Image of J.P. McGowan

J.P. McGowan

From Wikipedia John Paterson McGowan (February 24, 1880 – March 26, 1952) was a pioneering Hollywood actor and director and occasionally a screenwriter and producer. J. P. McGowan, as he was usually known, remains the only Australian to have been made a life member of the Screen Directors Guild (now Directors Guild of America). Born in the then-bustling railway centre of Terowie in South Australia, McGowan grew up in Adelaide (Islington) and Sydney. He was a capable horseman and served in the Second Boer War with Montmorency's Scouts as a special dispatch rider. McGowan directed and often acted in the first 33 episodes of Kalem's 1914 adventure film series, The Hazards of Helen, which eventually ran to 54 episodes, some still with McGowan's participation. While filming he began a relationship with Helen Holmes, the film's star, and the two married. They left Kalem to set up their own production company, Signal Films, which successfully made a series of railroad melodramas but lost out when their distributor (Mutual) failed. The collaboration ended when they divorced in 1925. There was an adopted daughter, Kaye. McGowan successfully made the transition from silent film to talkies. While never a major star, in a busy career that spanned four decades he is credited with acting in 232 films—mostly strong roles like sheriff or villain—writing 26 screenplays and directing 242 productions. In 1932 he directed a young John Wayne in the 12-episode rail vs airplane serial The Hurricane Express for the independent Mascot Pictures. From 1938 to 1951, as Executive Secretary of the Screen Directors Guild, he fought to secure recognition for the director within the studio systems of the film and emerging television industry. J.P. McGowan died in 1952 in Hollywood and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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Feb 24, 1880
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie A Lad from Old Ireland 1910-01-01
Latest Project:
Movie The Lady and the Bandit 1951-08-13
Known For
Poster of The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok
Poster of Slave Ship
Poster of East of Java
Poster of O'Malley Rides Alone
Movie The Lady and the Bandit Old Man 1951-08-13
Movie Code of the Fearless Undetermined Minor Role 1939-01-05
Movie Stagecoach (uncredited) 1939-03-03
Movie The Buccaneer Jailer 1938-02-04
Movie Kidnapped Clansman 1938-05-27
Movie The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok Scudder 1938-06-30
Movie Hit the Saddle Rance McGowan 1937-03-03
Movie Borderland El Rio Sheriff 1937-02-26
Movie Jungle Jim Ship Captain J.S. Robinson 1937-01-18
Movie Slave Ship Helmsman 1937-06-16
Movie Empty Holsters U.S. Marshal Billy O'Neill 1937-07-09
Movie Prairie Thunder Col. Stanton 1937-09-10
Movie She Had to Eat Police Sergeant (uncredited) 1937-07-02
Movie Heart of the Rockies Ed Dawson 1937-09-06
Movie Rough Riding Rhythm Pete Hobart 1937-08-14
Movie Fury and the Woman Anderson 1936-09-22
Movie Ride 'Em Cowboy Jim Howard 1936-09-20
Movie Guns and Guitars Dave Morgan 1936-06-22
Movie Robin Hood of El Dorado Danglong 1936-03-17
Movie The Three Mesquiteers Brack Canfield 1936-09-22
Movie The Accusing Finger Inner Guard 1936-11-17
Movie Sinner Take All Police Officer Murphy (uncredited) 1936-12-18
Movie Stampede Matt Stevens 1936-11-26
Movie Whispering Smith Speaks Caboose Passenger (uncredited) 1935-05-15
Movie The Outlaw Tamer Sheriff Jim Porter 1935-03-15
Movie Border Brigands Inspector Winston - RCMP 1935-05-31
Movie The Call of the Savage Freighter Captain 1935-04-14
Movie Murder in the Fleet Chief of Police (Uncredited) 1935-05-24
Movie Bar 20 Rides Again Buck Peters 1935-12-06
Movie East of Java Sergeant, Rescue Party 1935-12-01
Movie The Silent Code Commissioner 1935-11-20
Movie Diamond Jim Engineer 1935-09-01
Movie The Red Rider Scotty McKee 1934-07-16
Movie Somewhere in Sonora Monte Black 1933-05-27
Movie Lawless Valley Big Mike Carter, aka El Lobo, aka Texas Rand 1932-05-01
Movie Flaming Gold Mack 1932-09-28
Movie Quick Trigger Lee Brings note / Director 1931-12-24
Movie O'Malley Rides Alone Angus McGregor 1930-01-01
Movie Headin' Westward Sneezer Clark 1929-02-15
Movie Below the Deadline Taggart 1929-01-02
Movie Señor Americano Maddox 1929-11-10
Movie The Lawless Legion Matson 1929-02-17
Movie The Last Roundup Hash 1929-06-30
Movie The Oklahoma Kid Unknown 1929-11-01
Movie The Cowboy and the Outlaw Pepper Hardcastle 1929-10-01
Movie Law of the Plains Unknown 1929-08-19
Movie The Code of the Scarlet Blake 1928-07-01
Movie Ships of the Night Motilla 1928-11-27
Movie Arizona Days Ed Hicks 1928-08-01
Movie Red Signals Unknown 1927-03-01
Movie Arizona Nights Unknown 1927-08-28
Movie The Red Raiders Captain Ortwell 1927-09-27
Movie Gun Gospel Bill Brogan 1927-11-06
Movie Senor Daredevil Jesse Wilks 1926-08-01
Movie Crack O' Dawn Unknown 1926-10-16
Movie Outwitted Unknown 1925-01-01
Movie The Lost Express Train Engineer 1925-07-28
Movie The Whipping Boss Livingston 1924-02-09
Movie The Girl and the Game Unknown 1915-01-02
Movie The Hazards of Helen Ep09: The Leap from the Water Tower Rand - the Fireman 1915-01-09
Movie His Mother Unknown 1912-01-25
Movie Captured by Bedouins Unknown 1912-06-26
Movie Winning a Widow Unknown 1912-07-05
Movie From the Manger to the Cross Wise Man 1 1912-10-03
Movie Slim Jim's Last Chance The Rancher 1911-04-13
Movie By a Woman's Wit Unknown 1911-04-04
Movie The Fiddler’s Requiem Unknown 1911-05-03
Movie A Sawmill Hero Unknown 1911-03-22
Movie Rory O'More Unknown 1911-09-03
Movie The Colleen Bawn Hardress Cregan 1911-10-16
Movie When the Dead Return Jacques 1911-05-05
Movie The Special Messenger Royal 1911-08-16
Movie Railroad Raiders of '62 Federal Officer 1911-06-15
Movie A Lad from Old Ireland Election Agent 1910-01-01
Movie When Lovers Part Unknown 1910-12-23