James Seay

James Seay (September 9, 1914 in Pasadena, California October 10, 1992 in Capistrano Beach, California) was an American character actor who often played minor supporting roles as government officials.

James Seay
James W. Seay

(1914-09-09)September 9, 1914
DiedOctober 10, 1992(1992-10-10) (aged 78)
Resting placeCalifornia
Years active19391970
Spouse(s)Vivian Cohn
(m. 1942; div. 19??)
Mercedes Carmen Bole
(m. 19??; died 1992)

Early years

Seay demonstrated an interest in acting at an early age, as he and his mother regularly attended Saturday matinees of a stock theater company in Pasadena, California. After working for an insurance company, he became a student at the Pasadena Playhouse.[1]


After a year at the Pasadena Playhouse, Seay spent the summer as leading man in a summer stock company at the Chapel Playhouse in Guilford, Connecticut. He returned to Pasadena and performed in two plays before he received a contract from Paramount Pictures.[1]

Although it was a minor part not credited on-screen, his role in the film Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is one of his most visible because the film is a staple of Christmas repeats on television.

Among his many credits, Seay appeared in minor roles in a couple of episodes of Adventures of Superman television series: The Mind Machine (as a senator) and Jungle Devil (as an airplane pilot).

In the syndicated 1954-1955 television series Stories of the Century, starring and narrated by Jim Davis, Seay portrayed the Wyoming storekeeper James "Jim" Averill, companion of Cattle Kate Watson, both of whom were hanged in a dispute with cattlemen at the start of the Johnson County Range War.

Seay played corrupt district attorney Lucius Peck in the 1955 episode, "The Hangman Waits" on the western anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. Percy Helton played Alex Grant, who is arrested for a 15-year-old murder when he returns to a mining camp. The outlook for Grant is bleak for Grant until his youthful lawyer, Greg Lewis (Clark Howat), locates a corroborating witness, 75-year-old Harry Gander (Hank Patterson), whose personal diary clears Grant of the false charge.[2]

Seay appeared sixteen times as Judge Spicer on ABC's western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O'Brian. He was cast six times as a sheriff on the NBC children's western series, Fury, starring Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond. He also guest starred in Kenneth Tobey's syndicated aviation adventure series, Whirlybirds, and on the westerns The Californians, The Tall Man, and The Rebel.

He appeared three times in 1958 and 1959 on CBS' Perry Mason: murder victim Ross Hollister in "The Case of the Cautious Coquette," Dr. Michael Harris in "The Case of the Curious Bride," and murderer Ralph Hibberly in "The Case of the Spurious Sister."

Seay was cast as Duke Tavener, an unscrupulous businessman who tries to force a woman to turn over her saloon/casino to him, in the 1958 episode "Gambler" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker.

He appeared on CBS's The Twilight Zone as the sheriff in the episode "In His Image" and as Agent Bowton in The Andy Griffith Show Season 4 episode, "The Haunted House" and the Season 5 episode, "Prisoner of Love".

Seay made training films for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.[1]


On October 10, 1992, Seay died in Laguna Beach, California.

Selected filmography


  1. Goldrup, Tom and Jim. The Encyclopedia of Feature Players of Hollywood, Volume 3. BearManor Media. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. "the Hangman Waits on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
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