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Remembering Character Actor James Gammon (1940-2010)

by Christopher Campbell
July 19, 2010 6:02 AM
3 Comments
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While I was recalling "Major League" over the weekend, thinking back to when Tom Berenger looked better than he does in "Inception," another actor from the baseball comedy was being mourned in California. James Gammon, who played the part of Coach Lou Brown in two "Major League" films, died Friday of cancer in Costa Mesa. The stage and screen vet was easily identifiable to film fans by his distinctly scruffy looks and low, scratchy voice. It's hard to imagine him being suited for any other job than character actor.

Of course he had bigger parts in theater, having starred in many of Sam Shepard's plays and co-founded LA's MET Theatre, but he's best known for his supporting roles in movies and TV, especially westerns and silly comedies, two genres in which character actors can still thrive these days. Surprisingly he didn't do more voice work than "Iron Giant" and "The Country Bears," as the first thing that came into my mind after learning of his death was aural memories of him insulting his Indians in "Major League" and making fun of fancy lad Chris Elliott in "Cabin Boy."

Yes, despite the fact that Gammon appeared in such films as "Cool Hand Luke," "Urban Cowboy," "Ironweed" and recently "Appaloosa," I associate him most with "Cabin Boy," because no matter how bad the film, character actors like Gammon and his shipmates Brion James and Brian Doyle-Murray can always add something special. Even if it's as immature as Gammon's lines in "Cabin Boy" when he gives a lesson in "fisherman's Greek." It's times like this I wish the Internet was more plentiful in its film clips, because little-known yet very recognizable talents like this deserve video tributes. Someone please get on that asap.

For now, here's the best thing available:

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3 Comments

  • RodneyGibson, IV. | September 1, 2010 3:33 AMReply

    I posted this earlier, but I d

    For now, here’s the best thing available:



    Christopher Campbell posted to Hollywood, Obituary on July 19, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)

    |ShareComments
    I remember of actor James Gammmon in the movie “Major League” and “One Man, One Hero” both starring the great actor starring Tom Berenger, and together with Tom, read this fantastic character, who in his career he deserved at least an Oscar

    Fabio - Alessandria City - North Italy

    By Fabio on August 3, 2010
    RIP

    “You may run like Hayes but you hit like shit.”

    By jl on July 19, 2010
    I knew Jim Gamin when he was a young man, working as a TV cameraman at WLOF-TV (ABC) in Orlando, Florida. We double dated several times and he was really a nice, funny guy. The odd thing about what I see and read about Jim, is that he was extremely good looking and never had any problems getting a date. :>) He left Orlando to pursue his dream of being an actor in Hollywood. It's really nice to know that his dreams more than came true.








    on't think it went through?

  • Fabio | August 3, 2010 6:58 AMReply

    I remember of actor James Gammmon in the movie "Major League" and "One Man, One Hero" both starring the great actor starring Tom Berenger, and together with Tom, read this fantastic character, who in his career he deserved at least an Oscar

    Fabio - Alessandria City - North Italy

  • jl | July 19, 2010 7:09 AMReply

    RIP

    "You may run like Hayes but you hit like shit."

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