Julius Harris

Last updated
Julius Harris
Julius W. Harris

(1923-08-17)August 17, 1923
DiedOctober 17, 2004(2004-10-17) (aged 81) [1]
Years active1964–1997
Known forMr. Big – Trouble Man
Tee Hee Johnson – Live and Let Die
Mr. Gibbs – Black Caesar , Hell Up in Harlem
Scatter – Super Fly

Julius W. Harris (August 17, 1923 – October 17, 2004) was an American actor who appeared in more than 70 movies and numerous television series in a career that spanned four decades. Harris is best known for his roles in 1970s films such as Live and Let Die and the blaxploitation films Super Fly , Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem .


Early life and career

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a dancer mother and musician father, Harris worked as a nurse, and a bouncer in New York City jazz clubs. Before he began his acting career, Harris served as a medic in the United States Army during World War II. After hanging out with many struggling actors, he took a dare and auditioned for his first role and was cast as the father in Nothing But a Man , a critically acclaimed 1964 film about black life in the South starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln.

Some of his most prominent roles included the villainous, steel-armed Tee Hee in the James Bond film Live and Let Die , [2] Scatter in Super Fly , Bubbletop Woodson in Let's Do It Again , Captain Bollin in Shaft's Big Score , Inspector Daniels in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three , Joseph in Islands in the Stream and Ugandan President Idi Amin in the TV movie Victory at Entebbe .

He also appeared in Trouble Man , King Kong , Black Caesar , Hell Up in Harlem , Friday Foster , Shrunken Heads , Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and in guest-starring roles on Sanford and Son , Good Times , and Love Boat among others. Harris was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City and appeared on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, No Place to Be Somebody .


On October 17, 2004, Harris died of heart failure while admitted at Motion Picture and Television Hospital, aged 81. [3] Harris was cremated and interred in Philadelphia, his place of birth. At the time of his death, Harris was survived by his two children; his daughter Kimberly and his son Gideon.


1964 Nothing But a Man Will AndersonJulius Harris' first movie role
1969 Slaves Shadrach
1972 Shaft's Big Score Captain Bollin
Super Fly 'Scatter'
Trouble Man 'Mr. Big'
1973 Black Caesar Mr. Gibbs
Live and Let Die Tee Hee Johnson
Salty Clancy Ames
Hell Up in Harlem Mr. Gibbs
Blade Card Player
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Inspector Daniels
1975 Let's Do It Again 'Bubbletop' Woodson
Friday Foster 'Monk' Riley
1976 King Kong Boan
1977 Islands in the Stream Joseph
Alambrista! 2nd Drunk
Looking for Mr. Goodbar 'Black Cat'
1979Delta Fox'Tiny'
1980 Gorp Fred, The Chef
First Family Ambassador Longo
1981 Circle of Power B.B.
Full Moon High Hijackeruncredited
1983 Going Berserk Judge
1984The EnchantedBooker T.
1985 Crimewave Hardened Convict
1986 My Chauffeur JohnsonAlternative title: My Chauffeur: Licensed to Love
Hollywood Vice Squad Jesse
1988 Split Decisions Tony Leone
1990 To Sleep with Anger Herman
Darkman Gravedigger
Prayer of the Rollerboys 'Speedbagger'
1991 Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Old Man Jiles
1993 Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence Houngan MalfaiteurAlternative titles: Maniac Cop 3
MC3: Maniac Cop 3
1994 Shrunken Heads Aristide Sumatra
1969 N.Y.P.D. Hector1 episode
1973 The Bob Newhart Show Mr. Billings1 episode ("Blues for Mr. Borden")
1975 Harry O Arthur "Art Sully" Daniels1 episode
Cannon Milner, Liquid Store Owner1 episode
Ellery Queen Doyle, The Butler1 episode
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man AugieMiniseries
Victory at Entebbe President Idi Amin Television movie
Good Times Ben1 episode
1977 Kojak Joe Addison1 episode
Sanford and Son Doctor1 episode
1978 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Mr. Dove2 episodes
1979 The Incredible Hulk 'Doc' Alden1 episode
1981ThornwellFriscoTelevision movie
1982 The Blue and the Gray Swamp PreacherMiniseries
Voyagers! Auctioneer1 episode
1983 St. Elsewhere Earl1 episode
1983–1986 Cagney & Lacey Bardo / Sergeant Major Brennan2 episodes
1984 Hart to Hart Krohn1 episode
Gone Are the Dayes Man #1Television movie
Benson (Benson's) Uncle Buster1 episode "the reunion"
The Jeffersons Reverend Taylor1 episode
1985 Hollywood Wives Reverend DanielMiniseries
Amazing Stories Joe1 episode
1986 Capitol Papa NeboUnknown episodes
1987 Outlaws Butch1 episode
A Gathering of Old Men CootTelevision movie
Alternative title: Murder on the Bayou
1989 Friday the 13th: The Series Simpson1 episode
1991 The Golden Girls Mr. Lewis1 episode
Murder, She Wrote Jack Lee Johnson1 episode
Civil Wars Judge Adams1 episode
1992 Eerie, Indiana Prop Man1 episode
1997 ER Gramps1 episode, (final appearance)

Related Research Articles

<i>Super Fly</i> (1972 film) 1972 blaxploitation neo-noir film

Super Fly is a 1972 American blaxploitation neo-noir crime drama film directed by Gordon Parks Jr. and starring Ron O'Neal as Youngblood Priest, an African American cocaine dealer who is trying to quit the underworld drug business. The film is well known for its soundtrack, written and produced by soul musician Curtis Mayfield. It was released on August 4, 1972.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yaphet Kotto</span> American actor (1939–2021)

