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.

10 comments:

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

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

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, a shame but he also ruined lives. He came to a party I threw with a friend of mine. He stole money from a purse then asked my friend if she wanted to try heroin. She got hooked. Last time I saw her she was turning tricks on 3rd Ave. She remarked that it was weird that the guy who got her to try junk was on Broadway and doing movies and she was now hooking to maintain her habit. Yes, addicts deserve empathy and support but they also brings others' lives down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shelley for your comment. Sadly, there are two sides to every story with the outcome not always being sunshine and happiness.

      Delete
    2. Yes, life is not a study in black and white. Thanks for being open to hearing that memory.

      Delete
  4. The only film I watched where he acted was THE INTRUDER WITHIN (known here in my country as O MONSTRO QUE VEIO DO MAR/THE MONSTER THAT CAME FROM THE SEA in English _ more logical). I used to adore that production when I was a teenager.
    And I know he passed away long time ago; so young - and by an awful cause.
    Reminds me the artist ROB LOWE.

    Rodrigo (Brazil)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cacilds... 'xenofobia' cai normal aki!

    ReplyDelete