James Stacy

Active - 1958 - 1991  |   Born - Jan 1, 1936   |   Died - Sep 15, 2016   |   Genres - Drama, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

James Stacy had passed the quarter-century mark before deciding upon an acting career. In 1956, Stacy's James Dean-ish handsomeness landed him a part in a Pepsi-Cola commercial. Afterward, Stacy put together a portfolio and started making the casting rounds. Unfortunately, his difficult attitude managed to get him fired from his first film role in South Pacific (1958), and had his lines taken away from him in Sayonara (1957). His recurring appearances as Fred on TV's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet started the ball rolling again, and by 1965 Stacy was Columbia Pictures' answer to Frankie Avalon, starring in such Beach Party rip-offs as A Swingin' Summer and Winter a Go Go. He also found time to marry actress Connie Stevens, only to lose her to singer Eddie Fisher. Stacy's second wife was Kim Darby. From 1968 through 1971, Stacy starred on the TV western Lancer. Two years after the series' cancellation, he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, which cost him his left arm and leg. Courageously refusing to retire, he began appearing in roles specially written to accommodate his handicap. His comeback film was the 1975 Kirk Douglas western Posse, in which he was cast in the nonambulatory role of newspaper editor Hellman. In 1977, he starred in the TV-movie Just a Little Inconvenience, playing a double-amputee Vietnam veteran. And in Disney's 1982 fantasy film Something Wicked This Way Comes, Stacy plays a crippled, embittered bartender, who makes the mistake of his life when he wishes to be "whole" again. His last regular TV role was Rogosheske in the weekly cop series Wiseguy. In 1996, once he was retired from acting, he served a six-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to the molestation of a minor (Stacy's erratic behavior around his arrest negated the hope of only getting probation for the incident). He was released in 2001 and resumed his life as a private citizen. Stacy died in 2016.

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