ACTOR APPEARED IN 'THE UNTOUCHABLES' & 'BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES'
Clifton James, who had appeared in two Brian De Palma films-- The Untouchables (1987) and The Bonfire Of The Vanities (1990), passed away Saturday at the age of 96. His daughter, Lynn James, told the Associated Press, "He was the most outgoing person, beloved by everybody. I don't think the man had an enemy. We were incredibly blessed to have had him in our lives."
Most of the articles about James' passing highlight his role as a redneck sheriff in two James Bond films starring Roger Moore: Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man With the Golden Gun (1974). "His daughter noted that her father sometimes said actors get remembered for one particular role out of hundreds," states the Associated Press article. "His is the sheriff's, but he said he would have never picked that one," said Lynn James. During the prime of his career, the article states, James "loved working on the stage in New York."
Here's part of an obituary written by Meagan Navarro at ScreenRant:
James was born May 29, 1920 in Spokane, Washington as the oldest of five siblings, and the only son. His mother was a teacher and his father a journalist. He was raised near Portland, Oregon during the height of the Great Depression. A decorated World War II veteran, James served nearly five years in the South Pacific and has earned numerous decorations for his service including a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
After leaving the Army, James took classes and acted in plays at the University of Oregon before moving to New York to launch his acting career. His first stage appearance was The Time of Your Life, and he continued to perform in numerous stage plays on Broadway.
Despite being a northerner with a love of theater, his most famous role came on film as the tobacco spitting southern sheriff from Louisiana in 1973’s Live and Let Die. The stark comedic contrast to Roger Moore’s cool, sophisticated James Bond proved to be so popular with audiences that the writers wrote the comic-relief character into the next James Bond film, 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. This entry saw the popular character bringing even more comedic relief to the film as it took the southern sheriff out of the south and into Thailand. His knack for portraying a cigar-chomping, tobacco chewing southerners carried over in many other film roles, as in his role of Carr in Cool Hand Luke. James also acted opposite to Bruce Willis in The Bonfire of the Vanities, and Robert De Niro in an uncredited role as a district attorney who prosecuted Al Capone in The Untouchables.
On television, James had appeared in Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Dukes of Hazard, Lewis & Clark, The A-Team, Dallas, and more. As a lover of celebrating holidays with his wife, Laurie, James once played Kris Kringle in a 1996 episode of long-running soap opera All My Children. Perhaps his most notable television role, however, is that of powerful Houston lawyer Striker Bellman in the soap opera Texas, from 1981 to 1982.
James leaves behind his wife, his five children, 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, as well his two younger sisters Cicely and Beverley. He will be missed.