One of the shining lights of the Ireland's Abbey Players, Jack MacGowran achieved stage renown for his knowing interpretations of the works of fellow Irishman Samuel Beckett. Appropriately, many of MacGowran's films were set in the Auld Sod, notably The Quiet Man (1952), The Gentle Gunman (1953), Rooney (1958) and Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). Able to convey authority, menace, and leprechaunish charm, MacGowran was much in demand in the 1960s. His better later roles included stake-wielding Professor Abronsius in Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers and the Fool in the Paul Scofield version of King Lear (1971). On television, MacGowran co-starred with Lorne Greene on the Canadian adventure series Sailor of Fortune (1956). While in New York filming his scenes for The Exorcist (1973), MacGowran died of complications resulting from the recent London flu epidemic. Jack MacGowran was the father of actress Tara McGowran.