Friday, July 6, 2012

James Hayden

James Hayden must have been on the Hollywood inside track because his death of a drug overdose in 1983 made national news.

His biggest movie, Once Upon A Time in America, where he had a supporting role opposite Robert DeNiro, hadn't even been released yet. It was through his critically acclaimed Broadway performances in A View From the Bridge and American Buffalo, that had insiders anticipating great things for this troubled actor.

Like many actors before him, James Hayden started out in small roles in now forgotten films like The First Deadly Sin, and the made-for-television movie, The Patricia Neal Story, in which he played a young Martin Sheen. He did show a lot of promise as Patsy Goldberg in Once Upon A Time in America and was seen by many as an actor on his way up, but the movies on his resume and the performances within them, are things one sees as stepping stones at the beginning of a career, not at the end.

Had he lived, who knows what kind of an impact this talented actor would have had on the entertainment world. His star was rising and he certainly would have had opportunities, but sadly we'll never know, making James Hayden my pick of the day for Not Very Famous...but should be.


  1. I knew Jimmie. Not only a great actor, but a truly great human being

    1. Thanks for you post Martin. He was a great actor and I can only imagine the wonderful projects he would have been a part of had he lived.
      Mike Trippiedi

    2. I knew him from AADA and from going to see his plays. One of the finest actors I ever saw. Such a shame.

  2. Can someone who knew James say how tall he was?
    It so sad that he didn't feel he should stick around because those that loved him are very sad he's gone.