The real JT Walsh


J.T. Walsh was a good friend and a witty reader. I have known JT Walsh for a while now, and always enjoyed chatting with him at his home. We used to debate a lot of my work together, and he had consented to the consideration of my movie Stupid Cougar Laws. Originally he would have played the lead character of John Davidson, a good guy for once. When I got word of JT'S death on February 27th 1998, it tore my heart out. I realized just who we lost.
Most people will remember JT as a bad guy, since most of his roles were just that. But knowing him on a personal and open basis as friends, this is what I have to say. He was intelligent, witty, bubbly, considerate, professional, opinionated, kind, caring and just a fun person to be around. JT was his work. Even when he played the bad guy role, he put 1000% of his heart into his work. And that he often pointed out is the difference between a winner and the rest of the would-be actors. If you give 1000% and refine your work, then it will do good.
After the Dark Skies series ended. We debated the issues of aliens and government cover-ups. That was a grand conversation, and you know something. JT mentioned an honest point to me. He asked "Do you really believe in that crap." My reply, "I think there's some truth to it." He mused for a moment, wolfing down a scone and coffee. Then he sat at the small round breakfast table in his estate and replied. "Heck, the U.S. Army can hardly get themselves organized, why there's sex scandals all the time. Think they can really have flying whatevers and aliens?" I realized then, that he'd made a serious point.
Another time we spent together we discussed and debated the country's social issues. The ramifications of what was happening in the country during the early nineties and how people were coping. He was dead-on in his points, and I had a tough time arguing the issues. I must truly say he knew what was happening, as he was one of us. A person, who identified with the average American.
I remember when he was one of the leads in the Sci-Fi Television series Dark Skies. We met at a Carl's Jr. one night and I approached JT. I was glad to see him on the small screen for once. I asked him, JT let me write for the show. Give me a chance. I won't fail at this and it'll be a lot of fun. He said okay, whip up a few screenplays if you want and I'll see if I can walk it in to the Producers. But he warned, I really don't think they'll do anything with your material. So I asked him who the central characters were and that was simple enough. He said have them in about a month. The following week, I delivered 3 teleplays which are posted at The Sebar Literary Site under the menu item Dark Skies Episodes. When I gave him the first one entitled 51=4 where upon the good guys make their escape in a disk. He mused when he read the end of the story where Loengard tells Sayers, his fiancee, to shoot JT'S character Frank Bach, if he moves. Then he said she'd never do that. She's a sixties mentality. My reply was but she's a liberated woman of the sixties, and besides, your character was going to have the couple killed. He dawned a cheshire grin and said "You just write whatever you want.....don't you." I sipped my coffee as we were at Starbucks, then ate a danish and replied with a smile and shrug of the shoulders, "well, yeah I do at that." He backed off, then smiled saying, "are you sure about this. You really want me to give it to them?.....Okay." Unfortunately the Producers of Dark Skies let my work sit for over 6 months, never reading it. The Dark Skies series was pre-empted 9 times during it's first season. JT chuckled, and said that's not a good sign for the series. He was right, as NBC dumped the series and it never returned to US television stations. He knew it was finished by the third episode. It was a sign of his professional talent and years worth of experience that told him how things were going. I really felt saddened as I grew to like some of the Dark Skies episodes. I saw a great potential in the series if they had only made a few changes to it. And JT agreed with me on those changes.
I know he was good friends of Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn. He admired them as people, talking highly of their accomplishments, saying they were great people to work with. I can respect that as they have always seemed to me to be great people. I have talked briefly with JT'S son John and see a lot of his father in him. They were always kind to me and I shall miss JT Walsh as a personal friend and writing partner. JT co-wrote the movie version "Idyllwild" based on the online novel at The Sebar Literary site. I was always helping him with his computer. He was a Macintosh addict as are most in Hollywood, and we often discussed the Mac issues together. He ran his programs on his once-top of the line Quadra 840av Macintosh.
He was an established quality actor, who put 1000% into his work. He was his work!
To JT Walsh and his family and JOHN his son. I love you people, you are good people and JT was a good friend and a decent human being. I feel had he gotten a lot of good guy roles, he'd have gone even farther than he had, and with his charming, humorous and bubbly personality, he was a lot like my character John Davidson in Stupid Cougar Laws, less the bad mannerisms John Davidson has. JT was a gentleman and I shall miss him as a friend and almost like a second father figure for the rest of my life time.
To JT'S family, Love and Peace always, "Mark Paul" Sebar