From his start on the small screen in an episode of ‘The Naked City’ in 1962, he amassed over 85 screen appearances. He won a Golden Globe in 1966 as ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ but although his career was steady and constant enough to fulfill that ‘promise’, his personal life and associated scandals often overshadowed it.

James Farentino was a Brooklyn native who occasionally landed roles in movies with some A List cast such as THE FINAL COUNTDOWN with Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen and Katherine Ross, turned up in successful tele-series such as JESUS OF NAZARETH with Robert Powell, Anne Bancroft and Ernie Borgnine, for which he was nominated for an Emmy (James I mean not Ernie). He was given the lead in a slew of telemovies where he managed billing over established stars such as THE ELEVATOR with Roddy McDowell, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright and Carol Lynley and was a regular on successful TV series such as DYNASTY, BLUE THUNDER and MELROSE PLACE.

When it came to guest spots on TV shows, it is no doubt where most of us would (or should) recall his face. James graced 77 SUNSET STRIP, ROUTE 66, BEN CASEY, THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, THE FUGITIVE, IRONSIDE, E.R, THE VIRGINIAN being some.

When you next watch your old copies of movies as THE WAR LORD with Chuck Heston or ENSIGN PULVER with Robert Walker, Jr., he was among the supports.

He won a Theatre World Award in 1973 for recreating Stanley Kowalski in A STREETCAR NAME DESIRE.

But while this busy career was underway, James was also often in trouble. He was charged with stalking Tina Sinatra in 1993 and a restraining order was placed upon him. He was arrested in Vancouver in 1991 on cocaine possession charges and his drinking would often spiral out of control.

He married four times, the first was to Elizabeth Ashley, the second to Michele Lee.

On January 24th, he died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai in L.A. after a long illness. He was 73.

Vale James Farentino 1938 – 2012


One Response to “JL Exclusive — The Final Countdown For James — Film – Kerry Baker And You”

  1. lloyd | 02.01.12 at 5:44 PM said…

    nice work tom