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James Griffith

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Also Known As: Jim Griffith, Jay Griffith, James J. Griffith Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Wild-eyed, with a hook nose and often sporting a pointed beard and mustache, this Welsh character actor turned in a number of flamboyant, hearty performances. Hugh Griffith got a relatively late start. Born in Wales, he worked as a bank clerk until 1939, when he made his stage debut at the age of 27, and entered films the next year with the British-made "Neutral Port." Griffith spent the 1940s and 50s slowly building up his film career (making only one US release, "So Evil My Love" 1948). He played supporting roles in twenty or so films, including some successes like "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949) and "The Sleeping Tiger" (1954) before scoring his biggest hit in the US-made 1959 remake of "Ben Hur." Playing Sheik Ilderim, the wry chariot mogul, Griffith earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Griffith worked steadily for the next two decades, turning in estimable performances in another 34 films, most of them British-made. These included big-budget hits and misses such as "Story on Page One" (1959), "Exodus" (1960), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "Tom Jones" (for which he earned a second Best Supporting Actor nomination), "How to Steal a Million" (1966) and "Oliver!" (1968). Quality fell off...

Wild-eyed, with a hook nose and often sporting a pointed beard and mustache, this Welsh character actor turned in a number of flamboyant, hearty performances. Hugh Griffith got a relatively late start. Born in Wales, he worked as a bank clerk until 1939, when he made his stage debut at the age of 27, and entered films the next year with the British-made "Neutral Port." Griffith spent the 1940s and 50s slowly building up his film career (making only one US release, "So Evil My Love" 1948). He played supporting roles in twenty or so films, including some successes like "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949) and "The Sleeping Tiger" (1954) before scoring his biggest hit in the US-made 1959 remake of "Ben Hur." Playing Sheik Ilderim, the wry chariot mogul, Griffith earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Griffith worked steadily for the next two decades, turning in estimable performances in another 34 films, most of them British-made. These included big-budget hits and misses such as "Story on Page One" (1959), "Exodus" (1960), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "Tom Jones" (for which he earned a second Best Supporting Actor nomination), "How to Steal a Million" (1966) and "Oliver!" (1968). Quality fell off somewhat in the 70s, with schlock like "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" (1971), "Who Slew Auntie Roo?" (1971) and "The Last Remake of Beau Geste" (1977).

Griffith also appeared in two TV-movies, "Inn of the Flying Dragon" (NBC, 1960) and "The Poppy is Also a Flower" (ABC, 1966).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Highwayman, The (1987)
4.
 Desperate Women (1978)
5.
 Speedtrap (1977) Wino
6.
 Law of the Land (1976)
7.
 Flood! (1976) Charlie Davis
8.
 Babe (1975) Hospital Spokesman
9.
 Not My Daughter (1975) Actor
10.
 Seven Alone (1974) Billy Shaw
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Contributions

albatros1 ( 2007-10-16 )

Source: Wikipedia the internet encyclopedia

James Griffith (February 13, 1916 – September 17, 1993) was an American actor specializing in character roles. Griffith was born in Los Angeles, but yearned from a young age to be a musician rather than an actor. Instead, he managed to find work in little theatres around Los Angeles, where the budding musician eased into a duel career of acting. He hit it big in the production They Can't Get You Down in 1939, but put his career on-hold during World War II to serve with the U.S. military. Following the war, Griffith switched from the stage to films when he appeared in the 1948 film noir picture Black Ice.From then on, he enjoyed a lengthy career of supporting and bit roles (sometimes uncredited) in westerns and detective films. He had a face that most people knew from many TV series and films but very few could name. Though Griffith was generally cast as the outlaw in western pictures, he managed to garner a few memorable "good guy" roles over his many years in Hollywood – Abraham Lincoln in both 1950's Stage to Tucson and 1955's Apache Ambush, sheriff Pat Garrett in 1954's The Law vs. Billy the Kid, and Davy Crockett in 1956's The First Texan. Griffith also made more than 70 guest appearances on TV shows like The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Dragnet and Little House on the Prairie. Throughout his acting career, Griffith continued to practice his original love of music, performing in Spike Jones' band and composing music for the 1958 film Bullwhip and the 1964 film Lorna. He died of cancer in Avila Beach, California in 1993.

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