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Pat O'Malley

Pat O'Malley

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Also Known As: Patrick H O'Malley Jr. Died: May 21, 1966
Born: September 3, 1890 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Forest City, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though Mike O'Malley established himself as a credible comedic everyman as the title character of the short-lived sitcom, "Life with Roger" (The WB, 1996-97), it was a series of commercials for ESPN that brought him widespread attention. Directed by comedic genius Christopher Guest, the spots featured O'Malley as "The Rick," a likable sports fanatic in backward baseball cap whom all frat boys across the country could relate to. NBC gave O'Malley the green light to portray a slacker version of himself in the "The Mike O'Malley Show" (NBC, 1999) and his rise to fame finally seemed assured. But when the show was panned as sub-generic by the critics and ignored by the viewers, the network pulled the plug after only two episodes. O'Malley quickly found a new role on the popular "Yes Dear" (CBS, 2000-06), but was increasingly frustrated with being typecast as average schlubs in baseball caps. Then in 1999 O'Malley was finally given the opportunity to showcase his dramatic skills on the pop culture phenomenon, "Glee" (FOX, 2009-15), in which he portrayed a blue-collar dad struggling to come to terms with his openly gay son. He joined "Glee" as a regular on season two as his film career began to take off...

Though Mike O'Malley established himself as a credible comedic everyman as the title character of the short-lived sitcom, "Life with Roger" (The WB, 1996-97), it was a series of commercials for ESPN that brought him widespread attention. Directed by comedic genius Christopher Guest, the spots featured O'Malley as "The Rick," a likable sports fanatic in backward baseball cap whom all frat boys across the country could relate to. NBC gave O'Malley the green light to portray a slacker version of himself in the "The Mike O'Malley Show" (NBC, 1999) and his rise to fame finally seemed assured. But when the show was panned as sub-generic by the critics and ignored by the viewers, the network pulled the plug after only two episodes. O'Malley quickly found a new role on the popular "Yes Dear" (CBS, 2000-06), but was increasingly frustrated with being typecast as average schlubs in baseball caps. Then in 1999 O'Malley was finally given the opportunity to showcase his dramatic skills on the pop culture phenomenon, "Glee" (FOX, 2009-15), in which he portrayed a blue-collar dad struggling to come to terms with his openly gay son. He joined "Glee" as a regular on season two as his film career began to take off with projects including the Julia Roberts vehicle, "Eat Pray Love'' (2010). Once underestimated as just another "half-hour laugh track" guy, O'Malley was finally receiving the respect he had long deserved

Michael Edward O'Malley was born in Boston, MA on Halloween 1966, the son of a defense industry executive father and a career counselor mother. The family moved to New Hampshire where O'Malley later graduated from Bishop Guertin High School in 1984. He went on to attend the University of New Hampshire to study theatre, joking that he became an actor when he was cut from the baseball team and needed a new angle to score women. After college he left for New York City, where Nickelodeon hired him to host the children's game show, "Get the Picture" (1991). The following year, the network tapped him to host the sports competition series "GUTS" (later "Global GUTS") (1992-95) for four seasons.

O'Malley's rise continued when The WB cast him as the title character on the sitcom "Life with Roger" (1996-97). On the ill-fated show, he played a suicidal homeless man who is dissuaded from jumping off a bridge by Jason (Maurice Godim) when Jason's car breaks down on the bridge. Roger in turn talks Jason out of marrying his fiancée and the two become roommates with a heavy dose of male bonding. The show was cancelled due to low ratings after 20 episodes, but in 1999, NBC signed him to star, script, and executive produce his own sitcom, "The Mike O'Malley Show," which also featured his sister, Broadway actress Kerry O'Malley. Thirteen episodes were filmed, but bad reviews and even worse ratings convinced the network to pull the plug after airing only two. At only age 32, O'Malley was convinced he was out of the business.

But five months later, the dejected actor was cast in "Yes Dear" (CBS, 2000-06) as Jimmy Hughes, resurrecting O'Malley's belief in his talent and his faith in show business. "Yes Dear" followed the travails of Jimmy and wife Christine (Liza Snyder) who live in a carriage house next door to Christine's sister Kim (Jean Louisa Kelly) and her husband Greg (Anthony Clark). The show focused on the different approaches to living taken by the overachieving yuppies Greg and Kim, opposed to the laid-back, working class Jimmy and Christine. An instant hit, CBS moved it to the enviable 8 p.m. slot of their top-ranked Monday night lineup, and the series ran for six seasons and 122 episodes.

A newly minted sitcom star, O'Malley kept busy in other ways as well. He provided the voice of Darryl for The WB's animated "Baby Blues" (2000-02), and hosted numerous specials like "CBS's Funny Flubs & Screw-Ups" (2000) and "CBS's Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" (2001-04). Most prominently, he starred in ESPN spots as the overzealous sports fan, "The Rick." In 2009, he became the spokesman for Time Warner Cable's digital cable. He had already made his big screen debut in 1998's "Deep Impact," and went on to appear in high-profile films like "Pushing Tin" (1999), "28 Days" (2000), "The Perfect Man" (2005), "Leatherheads" (2008), and "Meet Dave" (2008). Three plays he had penned were performed Off-Broadway and in Los Angeles, including "Three Years from Thirty" (1996), "Diverting Devotion" (1997), and "Searching for Certainty" (2003).

After "Yes Dear" finished its run, he enjoyed 14 guest appearances on "My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09) from 2006 to 2009, and nine episodes on the Christian Slater drama/thriller, "My Own Worst Enemy" (2008). But in interviews he mentioned that he was considering retiring, citing frustration with always playing "doofus guys" because of his "rubbery face." Then in 2009 things changed again. He was given the opportunity to showcase a different side of himself with the recurring role of Burt Hummel, the gruff single father of gay student Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) on Fox's musical teen drama, "Glee." Reportedly, series creator Ryan Murphy had tired of gay characters on TV never getting their happy ending, so when Kurt comes out to his traditional "man's man" father, Burt admits it will take some getting used to but confirms that his love for his son is unbreakable. Journalists expressed pleasant surprise in seeing the "Yes Dear" star so ably handling a dramatic role, and in July 2010 O'Malley received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor. Meanwhile, O'Malley kept working, taking a recurring role on NBC's "Parenthood" (2010-15) as Lauren Graham's on-again/off-again love interest. And when "Glee" co-creator Murphy adapted the novel "Eat Pray Love" for the big screen, he wrote a part especially for O'Malley; that of Andy Shiraz, the husband of Julia Robert's manager Delia (Viola Davis).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Skin Game (1971) William
2.
 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Baggage man
3.
 Blackjack Ketchum, Desperado (1956) Doc Blaine
4.
 Wyoming Renegades (1955) Old conductor
5.
 The Long Gray Line (1955) Priest
6.
 Brigadoon (1954) Townsman
7.
 The Wild One (1954) Sawyer
8.
 A Star Is Born (1954) Man at racetrack
9.
 The Great Diamond Robbery (1954) Policeman
10.
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