Anthony James (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anthony James
James Anthony

(1942-07-22)July 22, 1942
DiedMay 26, 2020(2020-05-26) (aged 77)
Years active1967–1992

Anthony James (born James Anthony; July 22, 1942 – May 26, 2020) [1] [2] [3] was an American character actor who specialized in playing villains in films and television, many of them Westerns. [4]

Early life

Anthony James was born James Anthony in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on July 22, 1942, as the only child of Greek immigrants George Anthony (1893–1951) and Marika Palla (1913–2008). He later reversed the order of his given name and surname for his acting career. [1]


James made several guest appearances on the western series Gunsmoke during the series' run, appearing in different roles, most often playing the character of Elbert Moses. Other shows he has guest-starred on include: Hawaii Five-O; The High Chaparral; Bonanza; The Rookies; Charlie's Angels; Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; Holmes & Yoyo; The A-Team; Quincy, M.E.; Star Trek: The Next Generation; and Beauty and the Beast.

James also appeared in a number of major feature films. His first major role was as Ralph, the diner counterman in 1967's In the Heat of the Night, which was awarded an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1968. This movie beat out the well-known movies The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner for Best Picture.

Subsequent film appearances included P.J. (1968) and ...tick...tick...tick... (1970). He played one of the lynch mobsters in High Plains Drifter and appeared as well as the evil chauffeur in the horror film Burnt Offerings (1976). [5] He had roles in Blue Thunder (1983), Nightmares (1983), and The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991).

James also appeared in Poison's 1988 music video for their song " Fallen Angel." [1]:139 He retired from acting in the early 1990s with his last film role in Clint Eastwood's 1992 Unforgiven, [4] which was awarded an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993. It is notable that Anthony James' first and last major film appearances were each in Academy Award-winning films for Best Picture.

In retirement, he concentrated on painting. [6] In 1994, he published a book of art and poetry, Language of the Heart. His autobiography, Acting My Face, was published in 2014. [4]


James died from cancer at age 77 on May 26, 2020, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b c James, Anthony (2014). Acting My Face. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN  9781617039850. The union already had an actor named James Anthony and would not let me use Jimmy or Jim Anthony, so rather than change my name... I just reversed it to Anthony James.
  2. ^ "Anthony James Obituary". Keene Funeral Homes. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Thomas, Nick (April 21, 2014). "Anthony James: so good at being bad". The News-Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "'Burnt Offerings' Is an Outstanding Terror Movie". The New York Times. September 30, 1976.
  6. ^ "Anthony James — Artist". Renjeau Galleries. Retrieved 7 May 2017.

External links