M. Emmet Walsh - Rotten Tomatoes

M. Emmet Walsh

Highest Rated:   100% The Music of Chance (1993)
Birthday:  
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

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Change in the Air
  • Actor
2017
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
No Score Yet The Traveling Executioner
  • Actor
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
56% 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
59% Twilight
  • Lester Ivar
1998
72% 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
44% Albino Alligator
  • Dino
1996
No Score Yet The Lottery
  • Chief Davis
1996
67% A Time to Kill
  • Dr. Willard Tyrell Bass
1996
No Score Yet Portraits of a Killer
  • Raymond Garrison
1996
33% 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
15% 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
59% 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
84% 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
53% Critters
  • Harv
1986
13% Wildcats
  • Coes
1986
33% 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
21% Missing in Action
  • Jack Tucker
1984
No Score Yet Raw Courage
  • Colonel Crouse
1984
75% 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
90% Blade Runner (The Final Cut)
  • Bryant
$0.3M 1982
94% 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
90% Ordinary People
  • Swim Coach
1980
50% Raise the Titanic
  • MCPO Vinnie Giordino
1980
76% Brubaker
  • C.P. Woodward
1980
No Score Yet City in Fear
  • Sheldon Lewis
1980
84% The Jerk
  • Madman
1979
No Score Yet The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
  • Wally Cantrell
1979
No Score Yet A Question of Guilt
  • Actor
1978
83% Straight Time
  • Earl Frank
1978
No Score Yet Tendre Poulet (Dear Detective) (Dear Inspector)
  • Actor
1978
50% Airport '77
  • Dr. Williams
1977
83% Slap Shot
  • Dickie Dunn
1977
No Score Yet Red Alert
  • Actor
1977
14% Nickelodeon
  • Logan
1976
84% Bound for Glory
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet The Invasion of Johnson County
  • Actor
1976
85% Mikey and Nicky
  • Bus Driver
1976
No Score Yet The Prisoner of Second Avenue
  • Actor
1975
17% At Long Last Love
  • Harold
1975
86% 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
78% They Might Be Giants
  • Sanitation Man
1971
79% Escape from the Planet of the Apes
  • Aide
1971
40% Cold Turkey
  • Art
1971
96% Little Big Man
  • Shotgun Guard
1970
No Score Yet End of the Road
  • Actor
1970
63% Alice's Restaurant
  • Group W Sergeant
1969
90% Midnight Cowboy
  • Actor
1969
No Score Yet Stiletto
  • Actor
1969

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet 'Til Death
2006-2010
  • Uncle Rudolph
  • 2010
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest
  • Rich
  • 2001
No Score Yet NYPD Blue
1993-2005
  • M.E. Joe Kroft
  • 2000
0% The X-Files
1993-2016
  • Arthur Dales
  • 1999
No Score Yet Home Improvement
1991-1999
  • Jill's Father
  • 1994
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
  • Actor
  • 1985
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • Callahan
  • 1981

Quotes from M. Emmet Walsh's Characters