James Luisi

Last updated
James Luisi
Born(1928-11-02)November 2, 1928
DiedJune 7, 2002(2002-06-07) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesJim Luisi
Occupation(s)Former NBA player, actor
Years active1961–1999
SpouseGeorgia Phillips (1961–2002)

James A. Luisi (November 2, 1928 June 7, 2002) was an American professional basketball player and actor. Luisi is perhaps best known for his role as Lt. Doug Chapman, the apoplectic foil to detective Jim Rockford, in a total of 23 episodes during Seasons 3 through 6 of the television series The Rockford Files.


Basketball career

Born in East Harlem, New York City, Luisi attended St. Francis College on a basketball scholarship before being drafted by the Boston Celtics in the sixth round of the 1951 NBA draft. After serving in the US Army during the Korean War, he played with the Baltimore Bullets for one year in the 1953–54 season. At 6'2" (1.88 m) and 180 lb (82 kg), he played guard for 31 games and averaged 3 points a game.


Luisi then attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and appeared on Broadway in productions of Alfie and Do I Hear a Waltz? as well as the original 1966 production of Sweet Charity . [1]

Television and movies

From 1961 to the mid-1970s Luisi appeared on such television shows as Naked City , The Rifleman , The Doctors (5 episodes), Bonanza (2 episodes), The F.B.I. (2 different roles in 2 episodes), Adam-12 , Kojak (2 roles in a total of 3 episodes), Cannon , Police Story (2 roles in a total of 3 episodes), The Rookies (2 roles in 2 episodes), Mannix (2 roles in 2 episodes), Ironside , Barnaby Jones (5 roles in 5 episodes), The Streets of San Francisco , Gunsmoke (2 episodes), Hawkins , Vega$ , Chopper One and S.W.A.T .

In 1976 Luisi had a guest role as a shady businessman on a Season 2 episode of The Rockford Files . The next season on the same show he portrayed Lt. Doug Chapman, a high-ranking, disagreeable police officer who dislikes the titular Rockford character portrayed by James Garner. Luisi ultimately played Chapman in 23 episodes, until the end of the show's six-year run. He reprised the role in two Rockford TV-movies in 1996.

In 1976, Luisi shared a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Special for his portrayal of George Washington in the 1975 miniseries First Ladies Diaries: Martha Washington. [2]

Also in 1976 he appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode titled “Sue Ann Falls In Love”. He subsequently had guest roles in Starsky and Hutch , Black Sheep Squadron , Hunter (2 episodes), Wonder Woman , Fantasy Island , Quincy M.E. and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century .

During the 1980s Luisi guest starred on such television staples as CHiPs , Vega$ , Hart to Hart (in 2 episodes), The A-Team , Knight Rider , T. J. Hooker , Matt Houston , The Fall Guy , Simon & Simon , Magnum, P.I. , Knots Landing (the same role in 4 episodes) and It's a Living . In 1987 and 1988 he appeared as Ben Clark in 23 episodes of the soap opera Santa Barbara . From 1987 to 1992 he appeared as Duke Earl Johnson in 21 episodes of Days of Our Lives .

Luisi appeared in the studio films Ben (1972), I Escaped from Devil's Island (1973), The Man from Independence (1974), The Take (1974), Stunts (1977), Killer's Delight (1978), Moment by Moment (1978), Norma Rae (1979), Fade to Black (1980), Star 80 (1983), Murphy's Law (1986), The Hidden (1987), Feds (1987), Lethal Woman (1987) and Wanted (1998).

He also appeared in the made-for-television movies Cat Ballou (1971), Cry Rape (1973), Honky Tonk (1974), Don't Call Us (1976), The Cabot Connection (1977), A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story (1977), Contract on Cherry Street (1977), Love Is Not Enough (1978), One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story (1978), The Asphalt Cowboy (1980), Our Family Business (1981), The Renegades (1982), Sunset Limousine (1983) and The Red-Light Sting (1984).


