James Griffith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named James Grffith or James Griffiths, see James Griffiths (disambiguation).
James Griffith
James Griffith in The Amazing Transparent Man.jpg
James Griffith in The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
Born (1916-02-13)February 13, 1916
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died September 17, 1993(1993-09-17) (aged 77)
Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County
California, U.S.
Other names Jim Griffith
James J. Griffith
Occupation Actor, musician, screenwriter
Years active 1948-1982
Spouse(s) Margaret (Sally) Griffith (1943-1975; her death)
Betsy Griffith (1983-1993; his death)
Children 1

James Griffith (February 13, 1916 – September 17, 1993) was an American character actor, musician and screenwriter.

Career[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, Griffith aspired to be a musician rather than an actor. Instead, he managed to find work in little theatres around Los Angeles, where the budding musician eased into a dual career of acting. He found success in the production They Can't Get You Down in 1939, but put his career on hold during World War II to serve with the United States Marine Corps. Following the war, Griffith switched from the stage to films when he appeared in the 1948 film noir picture Blonde Ice. From then on, he enjoyed a lengthy career of supporting and bit roles (sometimes uncredited) in westerns and detective films.

Though Griffith was generally cast as the outlaw in Western pictures, he managed to garner a few memorable "good guy" roles over his many years in Hollywood – Abraham Lincoln in both 1950's Stage to Tucson and 1955's Apache Ambush, sheriff Pat Garrett in 1954's The Law vs. Billy the Kid, John Wesley Hardin in a 1959 television episode of Maverick entitled "Duel at Sundown" featuring Clint Eastwood, and Davy Crockett in 1956's The First Texan.

In the role of Aaron Adams, the town barber, Griffith appeared in 1958 in twelve episodes of the CBS western series, Trackdown, starring Robert Culp as Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. Secondary roles on the series were also filled by Peter Leeds as gambler/saloon owner Tenner Smith, Ellen Corby as newspaper publisher Henrietta Porter, Addison Richards as the town doctor, Jay Calhoun, and Gail Kobe as Penny Adams, the sister of Aaron Adams, who in several episodes shows a romantic interest in the Gilman character.[1]

Griffith also had recurring roles in the syndicated series, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield, and U.S. Marshall

Griffith made more than seventy guest appearances on television shows, including eight episodes of Wagon Train, seven episodes of The Range Rider, seven episodes of The Lone Ranger, two episodes of Annie Oakley, four episodes of Cheyenne, three episodes of Buffalo Bill Jr., six episodes of Gunsmoke, four episodes of Perry Mason, four episodes of Dragnet, three episodes (42, 43 and 108) of Batman, and two segments of Little House on the Prairie.

Throughout his acting career, Griffith continued to practice his original love of music, having performed in the Spike Jones band. he composed music for the 1958 film Bullwhip and the 1964 picture, Lorna, in which he also had a role and served as screenwriter. Griffith played the Reverend in Black in the opening, closing, and a few in the middle scenes of Lorna, starring Lorna Maitland in one of director Russ Meyer's black-and-white 'skin' movies before the height of Meyer's career in 1968 with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Griffith made his last onscreen appearance in a 1982 episode of CBS' Dallas.

Death[edit]

Griffith died of cancer in Avila Beach, California, on September 17, 1993.

Selected filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1948 Every Girl Should Be Married Insurance salesman Uncredited
Appointment with Murder Detective
1949 Holiday Affair Crowley's floorwalker Uncredited
Fighting Man of the Plains a Quantrill raider uncredited
Search for Danger Lt. Cooper
1950 Young Man with a Horn Walt Uncredited
1951 As Young as You Feel Cashier Uncredited
1952 Red Skies of Montana Boise Peterson Alternative title: Smoke Jumpers
1953 Kansas Pacific Joe Farley, Railroad guard
1954 The Boy from Oklahoma Joe Downey, Alderman
The Law vs. Billy the Kid Pat Garrett, Sheriff
1955 Count Three and Pray Swallow Alternative title: The Calico Pony
Apache Ambush President Abraham Lincoln
1956 Tribute to a Bad Man Barjak
1957 Raintree County Mr. Gray's searching companion Uncredited
1958 Seven Guns to Mesa Papa Clellan
1959 The Big Fisherman Beggar
1960 The Amazing Transparent Man Maj. Paul Krenner
1961 Pocketful of Miracles Briscoe Uncredited
1962 How the West Was Won Poker player with Cleve Uncredited
1964 Advance to the Rear Hugo Zattig Alternative title: Company of Cowards?
1966 A Big Hand for the Little Lady Mr. Stribling
1968 Day of the Evil Gun Storekeeper - Hazenville
1969 Heaven with a Gun Abraham Murdock (sheepherder)
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1952 Hopalog Cassidy Roscoe Hicks 1 episode
1953 Cavalcade of America Abraham Lincoln 1 episode
1954 City Detective Harry 1 episode
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Raymond Andrews 1 episode
1955 Buffalo Bill, Jr. Kelso Dodge 3 episodes
1957 The Gray Ghost Buddy 1 episode
The Adventures of Jim Bowie Jud Cameron 1 episode
1957-1962 Cheyenne Assorted roles 5 episodes
1958 Frontier Justice Taggert 1 episode
Jefferson Drum Troy Bendick Episode: "Return"
1959-1962 Laramie Assorted roles 3 episodes
1959 Rescue 8 Ramases 1 episode
Wichita Town Vic Parker 1 episode
Sheriff of Cochise Deputy Tom Ferguson series regular 1959-1960
1961 The Tall Man Clint Latimer "A Kind of Courage"
Two Faces West Les Hardy 1 episode
The Lawless Years Jonathan Willis 1 episode
1962 Empire Pete Stroud "A Place to Put a Life"
Tales of Wells Fargo Roland Jensen 1 episode
The Tall Man James Cutter "Trial by Fury"
Lawman Heracles Snead 1 episode
1963 GE True "The Moonshiners" Stan Woolman
Ben Casey John Randall "Suffer the Little Children"
The Untouchables Monk Lyselle 1 episode
1964 The Great Adventure Harry Young 1 episode
Slattery's People Emmett Logan "Question, Is Laura the Name of the Game?"
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters Gambler, Bagsley, and Snake "The Day of the Toll Takers", "The Day of the Picnic", and "The Day of the Pretenders", respectively
1965 The Rouges Bert 1 episode
Laredo Deke Pryor 1 episode
1966 F Troop Sergeant Crawford 1 episode
The Monroes Henri "Fox" Bonnard 1 episode
1966 Batman Trusty 2 episodes (43 and 44)
1967 Batman Manx 1 episode (108)
1967 The Iron Horse Howley 1 episode
The Monkees Marshall 1 episode
1969 The Guns of Will Sonnett Major Cross 1 episode
The Mod Squad Bubba Johnson 1 episode
1971 The Bold Ones: The Senator Channing 1 episode
1972 Kung Fu Purdy 1 episode
1974 Kolchak: The Night Stalker George M. Schwartz 1 episode
1975 The Six Million Dollar Man Will Long 1 episode
Barbary Coast Eikel 1 episode
1976 The Quest Donkin 1 episode
1977 Police Story Travis Caulder 1 episode
1978 Fantasy Island Hezekiah Pugh 1 episode
1979 B. J. and the Bear Uncle Moss 2 episodes
1981 Hart to Hart Prospector 1 episode
1982 Dallas (Griffith's final role) 1 episode

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 104

External links[edit]