Anthony James, an instantly recognizable character actor who often played the creepy guy including in Best Picture Oscar winners In the Heat of the Night and Unforgiven, died May 26 of cancer. He was 77.
Unforgiven, his final movie role, was directed and starred Clint Eastwood, and went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
James was born James Anthony to Greek immigrant parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1942, and later reversed his name for his Hollywood career.
After retiring from acting in the mid-’90s, James moved to the Boston area to focus on a career as an artist. His paintings were later displayed across America.
In 2014 James published his memoirs, Acting My Face, which he dedicated to his mother. “I never considered myself a celebrity, just a sometime recognisable face,” he wrote.
His obituary states that he was not survived by siblings or children, but by “his many friends, including the ones who sat with him and cared for and comforted him at home in his final months and days”.
Instead of flowers, people are being asked to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in the actor’s memory.