Highly recognizable Irish-American character actor Walter Burke parlayed his slight frame and wizened face into numerous parts in films and television series of the 1950s and '60s. Born in Brooklyn to parents who had emigrated from Ireland, he first acted on the stage, making his Broadway debut in "Dearest Enemy", and had a 20-year theatrical career before making the jump to the big screen, beginning with an uncredited part in Jules Dassin's gritty crime drama "The Naked City". He next landed what is arguably his most memorable part, as a bodyguard to corrupt politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) in the Academy Award-winning "All the King's Men". Though further supporting roles in film came along, Burke found much more work in TV in the years to follow, generally in guest spots on crime dramas or Westerns. He made repeat appearances in different parts on series such as "Perry Mason" and "77 Sunset Strip", and showed up in such late-'60s larks as "The President's Analyst" and "Support Your Local Sheriff!" As the work diminished in the '70s, he spent more time on his Pennsylvania horse ranch and taught drama at a local college.