From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. James Ellison (May 4, 1910 - December 23, 1993) was an actor, born James Ellison Smith in Guthrie Center, Iowa, son of Edward James Smith and Ona Mary Ellis.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. James Ellison (May 4, 1910 - December 23, 1993) was an actor, born James Ellison Smith in Guthrie Center, Iowa, son of Edward James Smith and Ona Mary Ellis. Ellison appeared in nearly seventy films between 1932 and 1962. Ellison worked for a time in a film laboratory and while there was offered a screen test. He developed it himself and when he saw it, decided it was not satisfactory so he would not show it to the director. But he saw it anyway and Ellison got a contract. Despite his rugged good looks and height of 6 feet 3 inches, Ellisons limited range and somewhat wooden screen presence kept him from the first (or even second) ranks of stardom. He spent much of his career in Westerns, including a stint in the mid-thirties as the sidekick of Hopalong Cassidy in Paramounts successful series. In 1938, he played a charming, romantic character opposite 26 year old Lucille Ball in the comedy, Next Time I Marry, a film where Ball had her first top billing on screen credits. Before that, in 1936, he played his highest-profile role, as Buffalo Bill in Cecil B. DeMilles The Plainsman, which also starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Despite that films success, Ellison spent most of the remainder of his career shuttling between cowboy pictures and more varied roles, primarily in B movies with titles like Mr.