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Obscure Black C-Lister: Hawthorne James

25 January 2008 13 Comments

You didn’t think I was going to let Friday come without getting back into my C-Listers, did you?

By the time I really looked at Hawthorne James in his role as the bus driver in Speed, he already had over twenty credits to his name. His hair became my brother’s favorite insult for when I’d go to bed without a scarf on and I’d wake up with a poufy laid back mushroom – I really wish I could find a picture of it. Soon after he was on one of my favorite episodes of Martin, where he played Brother Claus, who came to bomb the tv station on Christmas and stuck a stick of dynamite in Pam’s french-roll/pump combo. Hilarious. He was also Big Red Davis in The Five Heartbeats and One Eyed Sam in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (“You were in the Secretary Corps too? Then how’d you lose your eye?” “Man, these fools were shootin’ paper clips and hit me in the damn eye!”). I wish I could find more information on him, but since James Hawthorne is a pretty common name the search has just been too tiring. I will tell you this – a male friend of mine was forced to re-evaluate his life after Hawthorne James made a winky-wink sex face at him at The Archlight movie theater in Hollywood one day. He was riding past on bicycle and wearing some little plaid shorts. And I know it was no case of mistaken identity because you just can’t miss anyone so big and red. I still say that along with Reynaldo Rey, he puts the “red” in “red carpet” for black Hollywood c-listers!


  • Slaus of O Hell Nawl said:

    damn.. dude still looks crogmagnum as hale.

  • Regina said:

    I absolutely hated this man in the 5 Heartbeats! He was so slimy! But when he hung dude out that window I was rolling!

  • Julian said:

    Thembi, what kinda black (American) magic are you conjuring with these posts???

    All I can imagnine is you wearing a black pointy hat, stirring a caldron pot, chanting, “Hawthorne James.. Evelyn Champagne King…” tryna bring that lady who played Mother Jefferson back to life.

  • BeckEye said:

    Oh my God, I LOVE “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” There was a time when it was on USA like every weekend, but I haven’t seen it in a loooong time.

  • Ginneh said:

    julian will you marry me?

  • jjbrock said:

    He is one scary looking dude. I can’t get pass that evil in The Five Heartbeats. He has to grow on you.

  • thechocl8tdiaries said:

    This dude always creeped me out and the pic of the dreads/twist got hime looking like The Predator…

  • Invisible Woman said:

    Watch out Thembi…Reynaldo Ray’s daughter already came after me on my blog for that comment you made about her daddy….you’re next! :-)

  • Thembi said:

    IW, let ’em come on then! I could easily get all free speech right now but the reality is these folks need to feel LUCKY that someone can be bothered (and for that matter, glad) to mention them! I dont see nobodys Bossip or even Blackvoices talkin about Reynaldo Rey!

  • Baby Please said:

    poufy laid back mushroom

    I wish I coulda seen this. LMAO.

    Clisters need love, too. LOL.

  • The Love Collective said:

    That line from “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” is classic. Thembi, you rock!

  • Malcolm said:

    One of my favorite scenes from I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is One Eyed Sam’s appearance. I remember all of those medals he had (one was for darts and I think another one was for typing).

  • Classick Material said:

    “my office hours are from nine to five…”

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