Biography

James A. Westerfield (22 March 1913 – 20 September 1971) was an American actor of stage, film, and television.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, to candy-maker Brasher Omier Westerfield and his wife Dora Elizabeth Bailey, he was raised in Detroit, Michigan. (A news story in the June 12, 1949, issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle calls the information in the preceding sentence into question. It describes Westerfield as "the son of a famous producer-director" and says that he was "a youngster in Denver, Col.")

He became interested in theatre as a young man and in the 1930s joined Gilmor Brown's famed Pasadena Community Playhouse, appearing in dozens of plays. He played in numerous films following his debut in 1940, then went to New York City and appeared on Broadway, winning two New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for his supporting roles in The Madwoman of Chaillot and Detective Story. He then returned to Hollywood and made more than 40 more films. Westerfield maintained an interest in the theatre. He directed more than 50 musicals in a summer-musical tent he owned in Danbury, Connecticut, and was the original stage director and producer for the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. He directed three seasons of "Theatre Under the Stars" in Vancouver, British Columbia, and appeared in musical roles with the Detroit Civic Light Opera, the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, and the San Francisco Civic Light Opera.

On film, Westerfield had roles in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), On The Waterfront (1954), Lucy Gallant (1955), the 1957 Budd Boetticher-directed Western Decision at Sundown starring Randolph Scott, Cowboy (1958), a repeating role in The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) and its sequel Son of Flubber (1963), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Man's Favorite Sport (1964), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), Hang 'Em High (1968) and True Grit (1969).

Westerfield had many roles on television, including seven episodes as John Murrel from 1963 to 1964 on ABC's The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, starring child actor Kurt Russell in the title role. He made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Sheriff Bert Elmore in the 1957 episode, "The Case of the Angry Mourner." He also appeared in an episode of The Lone Ranger in 1954 entitled "Texas Draw."

Westerfield's other appearances were on such series as The Rifleman, The Californians, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, The Alaskans, The Rebel, Straightaway, Going My Way, The Asphalt Jungle, Hazel, The Andy Griffith Show, Daniel Boone, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Gunsmoke. He played the circus leader, Dr. Marvello, in an episode of Lost in Space "Space Circus" (1966).

Westerfield as a young man was a roommate of fellow Pasadena Playhouse actor George Reeves. The two remained close friends until Reeves's death in 1959.

Westerfield was married to Alice G. Fay (an actress under the name Fay Tracey), who, along with his mother, survived him. Westerfield died from a heart attack in Woodlands Hills, California, at the age of fifty-eight.

James A. Westerfield (22 March 1913 – 20 September 1971) was an American actor of stage, film, and television.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, to candy-maker Brasher Omier Westerfield and his wife Dora Elizabeth Bailey, he was raised in Detroit, Michigan. (A news story in the June 12, 1949, issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle calls the information in the preceding sentence into question. It describes Westerfield as "the son of a famous producer-director" and says that he was "a youngster in Denver, Col.")

He became interested in theatre as a young man and in the 1930s joined Gilmor Brown's famed Pasadena Community Playhouse, appearing in dozens of plays. He played in numerous films following his debut in 1940, then went to New York City and appeared on Broadway, winning two New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for his supporting roles in The Madwoman of Chaillot and Detective Story. He then returned to Hollywood and made more than 40 more films. Westerfield maintained an interest in the theatre. He directed more than 50 musicals in a summer-musical tent he owned in Danbury, Connecticut, and was the original stage director and producer for the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. He directed three seasons of "Theatre Under the Stars" in Vancouver, British Columbia, and appeared in musical roles with the Detroit Civic Light Opera, the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, and the San Francisco Civic Light Opera.

On film, Westerfield had roles in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), On The Waterfront (1954), Lucy Gallant (1955), the 1957 Budd Boetticher-directed Western Decision at Sundown starring Randolph Scott, Cowboy (1958), a repeating role in The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) and its sequel Son of Flubber (1963), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Man's Favorite Sport (1964), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), Hang 'Em High (1968) and True Grit (1969).

Westerfield had many roles on television, including seven episodes as John Murrel from 1963 to 1964 on ABC's The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, starring child actor Kurt Russell in the title role. He made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Sheriff Bert Elmore in the 1957 episode, "The Case of the Angry Mourner." He also appeared in an episode of The Lone Ranger in 1954 entitled "Texas Draw."

