‘Unforgiven,’ ‘In the Heat of the Night’ Actor Anthony James Dies at 77

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By , RADIO.COM

Anthony James, known for his role in films like "Unforgiven," "In the Heat of the Night" and "High Plains Drifter," has died at 77.

The actor passed away of cancer on Tuesday, according to an announcement shared by a funeral home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The first and last films of James' career were both Oscar best pictures. The actor made his debut in 1967's "In the Heat of the Night," and his final on-screen role was as Skinny Dubois in Clint Eastwood's 1992 classic "Unforgiven."

James was known for his bad-guy roles. Other films the actor appeared in included 1971's "Vanishing Point," 1975's "Hearts of the West" and 1983's "Blue Thunder." James also spoofed his evil personal with an appearance in 1991's "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear."

The actor was born James Anthony to Greek immigrant parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on July 22, 1942.

His father, George, owned a restaurant in Myrtle Beach when Anthony was 8. Thereafter, he was raised by his mother, Marika. He dedicated his 2014 memoir "Acting My Face" to her in 2014.

James retired from acting in the mid-'90s, after which he returned to New England and focused on his painting, hundreds of which were sold by galleries in Boston, New York, Santa Fe, San Francisco and Japan.

In 1994, he authored “Language of the Heart,” a book compiling his paintings and poems.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the actor's memory can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (stjude.org) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

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