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Anthony James (22 July 194226 May 2020; age 77) was an actor, author, and painter who played Sub-Commander Thei in the Star Trek: The Next Generation first season episode "The Neutral Zone".

Early life[]

Anthony James was born as James Anthony to George and Marika Palla Anthony, immigrants from Greece who had fled that country during World War II. In 1940, the Anthony couple settled in rural South Carolina. 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.

Early roles[]

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 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, and 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).

Later career[]

Due to his bony 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 in the 25th Century episode "The Plot to Kill a City"; James appeared 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, David Opatoshu, 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; and a 1985 episode of Simon & Simon with Jeff Corey.

James also appeared in three episodes of 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 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 Blue Thunder (1983, with Malcolm McDowell, Jack Murdock, and James Read). He also appeared in Nightmares (1983, with Tony Plana, Louis Giambalvo, and Robin Gammell and directed by Joseph Sargent), and in Mortuary Academy (1988, with Tracey Walter, Paul Capp, and Doug Coleman).

Following his Next Generation appearance, James appeared in a 1989 episode of Beauty and the Beast, starring Ron Perlman and Stephen McHattie.

In 1991, James appeared in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, with John Fleck. His last film role was in Unforgiven (1992, with Saul Rubinek).

Retirement from acting[]

In 1992, James retired from acting with his stated goal being to pursue painting.

In 1994, he 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.

James died of cancer on 26 May 2020 at the age of 77. [1] [2]

External links[]