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Anthony James Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA
Died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA  (cancer)
Height 6' 6½" (2 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Character actor Anthony James was born on July 22, 1942 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Creepily tall (6' 6½) and lanky, with a rough, pockmarked face, a lean, stringy build, greasy dark hair and an extremely edgy'n'intense screen presence, James was often cast in Westerns as really scary, sleazy and disgusting villains. He was especially memorable as the hateful racist diner counterman in the outstanding In the Heat of the Night (1967). Other noteworthy parts include a slimy gay hitchhiker in the cult classic Vanishing Point (1971), a wimpy priest in The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972), a scuzzy outlaw in High Plains Drifter (1973), a deranged psycho in The Teacher (1974), the chauffeur from hell in the chiller Burnt Offerings (1976), and the vicious leader of a gang of ferocious barbarians in the strictly so-so science fiction outing Ravagers (1979).

James was hilarious in a rare change-of-pace good guy role as a heroic cannibal (!) in the amusing tongue-in-cheek post-nuke sci-fi romp World Gone Wild (1987), and also funny parodying his evil persona in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991). Among the many television shows in which he appeared in guest roles were Married... with Children (1987), Beauty and the Beast (1987), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Simon & Simon (1981), The A-Team (1983), Riptide (1984), The Fall Guy (1981), Hunter (1984), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), Quincy M.E. (1976), Charlie's Angels (1976), Vega$ (1978), Starsky and Hutch (1975), S.W.A.T. (1975), Ironside (1967), Hawaii Five-O (1968), Bonanza (1959), Gunsmoke (1955) and The Big Valley (1965).

James's last film appearance to date was as the mean owner of a seedy bordello in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992). After quitting acting in the early 1990s, he pursued a successful career as an artist. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries in such major cities as New York, Boston and Miami.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders/robert sieger

Trivia (6)

The only child of George Anthony (1893-1951) and Marika Palla Anthony (1913-2008), who immigrated to the United States from Greece in the 1940s, James moved at age 18 with his widowed mother to Los Angeles to pursue acting. She cleaned houses and he cleaned bathrooms to make ends meet and to pay for his acting classes.
In 2000 he exhibited his paintings in New York, Miami, and Boston.
He book-ended his movie career with classics: his first and last movie roles were both in Best Picture Oscar winners, and each featured two Best Actor Oscar winners in lead roles, one of whom won for that particular movie: In the Heat of the Night (1967) with Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and Unforgiven (1992) with Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman.
Played tight end on his high school football team.
Upon his death, he was cremated and his ashes scattered.
He was a lifelong Democrat.

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