Goin’ Down the Road
Canadian actor Doug McGrath became famous and gained acclaim for his starring turn as Peter McGraw in Goin’ Down the Road (1970), in which he picked up a Canadian Film Award. Thirteen years later, he received a Genie nod with his scene stealing role in Bob Clark’s comedy Porky’s (1982). In a more recent time, he was handed a Gemini nomination for his fine appearance in the Canadian TV series “This Is Wonderland” (2004).
McGrath is also known for his frequent affiliation with Californian born director-actor Clint Eastwood. He has appeared in Eastwood’s ventures The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Bronco Billy (1980) and Pale Rider (1985). McGrath’s other film credits include Black Christmas (1974), Steven Spielberg’s Always (1989), Martin Sheen’s Cold Front (1989), The Rocketeer (1991), Quick (1993), John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (2001), H2O (2004, TV) and Our Fathers (2005, TV).
Childhood and Family:
In Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, Doug McGrath was born on August 1, 1939.
Doug McGrath had his first taste in front of the film camera in 1970’s drama Goin’ Down the Road, which won a Canadian Film for Best Feature Film. There, he starred as Peter McGraw. For his outstanding performance, he took home a Canadian Film for Best Performance by a Lead Actor, an award he shared with costar Paul Bradley. Following the auspicious debut, McGrath could be seen in Canadian movies Wedding in White (1972, starred Carol Kane), The Hard Part Begins (1973), the Bob Clark-directed Black Christmas (1974) and Russian Roulette (1975). He broke into Hollywood market with roles in the Clint Eastwood films The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and The Gauntlet (1977), and in Cat Murkil and the Silks (1976). Meanwhile, he momentarily appeared on the small screen, making his TV-movie bow in drama Helter Skelter (1976) as well as guest starring in episodes of “The Starlos” (1973), “The Rookies” (1975), ‘Baretta” (1976) and “The Incredible Hulk” (1979).
After appearing in Clint Eastwood’s adventure film Bronco Billy (1980), McGrath once again attracted attention when he played the supporting role of Coach Warren in Porky’s (1982), a comedy helmed and penned by Black Christmas director Bob Clark. His fine acting brought the actor a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 1983. He went on to have guest roles in “Falcon Crest” (1982), “Little House on the Prairie” (1982) and “Dynasty” (1983), and appear in small roles in movies The Escape Artist (1982), Coming Out Alive (1984), Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider (1985), the crime Cold Front (1989, with Martin Sheen) and the Steven Spielberg-romantic adventure Always (1989), which starred Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter.
During the 1990s, McGrath spent most of his time outside the limelight. He maintained his presence on the cinematic industry by only making two features, 1991’s The Rocketeer, opposite Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton and Paul Sorvino, and the 1993 action Quick, starring Teri Polo and Martin Donovan. On television, he appeared in a couple of dramas What Love Sees (1996) and Inherit the Wind (1999) and in an episode of “Providence” (1999).
Entering the new millennium, McGrath found roles in the made-for-TV film The Mutant Watch (2000), the horror feature John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (2001), starring Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham and Clea DuVall, and in the 2004 comedy series “This Is Wonderland,” in which McGrath appeared as Ralph, he was handed a Gemini nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role Dramatic Series. The same year, he appeared in other Canadian production like the drama film My Brother’s Keeper and the made-for-TV film H2O. 2005 saw the actor had a cameo role, as Thomas Mitchell’s father, in Our Fathers, a TV drama starring Ted Danson, Christopher Plummer, Brian Dennehy, Daniel Baldwin and Ellen Burstyn.
- Canadian Film: Etrog, Best Performance by a Lead Actor (shared with Paul Bradley), Goin’ Down the Road, 1970