He was very close to the child actor Corey Feldman, who immensely praised him after his death.
Although he personally made a career out of playing psychotic heavies, in 1992 he was allowed to really stretch as a thespian with Robert Altman's "The Player".
He was born in Beaumont, California but then moved to Redlands, California at a young age.
Brion's first major screen role was in the movie The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.
He is survived by his two brothers Craig James and Chester James along with their families.
Some people say that his heart attack was caused due to his near-constant workload.
James appeared in over a hundred films and TV series before his career was cut short by a fatal heart attack.
He played villians with a menacing streak.
He married Maxine James in 1986, but they divorced in 1996.
He and actor Tim Thomerson served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam together and did movies together later on.
He went to college at San Diego State University and majored in theater arts.
He graduated from Beaumont High School in 1962.
His parents built and operated a movie theater, and movie stars would stop by every now and then.
He was 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 meters) tall.