Veteran actor Clifton James, who played Sheriff J.W. Pepper in two James Bond movies, died on Saturday morning at the age of 96.
James died close to his childhood home, surrounded by friend, family, and loved ones according to a statement provided to Variety.
Born in 1920, Clifton was the eldest child of Grace and Harry James. He grew up in the Portland, Oregon area during the Great Depression.
Relatives say that James fought for five years on the front lines of the South Pacific. He earned two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for his service during World War II.
James’ acting career lasted nearly 60 years, including stints in theater, television, and film. He first appeared on stage in The Time of Your Life and continued performing on Broadway in several shows, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning All The Way Home.
James is best known for playing Sheriff J.W. Pepper of Louisiana opposite Roger Moore as James Bond. James’ Pepper first appeared in Live and Let Die in 1973. James reprised the role for The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. James would play similar characters throughout his career, including in films like Superman II and Silver Streak.
James’ other film credits include Cool Hand Luke, Eight Men Out and The Bonfire of the Vanities.
James had a wife, Laurie. He is survived by two sisters, Cicely and Beverley; five children, Cory, Winkie, Hardy, Lynn, and Marry; fourteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
[H/T Pinterest / Ashton Kliewer]
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