American actor Paul Guilfoyle was a familiar Broadway presence in the years 1928 through 1934, most often seen in musicals and comedies. Switching his activities to filmmaking in 1935, Guilfoyle continued playing comedy relief roles, often as the best friend and severest critic of the hero. In the 1940s, Guilfoyle began settling into villainy; his furtive features made him the "perfect" gangland hanger-on or snivelling stoolie. In this latter characterization, Guilfoyle was most memorable as the prison informer who is "ventilated" by James Cagney in White Heat (1949) and as the communist party flunkey who is deep-sixed by cell leader Thomas Gomez in I Married a Communist (1949). In the 1950s, Guilfoyle turned to directing, helming such programmers as Captain Scarface (1953) and Tess of the Storm Country (1961). Paul Guilfoyle's son, also named Paul, went on to become an actor, as well.
by Hal Erickson biography