James Reynolds - Just keeps breaking those records!

James Reynolds - Just keeps breaking those records!

First Published: May 2002 - (updated 12/2923)
James Reynolds | Working Actor

James Reynolds | Working Actor

Michael Landon, Roscoe Lee Browne, James Reynolds | "Highway to Heaven" (1984)
James Reynolds | "Days of our Lives" (1981-present)
James Reynolds | "Days of our Lives" (1981-present)
James Reynolds | "Days of our Lives" (1981-present)
James Reynolds | "Days of our Lives" (1981-present)
James Reynolds | Working Actor
James Reynolds | Working Actor
James Reynolds | Working Actor
James Reynolds | Working Actor
James Reynolds | Working Actor

James Reynolds, it is believed, may have logged more hours on television than any other African-American actor in the U.S. (since 1981). We made that statement in May of 2002 when we first published this profile. At that time, with over 19 years on "Days of our Lives" and another year as an Emmy nominated lead of NBC-TV's "Generations", he had averaged over 100 hours of airtime each year. Today that number has been blown out of the park. Mr. Reynolds has now been a Working Actor like no other amassing over 940 episodes on "Days" alone!

Reynolds was raised in the small farming community of Oskaloosa Kansas. "It was great growing up in a small town", he recalls. "The town's entire population came to only eight hundred 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 OskaIoosa within anyone's memory".

In high school, the subjects Reynolds enjoyed most were English and History. With a small student body, there was never any shortage of extra-curricular activities and, in addition to performing in many school plays, he became very active in sports, playing football, basketball and track.

Following graduation from high school, Reynolds joined the Marines. After boot camp he was assigned to the Information Service Office where, first stationed in Hawaii, he became a reporter for the service newspaper, The Windward Marine. Later he was sent to Vietnam and served for almost a year with a variety of units in and around Chu Lai, adding battlefield reporting to his combat duties, until a wound resulted in his discharge.

Returning to the States, Reynolds enrolled in Topeka's Washburn University, majoring in pre-law and journalism. Advised that the best place on campus to meet girls was the theatre department, he began auditioning and performing in plays. In addition to his improved social life, Reynolds reaped another unexpected benefit -- he discovered a passion for acting. He went an to appear not only in regular campus productions of musicals and dramatic plays, but with local theatre groups as well.

Reynolds enjoyed campus life but, after all the travel he did in the service, he often became restless and took periodic breaks from his studies in order to travel the country. Working the docks of Houston, the orange groves of southern California or hopping freight trains in between, he got a unique look at the U.S. before deciding to leave school permanently and heading to San Francisco where he worked as an actor for a time.

A few months after landing in San Francisco, Reynolds' life took another turn. Finding it necessary for family reasons to return to Kansas, he used his experiences and background in journalism to land a post with the Topeka Daily Capitol for which he wrote on theatre, film and music. It was here, over a period of almost two years, that he met and interviewed many film and TV stars on tour with stage plays and it was here that he resolved to pursue a professional career in acting. When he learned a few years later that a new repertory was being organized in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he auditioned and was accepted. Reynolds played major roles in a number of productions until, barely through its inaugural season, the company went broke. Undaunted, Reynolds simply walked into the offices of the Colorado Springs Sun and landed another newspaper job as entertainment reviewer and feature writer, a job which still allowed him time to investigate other acting jobs in the area. Soon, he landed his first television commercial as well as a featured role in "Mr. Majestyk", which starred Charles Bronson and was filmed in Colorado.

Finally moving to Los Angeles, Reynolds soon amassed an impressive list of prime time television and motion picture credits as well as becoming one of the foundation blocks of " Days of Our Lives". In addition to guest spots on such series as "Seinfeld", "Highway to Heaven", "Room 227" and "Hart to Hart", he co-starred with Vincent Price in CBS's "Time Express" and appeared in such films as "The Magic of Lassie", "The Foundation" and "Hotline". Continuing his interest in theatre, he organized and ran the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre for seven years.

Deeply committed to his charitable work, Reynolds has been involved in more that 300 fund-raising events in the last ten years. He annually hosts a celebrity basketball game that raises money for South Pasadena's High School basketball team.

Reynolds, wife Lissa, and son Jed also own and operate Big Man Apparel, a line of clothing that takes a stand against domestic abuse (tee-shirts bear slogans such as "Big Men Don't Hit, They Hug"). They devote a portion of the proceeds to various children's charities.

Reynolds is still an active sportsman, enjoying basketball and racquetball on his days off. He and his wife make their home in suburban Los Angeles.



