Clifton James

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Clifton James
Clifton James as Sheriff Pepper.jpg
Clifton James as Sheriff J.W. Pepper in Live and Let Die (1973)
Born
George Clifton James

(1920-05-29)May 29, 1920
DiedApril 15, 2017(2017-04-15) (aged 96)
Years active1954–2006
Spouse(s)Donna Lea Beach (1948–1950)
Laurie Harper (1951–2015)
Children6

George Clifton James (May 29, 1920 – April 15, 2017) was an American actor, best known for his roles as Sheriff J.W. Pepper alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond films Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the sheriff in Silver Streak (1976), a Texas tycoon in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977), as the owner of the scandalous 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team in Eight Men Out (1988), and earlier in his acting career as a prison floorwalker in Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Roger Moore British actor

Sir Roger George Moore was an English actor. He is best known for having played Ian Fleming's fictional British secret agent James Bond in seven feature films from 1973 to 1985.

<i>James Bond</i> Media franchise about a British spy

The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, eight other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelizations: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd and Anthony Horowitz. The latest novel is Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz, published in May 2018. Additionally Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond, and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.

<i>Live and Let Die</i> (film) 1973 film by Guy Hamilton

Live and Let Die is a 1973 British spy film, the eighth in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, it was the third of four Bond films to be directed by Guy Hamilton. Although the producers had wanted Sean Connery to return after his role in the previous Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, he declined, sparking a search for a new actor to play James Bond. Moore was signed for the lead role.

Contents

Early life

James was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Grace (née Dean), a teacher, and Harry James, a journalist. [1] He grew up in Oregon in the Gladstone area of Clackamas County. [2] James was a decorated World War II United States Army veteran. He served as an infantry platoon sergeant with Co. "A" 163rd Inf., 41st Div. He served forty-two months in the South Pacific from January 1942 until August 1945. His decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts. [3]

Spokane, Washington City in Washington, United States

Spokane is a city in Spokane County in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States. It is located on the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, 92 miles (148 km) south of the Canada–US border, 18 miles (30 km) from the Washington–Idaho border, and 228 miles (367 km) east of Seattle along Interstate 90.

Gladstone, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Gladstone is a city located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. The population was 11,491 at the 2010 census. Gladstone is an approximately 4-square-mile (10 km2) suburban community, 12 miles (19 km) south of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, and located at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.

Clackamas County, Oregon County in the United States

Clackamas County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 375,992, making it Oregon's third-most populous county. Its county seat is Oregon City. The county was named after the Native Americans living in the area, the Clackamas Indians, who were part of the Chinookan people.

Career

James became well known for playing the comic-relief role of Louisiana Sheriff J.W. Pepper in the James Bond films Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). He also played a very similar character in both Silver Streak (1976) and Superman II (1980), and had a serious role in The Reivers (1969). In that last movie, opposite Steve McQueen, James played a mean, corrupt, bungling country sheriff.

<i>Silver Streak</i> (film) 1976 film directed by Arthur Hiller

Silver Streak is a 1976 American comedy-thriller film about a murder on a Los Angeles-to-Chicago train journey. It was directed by Arthur Hiller and stars Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, and Richard Pryor, with Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, and Richard Kiel in supporting roles. The film score is by Henry Mancini. This film marked the first pairing of Wilder and Pryor, who were later paired in three more films.

<i>Superman II</i> 1980 superhero film

Superman II is a 1980 superhero film directed by Richard Lester and written by Mario Puzo and David and Leslie Newman, based on the DC Comics character Superman. It is a sequel to the 1978 film Superman and stars Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Ned Beatty, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, and Jack O'Halloran. The film was released in Australia and mainland Europe on December 4, 1980, and in other countries throughout 1981. Selected premiere engagements of Superman II were presented in Megasound, a high-impact surround sound system similar to Sensurround.

<i>The Reivers</i> (film) 1969 film by Mark Rydell

The Reivers is a 1969 Technicolor film in Panavision starring Steve McQueen and directed by Mark Rydell based on the William Faulkner novel The Reivers, a Reminiscence. The supporting cast includes Sharon Farrell, Rupert Crosse, Mitch Vogel, and Burgess Meredith as the narrator.

James was the district attorney who prosecutes Al Capone in the film The Untouchables (1987). He played a Navy master-at-arms in The Last Detail (1973), starring Jack Nicholson, and Chicago White Sox baseball team owner Charles Comiskey in the true story Eight Men Out (1988), a drama about the corrupt 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Al Capone American gangster and businessman

Alphonse Gabriel Capone, sometimes known by the nickname "Scarface", was an American gangster and businessman who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. His seven-year reign as crime boss ended when he was 33.

