Daniel O'Herlihy

Daniel O'Herlihy

MALIBU, Calif.--Daniel O'Herlihy, an Oscar®-nominated character actor whose five-decade career extended from the Irish stage to television and Hollywood, died at his home here Feb. 17. He was 85. He had been fighting an unspecified illness for the last year. O'Herlihy was nominated for a best actor Academy Award in 1954 for his starring role in Luis Bunuel's "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe." MSTies will remember him as the mysterious, cognac-swirling Mr. Ohman in episode 602- INVASION U.S.A.

Born in Wexford, Ireland, O'Herlihy was studying architecture at the National University of Ireland when he turned to acting to earn some extra money. His first roles were secondary parts in plays at Dublin's Abbey Theatre. There he was spotted by British director Carol Reed, who cast him opposite James Mason in the 1946 thriller "Odd Man Out."

The part got him more theatrical work in Dublin and in the U.S. His U.S. theatre credits included Orson Welles' "Macbeth" at the Mercury Theatre, John Houseman's "Measure for Measure" in Los Angeles, "King Lear" at the Houston Shakespeare Festival and "Mass Appeal" at the Drury Lane Theatre.

Soon Hollywood beckoned: He first role in an American film was as Macduff in Orson Welles' 1948 film version of "Macbeth." Notable film roles Brig. Gen. Warren Black in "Fail-Safe" (1964), President Roosevelt in "MacArthur" (1977), lizardy alien Grig in 1984's "The Last Starfighter" and mysterious executive known only as "The Old Man" in "RoboCop" (1987) . That same year he also starred in John Huston's "The Dead."

On TV he appeared as Doc McPheeters in "The Travels of Jamie McPheeters" (1963), town boss Will Varner in "The Long Hot Summer" (1965), The Director in "A Man Called Sloane" (1979), intelligence agent Carson Marsh in "Whiz Kids" (1984), saw mill owner Alexander Packard in six episodes of the 1990 cult series "Twin Peaks" and as Joseph Kennedy in the 1998 TV movie "The Rat Pack."

He is survived by his wife, Elsie, five children, ten grandchildren and a great-grandson. Private services are planned in Malibu; he will be buried in Ireland.