Washington D.C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): Actor Anthony James, who starred in the films 'Unforgiven' and 'In the Heat of the Night,' has died. He was 77.

According to an obituary announcement posted by a funeral home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, James -- real name Jimmy Anthony -- died on Tuesday of cancer, reported Fox News.

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As per the obituary. James created his stage name because there was already another actor with the moniker Jimmy Anthony.

Born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on July 22, 1942, James dreamed of becoming a movie actor while growing up, so at the age of 18, he "persuaded his mother that they had to go to Hollywood," the obituary states.

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And "with almost no money, the two of them took a train to Los Angeles. His mother cleaned houses and Jimmy got a 'scholarship' to an acting class which he paid for by cleaning bathrooms," it adds.

He landed his breakout role at the age of 26 in the 1967 Oscar-winning movie 'In the Heat of the Night.'

According to his IMDb, he went on to star in movies such as 'Vanishing Point,' 'The Culpepper Cattle Co.,' 'High Plains Drifter,' 'The Teacher,' 'Hearts of the West,' 'Burnt Offerings,' 'The Fifth Floor,' and 'Ravagers,' among others.

'The High Chaparral,' 'The Big Valley,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Hawaii Five-0', were some of his television shows in 1970. He also made appearances in 'S.W.A.T' in 1975, 'Charlie's Angels' in 1976, 'Starsky and Hutch' in 1977, as well as 'The A-Team' and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' in the '80s amid other projects.

Clint Eastwood's 1992 'Unforgiven' was his final role. The movie is also another Academy Award-winning film, in which he played a contentious brothel owner, Skinny Dubois.

After he retired from Hollywood, he moved to New England to focus on his paintings, which were sold in galleries across the United States and Japan, per the obituary. He also wrote poems, which were featured in the 1994 book 'Language of the Heart,' which also included his artwork.

In 2014, he published his memoir, 'Acting My Face.' According to The Hollywood Reporter, he dedicated the book to his mom.

He told The Spectrum in 2016 of the title, "I never considered myself a celebrity, just a sometime recognizable face."

Per the obituary, James, who never married and had no children, is survived by his many friends. (ANI)

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