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Mickey Shaughnessy, Known for Comic Irish Movie, TV Roles, Dies

July 27, 1985

Joseph (Mickey) Shaughnessy, best known in a 20-year motion picture and television career for his portrayals of comical Irishmen, died Tuesday in a Wildwood, N.J., hospital. He was 64 and had lung cancer.

His more than 40 film credits include "From Here to Eternity," in which he played the mellow Sgt. Leva; "Jailhouse Rock," in which he entertained cell mate Elvis Presley, and "Don't Go Near the Water," in which he played a tattooed, pot-bellied sailor with a vocabulary that embarrassed even his shipmates.

A former Golden Glove boxer, Shaughnessy, at 6 feet and 210 pounds, played a series of tough, colorful characters in such other pictures as "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue," "Conquest of Space," "North to Alaska" and "The Marrying Kind," a 1952 film that marked his screen debut.

No matter what the film, Shaughnessy once said, he always kept in mind "the old Irishman--the guy who refuses the dentist's Novocain. He sits there and takes out his rosary and offers up the pain for his sins."

Last Film in 1971

His last feature movie was Walt Disney's "The Boatniks" in 1971. He also worked in radio and television, co-starring in the 1971 series "Chicago Teddy Bears," a period comedy about a speak-easy in the Roaring '20s.

Most recently he had appeared in his own act at various Eastern nightclubs.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah, three sons and four daughters.

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