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Joseph Maher

Joseph Maher

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Also Known As: Died: July 17, 1998
Born: December 29, 1933 Cause of Death: brain tumor
Birth Place: Ireland Profession: actor, bartender, oil company worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A veteran character player with a long career on stage and screen, the silver-haired, often mustachioed Joseph Maher was usually cast in comedic roles, generally as butlers or clerics. The Irish-born actor moved to Canada at age 22 where he briefly worked for an oil company and as a bartender before joining an amateur theater troupe. He made his professional debut with the Canada Players in a 1959 production of "The Taming of the Shrew" and migrated to the USA three years later. Maher soon became a prominent stage actor, co-starring with Dustin Hoffman in "Eh?" (1966-67), Zoe Caldwell in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1968) and Al Pacino in "The Local Stigmatic" (1969). During this time, he alternated between NYC and regional theaters. He also found time to act in the occasional TV production, like his supporting turn to Julie Harris in "Little Moon of Alban" (NBC, 1964).Maher continued to spend much of the 70s and 80s alternating between theater and the small screen. He appeared in support of Rosemary Harris and Eva Le Gallienne in "The Royal Family" (1975-76) while simultaneously featured on the NBC daytime drama "Another World." Maher earned back-to-back Tony Award nominations in 1979 and 1980...

A veteran character player with a long career on stage and screen, the silver-haired, often mustachioed Joseph Maher was usually cast in comedic roles, generally as butlers or clerics. The Irish-born actor moved to Canada at age 22 where he briefly worked for an oil company and as a bartender before joining an amateur theater troupe. He made his professional debut with the Canada Players in a 1959 production of "The Taming of the Shrew" and migrated to the USA three years later. Maher soon became a prominent stage actor, co-starring with Dustin Hoffman in "Eh?" (1966-67), Zoe Caldwell in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1968) and Al Pacino in "The Local Stigmatic" (1969). During this time, he alternated between NYC and regional theaters. He also found time to act in the occasional TV production, like his supporting turn to Julie Harris in "Little Moon of Alban" (NBC, 1964).

Maher continued to spend much of the 70s and 80s alternating between theater and the small screen. He appeared in support of Rosemary Harris and Eva Le Gallienne in "The Royal Family" (1975-76) while simultaneously featured on the NBC daytime drama "Another World." Maher earned back-to-back Tony Award nominations in 1979 and 1980 as Best Featured Actor in a Play for "Spokesong," a drama set in Ireland, and "Night and Day," a revival of Tom Stoppard's play. In the 80s, the actor went on to establish himself as one of the foremost contemporary interpreters of the works of Joe Orton (often directed by John Tillinger). As the befuddled but determined police inspector Truscott in "Loot" (1986), Maher all but stole the show and earned a third Tony nomination. He similarly enlivened productions of Orton's "What the Butler Saw" (which he performed in both NYC and London) and "Entertaining Mr. Sloan." One of his last stage appearances was in a 1995 staging of "The Entertainer" at the Long Wharf Theatre.

Maher's stock in Hollywood rose in the 70s beginning with his turn as a Wall Street executive interested in sex games in "For Pete's Sake" (1974) followed by his butler to Warren Beatty in "Heaven Can Wait" (1978). He continued to amass credits in the 80s, although in mostly forgettable fare (e.g., "Going Ape!" 1981, "Funny Farm" 1988). In 1992, Maher played the bishop in "Sister Act" and ushered in a period of intense work. He was a museum curator in "The Shadow" (1994) and a dimwitted colleague of Albert Einstein's in "I.Q." (also 1994). The actor had one of his best roles as the artist's dealer in "Surviving Picasso" (1996) while his last released film "In & Out" (1997) typically cast him as a priest.

In tandem with his feature work, Maher appeared as a regular on a number of TV sitcoms. He was Billy Dee Williams' butler in the short-lived "Double Dare" (CBS, 1985), After a turn as St Peter counseling a returned soul in the Fox comedy "Second Chances" (1987-88), Maher joined the cast of "Anything But Love" (ABC) for the 1989-90 season. More recently, he had a recurring role of a doctor on "Chicago Hope," co-starred as a college chancellor in "Goode Behavior" (UPN, 1996) and was an interior designer on "Style & Substance" (CBS, 1998).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 In & Out (1997)
3.
 OK Garage (1997)
4.
 Mars Attacks! (1996)
5.
6.
 Baby Brokers (1994)
7.
 Shadow, The (1994)
8.
 I.Q. (1994) Nathan Liebknecht
9.
10.
 Sister Act (1992)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1979:
Appeared in the CBS TV-movie "My Old Man"
:
Born and raised in Ireland
1964:
Broadway debut as understudy in "The Chinese Prime Minister"
:
Had recurring role of Dr David Stadson on the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"
1997:
Last film role as a priest in "In & Out"
1998:
Last TV appearance, as regular on the CBS sitcom "Style & Substance"
1956:
Moved to Canada
1979:
Play "Dance for Me, Simeon" performed at the George Street Theatre in NJ
1987:
Played St Peter in the Fox sitcom "Second Chance"
:
Appeared as a regular on the NBC daytime drama "Another World"
:
Appeared at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, MN
1968:
Co-starred with Zoe Caldwell in the Broadway production of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"
1969:
Company member at Charles Playhouse in Boston, MA
1980:
Garnered second Tony nomination for "Night and Day"
1965:
Was a member of the acting company at the Theatre Company of Boston
:
Was featured alongside Rosemary Harris and Eva Le Gallienne in the stage revival of "The Royal Family"
1986:
Won critical acclaim for his turn as the police inspector in the revival of "Loot"; received thrid Tony nomination
1996:
Co-starred on the UPN sitcom "Goode Behavior"
1965:
Film debut in small role in "Passages From James Joyce's Finnegans Wake"
1962:
Off-Broadway debut in "The Hostage", starring Julie Harris
1992:
Played a doctor on the short-lived sitcom "Laurie Hill" (ABC)
1996:
Played the artist's art dealer in "Surviving Picasso"
1979:
Received first Tony Award nomination for his featured performance in "Spokesong"
1959:
Stage debut in Toronto production of "The Taming of the Shrew"
1983:
Stage directing debut, "The Hostage" at the Long Wharf Theatre; also acted in
1964:
TV debut in "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "Little Moon of Alban", also starring Harris
:
Was regular on the ABC sitcom "Anything But Love"
1992:
Cast as the bishop in "Sister Act"
1985:
Co-starred as the butler Sylvester in the short-lived CBS detective series "Double Dare"
1974:
First major film role in "For Pete's Sake"
1961:
Moved to NYC (date approximate)
1978:
Portrayed a butler in "Heaven Can Wait"
:
Spent one season with the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas
:
Was featured in the Canadian TV production "Hangman's House"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Royal Conservatory: Toronto, Ontario -

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph Maher. Schoolteacher.
mother:
Delia A Maher.
sister:
Maureen Hogan. Survived him.
sister:
Bridie Ingham. Survived him.
sister:
Eileen McCarthy. Survived him.
sister:
Noreen Armstrong. Survived him.
brother:
Thomas Maher. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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