Clifton James, sheriff in James Bond films, dies at 96

April 15, 2017 - 2:16 pm

Clifton James, best known for his indelible portrayal of a southern sheriff in two James Bond films but who was most proud of his work on the stage, has died. He was 96.

His daughter, Lynn James, said he died Saturday at another daughter's home in Gladstone, Oregon, due to complications from diabetes.

James grew up in Washington state and Oregon. He fought with the U.S. Army in the South Pacific in World War II and received two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star.

After the war, he started acting in plays in college at the University of Oregon then moved to New York to launch his career.

One of his first significant roles was as a prison floor-walker in the 1967 classic "Cool Hand Luke."

His long list of roles includes the swaggering, tobacco-spitting Louisiana Sheriff J.W. Pepper in the James Bond films.

His daughter says he was surprised that people remembered him most for that role.

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