'Major League' Coach James Gammon Dies at 70
By PopEater Staff Posted Jul 19th 2010 07:08AM
The Illinois native is best remembered for playing Lou Brown, the manager of the pathetic-yet-lovable Cleveland Indians in the 1989 hit 'Major League.' He later reprised the part in 'Major League 2.'
He had additional roles in such classic films as 'Cool Hand Luke,' 'Urban Cowboy,' 'Ironweed' and, more recently, 'Appaloosa' and the Oscar-winning 'Cold Mountain.' He even lent his famous voice for three characters in 'The Iron Giant.'
In all, Gammon appeared in an incredible 130-plus films and television shows in his career. (Trawl the list at IMDB.)
'Major League' was a breakthrough moment for the actor, who had until then been working steadily in mostly one-off TV roles and minor parts in films.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Gammon made the rounds of all the major Western hits, like 'Bonanza,' 'Gunsmoke,' and 'Kung Fu,' and later scored a recurring role on 'The Waltons.' He often played sherrifs, cowboys and coaches in shows like 'Lou Grant,' 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'The Streets of San Francisco.'
'Bonanza' -- Fighting Joe Cartwright
His biggest TV role came in 1996 when he landed the part of Nick Bridges in 'Nash Bridges,' in which he played Don Johnson's dad (despite only being nine years older than him).
His successes in film and television aside, Gammon's real passion was the stage. He co-founded Los Angeles' MET Theater, and starred in a number of plays by Sam Shepard, including 1996's 'Buried Child,' for which he received a Tony nomination.
Gammon is survived by his wife of 38 years, Nancy Jane Kapusta, a brother and sister, two daughters and two grandchildren.
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Teresa Barbieri, Getty Images
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