James Warren (actor)
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James Warren (February 24, 1913 – March 28, 2001) was an American film actor and artist.
Born James Pringle Wittlig in Marietta, Ohio, he was the son of Walter Wittlig, a watchmaker, and Florence Ione Pringle. He had two brothers, the oldest Laurence Pringle Wittlig and a younger brother, David Pringle Wittlig. The Wittligs had emigrated from Langenthal, Switzerland in the 1860s.
However, James did not follow in the family watchmaking tradition. His first love was art, which took him to the Pratt Art Institute of New York where he became a watercolorist and an illustrator for various magazines.
Warren was sighted by an MGM talent scout, who offered him a contract. Changing his name to James Warren, he, his wife, Felice, and their six-week-old son moved to Hollywood, where over the course of several years he appeared in more than thirty movies. When his MGM contract expired he moved to RKO. There he appeared in several B-movie westerns based on the works of Zane Grey where he replaced Robert Mitchum before he himself was replaced by returned serviceman Tim Holt in such films as the 1946 remake of the 1933 film, Sunset Pass, with co-star Nan Leslie.
During all his time in Hollywood, James had never lost his passion for painting. He produced several one-man shows throughout the US and found a patron in Vincent Price. At one of these shows, Katharine Hepburn purchased seven of Warren's large watercolor paintings which she kept in her private collection.
In 1968 an art commission from Ford Motor Company took him to Hawaii. where he quickly settled into island life and became a highly respected member of the art community. He maintained an art gallery in Honolulu, as well as Maui. Warren specialized in whimsical interpretations of the Hawaiian Tutus (Grandmothers) and Kikis (Grandchildren) as well as many local images.
He was a well-respected member of the Lahaina Art Society and always was a very willing and gracious participant in all art shows. He continued his one-man shows throughout his later life until his 70s when he chose to remain near his beloved Hawaii.
He died, aged 88, in Kihei, Hawaii leaving four children and several grandchildren.