His most distinguishing physical quality was his lazy eye. Elam played in 73 movies and made appearances in 41 television series. His mother died in when Jack was two years old. He grew up picking cotton. Elam lost the sight in his left eye when he was stabbed with a pencil during a boyhood altercation with a fellow Boy Scout. Elam made his screen debut in in She Shoulda Said No! During this period, however, Elam appeared most often in Westerns and gangster films, usually in roles as a villain.
InElam received a rare chance to play the good guy, Deputy U. Marshal and reformed gunfighter J. Elam got this part after James Coburn declined the role. Unfortunately for him, that series ran for only 26 weeks. In that film he played one of a trio of gunslingers who were sent to kill Charles Bronson 's character.
Elam spent a good part of the scene trying to trap an annoying fly in his gun barrel. Inhe was given his first comedic role in Support Your Local Sheriff! After his performances in those two films, Elam found his villainous parts dwindling and his comic roles increasing. Both films were also directed by Burt Kennedywho had seen Elam's potential as a comedian and Freak Train - Jux County - Simons Eyes direct him a total of 15 times in features and television.
In between those two films, he also played a comically cranky old coot opposite John Wayne in Howard Hawks 's Rio Lobo In he was cast as the Frankenstein monster in the CBS sitcom Struck by Lightningbut the show was cancelled after only three episodes the remaining eight were unaired and remain so to this day in the U.
Three years later, he returned in the same role in the film's sequel, Cannonball Run II. During production, Elam developed what would become a lifelong relationship with an year-old boy named Mickey Hays, who suffered from progeria.
Elam said, "You know I've met a lot of people, but I've never met anybody that got next to me like Mickey. Jack Elam was married twice, first to Jean Hodgert from to her death inand then to Margaret Jennison from until his own death. Elam died of congestive heart failure in Ashland, Oregon inFreak Train - Jux County - Simons Eyes a month before his 83rd birthday. He was survived by his wife Margaret; their daughter, Jacqueline; and his daughter and son from his previous marriage, Jeri and Scott.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American film and television actor. Miami, ArizonaU. Ashland, OregonU. The year is stated on both his birth and death Freak Train - Jux County - Simons Eyes . Retrieved July 27, Retrieved November 27, The Independent. Retrieved Bad Timing - Imperial State Electric - All Through The Night West Texas Historical Review.
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