Anthony James Dies: ‘Unforgiven’ & ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ Actor Was 77
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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.
James had made a single brief appearance on a TV series when Norman Jewison cast him as the killer Ralph in 1967’s In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. The film went on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture.
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He would bookend his career with a key role in Unforgiven as the slimy brothel owner Skinny Dubois, who ends up on the losing end of Bill Munny’s gun. That 1992 pic starring and helmed by Eastwood won four Academy Awards, including the marquee prize, and would be James’ final screen credit.
It was the second time an Eastwood character would dispatch James in a revenge Western. Two decades earlier, his Cole Carlin was whipped then rope-strangled in the street by the Stranger in High Plains Drifter, which Eastwood also directed.
James appeared in scores of TV shows and movies, even playing a comical crook who again is shuffled off this mortal coil by the Good Guy. That time it was Leslie Nielsen’s Lt. Frank Drebin, who kills James’ Hector Savage with a ...
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