A hard-nosed and determined presence on network television for over two decades, John Walsh was the host of the long-running "America's Most Wanted" (Fox, 1988- ), which helped to track down missing c...
Auburn, New York, USA
|Love Laughs at Andy Hardy||Actor||Freshman||7|
|Keep 'em Slugging||Actor||1st Student||7|
|Calling Dr. Kildare||Actor||'Red'||7|
|Youth Runs Wild||Actor||Herb Vigero||7|
|If Looks Could Kill: From the Files of America's Most Wanted||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Into the Wind||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|The Marinovich Project||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|The Real Rocky||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|If Looks Could Kill: From the Files of America's Most Wanted||Actor||Himself||7|
|Mug Town||Actor||Crap Shooter||7|
|John Walsh Investigates: Abduction in the Heartland||2012 2011 - 2012||Host||n/a||20125|
|Ladykiller||1990 1989 - 1990||Actor||Host||19907|
|America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back: Crimes of Passion Special Edition||2011 2010 - 2011||Host||n/a||20115|
|The John Walsh Show||2003 2001 - 2003||Actor||Host||20037|
|America's Most Wanted Presents Judgment Night: DNA the Ultimate Test||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Host||20007|
|Ultimate Ten: Survival Stories||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||n/a||20017|
|America's Most Wanted: 50 Fugitives 50 States Special Edition||2011 2010 - 2011||Host||n/a||20115|
|Alcatraz: The Escape||1993 1992 - 1993||Actor||Host||19937|
|America's Most Wanted||1995 1986 - 1995||Actor||Host||19957|
|Firehouse||1991 1990 - 1991||Actor||Host||19917|
|America's Most Wanted: Final Justice||1995 1994 - 1995||Actor||Host||19957|
|America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back||2011 1995 - 2011||Actor||Host||20117|
|American Crime Fighter -- John Walsh: The E! True Hollywood Story||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Interviewee||20007|
|America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back: World's Most Wanted||2011 2010 - 2011||Host||n/a||20115|
|Talking It Out||1994 1993 - 1994||Actor||Host||19947|
|Springfield's Most Wanted||1995 1994 - 1995||Actor||Host||19957|
|America's Most Wanted: Terrorists -- A Special Edition||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Host||20017|
|Smart Kids||1994 1993 - 1994||Actor||Host||19947|
|How to Raise a Street-Smart Child||1986 1985 - 1986||Actor||n/a||19867|
|John Walsh: Fighting Back||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Interviewee||20017|
|Fox 2000||1999 1998 - 1999||Actor||Reporter||19997|
|John Doe||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Himself||20027|
|Trackdown: Prisoners on the Street||1989 1988 - 1989||Actor||n/a||19897|
|Super Bowl XXXVI||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||(Pre-Game Show)||20017|
|2005 BET Comedy Awards||2005 2004 - 2005||Actor||n/a||20057|
|Celebrity||1983 1982 - 1983||Actor||1st Newscaster||19837|
|The Lone Gunmen||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Himself||20007|
|The Fugitive||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Himself||20007|
|Smart Kids||1994 1993 - 1994||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|John Walsh Investigates: Abduction in the Heartland||2012 2011 - 2012||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|America's Most Wanted: 50 Fugitives 50 States Special Edition||2011 2010 - 2011||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|If Looks Could Kill: From the Files of America's Most Wanted||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Goose||2011 2010 - 2011||Executive Producer||(ESPN Films)||1|
|Firehouse||1991 1990 - 1991||Creator||n/a||2|
Born John Edward Walsh in Auburn, NY on Dec. 26, 1945, he was raised in a Catholic home, but rebelled against his upbringing as a teen. Eventually, he settled down to study at the University of Buffalo and find work in hotel management. He married his girlfriend, Reve Drew, shortly after college, and a son, Adam John Walsh, was born on Nov. 14, 1974. Walsh and his family eventually relocated to Florida, where he was a partner in a hotel management company in Hollywood. On July 27, 1981, Reve Walsh left six-year-old Adam in the toy department of a local Sears department store while she shopped for a lamp. She returned to find her son missing; a report later showed that he had been told to leave the store by an inexperienced security guard who had assumed that he was part of a group of children who had been involved in a fight. Adam was never seen alive again. The largest manhunt in the history of the state of Florida was launched to find the boy, but only his severed head was discovered two weeks later at Vero Beach, a hundred miles away from Hollywood. A post mortem autopsy showed that he had died of asphyxiation before the grisly mutilation.
