Pat O'Brien (I)

Pat O'Brien (I)


11/11/1899, Milwaukee, Wisconsin U.S.A.



Birth Name

William Joseph O'Brien



Also Known As

Pat O'Brien (II)
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Born 1899, Pat along with his school friend Spencer Tracy attended Marquette Academy, a Catholic Secondary School. Both of them enlisted in the Navy at the start of World War II, but neither saw action. Both moved to New York City, shared an apartment and auditioned for shows.…more


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  • A class act on and off screen.

    The late, great Pat O'Brien was all-Irish and all-American. He is perhaps best-known as the legendary Notre Dame football coach in "Knute Rockne-All American". Other film roles were in "The Front Page", "The Boy With Green Hair", and, perhaps my favorite, "Fighting Father Dunne". He also played hard-boiled but likable police detectives in gangster movies. He was a devout Catholic and one of his proudest moments was as a guest at the Vatican of His Holiness Pope Pius XII. His movie offers started to dry up in the late 1940s, and in his biography, "The Wind at My Back", he suggested it was because he opposed communist influence in movie studios, even though he was never very vocal about it. Quite a switch from the many who were black-listed for allegedly supporting communist influence or working toward advancing it (let's face it, many were guilty). He did nevertheless get some good roles, although much of his postwar work was in television. He had the leading role in "Harrigan and Son" (CBS 1960-61) , which lasted one season, and had many guest roles, often as a priest, a profession for which he would have been well-suited, and which he considered before making it in movies.

    He was one of the last great Hollywood stars who had real class. It is, tragically, a rarity today. May the wind be at your back, Pat!moreless