Joseph Maher, a veteran actor with over three decades of experience on Broadway and Off, died on July 17 at the age of 64. The cause was a brain tumor, according to The New York Times.
Maher played dozen of character roles during his career, but achieved the most acclaim for his several appearance in the plays of Joe Orton, the scathing British satirist who was murdered in 1967. Maher acted in three of Orton's full-length plays -- Loot, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and What the Butler Saw -- each time collaborating with director John Tillinger. The most successful of these efforts was Loot, in which Maher played the befuddled and indefatigable Inspector Truscott. He was nominated for a 1986 Tony Award and won a Drama Desk Award for his performance. He also earned Tony nominations for his work in Spokesong (1979) and Night and Day (1980).
Born in County Galway, Ireland, on Dec. 29, 1933, he emigrated to Canada in 1956 and made his professional debut in Toronto. He soon moved to New York, where he worked with Julie Harris in The Hostage, Dustin Hoffman in Eh?, Zoe Caldwell in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Al Pacino in The Local Stigmatic. Other theatre credits include American Buffalo and 84 Charing Cross Road.
His films include "In & Out," "Mars Attacks!," "Surviving Picasso," "I.Q.," "Sister Act," "My Stepmother Is an Alien," "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can," "Time After Time," and "Heaven Can Wait," in which he played butler to Warren Beatty's millionaire.
--By Robert Simonson