James Wilke Broderick (1927 - 1982)

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Birthplace: Charlestown, NH, USA
Death: Died in New Haven, CT, USA
Managed by: Natalie Tan
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About James Wilke Broderick

James Wilke Broderick was the father of actor Matthew Broderick.



James Joseph Broderick III (March 7, 1927 – November 1, 1982) was an American actor.

Life and career

Broderick was born in Charlestown, New Hampshire, the son of Mary Elizabeth (née Martindale) and James Joseph Broderick II. He was raised in a Catholic family. His father, a highly decorated World War I combat medic, was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. In 1947, after having served in the armed forces in World War II, Broderick, a junior pre-med student, auditioned for a part in the UNH production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man. Theater director Joe Batcheller was impressed and gave him the role of Bluntchili, an anti-romantic Swiss soldier. Batcheller said, "You could tell from the beginning that he was an exceptional individual. He displayed an unusual ability to get along with people. He was kind, sensitive, imaginative, and had a good sense of humor. He also had an Irish mug if I ever saw one."

Although Batcheller didn't often encourage the students to pursue acting as a career, he was so sure of Broderick's talent that he suggested a trip to New York to meet Batcheller's friend Arthur Kennedy, who was well known in the acting field. Broderick took his advice and Kennedy subsequently directed him to the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he gained the necessary experience and training for a successful acting career in both movies and TV.

He played the father on the television show Family from 1976 to 1980, receiving an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1978.

His notable film roles include the father figure of a New England commune in Alice's Restaurant (1969), the subway motorman in The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three (1974); and an FBI agent in Dog Day Afternoon (1975).


He died from cancer in 1982. James Broderick's son, actor Matthew Broderick, named his first child after his late father

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James Broderick's Timeline

March 7, 1927
Charlestown, NH, USA
March 21, 1962
Age 35
New York, NY, USA
November 1, 1982
Age 55
New Haven, CT, USA