M. Emmet Walsh

Highest Rated: 100% The Music of Chance (1993)
Birthday: Mar 22, 1935
Birthplace: Not Available
Rarely garnering a lead role, M. Emmet Walsh has become one of the busiest character actors in Hollywood, using his ruddy, seedy appearance to embody countless low-life strangers with unsavory agendas. In his rare sympathetic roles, he's also capable of generating genuine pathos for the put upon plight of struggling small-timers. His effortless portrayals have made him a welcome addition to numerous ensembles, even if many viewers can't match a name to his recognizable mug. In fact, his work is so well thought of that critic Roger Ebert created the Stanton-Walsh Rule, which states that no film featuring either Walsh or Harry Dean Stanton can be altogether bad.Contrary to his frequent casting as a Southerner, Walsh is a native New Yorker, born on March 22, 1935, in Ogdensburg, NY. As a youth he attended the prestigious Tilton School in New Hampshire, and went on to share a college dorm room with actor William Devane. He graduated from the Clarkson University School of Business, but it was not until his thirties that he discovered his true calling: acting. He first popped up in Midnight Cowboy (1969), and has worked steadily ever since, some years appearing in as many as eight motion pictures, other years focusing more on TV movies. Working in relative anonymity through the '70s and early '80s, appearing in films ranging from Serpico (1973) to Slapshot (1977) to Blade Runner (1982), Walsh landed his meatiest and most memorable role in Joel and Ethan Coen's remarkable debut, Blood Simple (1984). Without batting an eye, Walsh exuded more casual menace as the amoral private detective doggedly pursuing his own self-interest than a host of typecast villains could muster in their entire careers. His role was key to creating a stylish noir that would launch the careers of two modern masters. It earned him an Independent Spirit Award.Blood Simple did not markedly alter Walsh's status as a supporting actor, as he went on to appear in this capacity in Fletch (1985), Back to School (1986), and Raising Arizona (1987), his next collaboration with the Coens, in which his bull-slinging machinist scores riotously with less than a minute of screen time. One of the first appearances of the kindly Walsh was in 1988's Clean and Sober, in which he plays a recovering alcoholic helping Michael Keaton through the same struggle.As he crept into his late fifties and early sixties, the stature of Walsh's films diminished a little, if not his actual workload. Continuing to dutifully pursue his craft throughout the early '90s, Walsh again returned to a higher profile with appearances in such films as A Time to Kill (1996), William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996), and My Best Friend's Wedding (1997). More as a reaction to the ineptitude of the movie than Walsh's performance, Ebert called into question his own Walsh-Stanton Rule in his review of Wild Wild West, the 1999 Will Smith-Kevin Kline debacle in which Walsh is one of the only tolerable elements. In the years to come, Walsh would remain active on screen, appearing in films like Youth in Revolt and providing the voice of Olaf on the animated series Pound Puppies.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Faith, Hope & Love Actor 2019
11% Change in the Air Walter 2018
No Score Yet Shifting Gears Hank 2018
No Score Yet Boiling Pot Dean Marison 2015
No Score Yet The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power Gorak 2015
90% Calvary Gerald Ryan $5.1M 2014
20% Arthur Newman Zazek $0.2M 2013
No Score Yet Love Sick Love Ed 2013
34% The Odd Life of Timothy Green Uncle Bub $51.9M 2012
38% Don McKay Samuel 2010
66% Youth in Revolt Mr. Saunders $15.2M 2010
11% Big Stan Lew Popper 2009
33% Sherman's Way Hoyt 2009
No Score Yet Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency Chief Van Owen 2009
No Score Yet Chasing 3000 Actor 2008
No Score Yet Your Name Here Actor 2008
No Score Yet Haunted Echoes Neil 2008
49% Man in the Chair Mickey Hopkins 2007
69% Christmas in the Clouds Stu O'Malley 2005
No Score Yet Greener Mountains Muggs 2005
35% Racing Stripes Woodzie $49.2M 2005
5% Christmas With the Kranks Walt Scheel $73.8M 2004
No Score Yet Me & Will Actor 2003
24% Snow Dogs George $81.2M 2002
60% Poor White Trash Judge Pike 2000
No Score Yet Eyeball Eddie Actor 2000
96% The Iron Giant Earl Stutz 1999
17% Wild Wild West Coleman 1999
No Score Yet Aliens in the Wild, Wild West Actor 1999
No Score Yet Baggage Sandy Westphall 1999
No Score Yet Jack of Hearts Commissioner Menlo Boyce 1999
No Score Yet Men in White (National Lampoon's Men in White) Stanley 1998
No Score Yet Erasable You Ralph Worth 1998
60% Twilight Lester Ivar 1998
73% My Best Friend's Wedding Joe O'Neal 1997
13% Chairman of the Board Freemont 1997
57% Retroactive Sam 1997
No Score Yet The Killing Jar Sheriff Foley 1997
72% Romeo + Juliet Apothecary 1996
50% Albino Alligator Dino 1996
No Score Yet The Lottery Chief Davis 1996
