Kevin O'Morrison, Actor in 'The Set-Up' and 'Sleepless in Seattle,' Dies at 100

Photofest
Kevin O'Morrison with actress Gregg Sherwood in 1950's 'The Golden Gloves Story'

A member of Orson Welles' famed Mercury Theater, he also was a prolific playwright.

Kevin O'Morrison, a playwright and character actor who appeared in such films as The Set-Up and Sleepless in Seattle, has died. He was 100.

O'Morrison died Dec. 11 at a senior living facility in Lynnwood, Wash., his cousin Jim Davidson told The Hollywood Reporter.

O'Morrison played a prizefighter in the classic film noir boxing drama The Set-Up (1949), directed by Robert Wise and starring Robert Ryan, and was another pugilist in The Golden Gloves Story (1950). In Nora Ephron's Sleepless in Seattle (1993), he portrayed Meg Ryan's father, Cliff.

Occasionally billed as Kenny O'Morrison, he made his movie debut in Dear Ruth (1947), starring Joan Caulfield and William Holden, and then appeared in Ida Lupino's Never Fear (1949). Later, he had roles in Peter Yates' The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) opposite Robert Mitchum and in the George Roy Hill film Funny Farm (1988), starring Chevy Chase.

On television, O'Morrison played the title character on the 1950-51 series Charlie Wild, Private Detective and was on The United States Steel Hour, Philco Playhouse, Lonesome Dove and Law & Order.

A native of St. Louis, O'Morrison in 1938 had a walk-on in Orson Welles' innovative play Caesar, produced for Broadway by the director's Mercury Theater company. He also appeared on the stage in Winged Victory and The Rose Tattoo.

Among the plays he published or had produced were The Long War, A Party for Lovers, The Morgan Yard, Ladyhouse Blues and Dark Ages.

O'Morrison, who also wrote novels, was a founding member of the nonprofit organization PEN Washington, which worked to protect freedom of expression for writers everywhere, and served as an artist in residence at several colleges and universities.

In addition to his cousin, survivors include his wife, Linda, and other cousins Tom, Ken, John, Jessica, Julia, Anna, Nathan, Owen and Alice Davidson and Anne, David, John, Meredith and Cece Rieser.

comments powered by Disqus