Brion James, 54, a character actor whose 103 film roles included a murderous replicant in "Blade Runner" and a studio executive in "The Player," died Aug. 7 at UCLA Medical Center after suffering a heart attack at his home in Malibu, Calif.
Often cast as a heavy or lowlife, and sporting a malevolent smile, the 6-foot-3 actor appeared in more than 100 television shows. He also played Gen. Munro in "The Fifth Element" and had appeared in "48 HRS," "Another 48 HRS" and "Cabin Boy."
As the replicant Leon, in "Blade Runner," Mr. James delivered one of the film's most notable lines: "Wake up . . . time to die."
"This is the first sequel I've ever been in," Mr. James said in a Los Angeles Times interview after "Another 48 HRS" opened in 1990, "because I rarely live through a film. I've been boiled in oil, I've had my head ripped off by a freeway overpass, I've been thrown off a cliff . . . I've killed a lot of people, too."
Mr. James regarded his studio executive role in Robert Altman's "The Player" as a career turning point that opened up a larger variety of roles for him. Nevertheless, he remained in greatest demand for thrillers, which often went straight to video.
Although films were his major metier, Mr. James also appeared on television movies and in guest roles on series such as "The Waltons," "CHIPs," "Little House on the Prairie," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "The A-Team," "Matlock," "Miami Vice" and "Walker, Texas Ranger."
Born in Beaumont, Calif., Mr. James was the son of an educator who owned the local movie theater. He was a theater major in college and studied acting in New York with the respected Stella Adler.
Philippe Mora, who directed Mr. James in such satires as "Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills," said James could not afford to pay acting coach Adler, so he earned his lessons by working as her cook and butler.
He appeared in several off-Broadway productions, including "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "Picnic," "West Side Story" and "Lady Windermere's Fan."
Survivors include two brothers.