James Coburn dead at 74 – The legendary actor died of a heart attack on Monday. Coburn had his first hit in Hollywood in 1960 with his role as Britt in “The Magnificent Seven,” the popular Western version of Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai.”
In 1963, he played Sedgwick the Aussie Manufacturer in the World War II prison-camp comedy “The Great Escape.”
Coburn made a splash in the mid-’60s with his character Derek Flint in the Bond-like spy spoof series, which included “Our Man Flint” (1966) and “In Like Flint” (1967) and is considered to be one of the major influences for Mike Myers’ “Austin Powers” series.
His major credits in the 1970s included the Spaghetti Western classic “Duck, You Sucker” and Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” which featured Bob Dylan in one of his few acting roles.
Coburn’s career was spotty in the ’80s due to a debilitating case of arthritis, but he was able to continue taking roles occasionally as he battled the disease. He also appeared in “Maverick” (1994), “Eraser” (1996), “The Nutty Professor” (1996) and “Payback” (1999).
In 1997, he won an Academy Award for his role as Glen Whitehouse in the drama “Affliction.” He also provided the voice for Henry J. Waternoose III in the animated Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.”
His most recent credits are the “The Man from Elysian Fields” (2002), which stars Andy Garcia, and “American Gun” (2002).
Coburn is survived by his wife, two children, Lisa and James, and two grand-children.