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08-21-1998

M. Emmet Walsh Of Culver City, Calif. And Swanton, Vermont, Receives Clarkson University's Highest Alumni Honor

Who: M. Emmet Walsh of Culver City, Calif., and Swanton, Vermont, television and film actor

When: July 11, 1998, at Clarkson University Alumni Reunion

Where: Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Why: As part of ceremonies honoring alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to their alma mater through Alumni Association service or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.

Award citation:

After receiving a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1958, Mike moved to New York City and graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first job in professional theater was at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope Pennsylvania, where he worked as a prop man. He performed stock theater throughout Vermont, Kentucky, and with the Berkshire Festival in Massachusetts over the next 10 years. He also did regional theater in Buffalo, New Haven, Philadelphia, and numerous off-Broadway productions. He made his Broadway and film debuts in 1969 in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, and an unaccredited appearance in Midnight Cowboy. His roles in early 1970s films like Alice's Restaurant, Cold Turkey, They Might be Giants, What's Up Doc?, and Airport '77 helped to establish Mike in Hollywood. Today, Mike is a premier character actor, and has worked with some of the best actors of our time. He has appeared with Dustin Hoffman in Straight Time, Paul Newman in Slap Shot, Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, Chuck Norris in Missing in Action, Goldie Hawn in Wildcats, Denzel Washington in The Mighty Quinn, and Gene Hackman in Narrow Margin. He also appeared in the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple, for which he received the "Spirit Award" for best performance by an actor, and was recently recognized at the Breckenridge Film Festival for his memorable portrayal in films. After Mike's appearance in Brubaker, Robert Redford brought him back to play Timothy Hutton's swimming coach in Ordinary People and again as the Governor of New Mexico in The Milangro Beanfield War. Other film credits include Free Willy II, Raising Arizona, Harry and the Hendersons, Cannery Row, Serpico, and Silkwood, to name a few. He will soon be seen in Carrot Top: Chairman of the Board, Legal Tender, Magic Hour, Retroactive with Jim Belushi, and was recently seen with Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding.

A small sample of Mike's favorite television credits include playing Jill Taylor's father in Home Improvement, The Jackie Thomas Show, Rockford Files, The Waltons, East of Eden 1 & 2, The Twilight Zone, The Abduction of Kari Swenson, Deliberate Stranger, Baretta, All in the Family, and Bonanza.

Mike is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and The Television Academy. In 1989, he established the Blarney Fund Education Trust to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the Swanton, Vermont, area who have demonstrated financial need and exceptional desire to obtain a college education.

It is with great pride that the Clarkson Alumni Association presents the Golden Knight Award to Michael Emmet Walsh, Class of 1958.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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