|Lord James Blears|
|Birth name||James Ranicar Blears|
|Born||13 August 1923|
Tyldesley, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
|Died||3 March 2016 (aged 92)|
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
|Family||4; including Jimmy Blears and Laura Lee Ching|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Jan Blears|
Lord James Blears
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Billed weight||233 lb (106 kg)|
Lord Blears (born James Ranicar Blears, 13 August 1923 – 3 March 2016) was a British-American professional wrestler, ring announcer, promoter, actor, mariner, and surfing personality.
Blears was born in Tyldesley, Lancashire, England in the United Kingdom on 13 August 1923. An accomplished swimmer in school, he was selected for the British swimming team for the 1940 Summer Olympics but was unable to compete due to World War II.
Blears learned to wrestle at the YMCA, debuting in 1940 at the age of 17. He wrestled sporadically around the world during his wartime service in the merchant navy.
In 1946, he relocated to New York City in the United States, where he shared an apartment on Amsterdam Avenue with fellow wrestlers Stu Hart and Sandor Kovacs. Early in his United States career, Blears wrestled as "Jan Blears".
In the early 1950s, Blears developed the villainous character of "Lord Blears", a snooty British aristocrat who wore a cape and monocle and carried a cane. He was managed by the tuxedo-wearing Captain Leslie Holmes, a friend of Blears' from his schooldays who had also traveled to the United States.
In the early 1950s, Blears relocated to California. In 1952, he formed a tag team with Lord Athol Layton. Managed by Holmes, in 1953, they won the NWA World Tag Team Championship (Chicago version) in the Chicago-based Fred Kohler Enterprises. Blears also wrestled for Worldwide Wrestling Associates, where he held the WWA International Television Tag Team Championship eight times between 1954 and 1957, and for NWA San Francisco, where he held the NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) on two occasions in 1953 and 1954 with Layton and the NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) four times between 1955 and 1957.
In 1957, Blears wrestled in Australia, unsuccessfully challenging Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on several occasions.
In the late 1950s, Blears relocated to Hawaii after developing a fondness for the state during a tour, where he built his career in the Honolulu-based promotion 50th State Big Time Wrestling. Blears had a single reign as NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Champion, defeating King Curtis Iaukea on 25 October 1961. He lost the championship to the Masked Executioner on 13 December 1961. Blears also held the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship numerous times between 1955 and 1964.
At the invitation of Rikidōzan, Blears began wrestling in Japan in the 1950s. After the death of Rikidōzan in 1963, Giant Baba – the owner of All Japan Pro Wrestling – asked him to identify foreign wrestlers to perform for AJPW. Blears arranged for wrestlers such as Davey Boy Smith, Don Leo Jonathan and Dynamite Kid to tour Japan. From 1973 to 2001, Blears made appearances with AJPW as an on-screen authority figure under the title of chairman of the Pacific Wrestling Federation.
Blears stopped wrestling full-time in 1965, transitioning to a commentator for the Hawaiian Championship Wrestling broadcast and the booker for the promotion.
In the 1980s, Blears provided commentary for the American Wrestling Association's broadcasts on ESPN. At the AWA supercard "Super Sunday" on April 24, 1983, Blears served as guest referee for a high-profile title bout between Hulk Hogan and AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel that saw Bockwinkel retain via a Dusty finish.
Blears made his first acting appearance in 1950, playing a dramatized version of himself in an episode of The Buster Keaton Show.
In 1966, Blears appeared in the surfing documentary The Endless Summer, playing himself. He played himself once more in the 1974 professional wrestling movie The Wrestler. In 1987, he appeared in the surfing movie North Shore.
Blears appeared in an episode of Hawaii Five-O in 1977 and in episodes of Magnum, P.I. filmed in Hawaii in 1982 and 1983.
Blears was born in Tyldesley, Lancashire in the United Kingdom, but moved to the United States in the mid-1940s and ultimately successfully applied for United States citizenship.
While living in Chicago, Blears met Leonora "Lee" Adelaina (died 2007), who he would ultimately marry. The couple had four children: two sons, James Jr. ("Jimmy") (1948–2011) and Clinton, and two daughters, Laura (born 1951) and Carol. All four rose to prominence as professional surfers.
Blears legally changed his name to "Lord Blears".[when?]
Blears was an avid fan of surfing. He served as commentator and master of ceremonies for many surfing events in Hawaii, earning him the title, "the voice of Hawaiian surfing".
Blears declined hip surgery and spent many years bedridden in a private hospital in Honolulu until his death. His friends, including other wrestlers such as Dick Beyer, visited him and encouraged Blears to have his hips operated on but Blears did not want the surgery. Blears' wife Lenora predeceased him in 2007. His eldest child, Jimmy, died in 2011. Blears died on 3 March 2016 in the Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu at the age of 92.
|1966||The Endless Summer||Himself|
|1987||North Shore||Contest director|
|1950||The Buster Keaton Show||Himself||Episode: "Buster in Training"|
|1977||Hawaii Five-O||Arfie Loudermilk||Episode: "You Don't See Many Pirates These Days"|
|1982||Magnum, P.I.||Ring announcer||Episode: "Mr. White Death"|
|1983||Magnum, P.I.||Bartender||Episode: "Squeeze Play"|