Luisi died of cancer in 2002, aged 73. He was survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Georgia Phillips. He was also survived by his daughter, Jamie Swartz; a brother, Jerry Luisi; and two grandchildren. He is buried in Los Angeles at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park. [1] [2]

Filmography (partial)

1967 The Tiger Makes Out Pete Copolla
1972 Ben Ed
1973 I Escaped from Devil's Island Dazzas
1974 The Man from Independence Stranger
1974 The Take Benedetto
1977 Stunts Alvin BlakeAlternative title: The Deadly Game
1978 Killer's Delight Sgt. Vince De Carlo
1978 Moment by Moment Dan Santini
1979 Norma Rae George Benson
1980 Fade to Black Capt. M.L. Gallagher
1983 Star 80 Roy
1983China LakeWatch CommanderShort
1986 Murphy's Law Ed Reineke
1987 The Hidden Sleazy cocaine-sniffing Ferrari Salesman
1988Lethal WomanColonel Jerry MaximAlternative title: The Most Dangerous Woman Alive
1988 Feds Sperry
1999WantedVincent Argento(final film role)
1961 Naked City Mark AndrewScreen / Television debut
1962 The Rifleman Chuley Carr1 episode
1963–1964 Bonanza Willard2 episodes
1964 The Reporter Joe1 episode
1971 The Interns Nick1 episode
1972 Cannon Sonny1 episode
1973 Hawkins 1 episode
1974 Ironside Mike Purcell1 episode
Mannix John Larkin1 episode
The Streets of San Francisco Lloyd Davies1 episode
1975 S.W.A.T Phil Garland1 episode
1976 Starsky and Hutch Carl Boyce1 episode
Kojak Captain Rosseau1 episode
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Doug1 episode
The Rockford Files Lieutenant ChapmanSeason 3 through 6
Good Heavens Bart Matson1 episode
1978 Wonder Woman George1 episode
Fantasy Island Arbogast1 episode
1979 The Eddie Capra Mysteries Dale MondayEpisode "Murder Plays a Dead Hand"
Quincy M.E. Marine Colonel Charles Casey1 episode
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Hood1 episode
1980 CHiPs Lazarri1 episode
Here's Boomer Combs1 episode
1982 Beyond Witch Mountain ForemanTelevision movie
1983 Renegades Lt. Marciana6 episodes
1984 Riptide Uptown Bill Brown1 episode
Hart to Hart Damian Troy1 episode
The A-Team Jimmy Durkee1 episode
1985 Finder of Lost Loves Jordan Hollis1 episode
Knight Rider D.G. Grebs1 episode
The Fall Guy Brazzi1 episode
1987 Magnum, P.I. John Walter Costa1 episode
Knots Landing Lieutenant Gilbert Garcia4 episodes
1987–1988 Santa Barbara Ben Clark11 episodes
1988 It's a Living Roscoe1 episode
1989 The Hogan Family Leopold3 episodes
1991 L.A. Law Paul Viola1 episode
1992 Tequila and Bonetti Harry Dirday1 episode
1996 Baywatch Nights Murray1 episode

Related Research Articles

<i>The Rockford Files</i> Television series

The Rockford Files is an American detective drama television series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network from September 13, 1974 to January 10, 1980, and remains in syndication. Garner portrays Los Angeles private investigator Jim Rockford, with Noah Beery Jr. in the supporting role of his father, Joseph "Rocky" Rockford, a retired truck driver. The show was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. Huggins had created the television show Maverick (1957–1962), which starred Garner, and he wanted to recapture that magic in a modern-day detective setting. In 2002, The Rockford Files was ranked No. 39 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sorrell Booke</span> American actor (1930–1994)

Sorrell Booke was an American actor who performed on stage, screen, and television. He acted in more than 100 plays and 150 television shows, and is best known for his role as corrupt politician Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diana Muldaur</span> American actress (born 1938)

Diana Muldaur is an American film and television actress. Muldaur's television roles include Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law and Dr. Katherine Pulaski in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series in the late 1960s, playing two different roles. She has been nominated for an Emmy twice, as a supporting actress on L.A. Law in 1990 and 1991.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Susan Seaforth Hayes</span> American actress (b. 1943)

Susan Seaforth Hayes is an American dramatic actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Julie Williams on the NBC drama Days of Our Lives, and her intermittent portrayal of Joanna Manning on the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless. She began playing the role of Julie on Days of Our Lives in 1968, and is the only actor to appear on the show for all seven decades it has been on the air. Seaforth Hayes still regularly appears on Days as Julie.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vic Tayback</span> American actor (1930-1990)

