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James Wainwright

James Wainwright

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Armed with a heavy brow, a flinty stare, and years of real-life experience as a marine, James Wainwright specialized in playing merciless, battle-scarred tough guys. After his studies as an art student at the venerable Carnegie University were dashed by a call to service, he wound his way through various odd-jobs and eventually found himself back on an artistic track. This time, however, his sights were set squarely on Hollywood. Once seen only as a rakish presence on austere 1960s TV westerns, he widened his appeal with a lighthearted recurring turn on the spirited adventure series "Daniel Boone," effectively loosening the constraints of typecasting enough to at least garner appearances in other genres. Working his way through the labyrinthine landscape of '70s crime dramas, he landed his first and only lead role as the hard-nosed Lieutenant Frank Dain on the bold, frenzied police thriller "Jigsaw." The series was canceled in its first season, spawning a sequel so rarely seen that copies of it are now sold for four figures. Fortunately, he had better luck as a sturdy support player on the big-screenâ¿¿in addition to appearing opposite Clint Eastwood in the stately chase movie "Joe Kidd," he...

Armed with a heavy brow, a flinty stare, and years of real-life experience as a marine, James Wainwright specialized in playing merciless, battle-scarred tough guys. After his studies as an art student at the venerable Carnegie University were dashed by a call to service, he wound his way through various odd-jobs and eventually found himself back on an artistic track. This time, however, his sights were set squarely on Hollywood. Once seen only as a rakish presence on austere 1960s TV westerns, he widened his appeal with a lighthearted recurring turn on the spirited adventure series "Daniel Boone," effectively loosening the constraints of typecasting enough to at least garner appearances in other genres. Working his way through the labyrinthine landscape of '70s crime dramas, he landed his first and only lead role as the hard-nosed Lieutenant Frank Dain on the bold, frenzied police thriller "Jigsaw." The series was canceled in its first season, spawning a sequel so rarely seen that copies of it are now sold for four figures. Fortunately, he had better luck as a sturdy support player on the big-screenâ¿¿in addition to appearing opposite Clint Eastwood in the stately chase movie "Joe Kidd," he memorably portrayed a vicious prison guard in the grueling prison drama "Mean Dog Blues" ('78) and a decked-out survival coach in the madcap Robin Williams lark "The Survivors" ('83). Wainwright retired from show business in 1990 and died of lung cancer 9 years later at the age of 61.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Survivors (1983) Wes Huntley
3.
 Undercover With the KKK (1979) T J Barker
4.
 Mean Dog Blues (1978) Sergeant Hubbell Wacker
5.
 Private Files Of J. Edgar Hoover, The (1977) Young J Edgar Hoover
6.
 Bridger (1976) Jim Bridger
7.
 Killdozer (1974) Jules "Dutch" Krasner
8.
 President's Plane Is Missing, The (1973) General Dunbar
9.
 Jigsaw (1972) Lieutenant Frank Dain
10.
 Once Upon a Dead Man (1971) John Patterson
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