Vince O'Brien


Born: New Britain, Connecticut, USA


Vince OBrien (c. 1919 – June 19, 2010) was an American character actor, who appeared as a doctor in Woody Allens film Annie Hall and appeared on television and in print ads as the Shell Answer Man.OBrien grew up in New Britain, Connecticut and served in the United States Army during World War II. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he was awarded a bachelors degree in 1949 with a major in drama. In 1950 he moved to New York City, where he started his acting career. OBriens balding, mature look helped gain him roles as authority figures, with his son recalling that he always had that older look even in his early acting days.In the 1950s, he appeared on 23 episodes of the television series Westinghouse Studio One, including an episode with Walter Matthau. During the 1960s, OBrien appeared on the soap operas Dark Shadows, The Edge of Night and twice, as two different characters in two different decades, on The Guiding Light/Guiding Light as Colonel Grove Mason (1969-1970) and Dante Pops Cooper Kouperakis (1987-1990). In the late 1960s and through much of the 1970s, OBrien appeared on television and print advertisements as the Shell Answer Man, a job that he felt was like hitting the state lottery. During the 1970s he appeared on Ryans Hope and played a hotel doctor in Woody Allens 1977 comedy Annie Hall. In the 1990s he had a recurring role as a judge on Law & Order. His final film appearances were in the movies Quiz Show and Six Degrees of Separation.He appeared on Broadway in the musical Promises, Promises. He also appeared on stage in local productions of Advise and Consent, Death of a Salesman and The Fantasticks.A resident of Haworth, New Jersey, OBrien died at age 91 of heart failure on June 19, 2010. He was survived by his wife Kate (born Delphine Force), a daughter, four sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His son Conal OBrien was a director of the soap opera All My Children from 1987 to 2009, and is now a director for the soap opera The Young and the Restless.

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