Raymond St. Jacques

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Raymond St. Jacques
Raymond St, Jacques Rawhide 1965.jpg
St. Jacques as Simon Blake in 1965.
Born (1930-03-01)March 1, 1930
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Died August 27, 1990(1990-08-27) (aged 60)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Lymphoma
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Occupation Actor

Raymond St. Jacques (March 1, 1930 – August 27, 1990) was an American actor. He was the first black actor to appear in a regular role on a western series, playing Simon Blake on Rawhide.


St. Jacques (right) as Simon Blake with John Ireland, 1965

St. Jacques was born James Arthur Johnson in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Vivienne Johnson, a medical technician.[1] A life member of The Actors Studio,[2] St. Jacques was best known for playing the role of Coffin Ed in the blaxploitation classics Cotton Comes to Harlem and Come Back, Charleston Blue. He had an early role in The Pawnbroker, and his other credits include The Green Berets, the Drummer in Roots, the street preacher in They Live, the investigator Baxter in The Invaders episode "The Vise" (1968), and a two year stint as Judge Clayton C. Thomas on the syndicated TV show Superior Court from 1988 to 1989. He also played abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Edward Zwick's Glory.

St. Jacques died from AIDS related lymphoma in Los Angeles, California in 1990.

Personal Life[edit]

St. Jacques had adopted, though not legally, at least two "sons," Raymond St. Jacques Jr. and Sterling St. Jacques. Both boys were allegedly St. Jacques' lovers. Sterling was said to have been found by St. Jacques in either Brazil or Jamaica and was later taken in by the actor. No official records exist of his life or death, except for a police report involving Sterling being at St. Jacques' home when two burglars broke in while Sterling was home alone and St. Jacques was away on set. Sterling was strikingly statuesque and was most famous for being a staple at Studio 54, often seen dancing with celebrities such as Grace Jones and Pat Cleveland (his later fiancee). He had bit acting roles and a few attempts at a music career in the early 80s. A woman named Allison Hobbs has stated that Sterling was actually her cousin and was from Salt Lake City, Utah. Sterling allegedly died in 1984 of AIDS-related complications, though no record of this has been found. When St. Jacques' relationships ended with his "sons" he told interviewers that Raymond St. Jacques Jr. went to Boston, boarding school or even an Ivy League university, and that Sterling had gone to Düsseldorf to film a TV show.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/21/Raymond-St-Jacques.html
  2. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 

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