<i>The Untouchables</i> (film) 1987 American film directed by Brian De Palma

The Untouchables is a 1987 American gangster film directed by Brian De Palma, produced by Art Linson, written by David Mamet, and based on the book of the same name (1957). The film stars Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery, and follows Eliot Ness (Costner) as he forms the Untouchables team to bring Al Capone to justice during Prohibition. The Grammy Award-winning score was composed by Ennio Morricone and features period music by Duke Ellington.

A Master-at-Arms may be a naval rating, responsible for law enforcement, regulating duties, security, Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP); an army officer responsible for physical training; or a member of the crew of a merchant ship responsible for security and law enforcement. In some navies, a "ship's corporal" is a position—not the rank—of a petty officer who assists the master-at-arms in his various duties.

Despite being a lifelong New Yorker (and an Actors Studio member of long standing), [4] James was cast as a Southerner in many of his roles, such as his appearances in the James Bond films, and as powerful Houston lawyer Striker Bellman in the daytime soap opera Texas from 1981 to 1982.

Actors Studio organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights

The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis, who provided training for actors who were members. Lee Strasberg joined later and took the helm in 1951 until his death on February 17, 1982.

<i>Texas</i> (TV series) television series

Texas is an American daytime soap opera which aired on NBC from August 4, 1980, until December 31, 1982, sponsored and produced by Procter and Gamble Productions at NBC Studios in Brooklyn, New York City. It is a spinoff of Another World, co-created by head writers John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington, and executive producer Paul Rauch of Another World. Rauch held the title of executive producer for the parent series and its spin-off until 1981.

He was a Southern character as the penitentiary's floor-walker in Cool Hand Luke (1967) and as Sheriff Lester Crabb, a temporary one-off replacement for regular Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) in the second season Dukes of Hazzard episode "Treasure of Hazzard" (1980).

<i>Cool Hand Luke</i> 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg

Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system.

Rosco Purvis Coltrane is a fictional bumbling and corrupt sheriff character in the American TV series The Dukes of Hazzard along with the movie Moonrunners and the movies that followed. He is the right-hand man of Hazzard County's corrupt county commissioner, Jefferson Davis "J.D." Hogg.

James Best American actor, musician, artist

Jewel Franklin Guy, known professionally as James Best, was an American television, film, stage, and voice actor, as well as a writer, director, acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician. During a career that spanned more than 60 years, he performed not only in feature films but also in scores of television series, as well as appearing on various country music programs and talk shows. Television audiences, however, perhaps most closely associate Best with his role as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the action-comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard, which originally aired on CBS between 1979 and 1985. He reprised the role in 1997 and 2000 for the made-for-television movies The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! and The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood (2000).

James appeared on 13 episodes of the sitcom Lewis & Clark in 1981–1982. Other television credits include the 1976 private-eye drama City of Angels and the miniseries Captains and the Kings (1976). He appeared in two episodes of The A-Team : as murderous prison warden Beale in the first-season episode "Pros and Cons" (1983) and as corrupt Sheriff Jake Dawson in the second season's "The White Ballot" (1983). In 1996, he played the role of Red Kilgreen on All My Children . James also played the train passenger Wilkes on the Gunsmoke episode "Snow Train" (1970).

His other film roles include those of a wealthy Montana land baron whose cattle are being rustled in Rancho Deluxe (1975) and as the source who tips off a newspaperman to a potentially explosive story in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). James was featured a number of times by writer-director John Sayles, including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Sunshine State (2002).

James' last known film appearance was in Raising Flagg (2006), although he had been cast in a starring role to appear in the feature film Old Soldiers, playing a true-to-life elderly veteran of World War II. [5] Production on that film was halted in 2016.

Personal life

James married twice: to Donna Lea Beach from 1948 to 1950, with whom he had one child, and to Laurie Harper, from 1951 until her death in 2015, with whom he had five children. He resided in Gladstone, Oregon, and died from complications of diabetes on April 15, 2017, aged 96. [6]

Selected filmography

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References

  1. "Clifton James Biography (1921-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  2. Turnquist, Kristi (April 16, 2017). "Clifton James, veteran of James Bond movies and 'Cool Hand Luke,' dies in Gladstone at 96". The Oregonian/OregonLive. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  3. Ridler, Keith (April 15, 2017). "Clifton James, sheriff in 2 James Bond films, dies at 96". Bluefield Daily Telegraph . Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  4. Actors Studio Recordings, 1956-1969, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  5. http://www.old-soldiers-movie.com/
  6. Clifton James, Sheriff in James Bond Films, Dies at 96 Variety, April 15, 2017