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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Irish Mafia the Hollywood Connection


In the late 1930's a small group of actor friends began to meet together to converse and to exchange opinions and stories. Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky dubbed them the "Irish Mafia", but they preferred to call their group the "Boy's Club". The original members of the club were Frank McHugh, James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and Spencer Tracy, all of whom were Irish-Americans hence the name Irish Mafia. Later Lynne Overman was added to their group and then Ralph Bellamy and Frank Morgan. They also had occasional guest of Bert Lahr, Lou Calhern, and Jimmy Gleason. They would all get together to talk and laugh, and they would occasionally use the group as a sounding board to discuss ideas about their latest movies. By the mid-forties the group began to break up. First, Lynne Overman died and then Frank Morgan. McHugh went back East eventually settling in Connecticut. Bellamy went back to New York, and Cagney eventually headed East also. Tracy and O'Brien remained in California, but O'Brien was often away traveling in one-man acts and road shows. Even so many of the members kept in contact by telephone and occasional meetings. Tracy passed away in 1967. McHugh, O'Brien, and Cagney all passed away in the eighties. Bellamy, the last of the group, died in 1991.

Irish Mafia

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