James Coburn

Born: 31 August 1928, Laurel, Nebraska, USA.
Died: 18 November 2002, Beverly Hills, California, USA.

Having seen his performance as the knife-throwing Britt in 'The Magnificent Seven', James Coburn was one of Leone's first choices to play the 'Man With No Name' in 'A Fistful of Dollars' - but it proved unrealistic for the little known director to secure such a star.

Seven years later, Coburn was refusing to work on the set of 'Duck You Sucker', believing he had been hired to make a Leone film, and insisted that the director take the helm.

'Duck You Sucker' is the least immediately accessible of Leone's films, but perhaps this is partly due to the greater depth of characterisation of the lead players, and the film certainly becomes more rewarding with repeated viewings.

Coburn will also be remembered for his portrayal of 'Derek Flint' in two spoof spy films, long before Austin Powers. Personally, 'Cross of Iron' is one of my favorite Coburn performances.

A great Hollywood star that will be sadly missed.

Spaghetti credentials:
Duck You Sucker (1971)
Massacre at Fort Holman (1972)