James Remar is a renowned American actor and voice artist who has appeared in numerous popular roles on television and in films. He portrayed the famous character of ‘Harry Morgan’ in the crime series ‘Dexter’ for almost seven years. Remar appeared in regular roles in shows like ‘The Huntress’, ‘Total Security’, and ‘Black Lightning’. He also played important roles in the series ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Jericho’, ‘Grey's Anatomy’, and ‘State of Affairs’. Though Remar has appeared in many television shows, it is his film career that earned him fame early on. Known for playing cruel and villainous characters, he has delivered many memorable characters in films like ‘The Warriors’, ‘48 Hrs.’, ‘The Cotton Club’, and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. He played the role of ‘Ace Speck, Butch Pooch’ in Quentin Tarantino’s film ‘Django Unchained,’ which cemented his reputation as a much talented actor in Hollywood. Remar has also voiced many characters on television and has been nominated in multiple award shows in his career. He won the BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award with the cast of ‘The Legend of Korra’ in 2014.
James Remar entered the show business in the late 1970s, making his debut in the 1978 drama film ‘On the Yard’. The subsequent year, he appeared as the antagonist in the crime action film ‘The Warrior’. His role of the character ‘Ajax’ was challenging as he portrayed an out-of-control sexually violent character in the film which was based on Sol Yurick’s novel of the same title. This was his first film with director Walter Hill with whom he worked again three years later. In the next film, ‘48 Hrs.’, under Walter Hill, Remar appeared in another negative role. This time, his character of ‘Albert Ganz’ was a psychopath. Though the film was an action comedy film, there was nothing hilarious or funny about Remar’s character. After these two films, Remar built a reputation for pulling off negative roles with élan.
In the 1984 American crime drama film, ‘The Cotton Club’ Remar appeared in a yet another negative role. He portrayed ‘Dutch Schultz’, the notorious real-life Jewish-American mobster in the New York City area. In the 1986 sci-fi horror cult film, ‘Aliens’ Remar was supposed to play ‘Corporal Hicks’ but was eventually replaced by Michael Connell Biehn due to his alleged drug addiction. Remar’s portrayal of bad boys in films continued as he landed another such role, ‘Quill’, in the 1996 Australian-American superhero film ‘The Phantom’. The next year, he replaced Christopher Lambert in the sequel of the original film ‘Mortal Kombat’ for the role of ‘Raiden’. In the next two decades, Remar appeared in many popular films; however, the significance of his roles kept on decreasing. During this period, he appeared in movies like ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’, ‘Blade: Trinity’, ‘The Unborn’, and ‘X-Men: First Class’.
In the early 2010s, he landed two different but important roles in Quentin Tarantino's revisionist Western film ‘Django Unchained’. He played the characters ‘Ace Speck’ and ‘Butch Pooch’ in the film which also featured Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.
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James Remar is also a much popular figure on television. He has appeared in numerous television shows, in special roles as well as main roles. He made his television debut in 1981, appearing in the series ‘Hill Street Blues’. In the ensuing years, he appeared in shows and television films like ‘The Mystic Warrior’, ‘Miami Vice’, ‘The Equalizer’, ‘Deadly Nightmares’, and ‘Crime Story’. Remar played one of the main roles, ‘Frank Cisco,’ in the show ‘Total Security’ in 1997.
He portrayed the character of ‘Tiny Bellows’ (another main role), in the crime drama series ‘The Huntress.’ For almost seven years, Remar appeared in the crime mystery series ‘Dexter’ as ‘Harry Morgan’, the adoptive father of the title character. He was nominated at the Saturn Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his role. He also did voice acting in many shows like’ Ben 10: Ultimate Alien’, ‘Beware the Batman’, ‘The Legend of Korra’, and ‘Young Justice’. He is one of the lead cast members in the superhero television series ‘Black Lightning’, based on the DC Comics.
Family & Personal Life
William James Remar was born on December 31, 1953, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Elizabeth Mary and S. Roy Remar. His mother was a mental health state officer and his father was an attorney by profession. He attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, New York City to study acting.
He married Atsuko Itsuki in 1984 and has two children with her.