James E. Freeman (February 2, 1946 – August 9, 2014) was an American actor.

J. E. Freeman
J. E. Freeman photo.jpg
J.E. Freeman as Marty Cantor in Patriot Games (1992)
James E. Freeman

(1946-02-02)February 2, 1946
DiedAugust 9, 2014(2014-08-09) (aged 68)
San Francisco, California, United States
Years active1979-2004

He was often cast in tough-guy roles. He was perhaps best known for his menacing characters roles, such as the evil mobster Marcello Santos in David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990), the ferocious henchman Eddie Dane in Miller's Crossing (1990), and the infamous scientist Mason Wren in Alien Resurrection (1997).

Acting careerEdit

Freeman trained as an actor with Jean Shelton at Shelton Studios in the San Francisco area in the 1970s. He was nominated for best actor for playing Teach in the West Coast premiere of David Mamet's American Buffalo, which also featured George Eckel and Charles Bouvier. After directing Look Back in Anger in 1979, Freeman moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film career. His first movie appearance was in action film An Eye for an Eye (1981) in which he played a tow-truck driver who minces words with Chuck Norris. In addition to this role and the three mentioned before, his other notable film contributions include Ruthless People (1986) as the "Bedroom Killer", Patriot Games (1992) as the bearded CIA agent Marty Cantor, Copycat (1995) as the police lieutenant Thomas Quinn, and Go (1998) as the enraged strip-club owner Vic Sr.

Personal lifeEdit

James E. Freeman attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York. He was a three-year member of the track team. He graduated from Bishop Loughlin in 1964. As a high school student, Jim was assertively conservative. Freeman was openly gay.[1] At age 22, he revealed his sexuality to the United States Marine Corps, leading to his discharge.[1] He had been HIV-positive since around 1984.[1] In 2009, he published a letter to the editor on sfgate.com, describing his reminiscences of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.[1] He also wrote poetry and had a tumblr blog (Freedapoet) dedicated to his poetry.

Freeman retired from acting in 2004.[2] He died in the evening of August 9, 2014. He was 68.[3]



  1. ^ a b c d "Letters to datebook". sfgate.com, June 26, 2009.
  2. ^ "Facebook: About J.e."
  3. ^ "J. E. Freeman – 'Wild at Heart' and 'Miller's Crossing' gangster, has died aged 68". Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.

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