James Gammon

James Richard Gammon (April 20, 1940 – July 16, 2010)[1] was an American actor, known for playing grizzled "good ol' boy" types in numerous films and television series. Gammon is best known as Lou Brown, the manager in the movies Major League and Major League II, which portrayed a fictitious version of the Cleveland Indians.

James Gammon
Born(1940-04-20)April 20, 1940
DiedJuly 16, 2010(2010-07-16) (aged 70)
Years active1966–2009
Nancy Jane Kapusta (m. 1972)


Early life

Gammon was born in Newman, Illinois, the son of Doris Latimer (née Toppe), a farm girl,[2] and Donald Gammon, a musician.[3] After his parents divorced and he bounced around from home to home, he made his way to Orlando, Florida. He worked at Orlando's ABC TV affiliate WLOF-TV Channel 9 as a cameraman and director. In his 20s, he packed up and moved to Hollywood to try to find work.[2]

Acting career

In the 1970s, he helped found the Met Theatre in Los Angeles. While performing there, a rep from The Public Theater saw him and had him cast as Weston in Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class in 1978. The two became friends afterward.[2] He made his sole Broadway appearance as "Dodge" in a revival of Sam Shepard's Buried Child. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.[4] He also appeared on stage in Shepard's San Francisco debut of The Late Henry Moss along with Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Cheech Marin and Woody Harrelson in 2000.

Gammon may be best-remembered for his characters Lou Brown, manager of the Cleveland Indians in the Major League films, and Nick Bridges, the father of Don Johnson's title character in the television series Nash Bridges. He appeared in the films Cool Hand Luke (1967), Urban Cowboy (1980), Silverado (1985), Noon Wine (1985), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), Major League (1989), "Revenge", (1990),The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), Major League II (1994), Wyatt Earp (1994), Wild Bill (1995), Truman (1995), The Hi-Lo Country (1998), Cold Mountain (2003), and more recently Appaloosa (2008). He also had an uncredited role in Natural Born Killers (1994).

Gammon portrayed a Korean War veteran on the hit ABC series Grey's Anatomy. He played Charles Goodnight in Streets of Laredo. In 2006, he played the stern grandfather, Sam, brother of notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy, in the film Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch Cassidy. Gammon also plays a supporting role in Appaloosa (2008).

Gammon provided the voices of the animated characters Marv Loach and Floyd Turbeaux in the 1999 Warner Bros. feature film The Iron Giant.[5]

Personal life

His first marriage ended in divorce. He has a brother, Philip, and a sister, Sandra (Glaudell). He was married to Nancy Jane Kapusta from 1972 until his death. He has two daughters, Allison Mann and Amy Gammon.[2][3]

Death and legacy

Gammon died of adrenal gland and liver cancer in Costa Mesa, California, at the age of 70.[6]

His friend, Sam Shepard, paid tribute to Gammon, saying: "This was a guy who could act circles around most other actors, and he never pretended to be other than a working kind of actor."[2] He would go on to say about the star-studded cast of The Late Henry Moss, "I mean, a bunch of notoriously famous guys, and every single one of them would come up to me, alone, and say, 'Who's that Jim Gammon guy? Where did he come from?'"[2] Shepard also would talk about why he cast Gammon, saying: "You're probably aware of the notorious father figures in my plays, alcoholic Midwesterners who leave their families and get lost in the Southwestern desert. Jimmy had that familiarity about him with the way I grew up, the guys with the voice and the face and the whiskey. He definitely rang a bell with me."[2]



