Legends of Action

August 16, 2013

Legends Of Action: Steve James

For those who see the name Steve James next to the word Legend, you know exactly why this needs to be written. For those who are unfamiliar with the man…..i cannot help you. Only God can cleanse you of your sins. Perhaps on your path of salvation, you can sit down at your computer screen for the next few minutes as i tell ya a little story. A story of a man of action, who was always played second string, but never the Quarterback. A man who would delve into diverse roles but was always thought of as an action hero. A man who was a Legend and who must be remembered.

Steve James broke into the lime light with being the tough, and often crazy sidekick Curtis Jackson in the American Ninja films. Like most people, this is when i first got introduced to him. He was funny and charming in the role, and at the same time he was as bad ass as they come.  Unfortunately, even though he began starring in more action films, they were always either a sidekick role, or a cameo. He fought along side Chuck Norris in the Delta Force, reunited with Michael Dudikoff for Avenging Force,  took a comedic turn in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and even made an appearance on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. His final screen appearance was in Bloodfist V: Human Target with another action legend, Don “The Dragon” Wilson.

I will never understand why some stars never make it big, while others seem to fade away. Steve James was one of those stars that did shine bright, even though most did not care to notice. He should have been in more big budget films, and should have been the next Wesley Snipes. Like it was noted above, he was not only a big tough action star, but he could also play other diverse roles as well. He was never typecast, and never stuck to just one genre.

Although he was an entertaining and energetic action star, he didn’t start out that way. He began his career as a stunt man for such movies as  The Wiz, The Warriors, and The Wonderers. He also studied martial arts including Fu Jow Pi, which is a form of Tiger Claw Kung Fu.

Steve James also battled through pancreatic cancer, but unfortunately lost the battle on December 18, 1993.  He was and always will be a big part of action cinema, and his colorful persona has been missed. From Drama, to Comedy to Action, Steve could do it all, and should have been given lead roles as his screen presence, and charisma demanded it. Like many stars before him that we lost, we still have the films that showcase his talent, but he was taken from us way to early, and deserved a longer career thrilling us, making us laugh, and making us wishing we looked as good with our shirts off.  Steve James…..you were the best!

February 19, 1952 – December 18, 1993


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