Yaphet Frederick Kotto was an American actor known for numerous film roles, as well as starring in the NBC television series Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999) as Lieutenant Al Giardello. His most well-known films include the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), the science-fiction action film The Running Man (1987), the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973), in which he portrayed the main villain Dr. Kananga, and the comedy thriller Midnight Run (1988) opposite Robert De Niro.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ron O'Neal</span> American actor

Ron O'Neal was an American actor, director and screenwriter, who rose to fame in his role as Youngblood Priest, a New York cocaine dealer, in the blaxploitation film Super Fly (1972) and its sequel Super Fly T.N.T. (1973). O'Neal was also a director and writer for the sequel, and for the film Up Against the Wall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fred Williamson</span> American football player and actor (born 1938)

Frederick Robert Williamson, also known as The Hammer, is an American actor and former professional American football defensive back who played mainly in the American Football League during the 1960s. Williamson is perhaps best known for his film career, starring as Tommy Gibbs in the 1973 crime drama film Black Caesar and its sequel Hell Up in Harlem. Williamson also had other notable roles in other 1970s blaxploitation films such as Hammer (1972), That Man Bolt (1973) and Three the Hard Way (1974).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gloria Hendry</span> American actress (born 1949)

Gloria Hendry is an American actress and former model. Hendry is best known for her roles in films from the 1970s, most notably: portraying Rosie Carver in 1973's James Bond film Live and Let Die; and Helen Bradley in the blaxploitation film Black Caesar, and the sequel, Hell Up in Harlem.

<i>Across 110th Street</i> 1972 film by Barry Shear

Across 110th Street is a 1972 American action-crime film directed by Barry Shear and starring Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Franciosa and Paul Benjamin. The film is set in Harlem and takes its name from 110th Street, the traditional dividing line between Harlem and Central Park that functioned as an informal boundary of race and class in 1970s New York City.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adolph Caesar</span> American actor

Adolph Caesar was an American actor, theatre director, playwright, dancer, and choreographer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoffrey Holder</span> Trinidadian-American actor and dancer (1930–2014)

Geoffrey Lamont Holder was a Trinidadian-American actor, dancer, musician, and artist. He was a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet before his film career began in 1957 with an appearance in Carib Gold. In 1973, he played the villainous Baron Samedi in the Bond film Live and Let Die. He also carried out advertising work as the pitchman for 7 Up.

Kevin Hooks is an American actor, and a television and film director; he is notable for his roles in Aaron Loves Angela and Sounder, but may be best known as Morris Thorpe from TV's The White Shadow.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ivan Dixon</span> American actor, director, producer

Ivan Nathaniel Dixon III was an American actor, director, and producer best known for his series role in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes, and for his starring roles in the 1964 independent drama Nothing But a Man and the 1967 television film The Final War of Olly Winter. In addition, he directed many episodes of television series.

<i>Black Caesar</i> (film) 1973 film by Larry Cohen

Black Caesar is a 1973 American blaxploitation crime drama film written and directed by Larry Cohen and starring Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry and Julius Harris. It features a musical score by James Brown, his first experience with writing music for film. A sequel titled Hell Up in Harlem was released in late 1973.

<i>Hell Up in Harlem</i> 1973 film by Larry Cohen

Hell Up in Harlem is a 1973 blaxploitation American neo-noir film, starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry. Written and directed by Larry Cohen, it is a sequel to the film Black Caesar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">D'Urville Martin</span> American actor and director (1939–1984)

D'Urville Martin was an American actor in both film and television. He appeared in numerous 1970s movies in the blaxploitation genre. He also appeared in two unaired pilots of what would become All in the Family as Lionel Jefferson. Born in New York City, Martin began his career in the mid-1960s and soon appeared in prominent films such as Black Like Me, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Rosemary's Baby. Martin also directed films in his career, including Dolemite, starring Rudy Ray Moore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raymond St. Jacques</span> American actor, director and producer

Raymond St. Jacques was an American actor, director and producer whose career spanned over thirty years on stage, film and television. St. Jacques is noted as the first African American actor to appear in a regular role on a western series, portraying Simon Blake on the eighth season of Rawhide (1965–1966).

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

Live and Let Die is a 1973 spy film. It is the eighth film in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by Guy Hamilton and produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, while Tom Mankiewicz wrote the script. Although the producers had approached Sean Connery to return after Diamonds Are Forever (1971), he declined and a search for a new actor led to Moore being signed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lorenzo Tucker</span> American actor

Lorenzo Tucker, known as the "Black Valentino," was an American stage and screen actor who played the romantic lead in the early black films of Oscar Micheaux.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blaxploitation</span> Film genre

Blaxploitation is an ethnic subgenre of the exploitation film that emerged in the United States during the early 1970s. The term, a portmanteau of the words "black" and "exploitation", was coined in August 1972 by Junius Griffin, the president of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood NAACP branch. He claimed the genre was "proliferating offenses" to the black community in its perpetuation of stereotypical characters often involved in crime. The genre does rank among the first after the race films in the 1940s and 1960s in which black characters and communities are the protagonists and subjects of film and television, rather than sidekicks, antagonists or victims of brutality. The genre's inception coincides with the rethinking of race relations in the 1970s.

Blaxploitation horror films are a genre of horror films involving mostly black actors. In 1972 director William Crain did the first blaxploitation horror film, Blacula.


  1. Blaxploitation Films, By Mikel J. Koven.Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  2. "Tee Hee (Julius W Harris) - James Bond Villains" . Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  3. Heffernan, Virginia (2004-10-23). "Julius Harris, 81, Pioneering Black Actor, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-13.