James Edwards (actor)
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James J. Edwards
Edwards in the 1953 film, The Joe Louis Story
James Johnson Edwards
March 6, 1918
Muncie, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||January 4, 1970 (aged 51)|
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Evergreen Memorial Park, Hobart, Indiana, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Everdinne Edwards (?-1970, his death)|
James Johnson Edwards (March 6, 1918 – January 4, 1970) was an American actor in films and television. His most famous role was as Private Peter Moss in the 1949 film Home of the Brave, in which he portrayed an African American soldier experiencing racial prejudice while serving in the South Pacific during World War II.
Edwards majored in psychology at Knoxville College in Tennessee and continued his education at Northwestern University where he received a master's degree in drama. While enrolled at Northwestern, he participated in student productions and in the Federal Theatre Project.
After the war he appeared on the New York stage when he assumed the role of the war hero in the touring play Deep Are the Roots.
Throughout his early and mid acting career, Edwards portrayed African American soldiers, playing such characters in Home of the Brave (1949), The Steel Helmet (1951), Bright Victory (1951), Battle Hymn (1957), Men in War (1957), Blood and Steel (1959), and Pork Chop Hill (1959) as well as an uncredited Messman in The Caine Mutiny. (1954).
Edwards was prolific on TV in the 1960s, playing character roles in various series such as Peter Gunn, The Fugitive, Burke's Law, Dr. Kildare and Mannix, before his death of a heart attack at the age of 51 in 1970.
- The Set-Up (1949) as Luther Hawkins
- Home of the Brave (1949) as Private Peter Moss
- Manhandled (1949) as Henry, Bennet's Butler (uncredited)
- The Steel Helmet (1951) as Cpl. Thompson
- Bright Victory (1951) as Joe Morgan
- The Member Of The Wedding (1952) as Honey Camden Brown
- The Joe Louis Story (1953) as Jack 'Chappie' Blackburn
- The Caine Mutiny (1954) as Whittaker (uncredited)
- African Manhunt (1955) as Native Guide
- Seven Angry Men (1955) as Ned Green
- The Phenix City Story (1955) as Zeke Ward
- The Killing (1956) as Track Parking Attendant
- Battle Hymn (1957) as Lt. Maples
- Men in War (1957) as Sgt. Killian
- Fräulein (1958) as Cpl. S. Hanks
- Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958) as Futa
- Anna Lucasta (1958) as Eddie
- Night of the Quarter Moon (1959) as Asa Tully
- Pork Chop Hill (1959) as Cpl. Jurgens
- Blood and Steel (1959) as George
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962) as Corporal Allen Melvin
- Legend of Bearheart (1964) released as Legend of the Northwest in 1978
- The Sandpiper (1965) as Larry Brant
- The Virginian (1968, TV Series) as The Mustangers
- The Young Runaways (1968) as Sergeant Joe Collyer
- Coogan's Bluff (1968) as Sgt. Jackson
- Patton (1970) as Sergeant Major William George Meeks
- Doomsday Voyage (1972) as Coast Guard Officer
- Legend of the Northwest (1978) (final film role)
- p. 70 Deane, Pamala S. James Edwards: African American Hollywood Icon McFarland, 8 Dec. 2009
- p. 188 Pitts, Michael R.Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films, 2d edition McFarland 2012
- Deane, Pamala S. (8 December 2009) James Edwards: African American Hollywood Icon, McFarland
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