An agonizing 27-year investigation followed, highlighted by the loss of key evidence by the Hollywood Police Department and allegations of involvement by notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The crime was eventually traced to Ottis Toole, a deranged drifter who had reportedly assisted the infamous murderer Henry Lee Lucas in numerous atrocities. Toole was also a pathological liar, and over the course of two decades, would admit to and recant his involvement in Adam's death before his own passing in 1996. Though the Hollywood Police Department would declare the case closed and Toole the culprit in 2008, John and Reve Walsh were left with only a supposition as to the true nature of their son's death. More importantly, they were never able to claim his remains.
While simultaneously grieving for his son and celebrating the arrival of Meghan, the first of two daughters, in 1982, Walsh and his wife decided to pour their energy into legislation that would help to prevent the same sort of tragedy that had befallen their family. Their efforts eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984. The former authorized the Attorney General to collect and exchange information that would assist in the location of missing persons, including children, while the latter established a national toll-free hotline for missing children, which was maintained at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The bereaved couple also established the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, which was dedicated to legislative reform in the areas of missing and exploited children. The Center was eventually merged with the National Center, and Walsh was named to its Board of Directors. By the late 1980s, Walsh and the Center had also established Code Adam, a child safety program designed to assist children found missing in large businesses and department stores.
In 1983, the Adam Walsh case served as the basis for "Adam" (NBC, 1983), a TV-movie with Daniel J. Travanti as Walsh and JoBeth Williams as Reve. The broadcast concluded with a roll call of missing children, 65 of whom were found after the original screening and the first broadcast of "Adam: His Song Continues" (NBC, 1986), which followed the couple's efforts after the death of their son. Two years later, Walsh himself was on television weekly as the host of "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast information about dangerous fugitives and criminals on the run, as well as missing children. Within four days of its first show, a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list was brought to justice, helping to establish the program as a direct and vital link between the public and law enforcement. "America's Most Wanted" eventually contributed to the capture of over 1,000 criminals, including the notorious Texas Seven and the kidnappers of Elizabeth Smart. For his efforts, Walsh was recognized on numerous occasions, including the U.S. Marshals and FBI's Man of the Year; the latter of which is the highest civilian award. He was also the only private citizen to receive special recognition by the U.S. Attorney General, and assisted Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in relating news about the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11, 2001 attacks. From 2007 to 2010, Walsh also served as the show's producer.
Walsh's increased profile allowed him to address the subject of child safety and legislative reform from a wide variety of platforms. He received a 1995 Emmy nomination for "Smart Kids" (Fox, 1995), a primetime special with Queen Latifah, and published Tears of Rage: From Grieving Father to Crusader for Justice, a best-selling autobiography. From 2002 to 2004, Walsh hosted his own syndicated talk show, "The John Walsh Show," which tackled the personal problems of everyday Americans. Walsh even gently spoofed his flinty screen image by appearing as himself in such comedies as "Wrongfully Accused" (1998).
In 2006, intense lobbying by the Walsh and his wife, along with other parents of murdered children, resulted in the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which required serious sex offenders to update their whereabouts every three months for the remainder of their lifetime. The Act, which was signed into law on the 25th anniversary of Adam's death, also established a national sex offender registry. That same year, Walsh generated considerable news in the entertainment press for comments he made during a summer press tour. Among his statements were suggestions that chips be implanted into the rectums of sex offenders that would explode if they exited their permitted radius, and that pedophiles should be handed over to the general population in jails in order to receive their own abuse. Walsh later dismissed these comments as poorly worded jokes. In 2008, Walsh opened the Museum of Crime and Punishment in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He was co-owner of the establishment, which traced the history of crime studies and the penal system in America. The location also served as the studio for "America's Most Wanted."
From classic movie palaces to the state-of-the-art IMAX screens.