Sheriff JW Pepper: James Bond star Clifton James dies aged 96

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 16, 2017

"He was the most outgoing person, beloved by everybody", Lynn James said. Indeed, his performance was so memorable that the Bond writers added a plot line for him in The Man With the Golden Gun as the same sheriff on vacation in Thailand who famously gets pushed into water by a baby elephant.

James' family said he died at his home in OR from complications related to diabetes.

To prepare to play the Louisiana sheriff, James met with real southern sheriffs to get a sense of the job and its responsibilities.

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

James most famous role came on film.

George Clifton James was born May 29, 1920, in Spokane, Washington, the oldest of five siblings and the only boy. The family lost all its money at the start of the Great Depression and moved to Gladstone, just outside Portland, Oregon, where James' maternal grandparents lived.

He served as a soldier with the US Army in the South Pacific during the Second World War and was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.

She said her father rarely spoke about the war and never described events leading to his receiving the Silver Star.

Clifton James, a longtime character recognizable from as a Southern sheriff type in films and TV shows from Cool Hand Luke and Dukes of Hazzard to a pair of James Bond movies, died today of complications from diabetes at 96.

Later in life, he spent the fall and spring of each year in NY.

James is preceded in death by his wife Laurie, who died in 2015.

He is survived by five children and an extended family.

Lynn James said a celebration of her father's life will be held in Gladstone in August, but there are no other plans so far.

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