Actor Anthony James has passed away at 77: Was best known for playing the archetypal movie villain

Anthony James on the set of The A-Team
Anthony James mastered the art of playing the role of a terrifying bad guy. Pic credit: NBC Universal/ YouTube

Character actor Anthony James, who was best known for his role in Unforgiven, has passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He was 77 years old.

James was a classic character actor who specialized in portraying terrifyingly creepy villains on both the big and the small screen. He was particularly well known for playing the archetypal “bad guy” in westerns.

In an interview with Spectrum in 2016, he joked, “I have to remind people that I did play love scenes; it’s just that they were at knife-point!”

Anthony James starred in Unforgiven alongside Clint Eastwood

James’s final movie role was the one he is best known for — his 1992 performance in Unforgiven, where he played the part of the greasy brothel owner, Skinny Dubois. The movie won Best Picture at the Oscars.

His other movie credits included such classics as Vanishing Point, High Plains Drifter, and Return From Witch Mountain.

He also made an impact on TV as well, with solid performances in Gunsmoke and Bonanza, Charlie’s Angels, The A-Team, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty And The Beast, and many others.

The 6ft 6in actor was born July 22, 1942, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and he died two months short of his 78th birthday on May 26, 2020.

He had a very close relationship with his mother, Marika, who moved with him to Los Angeles and supported him in his acting work.

He made his acting debut opposite Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in In The Heat Of The Night in 1967. He went on to work with many other iconic performers such as Bette Davis, Richard Harris, Blythe Danner, Jeff Bridges, and Clint Eastwood.

Anthony James was a man of many talents

Later on in his life, James took the decision to move away from Hollywood and embraced a life producing art. Many of his paintings were sold to galleries across the USA and Japan.

James was a man of many talents as he also produced and published a couple of books. In 1994 he released Language Of The Heart, which featured his paintings and poems. He also wrote a memoir, Acting My Face.

James is the latest in a string of well-known celebrities to have already passed away this year. In February, Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas also passed away at the age of 103. He was considered the last great actor from the Golden Age of cinema.

Nominated for an Oscar three times, Douglas performed in over 80 movies before retiring in 2004. He was estimated to be worth approximately $60 Million when he died.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments