Image of J. Farrell MacDonald

J. Farrell MacDonald

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Farrell MacDonald (June 6, 1875 – August 2, 1952) was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a 41-year career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917. MacDonald was the principal director of L. Frank Baum's Oz Film Manufacturing Company, and he can frequently be seen in the films of Frank Capra, Preston Sturges and, especially, John Ford. Early in his career, MacDonald was a singer in minstrel shows, and he toured the United States extensively for two years with stage productions. He made his first silent film in 1911, a dramatic short entitled The Scarlett Letter made by Carl Laemmle's Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP), the forerunner of Universal Pictures,. He continued to act in numerous films each year from that time on, and by 1912 he was directing them as well. The first film he directed was The Worth of a Man, another dramatic short, again for IMP, and he was to direct 43 more films until his last in 1917, Over the Fence, which he co-directed with Harold Lloyd. MacDonald had crossed paths with Lloyd several years earlier, when Lloyd was an extra and MacDonald had given him much-needed work – and he did the same with Hal Roach, both of whom appearing in small roles in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, which MacDonald directed in 1914. When Roach set up his own studio, with Lloyd as his principal attraction, he hired MacDonald to direct. By 1918, MacDonald, who was to become one of the most beloved character men in Hollywood, had given up directing and was acting full-time, predominantly in Westerns and Irish comedies. He first worked under director John Ford in 1919's A Fight for Love. In all, Ford would use MacDonald on twenty-five films between 1919 and 1950. With a voice that matched his personality, MacDonald made the transition to sound films easily, with no noticeable drop in his acting output – if anything, it went up. In 1931, for instance, MacDonald appeared in 14 films – among them the first version of The Maltese Falcon, in which he played "Detective Tom Polhaus" – and in 22 of them in 1932. Although he played laborers, policemen, military men and priests, among many other characters, his roles were usually a cut above a "bit part". His characters usually had names, and he was most often credited for his performances. A highlight of this period was his performance as the hobo "Mr. Tramp" in Our Little Girl with Shirley Temple (1935). In the 1940s, MacDonald was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in seven films written and directed by Sturges. MacDonald appeared in Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The Great Moment, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, Unfaithfully Yours and The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Sturges' last American film. Earlier, MacDonald had also appeared in The Power and the Glory, which Sturges wrote. His work on Sturges' films was generally uncredited. He was notable in 1946 in John Ford's My Darling Clementine in which he played "Mac," the bartender in the town saloon. MacDonald also had uncredited roles in It's a Wonderful Life and Here Comes The Groom.


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Born:
Jun 6, 1875 In Waterbury, Connecticut, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
216
First Appeared:
In the movie The Dream 1911-01-23
Latest Project:
Movie Superman and the Mole-Men 1951-11-23
Known For
Poster of My Darling Clementine
Poster of The Palm Beach Story