Westerfield's other appearances were on such series as The Rifleman, The Californians, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, The Alaskans, The Rebel, Straightaway, Going My Way, The Asphalt Jungle, Hazel, The Andy Griffith Show, Daniel Boone, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Gunsmoke. He played the circus leader, Dr. Marvello, in an episode of Lost in Space "Space Circus" (1966).

Westerfield as a young man was a roommate of fellow Pasadena Playhouse actor George Reeves. The two remained close friends until Reeves's death in 1959.

Westerfield was married to Alice G. Fay (an actress under the name Fay Tracey), who, along with his mother, survived him. Westerfield died from a heart attack in Woodlands Hills, California, at the age of fifty-eight.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 86

Birthday 1913-03-22

Day of Death 1971-09-20

Place of Birth Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.

Official Site -

Also Known As

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Acting TV ShowsMovies

1971 Dead Aim as John Applebee
1969 The Love God? as Rev. Wilkerson
1969 True Grit as Judge Parker
1969 Smith! as Sheriff
1969 Bartleby the Scrivener as The Lawyer
1968 The Outcasts(1 episode)
1968 Hang 'em High as Prisoner
1968 Blue as Abe Parker
1967 Mannix(1 episode)
1967 Judd for the Defense(1 episode)
1966 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round as Jack Balter
1966 The Time Tunnel(1 episode)
1965 The Big Valley(1 episode)
1965 Green Acres(1 episode)
1965 Lost in Space(1 episode)
1965 That Funny Feeling as Officer Brokaw
1965 The Sons of Katie Elder as Mr. Vennar
1964 Profiles in Courage(1 episode)
1964 Daniel Boone(2 episodes)
1964 Bewitched(1 episode)
1964 Man's Favorite Sport? as Policeman
1963 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters(2 episodes)
1963 The Great Adventure(1 episode)
1963 Son of Flubber as Police Officer Hanson
1963 The Dakotas(1 episode)
1962 Going My Way(1 episode)
1962 The Beverly Hillbillies(1 episode)
1962 Birdman of Alcatraz as Jess Younger
1961 Straightaway(1 episode)
1961 Homicidal as Alfred S. Adrims
1961 The Asphalt Jungle(1 episode)
1961 The Absent-Minded Professor as Officer Hanson
1960 The Plunderers as Mike Baron - Saloon Owner
1960 The Andy Griffith Show(1 episode)
1960 My Three Sons(1 episode)
1960 Thriller(1 episode)
1960 The Tall Man(1 episode)
1960 Wild River as Cal Garth
1959 The Rebel(1 episode)
1959 The Alaskans(1 episode)
1959 The Twilight Zone(1 episode)
1959 Johnny Ringo(1 episode)
1959 Law of the Plainsman(1 episode)
1959 Tightrope(1 episode)
1959 The Hangman as Herb Loftus
1959 The Gunfight at Dodge City as Reverend Howard
1959 The Shaggy Dog as Officer Hanson
1959 Rawhide(2 episodes)
1958 Bat Masterson(1 episode)
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse(1 episode)
1958 The Rifleman(2 episodes)
1958 The Texan(1 episode)
1958 Wanted: Dead or Alive(1 episode)
1958 The Proud Rebel as Birm Bates
1958 Cowboy as Mike Adams
1957 Decision at Sundown as Otis, the Bartender
1957 Trackdown(1 episode)
1957 The Walter Winchell File(1 episode)
1957 Maverick(2 episodes)
1957 Perry Mason(2 episodes)
1957 Jungle Heat
1957 Richard Diamond, Private Detective(1 episode)
1956 Three Brave Men as Chief O'Reilly
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater(1 episode)
1956 State Trooper(1 episode)
1956 The Adventures of Jim Bowie(1 episode)
1955 Man with the Gun as Mr. Zender (drummer)
1955 The 20th Century Fox Hour(1 episode)
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents(2 episodes)
1955 Gunsmoke(4 episodes)
1955 The Cobweb as James Petlee
1955 The Violent Men as Sheriff Magruder
1954 Three Hours to Kill as Sam Minor
1954 The Human Jungle as Capt. Marty Harrison
1954 Lassie(1 episode)
1954 On the Waterfront as Big Mac
1954 Inner Sanctum(1 episode)
1953 General Electric Theater(2 episodes)
1950 Side Street as Charlie (policeman)
1948 Studio One(2 episodes)
1948 The Philco Television Playhouse(2 episodes)
1946 Undercurrent as Henry Gilson
1946 The Chase as Job the Butler
1942 About Face as Soldier with Daisy
1941 Highway West as Swede, Trucker at Cafe
1940 The Howards of Virginia as Backwoodsman

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