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Anthony James Biography – Childhood, Career & Death

Anthony James Biography

Anthony James was one of the most recognized actors in the 1970s and 1980s. Standing at the staggering height of 6 feet 6 and a half inches, Anthony wowed the audiences with his performance as a villain in numerous movies and television series. His work as a character actor was well received by the audience and helped him gain a huge following.

Sadly, James is no longer with us, but people still remember him for his amazing works. Some also want to know more about his personal life. So, in this biography we will take a look at his childhood, career and more.

Where Did Anthony James Grew Up?

The late actor was born James Anthony on July 22, 1942 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. Anthony James’ parents, Marika Anthony and George Anthony were Greek immigrants. His father, George, who operated a fine restaurant in their hometown, passed away when James was eight. After this, he was raised by his mother.

Anthony, who also went by Jimmy Anthony, was an artistic individual. He won the first prize for a drawing which showcased his gift for rendering emotion early on. He also played tight end on his high school football team, but had a dream of being a movie actor. Well, following his high school graduation at the age of 18, James and his mother moved to LA where he enrolled at an acting class.

When Did Anthony James Start His Acting Career?

As stated above, Anthony James moved to Los Angeles with his mother following his high school graduation. He took acting classes but it wasn’t until 1966 that Jimmy made his debut. His work in the show, T.H.E. Cat was uncredited but his big break came in the 1967 movie, In the Heat of the Night. He played the killer, Ralph in the movie and was successful in catching the attention of people in Hollywood.

Following In the Heat of the Night, Anthony James starred in numerous television shows, films and TV Movies throughout the 60s and 70s. He had guest roles in series like Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza, Mod Squad, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Story, Quincy M.E. and more. He played villainous roles in many of these projects and also in movies such as Return from Witch Mountain, Burnt Offerings, Hearts of the West and High Plains Drifter.

Continuing with his acting journey, Anthony James appeared in Blue Thunder, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, Nightmares, Mortuary Academy, World Gone Wild and Lady Mobster.

He also starred in the music video for the band Poison’s song, Fallen Angel in 1988. Jimmy retired from acting in the early 90s and his last movie role was in the 1992 Western movie, Unforgiven opposite Clint Eastwood.

What Other Fields Did Anthony James Work In?

After leaving the showbiz, James moved to Arlington, Massachusetts with his mother. He turned his focus into painting and his works have been sold to galleries in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Japan. He also wrote poems, publishing a book of art and poetry titled Language of the Heart in 1994.

Additionally, Anthony also published his autobiography, Acting My Face in 2014 which was a huge success. James wrote the memoir a few years after the death of his loving mother Marika.

When Did Anthony James Pass Away?

Sadly, Anthony James passed away at the age of 77 on May 26, 2020. He had been battling cancer for a while before finally succumbing to the illness two months short of his 78th birthday. He was reportedly cremated and his ashes were scattered.

According to the obituary shared by the Tribune Archive, James never married, having dedicated his life caring for his loving mother. He is not survived by siblings or children, rather his memory is being kept alive through his friends. He was reportedly supported by a slew of friends at his home during his final months and days.

We hope Anthony James has found peace.