The Irish cop is a stereotypical character who appears in numerous films in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. James Flavin is one of the reasons this character became ingrained in the public's consciousness. Flavin appeared in more than 400 films in a career that stretched over half a century, frequently playing policemen or other authority figures, often in uncredited roles. In reality only a quarter Irish, Flavin was a former West Point student who fell into acting in 1929 while living in Portland, Maine. Flavin tried to break into the New York Theater but had more success when he ventured west to work in the film industry. He landed the lead in the now-lost '32 serial "The Airmail Mystery," but it was to be his only leading role. Instead, Flavin was ubiquitous in tiny roles, including small parts in the '33 version of "King Kong" (playing a ship's mate) and John Ford's classic "The Grapes of Wrath" (playing a guard). Television was also kind to Flavin; he made over 100 appearances between the mid-'50s and the mid-'70s. His final role was one of his more prestigious: playing President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the '76 TV docudrama "Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident." Flavin died in '76, a few weeks before his wife Lucille Brown, who had been his leading lady in his first film, 54 years earlier.