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)

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 portrayed Lou Brown, the manager in the movies Major League and Major League II, fictionalized versions of the Cleveland Indians. He was also known for his role as the retired longshoreman Nick Bridges on the CBS television crime drama Nash Bridges.


Early life

Gammon was born in Newman, Illinois, the son of Doris Latimer (née Toppe), a farm girl,[2] and Donald Gammon, a musician.[citation needed] 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.[3] He also appeared on stage in Shepard's San Francisco debut of The Late Henry Moss along with Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Cheech Marin (both of Nash Bridges) 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), Any Which Way You Can (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.[4]

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]

Death and legacy

Gammon died of adrenal gland and liver cancer in Costa Mesa, California, at the age of 70.[5]

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]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 Cool Hand Luke Sleepy Uncredited, Supporting Role
1968 Journey to Shiloh Tellis Yeager Supporting Role
1969 The Thousand Plane Raid Major Varga Supporting Role
1970 A Man Called Horse Ed Supporting Role
Macho Callahan Cowboy Supporting Role
The Intruders (filmed in 1967) Chaunce Dykstra TV Movie, Supporting Role
1972 Cry for Me, Billy Amos Supporting Role
1974 Zandy's Bride Man in Gunfight Uncredited
Macon County Line Elisha Supporting Role
1975 The Wild McCullochs 1st Police Officer Supporting Role
The Kansas City Massacre Garth TV Movie, Supporting Role
1976 Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw Leather Salesman Minor Role
The Pom Pom Girls Coach Minor Role
1977 Black Oak Conspiracy Deputy Minor Role
The Greatest Mr. Harry Minor Role
1979 The Sacketts Wes Bigelow TV movie
1980 On the Nickel Peanut John Supporting Role
Urban Cowboy Steve Strange Supporting Role
Rage! Joe Dean TV movie
It's My Turn Connie Foxworth Uncredited
Any Which Way You Can Palomino Bartender Supporting Role
Below the Belt Luke Supporting Role
1981 The Big Black Pill Captain Jake Jacqualone TV movie
1982 Deadly Encounter Frank Kitchens TV movie
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez Sheriff Frank Fly
1983 M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Willard Kohler TV movie
Women of San Quentin Officer TV movie
1985 Noon Wine Sheriff TV movie
Vision Quest Mr. Kuchera Supporting Role
Hell Town Lieutenant Raymond Tracy TV Movie
Sylvester Steve Supporting Role
Silverado Dawson Supporting Role
The Long Hot Summer Billy Quick TV movie
Silver Bullet Arnie Westrum Supporting Role
1986 Hard Traveling Sgt. Slattery Supporting Role
1987 Made in Heaven Steve Shea Supporting Role
Laguna Heat Grimes TV movie
Ironweed Reverend Chester Supporting Role
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Horsethief Shorty Supporting Role
1989 Major League Lou Brown
Roe vs. Wade Jimmy Russell TV movie
1990 Revenge Texan Supporting Role
Coupe de Ville Dr. Sturgeon the Cadillac Surgeon Supporting Role
I Love You to Death Lt. Larry Schooner Supporting Role
1991 Conagher Smoke Parnell, Ladder Five Owner TV movie
Stranger at My Door Sheriff Bitterman TV movie
1992 Leaving Normal Walt Supporting Role
CrissCross Emmett Supporting Role
Criminal Behavior Roy Stubbs TV movie
1993 Men Don't Tell Jack MacAffrey TV movie
The Adventures of Huck Finn Deputy Hines Supporting Role
Running Cool Ironbutt Garrett Supporting Role
Painted Desert Al Supporting Role
1994 Cabin Boy Paps Supporting Role
Major League II Lou Brown Supporting Role
Wyatt Earp Mr. Sutherland Supporting Role
Hard Vice Bronski Supporting Role
Natural Born Killers Redneck's Buddy in the Diner Uncredited, Supporting Role
1995 Truman Sam Rayburn TV movie
Wild Bill California Joe Supporting Role
1996 Two Mothers for Zachary Chalmer TV movie
1997 Traveller Double D Supporting Role
The Apostle Brother Edwards Uncredited
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask The Commandant Supporting Role
Point Blank Dad Supporting Role
Love from Ground Zero Hat Supporting Role
Logan's War: Bound by Honor Ben TV movie
The Hi-Lo Country Hoover Young Supporting Role
1999 You Know My Name Real Arkansas Tom TV movie
The Iron Giant Marv Loach / Floyd Turbeaux Voice
One Man's Hero Gen. Zachary Taylor Supporting Role
2000 The Cell Teddy Lee Supporting Role
2002 Life or Something Like It Pat Kerrigan Supporting Role
The Country Bears Big Al Voice
2003 Monte Walsh Fighting Joe Hooker / Albert Miller TV movie
Cold Mountain Esco Swanger Supporting Role
2004 Silver City Sheriff Joe Skaggs Supporting Role
Paradise Old cowboy TV movie
2005 Don't Come Knocking Old Ranch Hand Supporting Role
2006 Outlaw Trail: The Treasure of Butch Cassidy Sam Parker Supporting Role
The Far Side of Jericho The Preacher Supporting Role
Altered Sheriff Henderson Supporting Role
What I Did for Love Karl Ryder TV movie
2007 Jesse Stone: Sea Change Bob TV movie
The Final Season Jared Akers Supporting Role
2008 Appaloosa Earl May Supporting Role
2009 In the Electric Mist Ben Hebert Supporting Role
Convict The Sheriff
The New Daughter Roger Wayne (final film role)


