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Horace McMahon (May 17, 1906 – August 17, 1971) was an American actor. He was one of Hollywood's favorite heavies.

Horace McMahon
Horace McMahon in Detective Story.jpg
McMahon in Detective Story (1951)
Born(1906-05-17)May 17, 1906
DiedAugust 17, 1971(1971-08-17) (aged 65)
Resting placeSaint Mary's Cemetery, Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
EducationFordham University School of Law
Years active1931–1969
Louise Campbell
(m. 1937; died 1971)

McMahon began his acting career on Broadway, then appeared in many films and television series. In 1962, he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the series Naked City (1958–1963).


Early yearsEdit

McMahon was born in South Norwalk, Connecticut.[1] He became interested in acting when he was a student at Fordham University School of Law.[2]


In his early career he mostly played thugs or jailbirds, but in 1949 he starred in his most acclaimed role, as Lieutenant Monaghan in the drama play Detective Story and in 1951 he reprised his character in Paramount Pictures' film version Detective Story, alongside Kirk Douglas and Eleanor Parker.

McMahon also starred on television, in the ABC police series Naked City as Lt. Mike Parker, a gruff, no-nonsense, but warmhearted cop's cop, interested only in justice and doing the job according to the proper rules of the game. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for this role.[3]

In 1964, McMahon played Hank McClure, a police contact in the 13-week CBS drama series, Mr. Broadway, with Craig Stevens.

He also did voice-overs for commercials, including those for Close-Up toothpaste and Armstrong tires.[4]


In 1972, a 375-seat theater named in honor of McMahon was created in the McCrory Building on Washington Street in South Norwalk, Connecticut.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

McMahon was married to actress Louise Campbell from 1938 until his death in 1971,[5] when he died from a heart ailment.[citation needed] Their daughter, Martha McMahon, also became an actress.[4]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "New Norwalk Theatre Will Honor McMahon". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. April 16, 1972. p. 109. Retrieved January 9, 2017 – via  
  2. ^ "Entry: Horace McMahon", NNDB
  3. ^ "Outstanding performance in a supporting role by an actor - 1962". Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  4. ^ a b c McCarthy, Margaret (August 13, 1970). "McMahons of Rowayton Are Finding Theatrical Work Keeps Family Busy". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. p. 16. Retrieved January 9, 2017 – via  
  5. ^ Sutton, Larry (November 6, 1997). "Actress McMahon Dead at 86". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 October 2016.

External linksEdit