Mickey Shaughnessy

Active - 1952 - 1987  |   Born - Aug 5, 1920   |   Died - Jul 23, 1985   |   Genres - Comedy, Crime, Romance, Western, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

One of the few non-Jewish performers to cut his teeth on the tourist resort circuit, Mickey Shaughnessy went on to appear in a WWII army revue, then spent the postwar years performing a nightclub comedy act. His secondary role in 1952's The Marrying Kind led to a long screen career, wherein the burly Shaughnessy was frequently cast as big, dumb lugs with golden hearts. While contracted with MGM, Shaughnessy appeared in Don't Go Near the Water (1955) as a potty-mouthed sailor (whose cuss words were amusingly bleeped out on the soundtrack), in Designing Women (1957) as a punch-drunk boxer, and in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960) as the Duke; he also essayed a rare unsympathetic role in 1958's The Sheepman. As Jerry Lewis' Navy buddy-turned-wrestler in Don't Give up the Ship (1959), Shaughnessy effortlessly stole the film from Lewis, which may explain why the two were never reteamed. After closing out his film career in the early '60s, Mickey Shaughnessy revived his nightclub act, priding himself on always working "clean" even into the 1980s.

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