James was a Brian Dennehy character actor. You recognize his face. You remember him being in a couple movies and/or TV shows yet you can’t name the poor guy. And maybe that was just fine with James because he had quite the resume on imdb.com alongside being in stuff I loved.
The earliest thing I could recall him in would be the bugler for F Troop giving the leads Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch grief. Then he was Burt Reynolds’ sidekick in one of Burt’s few solid flicks, The Longest Yard. He was Michael J. Fox’s dad in Teen Wolf and the head of the mental facility caring for Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. Those are the major roles I recalled immediately and loved. He was such a credible everyman who did it without eating the scenery.
Obviously he did numerous other roles throughout the decades such as military officers (The Cat from Outer Space), con artists (The Rockford Files) or Southern sheriffs (The Dukes of Hazzard). The list goes on.
Thank you for everything James! You were in so many things during my childhood and it was great to have you as a fixture in it.