Poster of Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Poster of The First Year
Filmography
Movie Superman and the Mole-Men Pop Shannon 1951-11-23
Movie Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell Mr. Kroeger 1951-08-01
Movie Here Comes the Groom Husband on Airplane 1951-09-20
Movie Dakota Lil Ellis 1950-02-17
Movie The Daltons' Women Alvin 1950-02-25
Movie Woman on the Run Cap, the Retired Ferryboat Captain 1950-11-10
Movie Streets of San Francisco Pop Lockhart 1949-04-15
Movie The Dalton Gang Judge Price 1949-10-20
Movie Fury at Furnace Creek Pops Murphy (uncredited) 1948-04-30
Movie Belle Starr's Daughter Doc Benson 1948-11-13
Movie If You Knew Susie Police Sergeant (uncredited) 1948-02-07
Movie Shep Comes Home Sheriff Cap Weatherby 1948-12-03
Movie Whispering Smith Bill Baggs 1948-12-09
Movie Web of Danger Scotty MacKronish - Bus Driver 1947-06-10
Movie Keeper of the Bees Postmaster 1947-07-10
Movie The Sin of Harold Diddlebock Desk Sergeant (uncredited) 1947-04-04
Movie The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer Mac, Bailiff (uncredited) 1947-09-01
Movie Christmas Eve Policeman (uncredited) 1947-10-31
Movie Smoky Jim, the Cook 1946-07-01
Movie Joe Palooka, Champ Long-Count Bowman 1946-05-26
Movie My Darling Clementine Mac the barman 1946-10-17
Movie Goodbye, Weeds Gardener 1946-10-30
Movie It's a Wonderful Life Man Whose Grandfather Planted Tree (uncredited) 1946-12-20
Movie Hangover Square Street Vendor (uncredited) 1945-02-07
Movie Circumstantial Evidence Jury Foreman 1945-04-20
Movie A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Mr. Carney The Junkman (uncredited) 1945-02-28
Movie Johnny Angel Capt. Angel 1945-10-25
Movie Fallen Angel Bank Guard (uncredited) 1945-11-15
Movie Pillow of Death 1945-12-14
Movie Texas Masquerade John Martindale 1944-02-08
Movie The Ape Man Captain 1943-03-05
Movie Tiger Fangs Geoffrey MacCardle 1943-09-10
Movie The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek Sheriff (uncredited) 1943-12-24
Movie True to Life Bit Role 1943-12-24
Movie Captains of the Clouds Dr. Neville (from Churchtown) 1942-02-12
Movie Wild Bill Hickok Rides Henry Hathaway 1942-01-31
Movie Private Snuffy Smith Gen. Rosewater 1942-01-16
Movie One Thrilling Night Police Sergeant Haggerty 1942-06-05
Movie Reap the Wild Wind Port Captain 1942-03-26
Movie The Living Ghost Police Lt. 'Pete' Peterson 1942-08-11
Movie The McGuerins from Brooklyn Cop 1942-12-31
Movie Bowery at Midnight Capt. Mitchell 1942-10-30
Movie The Palm Beach Story Officer O'Donnell (uncredited) 1942-08-28
Movie Phantom Killer Police Captain 1942-10-02
Movie In Old Cheyenne Tim Casey 1941-04-04
Movie Meet John Doe 'Sourpuss' 1941-03-14
Movie The Great Lie Dr. Ferguson 1941-04-05
Movie Broadway Limited Mulcahey 1941-06-13
Movie Riders of the Timberline Jim Kerrigan 1941-09-17
Movie Law of the Timber Adams 1941-12-19
Movie The Light of Western Stars Bill Stillwell 1940-04-17
Movie I Take This Oath Insp. Tim Ryan 1940-05-20
Movie Knights of the Range Cappy 1940-02-23
Movie Prairie Law Sheriff Jim Austin 1940-06-14
Movie Dark Command Dave 1940-04-15
Movie The Last Alarm Jim Hadley 1940-06-25
Movie Friendly Neighbors Sheiff Potts 1940-11-17
Movie Pony Express Days Nevada Jim 1940-07-13
Movie Untamed Doctor Billar 1940-10-04
Movie Stagecoach War Jeff Chapman 1940-07-12
Movie Zenobia Judge 1939-04-21
Movie East Side of Heaven Doorman 1939-04-07
Movie The Lone Ranger Rides Again Craig Dolan 1939-02-25
Movie Susannah of the Mounties Pat O'Hannegan 1939-06-13
Movie Mickey the Kid Sheriff J.J. Willoughby 1939-07-03
Movie The Housekeeper's Daughter Captain 1939-10-26
