| David Geeves|
| 19 December 1927 (1927-12-19) Croydon, Surrey, England|
August 11, 2005, Hadleigh, United Kingdom
Paula Delaney (m. 1960–2005)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Tony
Zulu, American Ninja 4: The Anni, Sparrows Can't Sing, Avenging Force, Keeping Mum
Stanley Baker, Sam Firstenberg, Cy Endfield, Nigel Green, Jack Hawkins
James Booth (born David Geeves; 19 December 1927 – 11 August 2005) was an English film, stage and television actor and screenwriter. Though considered handsome enough to play leading roles, and versatile enough to play a wide variety of character parts, Booth naturally projected a shifty, wolfish, or unpredictable quality that led inevitably to villainous roles and comedy, usually with a cockney flavour. He is probably best known for his role as Private Henry Hook in Zulu.
He was born in Croydon, Surrey on 19 December 1927, the son of a probation officer. He was educated at Southend Grammar School, which he left aged 17 to join the army. He rose to the rank of Captain. He spent several years working for an international trading company. However, his interest in acting soon took priority. He was trained at RADA and he made his first professional appearance as a member of the Old Vic company, before joining Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in 1958. The Workshop's musical Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be became a hit and Booth, who played its most pungent character, looked poised for stardom. Producer Irving Allen signed Booth to an exclusive contract with Warwick Films.
The early 1960s represented the most active period of Booth's film career, with Zulu being the film for which he is best remembered. Joseph E. Levine put him under contract.
Though many observers expected Booth to become a major star, his acting career stalled and nearly stopped. In interviews, Booth was forthcoming about the reasons for his professional difficulties. These included his appearance in the flop stage musical Twang! in 1965, the flop film The Secret of My Success opposite such popular actresses as Honor Blackman and Shirley Jones, his alcoholism, his unaggressive approach to selling himself, his lack of connections and his own failure to work hard because everything came so easily to him at first. Booth also turned down the lead role of Alfie. By 1974 he was bankrupt, heavily in debt and was forced to return to the stage.
When no one would offer Booth an acting job, he tried his hand at screenwriting and found opportunities in Hollywood. From the mid-1970s to sometime in the 1990s, Booth lived in southern California and worked primarily as a screenwriter, making occasional film or TV appearances, including a cameo appearance in the second series of Twin Peaks. He played a pornography baron living in enforced exile in Spain in series 2 of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet in 1985.
In later life Booth moved back to Britain. He never retired from performing.
He married Paula Delaney in 1960 and they had two sons and two daughters and lived in Hadleigh, Essex where he died on 11 August 2005 aged 77. His last film - Keeping Mum - was dedicated to his memory.
James Booth Wikipedia