(written from a Production point of view)
Anthony James (born 22 July 1942; age 77), from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is an actor, author, and painter who played Sub-Commander Thei in the Star Trek: The Next Generation first season episode "The Neutral Zone". This was to be his only appearance in Star Trek, although the actor himself had a prolific career spanning twenty five years.
Anthony James was born as James Anthony to George and Marika Palla Anthony, who were immigrants from Greece who had fled that country during World War II. In 1940, the Anthony couple settled in rural South Carolina. Anthony James's father died in 1951; when he turned eighteen, James and his mother relocated to Los Angeles, California and began living in an apartment near the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox church.
A self taught actor, having never attended a professional drama school, James's first major role was in the 1967 classic film In the Heat of the Night, which also featured William Schallert, Clegg Hoyt, and Alan Oppenheimer.
Following his appearance in Heat of the Night, James began appearing in several major television shows of the late 1960s and early 70s. He appeared several times in the Western series Gunsmoke, most often playing the character of Elbert Moses, co-starring with other Star Trek performers such as Barry Atwater, John McLiam, and Charles Seel. He also guest starred in the The High Chaparral, starring Henry Darrow, a 1970 episode of Bonanza with William Lucking, as well as a 1975 episode of The Rookies with Star Trek: The Original Series star William Shatner.
As he continued to build his career in television, James continued to appear in films. Subsequent films included P.J. (1968, with Brock Peters and Ken Lynch), …tick…tick…tick… (1970, with Janet MacLachlan and Bernie Casey), and High Plains Drifter (1973, with Marianna Hill and William O'Connell).
Due to his bone-like villainous looking face, James was often typecast as henchmen or antagonists, and this had become the usual character he played by the time of his later career. One of his most recognizable works was an appearance in the two part Buck Rogers episode "The Plot to Kill a City"; James would appear in a later second season episode "The Golden Man". Buck Rogers also hosted a variety of other Star Trek actors, such as Michael Ansara, Paul Carr, Seamon Glass, as well as Frank Gorshin and James Sloyan who both appeared with James in "A Plot to Kill a City".
Other television roles included Holmes and Yo-Yo, starring John Schuck; Starsky & Hutch, starring David Soul; Quincy, M. E., starring Robert Ito and Garry Walberg as well as a 1985 episode of Simon & Simon with Jeff Corey.
James also appeared in three episodes of the hit 1980s action series The A-Team, starring Dwight Schultz, Lance LeGault, Melinda Culea, and William Lucking. He further appeared in the science fiction series V, starring Duncan Regehr and Jeff Yagher. Additional television roles included an episode of the police drama Hunter, starring Bruce Davison, as well as appearing in Outlaws, starring William Lucking and Charles Napier.
Throughout the 1980s, James continued to appear in film, with one of the more notable being the 1985 film Blue Thunder with Malcolm McDowell, Jack Murdock, and James Read. He also appeared in the 1983 film Nightmares, with Tony Plana, Louis Giambalvo, and Robin Gammell; the film was directed by Joseph Sargent.
Retirement from actingEdit
In 1992, James retired from acting with his stated goal being to pursue painting.
In 1994, James relocated to Arlington, Massachusetts. Having never married, James lived with his mother until her death in 2008. During the intervening years, James concentrated on his painting and poetry, publishing his first book "Language of the Heart" in 1994. Ten years later in 2014, James published the book "Acting My Face" which was a memoir of his acting career.