Victor E. Tayback was an American actor. He is known for his role as Mel Sharples in the film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and the television series Alice (1976–1985). The latter earned him two consecutive Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ed Nelson</span> American actor, AMPAs member; mayor (1928–2014)

Edwin Stafford Nelson was an American actor, best known for his role as Dr. Michael Rossi in the television series Peyton Place.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Corbett</span> American actor

Glenn Corbett was an American actor in movies and television for more than thirty years. Corbett came to national attention in the early 1960s when he replaced George Maharis in the cast of the popular CBS adventure drama Route 66. He followed this with roles in high-profile films and television shows, including a guest role in the original Star Trek series, the daytime soap opera The Doctors, the prime-time soap Dallas, and movies such as Chisum with John Wayne, as one of Jimmy Stewart's sons in Shenandoah, and the World War II epic Midway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beau Bridges</span> American actor and director

Lloyd Vernet "Beau" Bridges III is an American actor and director. He is a three-time Emmy, two-time Golden Globe and one-time Grammy Award winner, as well as a two-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. Bridges was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 7, 2003, at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard for his contributions to the television industry. He is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and elder brother of fellow actor Jeff Bridges.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bert Convy</span> American actor, singer, game show host and panelist (1933-1991)

Bernard Whalen "Bert" Convy was an American actor, singer, game show host and panelist known for hosting Tattletales, Super Password and Win, Lose or Draw.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edward Winter (actor)</span> American actor

Edward Dean Winter was an American actor. He is best known for his recurring role, Colonel Samuel Flagg, in the television series M*A*S*H from 1973 to 1979.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Whitmore Jr.</span> Actor, television director

James Allen Whitmore III, better known as James Whitmore Jr., is an American actor and director, best known for his roles as Captain Jim Gutterman on the television program Baa Baa Black Sheep, Freddie Beamer in The Rockford Files (1977–1979), and Sgt Bernie Terwilliger in Hunter (1984–1986), and since the 1980s as a prolific television director. He is the son of actor James Whitmore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Doug McClure</span> American actor (1935–1995)

Douglas Osborne McClure was an American actor whose career in film and television extended from the 1950s to the 1990s. He is best known for his role as the cowboy Trampas during the entire run from 1962 to 1971 of the series The Virginian and mayor turned police chief Kyle Applegate on Out of this World.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Atkins (actor)</span> American actor

Tom Atkins is an American actor. He is known for his work in the horror and thriller film genres, having worked with writers and directors such as Shane Black, William Peter Blatty, John Carpenter, Fred Dekker, Richard Donner, Stephen King, and George A. Romero. He is also a familiar face to mainstream viewers, often playing police officers and tough authority figures and was best known for his role as Lt. Alex Diel in The Rockford Files (1974–1977).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Fiedler</span> American actor (1925–2005)

John Donald Fiedler was an American actor. His career lasted more than 55 years in stage, film, television and radio. Fiedler's roles included the meek Juror #2 in 12 Angry Men (1957); the benign-seeming gentleman who tries to prevent the Younger family from moving into a whites-only neighbourhood in A Raisin in the Sun (1961); the voice of Piglet in Disney's Winnie the Pooh productions; Vinnie, one of Oscar's poker cronies in the film The Odd Couple (1968); and Emil Peterson, the hen-pecked milquetoast husband on The Bob Newhart Show.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Santos</span> American film and television actor (1931-2016)

Joe Santos was an American film and television actor, best known as Sgt. Dennis Becker, the friend of James Garner's character on the NBC crime drama The Rockford Files.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Huddleston</span> American film and television actor (1930–2016)

David William Huddleston was an American actor. An Emmy Award nominee, Huddleston had a prolific television career, and appeared in many films including: Rio Lobo, Blazing Saddles, Crime Busters, Santa Claus: The Movie, and The Big Lebowski.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Duggan</span> American actor (1923–1988)

Andrew Duggan was an American character actor. His work includes 185 screen credits between 1949 and 1987 for roles in both film and television, as well a number more on stage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Carr (actor)</span> American actor (1934–2006)

Paul Wallace Carr was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who performed on stage, film, and television for half a century.

William C. Watson was an American actor.


  1. 1 2 Oliver, Myrna (June 21, 2002). "Character Actor James Luisi". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  2. 1 2 James Luisi at IMDb