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James Olson (born October 8, 1930) is an American actor.

Life and careerEdit

Olson was born in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Northwestern University. He performed stage work in and around Chicago before his 1956 film debut in The Sharkfighters. He starred alongside Joanne Woodward in the Academy Award-nominated best picture Rachel, Rachel in 1968. He made numerous stage, feature film and TV appearances from the mid-1950s until the early 1990s.

Olson's television appearances included guest roles on scores of shows, including episodes of Kraft Television Theatre, Ironside, Murder, She Wrote, Little House on the Prairie, Hawaii Five-O, Battlestar Galactica, Lou Grant, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Mannix, Bonanza, Have Gun-Will Travel, Marcus Welby, M.D., Police Woman, Barnaby Jones, The New Land, Columbo ("Étude in Black"), Maude, The Virginian, and The Streets of San Francisco ("The First Day of Forever").

Nothing is said about his extraordinary performance as the Father in Ragtime. What a character study. A man who lives by rules and propriety, a purist who believes in a legal system that works, if only for people like him. Yet, despite his controlled almost cold behavior lies a man with much compassion, much heart and valor constrained by social convention. He is as imprisoned as Mr.Edwards. The only difference is that he gets to continue to live and breathe.


Selected filmographyEdit

External linksEdit