Acting My Face by Anthony James

Today's Film Friday post focuses on Acting My Face, the just-published memoir from character actor Anthony James and the latest addition to our Hollywood Legends Series. Behind his face known to audiences for playing killers, psychopaths and other twisted characters is a thoughtful, gentle man, who muses deeply on the nature of art and creativity and on the family ties that have sustained him

In the summer of 1967, Anthony James made his motion picture debut as the murderer in the Academy Award–winning Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night. His role as Skinny Dubois in the 1992 Academy Award–winning Best Picture, Unforgiven crowned a unique, twenty-eight year acting career.

With Acting My Face James has provided readers with a provocative and intelligent look back at his career that spanned four decades.  This memoir renders Hollywood through the eyes and experience of an established character actor. James appeared on screen with such legendary stars as Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Gene Hackman, and Sidney Poitier, and starred in such classic television shows as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, and The A-Team

James provides readers with hilarious anecdotes and quirky behind the scenes tales as well as mesmerizing encounters and observations from on and off the set as to what it is like to work with great stars. Acting My Face is an unusual memoir, one that explores the true nature of a working life in Hollywood and how aspirations and personal devotion are forged into a career.

Below is James' last scene on film from the film Unforgiven, in which his character Skinny is killed. 

ANTHONY JAMES has appeared in nearly thirty motion pictures and sixty television shows. 

“Anthony James traveled from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Hollywood, California, with talent, an actor’s dream, and above all a mother who said you can do it. And he did. His journey was strewn with sublime obstacles and the unknown . . . but he did it. I know because I was there, sharing the dream.

                                                                       - Talia Shire  

“Most celebrity memoirs evaporate faster than an issue of the National Enquirer. Not so with Anthony James. It’s because James does not depend on his celebrity to carry this moving tribute to two lives: his mother’s and his. In his intelligent, provocative story, James’s acting career mirrors his career as a painter whose work comes straight from his heart.”

                                                                - Michael Blowen, former film critic for 
                                                                   the Boston Globe (1975–2000)