Prior to breaking into films, Philadelphia native Julius Harris worked as a bouncer in New York City.
It was due to his many associations with struggling actors, that on a dare, Harris auditioned for his first role, in the well-received picture Nothing But a Man (1964), in which he played a father in the South, alongside Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln.
After, this, the 40+ year old Harris’ impressive physique and deep voice helped enable him to rack up numerous appearances in the then popular blaxploitation genre.
It was Harris’ strong appearance in supporting roles in such low-budget films as Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), Super Fly (1972), and Black Caesar (1973), which helped springboard him into better quality productions.
Harris scored a co-starring role in the first Roger Moore James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973), in which his portrayal of the bald-headed, grinning villain “Tee Hee”, with the menacing artificial arm, has been one of the more fondly remembered heavies of the entire Bond series.
More work quickly followed for Harris, including NYPD “Inspector Daniels” in the original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), King Kong (1976), and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977).
In addition to his film work, he was guest-starring in numerous TV shows, including Harry O (1973), Sanford and Son (1972), Cannon (1971), Good Times (1974), and Kojak (1973).
Harris continued working throughout the 1980s in a mixture of different character roles, although the 1990s proved to be a leaner period for him.
Julius Harris passed away on 17th October 2004 from heart failure, at the age of 81. He was cremated and then interred in his hometown, and is survived by his daughter Kimberly, and son Gideon.
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