Movie They Shall Have Music Police Chief (uncredited) 1939-08-18
Movie The Gentleman from Arizona Wild Bill Coburn 1939-12-25
Movie Coast Guard Capt. Hansen (uncredited) 1939-08-04
Movie Conspiracy Captain of the Falcon 1939-08-01
Movie White Banners Dr. Thompson 1938-06-23
Movie Barefoot Boy Warden 1938-08-03
Movie Numbered Woman Capt. Ryan 1938-05-22
Movie State Police Charlie Wheeler 1938-03-18
Movie The Crowd Roars Father Patrick Ryan 1938-08-06
Movie Extortion Coach Pearson 1938-05-09
Movie My Old Kentucky Home Mayor Jim Hopkins 1938-02-09
Movie Submarine Patrol CWO 'Sails' Quincannon 1938-11-25
Movie There Goes My Heart Officer 1938-10-14
Movie Come On, Rangers Colonel Forbes 1938-11-21
Movie Little Orphan Annie 'Pop' Corrigan 1938-12-02
Movie The Last Express William Barton (Detective Agency Head) 1938-10-27
Movie Gang Bullets Chief Reardon 1938-11-10
Movie Slim Pop 1937-06-24
Movie Slave Ship Proprietor 1937-06-16
Movie Maid of Salem Captain of Ship 1937-02-12
Movie Flying Fists Bill 'One-Punch' Fagin 1937-07-01
Movie The Great Barrier Major Rogers (as J.Farrell Macdonald) 1937-01-02
Movie The Hit Parade Sgt. O'Hara 1937-04-26
Movie Parnell Irish Laborer (uncredited) 1937-06-04
Movie Courage of the West Buck Saunders 1937-12-01
Movie Roaring Timber Andrew MacKinley 1937-07-03
Movie County Fair Calvin Williams 1937-11-24
Movie The Game That Kills Joe Holland 1937-09-21
Movie Topper Policeman (as J. Farrell McDonald) 1937-07-16
Movie My Dear Miss Aldrich 'Doc' Howe 1937-09-17
Movie Florida Special Captain Timothy Harrigan 1936-04-21
Movie Riffraff 'Brains' 1936-01-03
Movie Exclusive Story Michael Devlin 1936-01-17
Movie Show Boat Windy MacLaine 1936-05-17
Movie Mysterious Crossing Police Chief Bullock 1936-12-27
Movie Northern Frontier Inspector 1935-02-01
Movie The Whole Town's Talking Prison Warden (uncredited) 1935-02-22
Movie Square Shooter Sheriff 1935-01-21
Movie Star of Midnight Inspector Doremus 1935-04-19
Movie Maybe It's Love The Cop 1935-01-12
Movie Our Little Girl Hobo 1935-01-01
Movie Romance in Manhattan Officer Murphy 1935-01-11
Movie The Best Man Wins Captain--Harbor Patrol 1935-01-14
Movie The Arizonian Marshal Andy Jordan 1935-06-27
Movie Danger Ahead Harry Cromwell 1935-08-01
Movie Waterfront Lady Capt. O'Brien 1935-10-04
Movie Let 'em Have It Mr. Keefer 1935-05-15
Movie The Irish in Us Capt. Jackson 1935-07-31
Movie Fighting Youth Coach Parker 1935-11-01
Movie The Healer Applejack 1935-06-14
Movie Shadows of the Orient Inspector Sullivan 1935-07-05
Movie Front Page Woman Hallohan 1935-07-11
Movie Man of Two Worlds Michael 1934-01-13
Movie The Crosby Case The Doorman--Mike Costello 1934-03-05
Movie Once to Every Woman John Flannigan 1934-03-24
Movie Peg o' My Heart Patrick Shamus 'Pat' O'Connell 1933-05-26
Movie The Working Man Henry 'Hank' Davis 1933-04-20
Movie The Iron Master J.C. Stillman 1933-02-04
Movie How to Break 90 #6: Fine Points 1933-08-04
Movie The Power and the Glory Mulligan 1933-10-06
Movie I Loved a Woman Shuster 1933-09-23
Movie Myrt And Marge Grady 1933-11-25
Movie Murder on the Campus Police Capt. Ed Kyne 1933-12-26
Movie Stranger in Town Scout 1932-07-07
Movie The Hurricane Express Jim Baker 1932-08-01
Movie Madame Racketeer John Adams 1932-07-23
Movie The Strange Love of Molly Louvain Police Sgt. J.B. Antrim (uncredited) 1932-05-28
Movie Hotel Continental Detective Martin 1932-03-27
Movie The Thirteenth Guest Captain Ryan 1932-08-09
Movie Discarded Lovers Sommers 1932-01-02
Movie Probation George Holman 1932-04-01
Movie Scandal for Sale Treadway 1932-04-01
Movie Hearts of Humanity Tom O'Hara 1932-08-31
