Jay C. Flippen was an American character actor who often played police officers or weary criminals in many films of the 1940s and 1950s.
Flippen was an established and respected vaudeville singer and stage actor before his film career. He had been discovered by famed African-American comedian Bert Williams in the 1920s. He called himself "The Ham What Am," and performed occasionally in blackface. Flippen attained the most coveted booking in vaudeville, headlining at the Palace Theatre in New York six times between March 1926 and February 1931.
At one time he was also a radio announcer for New York Yankees games and was one of the first game show announcers. Between 1924 and 1929, Flippen recorded more than thirty songs for Columbia, Perfect and Brunswick.
His first film, the 1928 Warner Brothers short subject "The Ham What Am", captures his vaudeville performance, and there are other shorts in the 1930s, but his film career started in earnest in 1947.
Flippen also appeared on television, including a 1960 guest-starring role as Gabe Jethrow in the episode "Four Came Quietly" on the CBS western series Johnny Ringo, starring Don Durant.