Peter Francis James

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Peter Francis James
Born (1956-09-16) September 16, 1956 (age 59)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Voice-over artist
Years active 1979–present

Peter Francis James (born September 16, 1956) is an American actor and voice-over artist, distinguished by his strong baritone.

Life and career[edit]

He was born September 16, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois to David James and Mary Galloway James. He has five siblings.

He is best known for playing Raymond Parks, husband of Rosa Parks, in the television movie The Rosa Parks Story (2002); for a recurring role as Judge Kevin Beck on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and for playing Jahfree Neema in the HBO television series Oz. Some of his most recent works include The Messenger (2009), as Dr. Grosso, The Rebound (2009), playing a doctor, and The Pack (2010) (starring Lucie Arnaz), as Marc Forrest.

His acting career began in 1979, when he appeared in a version of Shakespear's Julius Caesar "Coriolanus, starring Earle Hyman and Morgan Freeman.

He received his first Obie award for his portrayal of Claire in Jean Genet's "The Maids". He received his second Obie award, a Drama Desk award, and the Lortel award for his portrayal of Colin Powell in "Stuff Happens". He appeared as Oscar opposite Dame Maggie Smith in Edward Albee's "The Lady from Dubuque" at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and reprised the role in New York, opposite Jane Alexander.

Peter has appeared in television series such as "Oz", Gossip Girl, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (as Mr. Richmond), Law & Order (as Judge John Laramie), Double Platinum and Third Watch.
He was in a television movie version of Long Day's Journey into Night (1982) (starring Earle Hyman). In 1990, he was in a television movie version of Hamlet, directed by Kevin Kline. He provided the voice for Thurgood Marshall in the documentary The American Experience: Simple Justice (1993), and he played Isaac Coles in the miniseries The Wedding (1998) (starring Halle Berry and Lynn Whitfield). In 2003, he took on the role of Clayton Boudreau on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light, a role he played until early 2004. In 2006, he returned for a single episode. In 2009, James returned to Guiding Light on a recurring basis.

He played the voice of Dr. J.S. Steinman in the video game BioShock, a game by Ken Levine. He has played in many minor role in films, such as appearing in movies like Joe Gould's Secret (2000) and Montana (1998).

He was the reader for the Recorded Books edition of Richard Wright's Native Son. The following biographical material appears on the 2000 audiobook of Mr. James's recording of Walter Mosley's Walking the Dog.

"Narrator Peter Francis James began his recording career by working on Jacques Cousteau films. He has done the voice-overs and narration on all Cousteau projects distributed in the English-speaking world, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa. Whether he is narrating rollicking children's books, romances or gripping sagas, Peter Francis James's melodic, reassuring voice turns these works into marvels of language and images. "Library Journal" praises his ability to make the printed page sing. 'James creates a piece of chamber music out of the subtly varying cadences of Southern Black speech.'"

He was a featured player in Regina Taylor's play Drowning Crow, at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Peter teaches drama at Yale University.



Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez Janitor
1998 Montana Lawrence
2000 Joe Gould's Secret
2009 The Messenger Dr. Grosso
2009 The Rebound
2010 The Losers
2012 The Pack Marc Forrest


Year Title Role Notes
1956 As the World Turns Blake Stevens
1982 Long Day's Journey Into Night Edmund Tyrone TV Film
1998 The Wedding Isaac Coles TV Film
1998 Ruby Bridges Dr. Broyard TV Film
1998 New York Undercover
1999 Double Platinum Martin Holly TV Film
2000 Love Song Alfred Livingston TV Film
2000 Third Watch
2003 Oz Jahfree Neema
2008-2010 Law & Order Judge John Laramie
2012 Svetlana Barack Obama
2012 Royal Pains Mackintosh
2013 Boardwalk Empire Oliver Crawford
2014 The Mysteries of Laura Titus Bosch
2015 Arrow Dr. Aldus Boardman
2016 Legends of Tomorrow Dr. Aldus Boardman

External links[edit]