series (in which he played a good sprinkling of Irish characters) well into the 1970s. Though not as busy in the 1980s as he was in the '70s, one role in which he truly stood out was in an adaptation by John Huston of Irish writer James Joyce's famous 1907 short story "The Dead" made in 1987 (The Dead (1987)), his final film appearance. McClory's role as Mr. Grace was not a character in the original story but was created by Huston and his son Tony Huston to provide McClory with a reading of the medieval Irish poem "Young Donal", which was very effective to the mood of this look at Irish family remembrance.

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Mar 8, 1924 In Dublin
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Beyond Glory 1948-08-03
Latest Project:
Movie Body Bags 1993-08-07
Known For
Poster of The Outcasts
Poster of The Guns of Fort Petticoat
Poster of I Cover the Underworld
Poster of Beyond Glory
Movie Body Bags Minister 1993-08-07
Movie The Dead Mr. Grace 1987-09-03
Movie My Chauffeur O'Brien 1986-01-24
Series Murder, She Wrote Unknown 1984-09-30
Series Bring 'Em Back Alive 1982-09-24
Series Falcon Crest Unknown 1981-12-04
Movie Roller Boogie Jammer Delany 1979-12-21
Series How the West Was Won Unknown 1977-02-06
Series S.W.A.T. Unknown 1975-02-24
Series Kate McShane Pat McShane 1975-09-10
Movie Day of the Wolves The Sheriff 1971-01-01
Movie Bandolero! Robbie O'Hare 1968-06-01
Series The Outcasts Unknown 1968-09-23
Series Lancer Unknown 1968-09-24
Movie The Gnome-Mobile Horatio Quaxton 1967-07-17
Series The Guns of Will Sonnett Unknown 1967-09-08
Movie The Happiest Millionaire Police Sgt. 1967-11-30
Series The High Chaparral Unknown 1967-09-10
Series Mannix Unknown 1967-09-16
Series Tarzan Unknown 1966-09-08
Movie Follow Me, Boys! Edward White, Sr. 1966-12-01
Series Family Affair Unknown 1966-09-12
Series Lost in Space Unknown 1965-09-15
Series Honey West Unknown 1965-09-17
Movie مری پاپینز Hound / Reporter #4 (voice) (uncredited) 1964-08-27
Movie Cheyenne Autumn Dr. O'Carberry 1964-10-03
Series Daniel Boone Unknown 1964-09-24
Series The Outer Limits Unknown 1963-09-16
Series The Dakotas Unknown 1963-01-07
Series The Great Adventure Unknown 1963-09-27
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Series General Electric True Unknown 1962-09-30
Series The Beverly Hillbillies Unknown 1962-09-26
Movie Valley of the Dragons Michael Denning 1961-10-31
Series Surfside 6 Unknown 1960-10-06
Series Thriller Unknown 1960-09-13
Series The Islanders Unknown 1960-10-02
Series One Step Beyond Unknown 1959-01-20
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series The DuPont Show with June Allyson Unknown 1959-09-21
Series Adventures in Paradise Unknown 1959-10-05
Series The Swamp Fox 1959-10-23
Series The Detectives Unknown 1959-10-16
Series Wanted: Dead or Alive Unknown 1958-09-06
Series The Rifleman Unknown 1958-09-30
Series Bronco Unknown 1958-09-23
Series Have Gun – Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Movie The Guns of Fort Petticoat Emmett Kettle 1957-04-01
Series Richard Diamond, Private Detective Unknown 1957-07-01
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Series The Californians Jack McGivern 1957-09-24
Series The Adventures of Jim Bowie Unknown 1956-09-07
Movie Diane Montgomery 1956-01-12
Series Telephone Time Unknown 1956-04-08
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers Unknown 1956-10-21
Series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Unknown 1955-09-06
Movie Moonfleet Elzevir Block 1955-06-24
Movie The Long Gray Line Dinny Maher 1955-02-09
Movie I Cover the Underworld Gunner O'Hara / John O'Hara 1955-05-19
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series Frontier Unknown 1955-09-25
Series Matinee Theater Unknown 1955-10-31
Series The 20th Century Fox Hour Unknown 1955-10-05
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Movie Them! Maj. Kibbee 1954-06-16
Movie Ring of Fear Dublin O'Malley 1954-07-23
Series Climax! Unknown 1954-10-07
Series Lassie Unknown 1954-09-12
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Movie نیاگارا Sam (uncredited) 1953-01-26
Movie Plunder of the Sun Jefferson 1953-08-26
Movie Island in the Sky Frank Lovatt, Dooley's co-pilot 1953-09-05
Movie Man in the Attic Constable #1 1953-12-23
Movie The Quiet Man Owen Glynn 1952-07-21
Series Cavalcade of America Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie Storm Warning Shore 1951-02-10
Movie Anne of the Indies Hackett 1951-10-18
Movie Lorna Doone Charleworth Doone 1951-05-31
Movie The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady James Moore 1950-03-30
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Movie Beyond Glory Barney 1948-08-03