Year Title Role Episodes Notes
1966 The Wild Wild West Egan The Night of the Freebooters Episodic character
The Monroes Stennis Night of the Wolf
1966-1967 The Road West Deputy Virgil Bramley / Pete Fowler The Agreement (1967) / The Gunfighter (1966)
1966-1973 Gunsmoke Arnie Jeffords / Dudley My Father, My Son (1966) / Susan Was Evil (1973)
1967 Captain Nice Whatever Lola Wants
Bonanza Harry Jeffers The Man Without Land
The Invaders Hal The Spores
Batman Osiris The Unkindest Tut of All
Felony Squad Mickey Ordeal by Terror
The Virginian Cal Mason A Small Taste of Justice
1968-1969 Lancer Clint Meek / Wes Blind Man's Bluff (1969) / Chase a Wild Horse (1968)
1970 The High Chaparral Lafe Only the Bad Come to Sonora (1970)
1971-1974 The F.B.I. Cauldwell / Ben McCarty Diamond Run (1974) / Turnabout (1971)
1971-1976 Cannon Sheriff Ryder / Keely The Quasar Kill (1976) / Country Blues (1971)
1973 Dusty's Trail Roy Horse of Another Color (1973)
1973-1975 The Waltons Zack Rosswell 8 Episodes (1973–1975) Recurring Character
1974 Kung Fu Jake The Nature of Evil (1974) Episodic character
1975 Barnaby Jones Andy Lucker The Final Burial (1974)
1976 Petrocelli Harry Blood Money (1976)
Most Wanted The Torch (1976)
1977-1978 Charlie's Angels Gates / Billy Angels in the Stretch (1978) / Angels on Ice (1977)
1979 Lou Grant Samaritan (1979)
1984 The Master A Place to Call Home (1984)
Cagney & Lacey Brian Holgate Old Debts (1984)
1985 Murder, She Wrote Billy Don Baker Armed Response (1985)
1986 The Equalizer Michael Cub Out of the Past (1986)
1987 Crime Story Jack Claymore The Pinnacle; The Survivor (1987)
American Playhouse Clate Connaloe Stacking (1987)
1988 Lincoln Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 2 episodes television film
1989 Midnight Caller Pete Hanrahan Tarnished Shield (1989) Episodic character
In the Heat of the Night Sheriff Ketch Monroe A Trip Upstate (1986) Episodic character
1990-1991 Bagdad Cafe Rudy 15 Episodes (1990–1991) Recurring Character
1991 The Young Riders Elias Mills The Blood of Others (1991) Episodic Character
1992 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Teddy Roosevelt British East Africa, September 1909 (1992)
1992-1993 Homefront Coach Zelnick 8 Episodes (1992–1993) Recurring Character
1993-1994 L.A. Law Rev. Joseph Halliday / Thomas Quinn God is My Co-Counsel (1994) / F.O.B. (1993) Episodic Character
1996-2001 Nash Bridges Nick Bridges 49 Episodes (1996–2001) Recurring Character
1999 Tracey Takes On... Uncle Shep "Hype" (1999) Episodic Character
2003 Fillmore! Doc Hemlock Two Wheels, Full Throtle, No Brakes (2003) Voice
2004 LAX Bill Barkley The Longest Morning (2004) Episodic Character
Crossing Jordan Olin Price Justice Delayed (2004)
2007 Monk Oates Mr. Monk Visits a Farm (2007)
Grey's Anatomy Mr. Scofield Scars and Souvenirs (2007)


  1. ^ Dave Schlenker. "Actor James Gammon, who called Ocala home, dies at 70".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Weber, Bruce (July 20, 2010). "James Gammon, Character Actor, Dies at 70". The New York Times.
  3. ^ James Gammon's profile at IBDb
  4. ^ "Actor James Gammon, 70, starred in "Iron Giant" Archived 2012-07-08 at archive.today". forum.bcdb.com July 16, 2010
  5. ^ Notice of Gammon's death