Short, dark, rough-looking and-tough-talking American character actor Gerald S. O’Loughlin received his start on the stage after debating on a law career. After a stint with the US Marine Corps, he used the GI bill instead to train in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
Throughout the early 1950s O’Loughlin was frequently seen on TV drama but highlighted his stage career with a national tour of “A Streetcar Named Desire” as Stanley Kowalski with the incomparable Tallulah Bankhead starring as Blanche DuBois. He later impressed once again as mental patient Cheswick opposite Kirk Douglas’s Randle McMurphy in 1963’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on Broadway.
O’Loughlin made a very little dent in films at the beginning, what with an offbeat romantic lead role in the low-budget Lovers and Lollipops (1956) and a small role in the more impressive A Hatful of Rain (1957). He later toughened things up a bit with tough-guy parts in In Cold Blood (1967), Ice Station Zebra (1968) and, especially, Desperate Characters (1971).
Things finally clicked for him on 1970s TV when he nabbed the role of Lt. Ryker in the TV cop series The Rookies (1972) replacing Darren McGavin, who played the same role in the pilot. O’Loughlin was affecting in mini-movies as well, especially as the patriarch in the tearjerker Something for Joey (1977) with Geraldine Page. He played his usual stern self in another less successful TV series such as Automan (1983).
Following guest roles on such series as “The Titans” and “Judging Amy,” he has not been seen much at all since the turn of the millennium.
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