George Walsh

Active - 1916 - 1937  |   Born - Jan 1, 1892   |   Died - Jun 13, 1981   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Action, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The younger brother of director Raoul Walsh, George Walsh attended Fordham and Georgetown, intending to become a lawyer. Eventually he joined his brother at the Reliance-Majestic studios in 1914, playing a variety of roles in the company's two-reel dramas. When Raoul moved to Fox in 1915, George Walsh went along, and after several supporting parts (including a stopover at D.W. Griffith's studio to play the Groom of Canaan in Intolerance), he was promoted to starring roles. An "action" hero in the Douglas Fairbanks mold, he was at his best in such go-getting fare as Blue Blood and Red (directed by his brother) and Putting One Over. During this period, he married actress Seena Owen, a union which lasted until 1924. The six-foot-tall Walsh was heavily promoted by screenwriter June Mathis to play the title role in Ben-Hur. He remained offscreen during the three-year preparation for this mammoth production; when it was finally decided to cast Ramon Novarro as Ben-Hur instead, Walsh found that his career was ruined. He attempted a comeback in the early '30s, playing supporting roles in a handful of films directed by his brother, including Me and My Gal (1932) and Klondike Annie (1936). George Walsh finally gave up films to work as a race horse trainer for Hollywood's celebrities, including, inevitably, brother Raoul.

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