66% A Time to Kill Dr. Willard Tyrell Bass 1996
No Score Yet Portraits of a Killer Raymond Garrison 1996
31% Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Wilcox 1995
No Score Yet From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Morris 1995
27% Panther Dorsett 1995
No Score Yet Criminal Hearts Martin 1995
64% The Glass Shield Hal 1994
18% Camp Nowhere T.R. Polk 1994
14% Cops And Robbersons Actor 1994
No Score Yet Probable Cause Sadler 1994
No Score Yet Dead Badge Sgt. Miller 1994
No Score Yet Relative Fear (The Child) Earl 1994
100% The Music of Chance Calvin 1993
No Score Yet Four Eyes and Six-Guns Mayor Thornbush 1993
25% Wilder Napalm Fire Chief 1993
No Score Yet Bitter Harvest Sheriff Bob 1993
33% Equinox Pete Petosa 1992
47% White Sands Bert Gibson 1992
No Score Yet The Naked Truth Garcia / Gesundheim 1992
No Score Yet Killer Image John Kane 1992
No Score Yet Fourth Story, (Basic Deception) Harry 1991
58% Narrow Margin Sgt. Dominick Benti 1990
No Score Yet The Flash Henry Allen 1990
No Score Yet Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Milt 1990
No Score Yet Catch Me If You Can Johnny Phatmun 1989
17% Chattahoochee Morris 1989
No Score Yet War Party Detweiler 1989
88% The Mighty Quinn Miller 1989
9% Red Scorpion Dewey Ferguson 1989
No Score Yet Thunderground Actor 1989
58% Clean and Sober Richard 1988
17% Sunset Chief Dibner 1988
57% The Milagro Beanfield War The Governor 1988
50% No Man's Land Capt. Haun 1987
42% Harry and the Hendersons George Henderson Sr. 1987
91% Raising Arizona Machine Shop Ear-bender 1987
No Score Yet The Abduction of Kari Swenson Don Nichols 1987
No Score Yet Murder Ordained Vern Humphrey 1987
85% Back to School Coach Turnbull 1986
No Score Yet Broken Vows Detective Mulligan 1986
No Score Yet The Deliberate Stranger Detective Sam Davies 1986
No Score Yet Resting Place Sarge 1986
56% Critters Harv 1986
18% Wildcats Coes 1986
31% The Best of Times Charlie 1986
No Score Yet Rich Hall Actor 1986
76% Fletch Dr. Dolan 1985
94% Blood Simple Visser 1984
No Score Yet Grandview U.S.A. Mr. Clark 1984
90% The Pope of Greenwich Village Burns 1984
No Score Yet Scandalous Simon Reynolds 1984
20% Missing in Action Jack Tucker 1984
No Score Yet Raw Courage Colonel Crouse 1984
79% Silkwood Walt Yarborough 1983
No Score Yet Night Partners Actor 1983
No Score Yet The Woman Who Willed a Miracle Joe Lemke 1983
No Score Yet Fast-Walking Sgt. Sanger 1982
90% Blade Runner Bryant 1982
No Score Yet The Escape Artist Fritz 1982
80% Cannery Row Mack 1982
92% Blade Runner (The Final Cut) Bryant $0.3M 1982
92% Reds Speaker at the Liberal Club 1981
44% Back Roads Arthur 1981
No Score Yet High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane Harold Patton 1980
91% Ordinary People Swim Coach 1980
43% Raise the Titanic MCPO Vinnie Giordino 1980
75% Brubaker C.P. Woodward 1980
No Score Yet City in Fear Sheldon Lewis 1980
83% The Jerk Madman 1979
No Score Yet The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh Wally Cantrell 1979
No Score Yet A Question of Guilt Actor 1978
86% Straight Time Earl Frank 1978
No Score Yet Tendre Poulet (Dear Detective) (Dear Inspector) Actor 1978
43% Airport '77 Dr. Williams 1977
83% Slap Shot Dickie Dunn 1977
No Score Yet Red Alert Actor 1977
14% Nickelodeon Logan 1976
85% Bound for Glory Actor 1976
No Score Yet The Invasion of Johnson County Actor 1976
83% Mikey and Nicky Bus Driver 1976
50% The Prisoner of Second Avenue Actor 1975
23% At Long Last Love Harold 1975
88% The Gambler Las Vegas Gambler 1974
90% Serpico Gallagher 1973
No Score Yet Kid Blue Barber 1973
No Score Yet Get to Know Your Rabbit Mr. Wendel 1972
90% What's Up, Doc? Arresting Officer 1972
70% They Might Be Giants Sanitation Man 1971
78% Escape from the Planet of the Apes Aide 1971
50% Cold Turkey Art 1971
96% Little Big Man Shotgun Guard 1970
No Score Yet End of the Road Actor 1970
No Score Yet The Traveling Executioner Warden Brodski 1970
63% Alice's Restaurant Group W Sergeant 1969
90% Midnight Cowboy Actor 1969
No Score Yet Stiletto Actor 1969


No Score Yet 'Til Death
Uncle Rudolph
  • 2010
18% The Mind of the Married Man
Randall Evans Randall
  • 2002
  • 2001
94% Frasier
Guest Rich
  • 2001
No Score Yet Night Visions
  • 2001
84% NYPD Blue
M.E. Joe Kroft
  • 2000
75% The X-Files
Arthur Dales
  • 1999
No Score Yet Early Edition
  • 1996
No Score Yet The Outer Limits
  • 1996
No Score Yet Home Improvement
Jill's Father
  • 1994
No Score Yet Ken Burns' Baseball
  • 1994
82% Tales from the Crypt
  • 1989
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
  • 1985
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
  • 1981
No Score Yet Starsky & Hutch
Eckworth Freddie
  • 1978
  • 1976
No Score Yet The Rockford Files
Edgar Burch
  • 1975
No Score Yet The Waltons
David Fletcher
  • 1975
No Score Yet The Bob Newhart Show
Jack Hoover
  • 1972
No Score Yet All in the Family
  • 1971
No Score Yet Bonanza
  • 1971
No Score Yet Ironside
Telegraph Clerk
  • 1971
No Score Yet The Hitchhiker