James Hampton (actor)

James Wade Hampton (born July 9, 1936) is an American actor, television director, and screenwriter.

James Hampton
James hampton 1975.JPG
Hampton in 1968.
James Wade Hampton

(1936-07-09) July 9, 1936 (age 84)
Other namesJimmy Hampton
Jim Hampton
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter
Years active1963–present
Spouse(s)Mary Deese (2002–present)


Early lifeEdit

Hampton was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and raised in Dallas, Texas, where his father operated a cleaning business. He majored in theatre arts at the University of North Texas in Denton. While attending UNT, he was a member of the Gamma Lambda chapter of Kappa Alpha Order. After a series of failed jobs including bodyguard, bartender, and photojournalist, he was inducted into the United States Army.[1] He was stationed in Germany and performed with the USO, for which he won awards.

Following his service, he performed in summer stock in Texas and then moved to New York City, where he was given his first film role - the Academy Award-nominated short subject The Cliffdwellers. Hampton's next role came as the lead character in a May 1963 Gunsmoke episode entitled "Jeb", featuring his friend and series regular Burt Reynolds.


Hampton is known for his roles in CBS's The Doris Day Show (as Leroy, the handyman); ABC's F Troop (as Hannibal Dobbs the incompetent bugler); Robert Aldrich's The Longest Yard (1974); Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan (1975); Teen Wolf (1985); the Teen Wolf television series (1986 to 1989); Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988); and Sling Blade (1996). Hampton guest starred as Jim Rockford's cousin Aaron Ironwood in a 1975 episode of NBC's The Rockford Files. He received a HALO Award for Hawmps!, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Most Promising Newcomer" for the part of "Caretaker" in The Longest Yard. He was also the spokesman for the American Egg Board.

In 1964, Hampton was cast as publisher William Randolph Hearst in the episode "The Paper Dynasty" of the syndicated western television series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. In the story line, Hearst struggles to turn a profit despite increased circulation of The San Francisco Examiner. James Lanphier (1920-1969) plays Ambrose Bierce; Robert O. Cornthwaite was cast as Sam Chamberlain.[2]

In 1980, he starred alongside Gary Collins in the low-budget movie Hangar 18. Filmed primarily in Big Spring, Texas, the two played NASA astronauts trying to expose a UFO coverup.

In 2012, Hampton appeared in an advertisement on MeTV touting some of the shows in which he had guest starred, including Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Rockford Files.

Personal lifeEdit

Hampton married his wife actress Mary Deese in 2002. They reside in Texas.[3]

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Film Role Notes
1970 Soldier Blue Private Menzies
1972 Justin Morgan Had a Horse Aaron
1973 The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing Jimmy Uncredited
1974 The Longest Yard Caretaker
1975 W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings Junior
Mackintosh and T.J. Cotton
Hustle Bus Driver
1976 Hawmps! Howard Clemmons
1978 The Cat from Outer Space Captain Anderson
1979 The China Syndrome Bill Gibson
1980 Hangar 18 Lew Price Alternative tile: Invasion Force
1981 Condorman Harry Oslo
1985 Teen Wolf Harold Howard
1987 Teen Wolf Too Uncle Harold Howard
1988 Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Mayor of Miami
1990 Pump Up the Volume Arthur Watts
1991 The Giant of Thunder Mountain Jesse
1996 Sling Blade Jerry Woolridge
2000 Danny and Max Sheriff
Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel Pediatrician
2008 Fire from Below Griffith
2011 Jacob Mayor Jack Flynn
The Last Ride Judge Matheny
2014 Flutter Leon
Big Stone Gap Reverend Manning
2015 Divine Access Mr. Bernstein
2016 The Association Gene Seward Direct-to-video
Year Title Role Notes
1963–1965 Gunsmoke Jeb Willis / Eliab Haggen 3 episodes, credited as Jim Hampton
1964 Death Valley Days William Randolph Hearst 1 episode
1965 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Branch Eversole 1 episode, credited as Jim Hampton
Rawhide Charlie Peck, The Blackmailer Episode: "Mrs. Harmon"
1965–1967 F Troop Private Hannibal Shirley Dobbs 65 episodes
1967 Cimarron Strip Sam 1 episode
1968–1969 The Doris Day Show Leroy B. Simpson 14 episodes
1970 Bracken's World J.F. Nash 1 episode
1972 The Wonderful World of Disney Aaron 2 episodes
The F.B.I. Claybourne 1 episode
1973 Hawkins Earl Coleman 1 episode
1974 The Manhunter Lon Tyrell 1 episode
1975 Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan Harry Dudley Television movie
Mannix Billy Lee 1 episode
The Rockford Files Aaron Ironwood 1 episode
1977 The Red Hand Gang Tosca (Kidnapper) 5 episodes
The Amazing Howard Hughes Wilbur Peterson Television movie
The Tonight Show Himself May 4, 1977 episode
1978 Mary Skit Characters 3 episodes
1979 Centennial Defense Attorney Prescott Miniseries
1980 B.A.D. Cats Link Unknown episodes
The Dukes of Hazzard Sheriff Buster Moon Episode: "Return of the Ridge Raiders"
1981 Stand By Your Man Billy Sherrill Television movie
1981–1982 Maggie Len Weston 8 episodes
1982 World War III Richard Hickman Miniseries
1983 The Greatest American Hero Sheriff 1 episode
Boone Mr. Slater Episode: "The Graduation"
Tales of the Gold Monkey Alan Shoemate Episode: "Cooked Goose"
1984 The Burning Bed Police Witness Television movie
Matt Houston Mr. Stevens 2 episodes
1984–1985 Who's the Boss? Herb / Officer 2 episodes
1984–1986 Murder, She Wrote Veterinarian / Jerry Blevins 2 episodes
1985 Otherworld Fred Roach 1 episode
Simon & Simon Odell Mitchell 1 episode
1986–1989 Punky Brewster Alvin / Jimmy John 2 episodes
1986–1987 Teen Wolf Harold Howard (Voice) 21 episodes
1987 Houston Knights Scully 3 episodes
1988 Superboy Coach Episode: The Fixer
1989 Mama's Family Keith Wheeler Episode: "The Mama of Invention"
Days of Our Lives Saul Taylor 49 episodes
1989–1990 Full House Mr. Malatesta 3 episodes
1990 Perfect Strangers Mac McIntyre Episode: "Nightmare Vacation"
Newhart Father Ken 1 episode
Get a Life Fletcher 1 episode
1991 The Hogan Family Raymond 1 episode
1992–1993 Evening Shade
Director, 7 episodes
1993 Hearts Afire
Director, 1 episode
1994 Melrose Place Harry Alan Episode: "It's a Bad World After All"
1995 Hope and Gloria Bob 1 episode
1997 Fired Up Ben Franklin 1 episode
1997–1998 Grace Under Fire
Director, 4 episodes
Smart Guy
Director, 3 episodes
Sister, Sister
Director, 5 episodes
1998–1999 Linc's
Director, 3 episodes
2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane
Director, 3 episodes

Award nominationsEdit

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1975 Golden Globe Award Nominated Most Promising Newcomer - Male The Longest Yard


  1. ^ Biography for James Hampton on IMDb
  2. ^ "The Paper Dynasty on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. March 1, 1964. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  3. ^ Ten-Tronck's Celebrity Directory pg 99

External linksEdit