Clifton James
Sheriff J.W Pepper in Live & Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun

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Biography

A graduate of the famous Actor's Studio, Clifton James made his film debut in 1957 in The Strange One with Ben Gazzara and George Peppard; and was subsequently cast in films such as The Last Mile with Mickey Rooney, Something Wild with Carroll Baker; and tv shows Gunsmoke and Naked City.

In 1962, Blake Edwards cast Clifton in his excellent movie Experiment In Terror starring Glenn Ford, Lee Remick and Stefanie Powers.

Juggling both tv and film work, Clifton chalked up many more credits before, in 1967, starring as 'Carr' in Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman.

In 1973, when Roger Moore made his debut Bond film, Live and Let Die, Clifton was cast as red-neck Sheriff JW Pepper. He stole the film with his tobacco chewing, hopelessly over-eager character. Such was his impact, that the producers decided to bring him back in the next film, The Man With The Golden Gun - albeit out of his usual swampland surrounds, on vacation in Thailand. His eagerness to assist Bond in his mission leads to great comic interludes, not least in the 360 degree car jump.

Inbetween Bonds - which were just one year apart - Clifton made eight films, including Richard Lester's Juggernaut and Bank Shot with George C Scott.

Post-Bond he guest starred in many popular tv series such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The A Team, The Fall Guy, Murder She Wrote, Hart To Hart and Dallas. Furthermore, film credits include Silver Streak, Superman II, Whoops Apocalypse, The Untouchables, Bonfire Of The Vanities, Lone Star and Counting Sheep, with Alan Arkin.

Without doubt though, Clifton will forever be remembered - despite an impressive resume of other credits - as Sheriff JW Pepper in the two Bond films!

Links

Clifton James Filmography @ IMDB