When it comes to the movie industry, there are actors who are not only on-screen stars but also are passionate about stage acting. This category is where Hawthorne James found himself and it was on the platform of being a stage actor that he was handpicked to play the role of Big Red in The Five Heartbeats.
Hawthorne James has also tried his hands on other aspects of the movie-making process such as screenwriting, producing, and directing which have earned him a spot in the limelight as a Hollywood star. The Afro-American actor was born to Robert Hawthorne and his wife, A.M. Alene. Hawthorne’s place of birth was in Chicago, Illinois and he lived there until his early teenage days when his parents had to relocate to Vandalia in Michigan.
Hawthorne James was a very brilliant chap who performed very well during his time at Holy Angels School and Hales Franciscan High School. Upon completion of his high school education, he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame where he studied Theater. Hawthorne later proceeded to the University of Michigan to obtain a Masters degree and later earned a scholarship to pursue his doctorate degree at Yale University as well as Cornell University.
6 Facts About Hawthorne James The Five Heartbeats Movie Star
1. He Started his Acting Career in Los Angeles
Hawthorne James is known to have launched his acting career when he moved to Los Angeles. After taking part in several stage competitions, he eventually won one and this brought him in contact with the African-American actor Ted Lange. Upon Ted’s persuasion, Hawthorne secured a scholarship to study acting to better hone his skills at the London Shakespeare Academy. He successfully completed his program there and moved back to LA to continue his career.
2. Hawthorne James Taught Theatre at the Illinois State University
Prior to starting a career as an actor, Hawthorne was notable for being a professor at Illinois State University. He held this position for about two years during which he taught Theatre at the University.
3. He Got his Breakthrough Role when he Acted as ‘Big Red’ in The Five Heartbeats
After several years of featuring in movies and plays with little or no recognition, Hawthorne James decided to take some time off acting. It was however during his break that he was persuaded to take on a role in the play Macbeth to which he reluctantly agreed. On the fateful day of his performance, the popular filmmaker, Robert Townsend was among the audience and he was intrigued with Hawthorne’s acting.
Subsequently, the actor was made an offer by Townsend to depict the character of Big Red in his movie The Five Heartbeats. More so, Hawthorne made a very significant contribution to the film which got a lot of people praising his initiative. The actor proposed that an additional scene be included in the movie where his character, Big Red visits the bereaved character, Eleanor to extend his condolence. Hawthorne got this idea from a notable play of Shakespeare named Richard III and it ended up being approved by the director of The Five Heartbeats.
4. The Actor has Featured in Very Successful Productions
Hawthorne James has undoubtedly enjoyed a thriving career both as a stage actor and a film actor. He has been seen in numerous stage plays and a long list of movies as well as sitcoms which have been highly successful.
His notable appearances are seen in the 1979 film Disco Godfather, The Color Purple (1985), Speed (1994), Heaven’s Prisoners (1996), The Lucky Girl (2015) and The Night Stalker (2016) amongst others. Some TV series that Hawthorne has featured in include the likes of ER, NYPD Blue, and Stargate SG-1
5. Hawthorne James has not Been in any Public Relationship
The Five Heartbeats star who has been in the entertainment industry for a long time is still very much single. Hawthorne has not been in any romantic relationship known to the public. For a man his age, we cannot rule out the fact that he must have a thing going on in his romantic life but he has been very secretive about it.
6. The Actor is Active on Social Media Platforms
It is also interesting to know that, Hawthorne James is very active on social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. He is also known to have an account with LinkedIn.