Famous for his portrayal of Leon Kowalski in the 1982 film Blade Runner. He also played memorable character roles in Southern Comfort, Showdown, The Fifth Element, and numerous other movies.
Before beginning his screen acting career, he studied theatre at San Diego State University.
Though he usually played supporting roles, he starred in one movie -- a late 1980s thriller titled The Horror Show.
The child of movie theater owners Jimmy and Ida Mae James, he grew up in Beaumont, California. His marriage to Maxine James ended in divorce in 1996.
He appeared with Ryan O'Neal in the 1976 comedy movie Nickelodeon.