James Stacy Biography

(American Film and Television Actor Best Known for His Role in the TV Series ‘Lancer’)

Birthday: December 23, 1936 (Capricorn)

Born In: Los Angeles, California, United States

James Stacy was the stage name of Maurice William Elias, an Emmy-nominated American actor, known for his role as a gun-slinging drifter in TV Western ‘Lancer.’ Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, he was initially interested in playing professional football. He began his career with minor roles, mainly on TV. After a number of guest appearances, he got a break as ‘Johnny Madrid Lancer’ in the CBS western ‘Lancer,’ which brought him recognition. A motorcycle accident in 1973 resulted in amputation of his left arm and leg, but he returned to acting in two years and gave some brilliant performances in specialized roles. He earned two Emmy nominations for his work in the TV movie ‘Just a Little Inconvenience,’ and the series ‘Cagney and Lacey.’ He retired from acting in 1992. In 1995-1996, he was convicted and sentenced for molesting a friend’s 11-year-old daughter. He served 6 year prison term at ‘California Institution for Men,’ Chino. Stacy was twice married and divorced, and had a daughter from his second marriage. He died of anaphylactic shock at the age of 79.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Maurice William Elias, Jim Stacey

Died At Age: 79


Spouse/Ex-: Connie Stevens (m. 1963; div. 1966), Kim Darby (m. 1968; div. 1969)

father: Louis Nicholson Elias

mother: Lois M. Naylor Dugan

children: Heather

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Died on: September 9, 2016

place of death: Ventura, California, United States

Cause of Death: Anaphylactic Shock

Ancestry: Lebanese American

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

Childhood & Early Life
Stacy was born on December 23, 1936, in Los Angeles, to an Irish-Scottish mother, Lois M. Naylor Dugan, and a Lebanese father, Louis Nicholson Elias, who had immigrated to the US as an infant, with his parents. Stacy’s father worked as a bookmaker, while his mother was a waitress. He had five siblings.
Stacy got interested in films during his youth when he worked as a cinema-hall usher. For some time, he joined ‘Glendale Community College,’ California. He was signed on by the ‘British Columbia Lions’ of ‘Canadian Football League’ to play professional football, but he was removed from the team after two months.
On a cousin’s suggestion, he joined acting classes and took the stage name ‘Stacy.’ He went to New York for a brief period to work in Pepsi-Cola commercial, before returning to California.
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Stacy made his screen debut in an uncredited role of a ‘reporter,’ in the 1957 film ‘Sayonara,’ which starred Marlon Brando. He made his TV debut in ‘Highway Patrol.’. During (4)1956 to 1963, he appeared in a recurring role of ‘Fred’ [Ricky Nelson’s friend], in 19 episodes of the sitcom ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.’
During the 60s, he made regular guest appearances in such TV series as ‘Shannon,’ ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Hazel,’ ‘The Donna Reed Show,’ ‘Cheyenne,’ ‘Have Gun – Will Travel,’ ‘Combat,’ ‘Mister Roberts,’ and ‘Perry Mason,’ among others.
In 1968, Stacy got a break in CBS Western ‘Lancer’ as half-Mexican ‘Johnny Madrid Lancer,’ one of the two half-brothers called by their father [played by Andrew Duggan] to save their ranch. This role of a former gunslinger in the 51-episodes series, which ended in 1970, brought him a lot of recognition. He appeared in South Pacific’ (1958) and‘Summer Magic’(1963), before appearing in ‘Lancer.’
Stacy met with a fatal accident on September 27, 1973, whileriding his bike with his girlfriend, Claire Cox, along the Benedict Canyon, Hollywood Hills. A drunk driver from the wrong side of the road hit the bike, killing Claire Cox. Stacy lost his left arm and leg in the accident. His ex-wife, Connie Stevens, and other friends organized a celebrity gala, which was attended by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and other celebrities to help Stacy. The gala raised $118,000, and later Stacy won a $1.9 million lawsuit against the Beverly Hills bar that had served alcohol to the driver. He won a suit of $175 thousand against Los Angeles administration by proving that the road [where the accident occurred] was poorly maintained.
After 2 years, Stacy resumed work. In 1975, he appeared in the Western ‘Posse,’ as a newspaper editor ‘Harold Hellman,’ a role which Kirk Douglas had specially written to accommodate Stacy’s infirmity. In the 1977 TV movie ‘Just a Little Inconvenience,’ he played the role of an embittered Vietnam veteran with double amputation. Stacy received his first ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ nomination for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special’ for this performance.
Stacy produced and acted in the TV movie ‘My Kidnapper, My Love’ [1980]. This was based on a novel by Oscar Saul; Stacy’s brother, Louie Elias, had modified the screenplay to suit Stacy’s physical condition.
In 1983, Stacy appeared in the film ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and later in the TV series ‘Hotel’ [1985] and ‘Highway to Heaven’ [1987]. For his guest appearance in episode ‘The Gimp’ of the CBS series ‘Cagney & Lacey’ [1986], Stacy received his second ‘Emmy Award’ nomination for ‘Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.’ Before retiring from films and TV, he appeared as ‘Ed Rogosheske’ in 5 episodes of ‘WiseGuy,’ in 1990.
Conviction & Prison Sentence
In November 1995, Stacy was arrested and charged with molesting a friend’s 11-year-old daughter after inviting her for a swim at his Ojai, California house. Before the hearing on December 7, 1995, he fled to Honolulu, Hawaii, and attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff at Pali Lookout, Oahu, but fell on a ledge 45 feet below. He returned to California and in March 1996, and was sentenced to 6 years prison term, which he served at ‘California Institution for Men’ at Chino. He was considered for probation, but his two arrests in June 1995, for prowling at other girls’ places, made the prosecutor seek prison term.
Family & Personal Life
Stacy met actor-singer Connie Stevens while shooting for ‘Summer Magic’ [1963] and the two got married on October 12, 1963, but the marriage did not work and they divorced in 1966. In 1968, he married actor Kim Darby whom he met on the set of ‘Gunsmoke.’ The couple had a daughter, Heather. They divorced in 1969.
Stacy died on September 9, 2016, in Ventura, California. According to his fiancée Antigoni Tsamparlis, he died of anaphylactic shock after administration of antibiotics.

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