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Emmy-Nominated Actor Dies — ’60s TV Western Star Leaves Behind a Legacy of Off-Screen Tragedy

Sep 16, 2016  •  Post A Comment

An actor who starred in a TV Western series in the late 1960s and came back from a tragic accident to win two Emmy nominations has died. Variety reports that James Stacy died Thursday in Ventura, Calif.

Stacy, who starred as Johnny Madrid Lancer in the TV Western “Lancer” from 1968-1970, was born Maurice W. Elias. At the time of his death he was either 79 or 80, according to various media reports.

“His turbulent life included being married to actresses Connie Stevens and Kim Darby, becoming a double amputee after a motorcycle accident, and serving prison time for child molestation,” Variety reports. “His partner Antigoni Tsamparlis confirmed his death and said he had possibly suffered an allergic reaction after being admitted to the hospital.”

Stacy and a woman named Claire Cox were riding a motorcycle in the Hollywood Hills when they were hit by a drunken driver in September 1973. Cox died in the collision and Stacy lost his left arm and leg.

After his recovery, Cox returned to acting, playing a newspaper editor in the 1975 Kirk Douglas Western “Posse” and earning his first Emmy nomination for the 1977 TV movie “Just a Little Inconvenience,” where he starred opposite Barbara Hershey as a Vietnam veteran and double amputee.

He went on to earn a second Emmy nomination for a guest performance in the “Cagney & Lacey” episode “The Gimp” in 1986.

Stacy also starred in and produced the 1980 TV movie “My Kidnapper, My Love.”

Early in his career, Stacy had a long-running role as Fred on “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” along with guest spots on many series, including “Highway Patrol,” “The Donna Reed Show” and “Perry Mason.”

Stacy pleaded no contest in late 1995 to a charge of molesting an 11-year-old girl and was later arrested in Hawaii after reportedly failing to appear for sentencing and fleeing California. He later apparently attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff.

He eventually served a six-year prison sentence in the case, according to reports.

Here’s a fan video that pays tribute to Stacy and his Johnny Madrid Lancer character …

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