1967Cool Hand LukeSleepyUncredited, Supporting Role
1968Journey to ShilohTellis YeagerSupporting Role
1969The Thousand Plane RaidMajor VargaSupporting Role
1970A Man Called HorseEdSupporting Role
Macho CallahanCowboySupporting Role
The IntrudersChaunce DykstraTV Movie, Supporting Role
1972Cry for Me, BillyAmosSupporting Role
1974Zandy's BrideMan in GunfightUncredited
Macon County LineElishaSupporting Role
1975The Wild McCullochs1st Police OfficerSupporting Role
The Kansas City MassacreGarthTV Movie, Supporting Role
1976Bobbie Jo and the OutlawLeather SalesmanMinor Role
The Pom Pom GirlsCoachMinor Role
1977Black Oak ConspiracyDeputyMinor Role
The GreatestMr. HarryMinor Role
1979The SackettsWes BigelowTV movie
1980On the NickelPeanut JohnSupporting Role
Urban CowboySteve StrangeSupporting Role
Rage!Joe DeanTV movie
It's My TurnConnie FoxworthUncredited
Any Which Way You CanPalomino BartenderSupporting Role
Below the BeltLukeSupporting Role
1981The Big Black PillCaptain Jake JacqualoneTV movie
1982Deadly EncounterFrank KitchensTV movie
The Ballad of Gregorio CortezSheriff Frank Fly
1983M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk DriversWillard KohlerTV movie
Women of San QuentinOfficerTV movie
1985Noon WineSheriffTV movie
Vision QuestKuch's DadSupporting Role
Hell TownLieutenant Raymond TracyTV Movie
SylvesterSteveSupporting Role
SilveradoDawsonSupporting Role
The Long Hot SummerBilly QuickTV movie
Silver BulletArnie WestrumSupporting Role
1986Hard TravelingSgt. SlatterySupporting Role
1987Made in HeavenSteve SheaSupporting Role
Laguna HeatGrimesTV movie
IronweedReverend ChesterSupporting Role
1988The Milagro Beanfield WarHorsethief ShortySupporting Role
1989Major LeagueLou Brown
Roe vs. WadeJimmy RussellTV movie
1990RevengeTexanSupporting Role
Coupe de VilleDr. Sturgeon the Cadillac SurgeonSupporting Role
I Love You to DeathLt. Larry SchoonerSupporting Role
1991ConagherSmoke Parnell, Ladder Five OwnerTV movie
Stranger at My DoorSheriff BittermanTV movie
1992Leaving NormalWaltSupporting Role
CrissCrossEmmettSupporting Role
Criminal BehaviorRoy StubbsTV movie
1993Men Don't TellJack MacAffreyTV movie
The Adventures of Huck FinnDeputy HinesSupporting Role
Running CoolIronbutt GarrettSupporting Role
Painted DesertAlSupporting Role
1994Cabin BoyPapsSupporting Role
Major League IILou BrownSupporting Role
Wyatt EarpMr. SutherlandSupporting Role
Hard ViceBronskiSupporting Role
Natural Born KillersRedneck's Buddy in the DinerUncredited, Supporting Role
1995TrumanSam RayburnTV movie
Wild BillCalifornia JoeSupporting Role
1996Two Mothers for ZacharyChalmerTV movie
1997TravellerDouble DSupporting Role
The ApostleBrother EdwardsUncredited
1998The Man in the Iron MaskThe CommandantSupporting Role
Point BlankDadSupporting Role
Love from Ground ZeroHatSupporting Role
Logan's War: Bound by HonorBenTV movie
The Hi-Lo CountryHoover YoungSupporting Role
1999You Know My NameReal Arkansas TomTV movie
The Iron GiantMarv Loach / Floyd TurbeauxVoice
One Man's HeroGen. Zachary TaylorSupporting Role
2000The CellTeddy LeeSupporting Role
2002Life or Something Like ItPat KerriganSupporting Role
The Country BearsBig AlVoice
2003Monte WalshFighting Joe Hooker / Albert MillerTV movie
Cold MountainEsco SwangerSupporting Role
2004Silver CitySheriff Joe SkaggsSupporting Role
ParadiseOld cowboyTV movie
2005Don't Come KnockingOld Ranch HandSupporting Role
2006Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch CassidySam ParkerSupporting Role
The Far Side of JerichoThe PreacherSupporting Role
AlteredSheriff HendersonSupporting Role
What I Did for LoveKarl RyderTV movie
2007Jesse Stone: Sea ChangeBobTV movie
The Final SeasonJared AkersSupporting Role
2008AppaloosaEarl MaySupporting Role
2009In the Electric MistBen HebertSupporting Role
ConvictThe Sheriff
The New DaughterRoger Wayne(final film role)


1966The Wild Wild WestEganThe Night of the FreebootersEpisodic character
The MonroesStennisNight of the Wolf
19661967The Road WestDeputy Virgil Bramley / Pete FowlerThe Agreement (1967) / The Gunfighter (1966)
19661973GunsmokeArnie Jeffords / DudleyMy Father, My Son (1966) / Susan Was Evil (1973)
1967Captain NiceWhatever Lola Wants
BonanzaHarry JeffersThe Man Without Land
The InvadersHalThe Spores
BatmanOsirisThe Unkindest Tut of All
Felony SquadMickeyOrdeal by Terror
The VirginianCal MasonA Small Taste of Justice
19681969LancerClint Meek / WesBlind Man's Bluff (1969) / Chase a Wild Horse (1968)
1970The High ChaparralLafeOnly the Bad Come to Sonora (1970)
19711974The F.B.I.Cauldwell / Ben McCartyDiamond Run (1974) / Turnabout (1971)
19711976CannonSheriff Ryder / KeelyThe Quasar Kill (1976) / Country Blues (1971)
1973Dusty's TrailRoyHorse of Another Color (1973)
19731975The WaltonsZack Rosswell8 Episodes (1973–1975)Recurring Character
1974Kung FuJakeThe Nature of Evil (1974)Episodic character
1975Barnaby JonesAndy LuckerThe Final Burial (1974)
1976PetrocelliHarryBlood Money (1976)
Most WantedThe Torch (1976)
19771978Charlie's AngelsGates / BillyAngels in the Stretch (1978) / Angels on Ice (1977)
1979Lou GrantSamaritan (1979)
1984The MasterA Place to Call Home (1984)
Cagney & LaceyBrian HolgateOld Debts (1984)
1985Murder, She WroteBilly Don BakerArmed Response (1985)
1986The EqualizerMichael CubOut of the Past (1986)
1987Crime StoryJack ClaymoreThe Pinnacle; The Survivor (1987)
1987American PlayhouseClate ConnaloeStacking (1987)
1988LincolnGen. Ulysses S. Grant2 episodestelevision film
1989Midnight CallerPete HanrahanTarnished Shield (1989)Episodic character
In the Heat of the NightSheriff Ketch MonroeA Trip Upstate (1986)Episodic character
19901991Bagdad CafeRudy15 Episodes (19901991)Recurring Character
1991The Young RidersElias MillsThe Blood of Others (1991)Episodic Character
1992The Young Indiana Jones ChroniclesTeddy RooseveltBritish East Africa, September 1909 (1992)
19921993HomefrontCoach Zelnick8 Episodes (19921993)Recurring Character
19931994L.A. LawRev. Joseph Halliday / Thomas QuinnGod is My Co-Counsel (1994) / F.O.B. (1993)Episodic Character
19962001Nash BridgesNick Bridges49 Episodes (19962001)Recurring Character
1999Tracey Takes On...Uncle Shep"Hype" (1999)Episodic Character
2003Fillmore!Doc HemlockTwo Wheels, Full Throtle, No Brakes (2003)Voice
2004LAXBill BarkleyThe Longest Morning (2004)Episodic Character
Crossing JordanOlin PriceJustice Delayed (2004)
2007MonkOatesMr. Monk Visits a Farm (2007)
Grey's AnatomyMr. ScofieldScars and Souvenirs (2007)


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