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James Joseph Broderick III (March 7, 1927 – November 1, 1982) was an American actor. He is known for his role as Doug Lawrence in the television series Family, which ran from 1976 to 1980.

James Broderick
James Broderick 1959.JPG
Broderick in 1959
James Joseph Broderick III

(1927-03-07)March 7, 1927
DiedNovember 1, 1982(1982-11-01) (aged 55)
Years active1950–1982
Patricia Biow (m. 1949–1982)
Children3, including Matthew Broderick

Life and careerEdit

Broderick was born in Charlestown, New Hampshire, the son of Mary Elizabeth (née Martindale) (1896–1986) and James Joseph Broderick II (or Jr.) (1895–1959). He was raised Catholic. His father, a highly decorated World War I combatant,[1] was of Irish descent, and his mother was of English and Irish ancestry.[2]

Broderick attended Manchester Central High School and then took pre-medical courses at the University of New Hampshire for two years. He joined the Navy in 1945, becoming a pharmacist mate.[3]

In 1947, after having served in the armed forces in World War II, Broderick, a junior pre-med student, auditioned for a part in the University of New Hampshire production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man. Faculty advisor to the student drama club, Mask and Dagger, (and director) J. "Joe" Donald Batcheller was impressed and gave him the role of Bluntchili, an anti-romantic Swiss soldier. Batcheller said, "You could tell from the beginning that he was an exceptional individual. He displayed an unusual ability to get along with people. He was kind, sensitive, imaginative, and had a good sense of humor. He also had an Irish mug if I ever saw one."

Although Batcheller did not often encourage the students to pursue acting as a career, he was so sure of Broderick's talent that he suggested a trip to New York to meet Batcheller's friend Arthur Kennedy, who was well known in the acting field. Broderick took his advice and Kennedy subsequently directed him to the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he gained the necessary experience and training for a successful acting career in both films and television.

Broderick's Broadway credits include The Time of Your Life (1969)[4] and Johnny No-Trump (1967).[5]

Broderick co-starred in the CBS television series Brenner, portraying Officer Ernie Brenner.[6] He played the father on the television show Family from 1976 to 1980,[6]:324 receiving an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1978.[7] Other notable television appearances included the Twilight Zone episode "On Thursday We Leave for Home" and the public television productions of Jean Shepherd's The Phantom of the Open Hearth and The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters, where he played Ralph Parker's father, "the Old Man," later reprised by Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story.

His notable film roles include Ray Brock, the complex father figure of a New England commune in Alice's Restaurant (1969), the subway motorman in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), FBI agent Sheldon in Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and Joe in the Paul Newman directed version of The Shadow Box (1980).

Personal lifeEdit

Broderick died of cancer on November 1, 1982.[8] He was married until his death to playwright and painter Patricia Broderick. The couple had one son, actor Matthew Broderick,[9] and two daughters.


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Girl of the Night Dan Bolton
1966 The Group Dr. Ridgeley
1969 The Tree Det. McCarthy
1969 Alice's Restaurant Ray Brock
1971 The Todd Killings Sam Goodwin
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Denny Doyle – Train Conductor
1975 Dog Day Afternoon FBI Agent Sheldon
1980 The Shadow Box Joe


  1. ^ Smolenyak, Megan (February 18, 2011). "Matthew Broderick, Who Do You Think You Are?". Huffington Post.
  2. ^ "Matthew Broderick Who Do You Think You Are?". ProGenealogists. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
  3. ^ "2 Veteran Actors Form TV Dad-Son Police Team". The Daily Reporter. Ohio, Dover. July 11, 1959. p. 16. Retrieved September 30, 2016 – via  
  4. ^ The Time of Your Life at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ Johnny No-Trump at the Internet Broadway Database
  6. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  7. ^ "Awards Search". EMMYS. Television Academy. Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  8. ^ Blau, Eleanor (November 3, 1982). "James Broderick, 55, Actor Was in Brenner and Family". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Matthew Broderick". 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2008-05-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit