Joseph Patrick Carroll Naish (January 21, 1896 – January 24, 1973), known professionally as J. Carrol Naish, was an Americancharacter actor. He was nominated twice for an Academy Award for film roles, and he later found fame in the title role of CBS Radio'sLife With Luigi (1948–1953), which was also on aired on television.
Born Joseph Patrick Carroll Naish in New York City, he appeared on stage for several years before he began his film career. He began as a member of Gus Edwards's vaudeville troupe of child performers. After World War I, Naish formed his own song and dance act in Paris. He was traveling the globe from Europe to Egypt to Asia, when his China-bound ship developed engine problems, leaving him in California in 1926.
Naish's uncredited bit role in What Price Glory? (1926) launched his career in more than two hundred films. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the first for his role in the movie Sahara (1943), and for his performance in the movieA Medal for Benny (1945). For the latter film, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. He playedBoris Karloff's assistant in House of Frankenstein (1944).
He was of Irish descent, but he never used his dialect skills to play Irishmen. Naish did however play real life Irish-American Philip Sheridan in John Ford's Rio Grande, explaining, "When the part of an Irishman comes along, nobody ever thinks of me." He did play other ethnicities such as Italian, Native American, Hispanic and Chinese, which earned him the moniker "Hollywood's one-man U.N.".
Three generations of Naishes in 1952. Seated is Patrick Naish; standing are his son, J. Carrol, and granddaughter, Elaine. Elaine Naish was an actress who often played supporting roles on Life With Luigi
By 1971, he appeared in his final film role, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), as a mad scientist; a role descended from the original Dr. Frankenstein takes to murdering young women for experimentation in hopes of reviving his ancestor's creation, with help from his mute assistant, played by Lon Chaney Jr., whose film appearance was also his last.
Naish was married (from 1929 until his death) to actress Gladys Heaney (1907–1987); they had one daughter, Elaine.
Naish died of emphysema on January 24, 1973 at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. He is interred at Calvary Cemetery.
For his contributions to television and film, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6145 Hollywood Boulevard.