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James Reynolds' Credits

 1981-2018 Days of Our Lives (TV Series)
Abe Carver

- Episode #1.13343 (2018) ... Abe Carver
- Episode #1.13312 (2018) ... Abe Carver
- Episode #1.13311 (2018) ... Abe Carver
- Episode #1.13310 (2018) ... Abe Carver
- Episode #1.13299 (2018) ... Abe Carver
 2023/III The Farm 
 2022 Dying to Learn (Short) 
Mr. Cody

 2021 Promiseland (TV Series) 
Victor Willard

- Say Goodbye (2021) ... Victor Willard
- Mercy (2021) ... Victor Willard
- Dreams of Our Fathers (2021) ... Victor Willard
- The Goldens (2021) ... Victor Willard
- The Willards (2021) ... Victor Willard
- Welcome to Paloma Creek (2021) ... Victor Willard

 2021 Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem (TV Mini Series) 
Abe Carver

- Endgame (2021) ... Abe Carver
- Cat and Mouse (2021) ... Abe Carver
- This Means War (2021) ... Abe Carver
- The Alamainian Peacock (2021) ... Abe Carver
 2021 Promiseland (TV Movie) 
Victor Willard
 2000 Days of Our Lives' 35th Anniversary (TV Movie)
Abraham 'Abe' Carver

 1994 Seinfeld (TV Series)

- The Pledge Drive (1994) ... Banker

 1990 227 (TV Series)
Mr. Cromwell

- The Class of '90 (1990) ... Mr. Cromwell
 1989 Generations (TV Series)
Henry Marshall #2 (1990-1991)

 1988 Highway to Heaven (TV Series)
Dr. Sims

- Country Doctor (1988) ... Dr. Sims
 1982 Hotline (TV Movie)
Ron Chandler (as James V. Reynolds)

 1981 Magnum, P.I. (TV Series)
Frank La Rue

- Don't Say Goodbye (1981) ... Frank La Rue (as Jim Reynolds)

 1981 Hart to Hart (TV Series)

- Ex-Wives Can Be Murder (1981) ... Doctor

 1981 The Dukes of Hazzard (TV Series)

- Good Neighbors, Duke (1981) ... Clayton

 1979-1980 Diff'rent Strokes (TV Series)
Mr. Payton / Mr. Gibson

- The Bank Job (1980) ... Mr. Gibson
- The Adoption: Part 2 (1979) ... Mr. Payton
- The Adoption: Part 1 (1979) ... Mr. Payton
 1980 M Station: Hawaii (TV Movie)
Barsak (as Jim Reynolds)
 1979 C.H.O.M.P.S.

 1979 The World's Greatest SuperFriends (TV Series)
African Leader / Additional Voices

- Terror at 20,000 Fathoms (1979) ... African Leader (voice)
- Rub Three Times for Disaster (1979) ... Additional Voices (voice)

 1979 The Incredible Hulk (TV Series)

- Metamorphosis (1979) ... Ken

 1979 Time Express (TV Series)
R.J. Walker / Conductor R.J. Walker

- The Death/Boxer (1979) ... R.J. Walker
- Rodeo/Cop (1979) ... Conductor R.J. Walker
- The Copy-Writer/The Figure Skater (1979) ... R.J. Walker
- Garbage Man/Doctor's Wife (1979) ... R.J. Walker
 1979 Jennifer: A Woman's Story (TV Movie)
Tom (hospital receptionist)
 1978 Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (TV Movie)
 1978 The Magic of Lassie
Officer Wilson (as James V. Reynolds)

 1977 Bigfoot and Wildboy (TV Series)
Tech Sergeant

- Sonic Projector (1977) ... Tech Sergeant
 1977 Fun with Dick and Jane
Johnson, Income Maintenance Technician (uncredited)

 1977 Keeper of the Wild (TV Series)
Paul Limkula

- Episode #1.1 (1977) ... Paul Limkula
 1974 Mr. Majestyk
Black Prisoner (uncredited)
"Final Reunion"
"Journey To Day"
"Paul Robeson: An American Tragedy"
"I, Too, An America"
"A Thousand Clowns"
"H,M.S. Pinafore"
"Julius Caesar"
"The Odd Couple"
"Billy Budd"
Harry Bales
Dr. Louis Gutera
Alexander Pushkin
Paul Robeson
One-Man Show
Founding Father
Leo Herman
Sir Joseph
John Claggart
Whitefire Theatre
L.A. Rep Theatre
L.A. Rep Theatre
New Playrights Foundation
L.A. Cultural Arts Center
Toff-Rey Prods,, L,A,
Toff-Rey Prods., L.A.
Vassar Playhouse
Vassar Playhouse
Vassar Playhouse
Company Rep Group
Company Rep Group

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