Partner James Carroll Vincent
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George Jack Warren Kerrigan (July 25, 1879 – June 9, 1947) was an American silent film actor and film director.
Born in New Albany, Indiana, Kerrigan worked as a warehouse clerk in his teens until a chance arrived to appear in a vaudeville production. He continued to act in traveling stock productions, though he took a brief time away from the stage to attend the University of Illinois.
By the time he was 30 years old, he had begun to make appearances in films for Essanay Studios. A contract with the American Film Corporation opened the door to leading roles, often as a modern man of the age. He starred in over 300 films up to 1924.
IIn May 1917, Kerrigan was nearing the end of a four-month-long personal appearance publicity tour that had taken him across the United States and into Canada. At one of the final stops, a reporter for The Denver Times asked Kerrigan if he would be joining the war. Kerrigan replied:
I am not going to war. I will go, of course, if my country needs me, but I think that first they should take the great mass of men who aren't good for anything else, or are only good for the lower grades of work. Actors, musicians, great writers, artists of every kind—isn't it a pity when people are sacrificed who are capable of such things—of adding to the beauty of the world.
Picked up and reprinted in newspapers across the country, this statement stunned his fans and his popularity plummeted, never to fully recover. Family members later reported in Behind the Screen (2001) by William J. Mann that his slump in popularity was more due to his living with his mother and partner James Vincent in the same house, and not having a business manager to overcome the negative publicity.
HHowever, when director James Cruze cast him as the rugged lead in The Covered Wagon (1923), Kerrigan found himself back on top, although fleetingly. In the spring of 1924, after John Barrymore bowed out, Kerrigan was assigned the starring role in Captain Blood. While the film was a moderate success, critics were unmoved and Kerrigan found himself working less and less and in smaller roles. In December 1924, Kerrigan was injured in an automobile accident in Illinois. According to the Des Moines Tribune (page 1, Monday, December 8, 1924) his face was badly scarred and it was stated that "he may never star in films again.
KKerrigan was homosexual. He never married, and lived with his lover James Carroll Vincent from about 1914 to Kerrigan's death in 1947.