Jack Hanrahan: 1933-2008

The Road to Cannibal Island (with a flying saucer and Jack in the foreground)
by Artsy Squirrel


One more sadness to add to Heraldo’s list. Jack Hanrahan, a popular Emmy-winning writer and star of the god awful creative local movie Illegal Smile who lived in Eureka for many years, died Monday in a Cleveland nursing home.

The first time I met Jack he stroked my hair and told me he wanted to paint me. I knew he was just trying to be charming, but I liked him anyway. He told amazing stories interspersed with harmonica riffs that I could’ve listened to for hours.

Jack’s last few months in Humboldt were painful to watch as he descended into a world of addiction and mental illness. I watched his many friends try to help him, but he wasn’t having any of it. His family was contacted numerous times, but for reasons unknown to anyone but themselves, they were unable or unwilling to help.

He made his way to Cleveland last March where he was eventually able to get help.

You too, Jack. Rest in peace.

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14 responses to “Jack Hanrahan: 1933-2008

  1. He was also a very talented musician,artist, comedian and master storyteller as well as a very good friend of mine .For all of his myriad talents,however, Jack also had just as many demons.His last few months in Eureka were horrible.He was truly a very brilliant star-crossed fellow.I’ll miss and know I will never meet someone like him again.Rest in peace old buddy.

  2. I remember Jack as brilliant, eccentric, funny, talented and poor. May he rest in peace. Nice art by Squirrel!

  3. Ah yes . . . When we were in production of the Who’s <>Tommy<> at FRT, director, Joe Collins suggested that I take a harmonica lesson from Jack, since one of my parts in the show was <>The Harmonica Player<>. Greg and I went to Jack’s house in Eureka. The smell of weed wafted at the front door when Jack greeted us. It was very entertaining. He told me which 2 keys (C and F) to play for my harmonica solo. It was a challenge but I learned to wail and switch harmonicas during the solos. He was a great help!Rob is quite the artist, too.

  4. Interesting canvas. What’s the story? Is there a connection between Jack and flying saucers?

  5. It’s a great painting – the picture doesn’t do it justice. I’ll have to let Squirrel explain it, though.Squirrel? Are you there? Hello?

  6. For some reason I can’t fully explain the Loleta Cheese Factoryreminds me of flying saucers.I also figured that if flying saucers were going to come to Humboldt Jack Hanrahan would be the person they would most likely try to abduct. Come to think of it, that would have been a much better premise for a movie than Illegal Smile.Squirrely.

  7. I have not yet seen Illegal Smile. I think it is available at The Works. But seriously, I like the painting, squirrel. I would like to see the original. You capture the eeriness of the creamery and Loleta. Very reminiscent of Van Gough.

  8. <>For some reason I can’t fully explain the Loleta Cheese Factoryreminds me of flying saucers.<>Maybe its cuz the moon is made of cream < HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR7e3StbXoU" REL="nofollow">cheeze<>LOL,huggles,S

  9. One story I will share about Jack that was told to me by a fellow thespian: during a performance of a local play, Jack offered some homemade cookies to the fellow cast members during intermission. The fellow cast members did not realize that these were magic cookies (if you know what I mean – nudge-nudge-wink-wink) until the second act. It made for an interesting performance experience.

  10. Such sadness this week: loosing friends and acquaintances. Sue Parks obituary was in the newspaper the last couple of days. She was a lovely sweet person. I am glad I had the chance to meet Jack, too.

  11. I knew Jack for one week, when I was 16 and he was 17, at a summer resort in Canada and we wrote for several years. I have never forgotten him. He was someone special even back then, only he was an innocent. From everything I have read he remained a funny, loveable and kind person in spite of his problems. Sue, now 75, living in the hills of Ontario.

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