James Reynolds

Recent Role:

Abe Carver on Days of our Lives


8/10/1950, Oskaloosa, Kansas, USA

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • It's not many acting hopefuls who get the chance to personally quiz the likes of Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Madeline Kahn and Peter Fonda on how to make it "big" in Hollywood, so when a young James Reynolds got the opportunity, he grabbed it. Having studied journalism in college, James spent time as a film reviewer for the Topeka Daily Capitol and, as part of his duties, interviewed a number of filmdom's brightest talents. James' research paid off as viewers who have seen him regularly on Days Of Our Lives and Generations will attest. After serving as stalwart police Commander Abe Carver on Days Of Our Lives for nine years, James moved to the new series, Generations in 1991 to play powerful business tycoon Henry Marshall. He was rewarded for his powerful portrayal with an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. With the subsequent demise of that series, James was invited to return to Days Of Our Lives where he has been promoted in rank to Commander and named the top law enforcement official in Salem, the mythical community which is home to Days Of Our Lives. James has subsequently established Abe Carver as the longest running African-American character in television history, and James, of course, the only African-American actor to portray a single character for so many years. Despite his heavy schedule on the series, James, along with partner Morey Sullivan, still finds time to head Free State Productions, a film and TV production company headquartered in Kansas, and to make occasional appearances on stage in Los Angeles. He starred in Buffalo Soldier, a taut drama about black US Army troops in the American West following the Civil War for which he was nominated for a NAACP Theatre Award. When time permits, James tours colleges in his one-man show, I, Too, Am America, a commentary on the African-American experience from the time the first slaves were brought to this country up to the present. James and wife Lissa are also the Artistic Directors for the award winning Fremont Centre Theatre. James, and his wife, actress Lissa Layng Reynolds, own and operate s Unlimited a learning centre in South Pasadena, California, where one can enrol in such s as "How to Write a Romance Novel", "Rapid Spanish", "Basic Bookkeeping", "Gold Prospecting", many computer s, and a variety of other s. The South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce recently named James and Lissa Business Persons of the Year. The Pasadena Weekly has also named them as one of the one hundred most influential couples in the Pasadena area. One of James' greatest honors is being named to the Kansas Historical Society's list of famous Kansans, a list that includes such notables as President Dwight Eisenhower, Amelia Earhardt, Langston Hughes, Barry Sanders, and many others. Deeply committed to his charitable work, James has been involved in more than 300 fund raising events in the last ten years. He annually hosts a "Bowl-a-thon" in Los Angeles to benefit the National Asthma Center and a celebrity basketball game in South Pasadena for the city's schools. Haven House (a home for battered women and children in Pasadena), the PTA, YMCA, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, The National Asthma Center, The National Jewish Hospital, the Boy Scouts of America and numerous other national and local charities and service organizations have recognized James' work with awards and commendations. James, Lissa, their son Jed and other members of their family have established 'Big Men Stuff'; a company that utilizes clothing items with slogan embroidered on them (such as: Big Men Don't Hit They Hug) to help in the fight against abuse. James' son, Jed is a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara. James is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who African-Americans, Who's Who in Business, and Who's Who International.moreless

    Birth Name:

    James V. Reynolds



    Birth Place:

    Oskaloosa, Kansas, USA

  • Photos (1)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (6)

    • James: (on speaking at a memorial honouring Dr. Martin Luther King) It was really wonderful and touching. Kent State University was the last school that he spoke at before he was murdered. It was 39 years ago, and he was 39 at the time. They dedicated a bust to Martin Luther King and renamed a street after him in Manhatten, Kansas, which is where Kent State University is locate. I was honoured to be asked to give the keynote address at the same place, and at the same time Martin Luther King died.

    • James: (on growing up in Oskaloosa, Kansas) It was great growing up in a small town. The town's entire population came to only eight hundred, at that time, and our lifestyle was generally one of peace and quiet, disturbed only rarely by an unexpected event. My grandparents told me of the time they were held hostage overnight by several escaped convicts from the nearby Leavenworth Federal Prison. That, of course, was the exception to the rule and it was the biggest news event to occur in Oskaloosa within anyone's memory when I was growing up there.

    • James: (on Jason Cook's directorial debut, "Social Security Guard") I was very impressed. He had a great cast - and as a theatre director myself, I know that the first thing you look for is a great cast.

    • James: Part of me would love to teach history at college, but I've been a journalist in the past and would love to become a novelist. I'd like to sit at home and write a book on my computer.

    • James: (when asked if he watches other soaps) I like a lot of shows. The Young & The Restless, General Hospital, and All My Children has been a long-time favorite. I flip channels and watch shows periodically. We must vote for the Daytime Emmys, of course, and I like to be informed and see everyone's work.

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    Trivia (19)

    • James hosted the 18th Annual Days Of Our Lives Celebrity Charity Basketball game in 2007. The event was held in aid of the South Pasadena High School Boys Basketball Program and the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House.

    • In June 2007, James was rushed to hospital to undergo emergency open-heart surgery for a faulty heart valve. James made a full recovery and returned to work in six weeks.

    • In April 2007, James was invited to speak at a memorial honouring civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King.

    • James is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who African-Americans, Who's Who in Business, and Who's Who International.

    • James, Lissa, and their son Jed and other members of their family have established 'Big Men Stuff'; a company that utilises clothing items with slogans embroidered on them (such as: Big Men Don't Hit They Hug) to help in the fight against abuse.

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