Movie Men Are Such Fools Prison Warden Randolph 1932-11-19
Movie Me and My Gal Pop Riley 1932-12-04
Movie The Phantom Express D.J. 'Smokey' Nolan 1932-08-15
Movie Pride of the Legion Chief Scott 1932-10-17
Movie No Man of Her Own 'Dickie' Collins 1932-12-30
Movie The Racing Strain Mr. Martin 1932-12-30
Movie 70,000 Witnesses State Coach 1932-09-09
Movie Heritage of the Desert Adam Naab 1932-09-30
Movie Woman Hungry Buzzard 1931-04-04
Movie The Painted Desert Jeff Cameron 1931-03-07
Movie The Stolen Jools Policeman 1931-04-04
Movie Other Men's Women Peg-Leg 1931-01-17
Movie The Millionaire Dan Lewis 1931-05-01
Movie Under Eighteen Pop Evans 1931-01-02
Movie The Easiest Way Ben Murdock 1931-02-07
Movie How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 9: 'The Driver' Unknown 1931-08-18
Movie The Spirit of Notre Dame The Coach 1931-10-13
Movie Touchdown! Pop Stewart 1931-11-15
Movie Too Young to Marry Rev. Stump 1931-05-03
Movie The Brat Timson, the butler 1931-09-19
Movie The Squaw Man Big Bill 1931-09-04
Movie The Maltese Falcon Det. Sgt. Tom Polhaus 1931-05-28
Movie Sporting Blood MacGuire 1931-08-08
Movie Men Without Women Costello 1930-02-08
Movie Song o' My Heart Rafferty 1930-09-06
Movie The Truth About Youth Colonel Graham 1930-11-03
Movie The Girl of the Golden West Sonora Slim 1930-10-12
Movie River's End O'Toole 1930-11-01
Movie Strong Boy Angus McGregor 1929-03-03
Movie Masked Emotions Will Whitten 1929-06-22
Movie Happy Days Train Conductor 1929-09-16
Movie The Painted Angel Pa Hudler 1929-12-01
Movie South Sea Rose Hackett 1929-12-09
Movie Bringing Up Father Jiggs 1928-03-18
Movie The Cohens and the Kellys in Paris 1928-01-15
Movie 4 Devils The Clown 1928-10-03
Movie None But the Brave John Craig 1928-08-05
Movie In Old Arizona Stage Passenger (uncredited) 1928-12-25
Movie Riley the Cop James 'Aloysius' Riley 1928-11-25
Movie Abie's Irish Rose Unknown 1928-11-03
Movie Paid to Love Peter Roberts 1927-07-23
Movie The Cradle Snatchers George Martin 1927-05-28
Movie East Side, West Side Pug Malone 1927-10-09
Movie Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans The Photographer 1927-11-04
Movie The Shamrock Handicap Con O'Shea 1926-05-02
Movie The First Year Mr. Barstow 1926-01-24
Movie 3 Bad Men Mike Costigan 1926-08-28
Movie The Family Upstairs Unknown 1926-08-29
Movie Kentucky Pride Donavan 1925-09-06
Movie Lightnin' Lemuel Townsend 1925-08-23
Movie The Lucky Horseshoe Mack 1925-08-30
Movie Thank You Andy 1925-10-05
Movie The Fighting Heart Jerry 1925-10-18
Movie Mademoiselle Midnight Duc de Moing (Prologue) 1924-04-14
Movie Western Luck 'Chuck' Campbell 1924-06-22
Movie The Iron Horse Corporal Casey 1924-08-24
Movie The Signal Tower Pete 1924-07-19
Movie While Paris Sleeps 1923-01-21
Movie Sky High Jim Frazer 1922-01-15
Movie Come on Over Unknown 1922-03-11
Movie The Bonded Woman Unknown 1922-08-21
Movie The Young Rajah Amhad Beg - Prime Minister 1922-11-11
Movie The Ghost Breaker Sam Marcum 1922-09-10
Movie Action Mormon Peters 1921-09-12
Movie Trailin' Joseph Piotto 1921-12-11
Movie Hitchin' Posts Unknown 1920-09-13
Movie Roped Butler 1919-01-03
Movie Riders of Vengeance Buell 1919-06-09
Movie A Fight For Love The Priest 1919-03-24
Movie Marked Men Tom Placer McGraw 1919-12-21
Movie The Outcasts of Poker Flat Unknown 1919-06-29
Movie A Sporting Chance Unknown 1919-06-28
Movie Rags Paul Ferguson (as Joseph Farrell MacDonald) 1915-08-02
Movie A Timely Repentance Louis Nordell 1912-03-11
Movie The Dream Secondary Role (uncredited) 1911-01-23
Movie 'Tween Two Loves Farmer Howard 1911-09-28
Movie The Lighthouse Keeper The Lighthouse Keeper 1911-05-18