Forget Charles, James T. Callahan Was In Charge!

Many people will remember the 80’s syndicated TV show Charles in Charge. It was one that I didn’t watch that much since I was not a Scott Baio fan at all. The US  sitcom series broadcast on CBS which starred Scott Baio as Charles, a 19-year-old college student working as a live-in babysitter. It left the network and was syndicated from January 3, 1987 until December 8, 1990. 126 original episodes were aired in total.James T. Callahan

 One of the only reason I watched Charles in Charge was the rest of the cast.  One actor that shown brightest was James T. “Jimmy” Callahan, an actor best known for playing the cranky grandfather, Walter Powell, a retired Navy man, on the show. He is now a final taxi rider at 76.

 I remember Callahan when he played Doug Kirk on the episode #132c of the Twilight Zone called “Ninety Years Without Slumbering”.  This is the one where the old man believes that when a grandfather clock he has owned all his life stops, he will die.  I also remember him a Office Holt in the old Dennis the Menace TV show.

 He was featured in several episodes of “Dr. Kildare” on NBC in the early 1960s and played a press secretary on “The Governor & J.J.,” which aired on CBS from 1969 to 1972. In other roles he was in Wendy and Me (Danny Adams), Convoy (Lt. Dick O’Connell),& The Runaways (Sgt. Hal Grady).

He played in episodes of Perry Mason, Route 66, Have Gun-Will Travel, Stoney Burke, Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian, Twelve O’Clock High, The Time Tunnel, The Fugitive, Run for Your Life, The Invaders, The F.B.I., The Untouchables, Adam-12, Longstreet, Marcus Welby, M.D., M*A*S*H, Love, American Style, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Police Story, The Rockford Files, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Bosom Buddies, Alice, Lou Grant, Simon & Simon, Quincy, Remington Steele, Fame, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Newhart, Highway to Heaven, Growing Pains, Amazing Stories, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Golden Girls, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Picket Fences, Caroline in the City, Cybill, The Practice, ER, Medium, 7th Heaven to name just a few.

 More recently, Callahan had appeared on several episodes of the medical drama “Body & Soul” on the Pax TV network.

 One of his favorite film roles was as the band leader in “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972), his wife said. He also portrayed a country-western singer in “Outlaw Blues” (1977) with Peter Fonda. I laughed when he played the role of the general who was out to destroy all the zombies in “Return of the Living Dead III” (1993)

I saw  recently as a jury foreman in one of my favorite shows called” Medium.”

 I look forward to seeing him in his final film, a horror movie called “Born,” that has not been released yet.

12 Responses

  1. Appropriate comments. Jim and I went to U of Washinton School of Drama together and later lived together for a while in Hollywood. We only did one picture together, Incheon, filmed in Rome, which neither Jim nor I have ever seen.
    A great persomal friend and an excellant talent.

  2. Outstanding comment and summary of James long career in Television and Movies. He is missed by friends and family. Thank you.

  3. I loved watching his work. His experience
    spanned so many years and spoke for his dedication to his craft of entertaining people and
    being a great actor. I agree with Brian; he is definitely missed by his family.

  4. Jimmy and I were great friends before we both went into the service in 1950 for me. He was drafted sometime later. We grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. The last I saw of him was the day before he left for The U of Washington. I was entering the U of Chicago. Great character, good friend and a real ladies man.

  5. Hi! I have heard so many great things about Jim. My father lived down the street from him and he was good friends with him also. his name is Frank Auer and they lived on Grove. Dad is now 82 and he is the oldest of the 7 children. You might of known him. I really wanted to meet up with Jim for one time but he passed away before I could get a hold of him. I did get a e-mail from him one time. Cathy Gunterman

  6. He was one of the great ones, on screen and off! And as his nephew and sometimes traveling companion/side kick, I can testify as an expert witness.

    I remember meeting Nolan in Italy, and I remember watching them film Inchon. As well, I remember being on the set of Lady Sings the Blues, which was one of the greatest times of his life on so many levels. I miss you Jimmy, we all miss you.

    Billy Callahan

    • My faher, Fabian Maher, always told us he was related to Jimmy Callahan. He so enjoyed watching him on TV and had spent some time with him in younger years. The Mahers were fom Cromwell, Minnesota. My grandfather’s name was Patrick, and
      my grandmother was Mary (Delaney) Maher. There were six boys in the family: James, Martin, Edward, Walter, Fabian and William. They have all passed away. Do any of the relatives of Jimmy know anything about this?

      Mary Boulton

      • Mary – I have a blog post telling how we are related. I do not have your contact info. Billy has mine. Get in touch and I will give you the link to my blog.
        Best wishes
        Rosanne Maher Keller

  7. I remember Jimmy well. When he was in town to see his mother and sister, he would make a point to see my children and I. My children were so happy to see him at those times. Of course, since that time, I have remarried, but will always remember the times together. And the scotch we shared in memory of Jack Cassidy, shortly after his death. I am sure anyone that knew Jim will keep his memory close to their hearts

  8. Jim was a fun loving guy, we met at Culver Stockton
    College, in Canton, Missouri in 1953. We did date the same girl Mary Dudeck, and I had her car and Jim didn’t have a car, but I would not let Mary have it because her father said I was the only one to do so, it made for great fun between Jim and I. In 1955 our drama couch took Jim to Hollwood, and that was that he appeared in his first film North by Northwest. Lost tract of Jim until our school paper mentioned his passing. We sure had a lot of fun together….a ladies man OH YA……I miss you Jim.

  9. Jimmy and I were fellow actors in a stage production of THE FRONT PAGE in Wilmette, IL. in 1968. Jim played the lead as the hotshot newspaper reporter in Chicago in the 1920’s. Most people don’t seem to know much about Jimmy’s stage work. Well, he was a real joy to work with every day on that production. I was just 20 years old at the time and Jimmy, of course, took me under his wing and gave me great advice not just about acting but about everything under the sun. Like a true Irishman, Jimmy loved a pint or two now and then and like a true Irishman, he could hold an entire room’s attention (at a cast party, for instance or a pub) for a good long while, regaling us with stories about the actor’s life, about the great actors he had worked with and about his childhood growing up in Oak Park, IL., etc. On closing night, I came out of character on purpose in my major scene with Jimmy and actually scared him enough to make his face pale and his voice tremble. I just had to apologize after the curtain for making HIM break character. He was so gracious about it and we laughed together about it. I will always remember Jimmy with great fondness & affection for him as a person and respect for him a consummate professional actor. – CHRISTOPHER McCABE (formerly WILLIAM BECK) – Chicago, IL.

    • I knew Jimmy at Culver Stockton College in Canton Missouri..We dated the same girl. Her father told me in St. Louis that I was to take care of her new car and not let her drive it very much, so I did and when Jim wanted to date her I would not let them have the car –Jim did not have one…When our drama coach had Jim do a small production of Pigmaliain (for get the spelling) Mr. McQueen the drama coach said I want to take you to Hollywood, and they left (1955) and I saw Jim in North by Northwest………..Jim had a great gift of gab…and he loved the ladies………..He would say anything….James Creelman of St. Louis, now of Los Angeles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: