Robert Ginty, American movie actor, Died at 60

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Dead, Robert Winthrop Ginty on September 21, 2009 at the age of 60, he was an American movie actor, producer, scenarist, and director of movies and TV series episodes.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1948, the son of Elsie M (née O’Hara), a government worker, and Michael Joseph Ginty, a construction worker, Ginty was involved with music from an early age, playing with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana and John Lee Hooker.

He studied at Yale and trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio.

Ginty worked in the regional theater circuit, and New York theatre Broadway.

The producer Harold Prince saw these performances and hired him as both an assistant and actor for his Broadway productions of The Great John Brown (1972), Don Juan (1973) and The Government Inspector (1974).

After returning to New Hampshire to star in Israel Horovitz’s one-act play The Indian Wants the Bronx, he moved to California, where he developed a reputation as a rugged player who could fill television roles that demanded physical action.

In 1975, he appeared in the NBC television movie John O’Hara’s Gibbsville (also known as The Turning Point of Jim Malloy).

In 1976, he attained some popularity after finding a steady role starring with Robert Conrad in Baa Baa Black Sheep, a successful television series about the experiences of United States Marine Corps aviator Pappy Boyington and his squadron of misfits during World War II. Ginty had small parts in Bound for Glory (1976) and Two-Minute Warning (1976).

He later made his biggest impression as Bruce Dern’s friend in Coming Home (1978). He had guest appearances in the first couple of seasons on Simon & Simon, as A.J. and Rick’s medical examiner friend on the police force.

Soon Ginty was on a roll, emulating Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone as a high-action anti-hero.

He formed his own production company that distributed his vehicles both here and abroad.

Most were crudely made on very limited budgets, but he has nevertheless done quite well for himself as a writer/producer/director, especially overseas, with such assembly-line fare as Gold Raiders (1982), which was filmed in Thailand; Cop Target (1991), which was shot in France; and the sequel to his first big hit, Exterminator 2 (1984).

Ginty did not slow down into the late 1990s, performing producing and directing chores on such shows as China Beach (1988), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), Nash Bridges (1996), Charmed (1998) and Tracker (2001). He has also been a viable presence as a director on the experimental theatre scene, particularly in Europe.

He directed a rap/hip-hop musical version of Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange” to fine reviews.

In 1994, Ginty became artistic director of the Irish Theatre Arts Center, using classroom space from a West Hollywood Catholic school to allow playwrights to hear their works read by actors in front of an audience.

According to Ginty’s website, www.robertginty.com, the center’s goal is coproducing and sponsoring stage, music, and film projects dealing with the Irish experience.

The center was based in Dublin’s Trinity College in 2001, Harvard in 2002, the American Academy in Rome in 2003 and Paris’ Irish Cultural Center in 2004.

Ginty later directed a hip-hop production of “A Clockwork Orange” in Toronto.

He is survived by his wife Michelle and son James Francis, an actor.

 

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