John Paterson McGowan was a pioneering Hollywood actor, screenwriter, film director and stuntman. J.P. McGowan, as he was usually known, remains the only Australian to have been made a life member of the Screen Directors Guild.
Born in Terowie, South Australia, McGowan grew up in Adelaide and Sydney. He was a capable horserider and served in the Second Boer War as a special dispatch rider.
McGowan travelled to the U.S. to take part in a Boer War exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair. He then began working in live theatre and in 1910 joined Kalem Studios in New York City. That year McGowan made his first film appearance in A Lad from Old Ireland as part of the crew that traveled to Ireland to do the first ever film shot on location outside of the United States. During his acting career, his horseback riding ability saw him do many of Kalem's riding stunts.
McGowan directed the first twenty-
J.P. McGowan successfully made the transition from silent film to talkies. While never a major star, in a busy career that spanned four decades, he acted in more than 180 films, wrote 26 screenplays, and directed more than 165 productions. In 1932 he directed a young John Wayne in the 12 episode serial, "The Hurricane Express."
*Reference: J. P. McGowan. Biography of a Hollywood Pioneer (2005) by John J. McGowan. ISBN-
Ships of the Night (1928) -