Brion James

Description   [from Freebase]

Brion Howard James (February 20, 1945 – August 7, 1999) was an American character actor. Known for playing the character of Leon Kowalski in the movie Blade Runner, James portrayed a variety of colorful roles in well-known films such as 48 Hrs., Another 48 Hours, Tango & Cash, Red Heat, The Player and The Fifth Element. James' commanding screen presence and formidable physique at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall usually resulted in his casting as a heavy, appearing more frequently in lower budget horror and action films throughout the 1980s and 1990s. James appeared in more than 100 films before he died of a heart attack aged 54. James was born in Redlands, California, and spent his early years in Beaumont, California, where his parents, Ida Mae and Jimmy James, owned and operated a movie theater. After graduating from high school in 1962, James attended San Diego State University as a Theater Arts major. James was good friends with actor Tim Thomerson, as both served together as cooks in a tank company while in the Army Reserve in California. After their service, they both went to New York to break into acting.
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