Sherif J.W. Pepper (Clifton James)
Character: Sheriff J.W. Pepper
Actor: Clifton James
Movie: Live And Let Die / The Man With The Golden Gun
Appearance: Short and rotund with receding, wispy hair. Often seen with a toothpick in his mouth.
Date of Birth: 29th May 1921
Height: 5' 8" (1.73m)
Place of Birth: New York City, NY, USA
"You picked the wrong parish to haul ass through boy. Nobody cuts and runs of Sheriff J.W Pepper."
Pleased to Meet You
When Bond makes a destructive
escape from the Crocodile farm and Tee
Hee, he is soon wound up in an all-out powerboat pursuit,
in which Kananga's heavies
chase him down. In pursuit of all the roaring boats are Sheriff
his officers. Bond and the Sheriff come face to face at the
marina, after 007 has well and truly dispatched with the goons.
Brash and confident, J.W. is a small town Sheriff in Louisiana
who gets caught up in the frantic world of international espionage
it. The foul-mouthed Sheriff is quick to blame his men for a
mishap and quick to take credit for a job well done. He is certainly
out of his depth when Bond comes to town, tailed by half of the
bayou's most lethal boatmen. Even at the best of times J.W. Pepper
struggles to control his inherent racism. Pepper appears to be
set in his ways, and makes up his mind on any particular subject,
even though most of the time it was a blatant misjudgment on
his part. He holds a jealous admiration for 007.
Deputy: "J.W., this fellow's
from England, see, and he's over here workin' with our government,
sort of a...
Pepper: "Secret agent? On who's side?"
Live And Let Die - Pepper gives chase when Adam,
one of Tee Hee's thugs, speeds into Louisiana State doing nearly
90 miles an hour. The gung-ho Sheriff pulls the goon over and arrests
him at gunpoint. Unfortunately the arrest is broken up by a flying Glastron
Speedboat and a second boat, less ably piloted, plowing into
the roof of Pepper's squad car. Later the Sheriff takes control
of a police "road-block", where the officers have barricaded
the river to slow down the chase. When that falls through dismally,
J.W. suggests that the cops send his brother in law, Billy-Bob
in pursuit of Bond and the gangsters. J.W. and Bond meet at the
marina some time later and Pepper is amazed by Bond's frivolous
attitude and the Federal cooperation he receives.
The Man With The Golden Gun -
On holiday in Thailand, J.W. Pepper is caught up in the path
of James Bond once again. He takes a dip after being shunted
into the river by a baby elephant. Later, Pepper is mysteriously
at a car dealership when 007 commanders a vehicle for his pursuit
of the villain Scaramanga.
The Sheriff is amazed to find 007 in this far-off corner of the
world and the feeling is no doubt mutual. Bond performs an amazing
leap of faith, sending his car in a 360 degree jump across a
wide river. Landing perfectly and much to the surprise of Pepper,
Bond announces he had never attempted that feat before. Bond
and the Sheriff stage a break-in on a empty warehouse to find
Scaramanga has escaped with Mary
Goodnight in the trunk of his aeronautic
Born as George Clifton James in New York City to father
Harry James, a journalist and Grace James, a teacher. When James
was 21, America joined the Second World War effort and he served
in the Army as a Platoon Sergeant. James served the entire period
until peace was declared in 1945 and was a decorated veteran,
earning more than 6 different awards for bravery.
On his return he joined the famous Actors Studio
in downtown Manhattan where he trained in the arts. He landed
his first roles in early 1950s television drama, including a
role in the "Armchair Theatre" - which would semi-regularly
star Bond alumni Donald Pleasence - as well as NY set "Naked
City" or adventure comedy "Route 66".
He earned his first major film role in Carroll Baker starer "Something Wild" (1961), a dark drama in which James plays Detective Bogart. The 1960s were again flush with bit parts and guest starring role in US television, including a recurring role in "Gunsmoke" in the late 1960s and early '70s.
By this time he had made his name for playing
the kitsch/stereotypical Southerner - despite being born in
New York - and this was just the role he served in 1973's "Live
And Let Die". Filling the time between this and his return
to the Bond sphere in Roger Moore's second Bond outing in 1974,
Clifton James appeared in John Frankenheimer's "The Iceman
Cometh" and quirky Jack Nicholson comedy "The Last
Beyond Bond, James would go on to work with
Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke" and Al Capone in the
acclaimed gangster-film "The Untouchables", which starred
ex-Bond actor, Sean Connery.
He played a similar role to that of J.W. in "Superman II" and
held a regular part on "Lois and Clark" in the 1980s.
In 1995 he took a break from acting, only returning to the screen
in 2000's "Interstate 84". He has not appeared on screen
since 2006. James is the father of six children and lives with
his wife in New York.