Veteran actor James Hampton has died at the age of 84, passing away at his home on April 7 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. Although his resume includes numerous films and television shows, soap fans might remember him from his role as villainous Reverend Saul Taylor on DAYS OF OUR LIVES back in 1989.
Saul and his daughter, Faith, set up a revival camp outside of Salem and he objected to her friendship with Marcus Taylor. Faith soon learned it was because her father had been responsible for the death of Marcus’ parents years ago. Saul’s old partner in crime, Jericho, also showed up in Salem to keep him from revealing their shared criminal past and ultimately shot and killed Saul to ensure his silence.
Hampton’s big break came playing bumbling bugler Pvt. Hannibal Dobbs on F TROOP, and becoming friends with Burt Reynolds on the set of GUNSMOKE led to his being cast as Caretaker in The Longest Yard. The actor played paternal werewolf Harold Howard in Teen Wolf and its sequel, also returning for the CBS animated series.
In addition to appearances in primetime series like WHO’S THE BOSS, FULL HOUSE, and MELROSE PLACE, he could also be seen on the big screen in movies like The China Syndrome, Condorman, and Sling Blade. He also became a director, helming episodes of series like HEARTS AFIRE, BOSTON COMMON, GRACE UNDER FIRE, and SISTER SISTER.
Hampton is survived by his second wife, Mary Deese, children James, Andrea, and Frank, and grandchildren. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.