While his name might not ring a bell right away, you’ve definitely seen James Gammon in plenty of movies, from Cool Hand Luke to Major League. The grumbly-voiced but loveable actor passed away Friday at the age of 70.
The Los Angeles Times reports that James was at home with his family at his daughter’s home in Costa Mesa, Calif. He had been suffering from cancer of the adrenal glands and the liver.
One of his most famous roles is as Lou Brown, the manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1989’s Major League, as well as its sequel, co-starring with Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger. He also appeared in Urban Cowboy, The Milagro Beanfield War, Silverado and Cold Mountain, among many others.
His impact as an actor was perhaps even stronger on the stage and in the theater community. As well as co-founding the new MET Theatre, he was the recipient of many Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for both acting and directing. He also received rave reviews in 1978 in a dramatic play by actor/playwright Sam Shephard, Curse of the Starving Class at the Public Theater in NYC. He then appeared in several more plays by Shephard.
James is survived by his wife of 38 years, Nancy, as well as their two daughters, two grandchildren, a brother and a sister. A memorial service is planned for August at the new MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles.
Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.