Tuesday, July 16, 2024

RIP Celebrated Journeyman Actor M. Emmett Walsh, 88, Made A Name for Himself with “Blood Simple”

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M. Emmett Walsh didn’t walk red carpets or win awards. He had no Oscar campaigns, although he did one Indie Spirit Award back when it mattered the Coen brothers’ “Blood Simple.”

He was so good in that movie, from 1984, that his career was settled. He never stopped working.

Walsh was from New York apparently, although he almost always played rednecks, often frightening or scheming ones. He was a journeyman actor who was never the lead, just the linchpin villain usually, or the plot signal, the one you would always remember. Even though he worked a lot in TV from the late 60s, Walsh didn’t catch on right away. It wasn’t until a good run in “The Jerk,” “Brubaker,” and “Ordinary People” that it was clear he wasn’t going anywhere. Then came “Blade Runner,” and “Blood Simple.”

The Coens used him one more time, in “Raising Arizona,” but by then there was no stopping him. It seems like M. Emmett Walsh worked right up the day he died.

RIP. He will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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