James Burke (actor)

James Michael Burke (September 24, 1886 – May 23, 1968) was an Irish-American film and television character actor born in New York City.[1]

James Burke
James Michael Burke

(1886-08-28)August 28, 1886
DiedJune 23, 1968(1968-06-23) (aged 81)
Years active1932–1959
Spouse(s)Eleanor Durkin (divorced 1957)


Burke made his stage debut in New York around 1912 and went to Hollywood in 1933. He made over 200 film appearances during his career between 1932 and 1964, some of them uncredited.[citation needed] He was often cast as a police officer, usually a none-too-bright one, such as his role as Sergeant Velie in Columbia Pictures' Ellery Queen crime dramas in the early 1940s. Burke can also be seen in At The Circus, The Maltese Falcon, Lone Star, and many other films. One of his memorable roles is his portrayal of a rowdy rancher in the 1935 comedy Ruggles of Red Gap.[citation needed]

In the early 1950s, Burke appeared on television with Tom Conway in the ABC detective drama Inspector Mark Saber—Homicide Detective, a series later renamed, reformatted, and switched to NBC under the new title Saber of London.[citation needed] In 1955 Burke appeared as Buckshot on the TV western Cheyenne in the episode "Border Showdown." In 1958, he appeared as Sheriff John Tatum in the episode, "Bounty" in the TV series, Wanted: Dead or Alive.


Burke died on May 23, 1968 in Los Angeles, California at age 81. He's death was attributed to a heart condition.[citation needed]

Selected filmographyEdit

Burke (left) with James Mason in "Once Upon a Knight", an episode of The DuPont Show with June Allyson, 1960.

• Stagecoach West - TV (1960/61) - Zeke Bonner (recurring character)

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ "New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909", FHL microfilm 1,322,214; New York Municipal Archives, Manhattan, New York, N.Y. FamilySearch. Retrieved February 20, 2019.

External linksEdit