Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Death of Julius Carry, the Original Sho'nuff

One of the downsides of this age of information overload in which we live (sorry Sir Paul, but a 2nd "in" isn't needed) is that some stories slip through the cracks. About a month ago, I read that there is a remake in the works of the 1985 cult classic The Last Dragon. In the update, it's been reported that Samuel L. Jackson will take over the role of Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. While reading about the upcoming remake of The Last Dragon, I learned that the actor who played Sho'nuff in the original version (Julius Carry) died on August 19th of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. Carry is one of those performers whose name may not cause a clanging sound, but chances are you've seen him. Although he had scores of acting credits (including regular roles on Doctor, Doctor and The Adv. of Brisco County Jr. and guest appearances on such series as The Cosby Show, Moonlighting, Murphy Brown, The Hughleys and JAG), Carry is perhaps best known for his role as Sho'nuff in The Last Dragon (pictured below in a scene from the film).

Were it not for Carry's scene-stealing turn as the meanest... the prettiest... the baddest mofo around, it's likely that The Last Dragon would have wound up in the trash heap of forgotten 80s films alongside such relics as Beat Street, The Wild Life, and Midnight Madness. If none of those films registers on your 80s movie meter, I rest my case. If they do, you're a bad mofo yourself.

As I mentioned earlier, it's been reported that Samuel L. Jackson will step into role of Sho'nuff in the upcoming remake of The Last Dragon. Even though it's a role that Jackson was practically born to play, he still has some big Converse shoes to fill thanks to the memorable performance by the late Julius Carry in the original. Below is the scene from The Last Dragon where Sho'nuff and his goons invade a local movie theater.


Mama Pajama said...

Pancreatic cancer is a bitch. A family friend of ours just passed away from that a few months ago. He was also just 56 years old. Cancer scares me.

Anyway, I totally recognize Julius Carry (although I couldn't place him in anything). Like you said, he's one of those performers that you recognize, but don't necessary know by name.

Kristi Mantoni said...

You're right, the name didn't ring a bell but I do recognize him. So sad. He was too young.

On Prop 8, the people that need to see Keith's special comment never will. I have a few friends that are against gay marriage because it would destroy the sanctity of marriage. One of them is on her third affair and all of them have either been married multiple times or are married to someone who has had multiple marriages. They don't seem to see in irony in what they are saying. It's sad.

clnmike said...

I still say they need to leave the movie alone, you dont remake a movie if it was done right the first time.

Candy Minx said...

Excellent tribute Malcolm, well done!

pjazzypar said...

Me and Mama use to watch The Adventures of County Briscoe. Did you know the Bill Macy was one of the bad guys in The Last Dragon? I can see Samuel L. Jackson as Sho'nuff, but Carey was awesome in the role.

Malcolm said...

Mama PJ: You ain't kidding. When one gets diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, that's pretty much a notice to get your affairs in order.

Had he still been alive, Julius Carry may have been featured in that article that Ent. Weekly did a few weeks ago about character actors.

Kristi: You are so right... the people who need to see Keith's comments never will. The hypocrisy of one of your friends and others like her is mind boggling to me.

Clnmike: When I found out they were doing a remake of "The Last Dragon" I was like, "why?" Not because I think the orig. was all that great (I liked it, but it's no "Cooley High"), but because it just seems like an "out of left field" choice for a remake. Having said that, I am intrigued to see what Samuel Jackson does with the role of Sho'nuff.

Candy: Thank you very much!

Pjazzy: I didn't know that you two watched The Adv. of Briscoe County.

I looked it up and learned that it was William H. Macy (not Bill Macy) who was in "The Last Dragon". When I used to see William H. Macy's name in the credits, I mistakenly thought they were referring to Bill Macy. William is another one of those actors that people know by face, but probably not by name. Here is a link to William's profile:

When Samuel L. takes on the role of Sho'nuff, we are going to see ham like we've never seen... but that's OK. The role of Sho'nuff screams for the actor to overact their ass off.

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm,

I just call him Bill Macy, I meant William H. The one who was in Fargo, Pleasantville, Boogie Nights, etc. We share the same birthday and he is married to Felicity Huffman. You probably thought I was talking about the one from Maude, but no.

Chynna said...

I loved him as Lord Bowler.

Malcolm said...

Pjazzy: Thanks for clarifying because I did think you were referring to Bill Macy (the actor who played Walter on "Maude").

Chynna: When I was typing this post, I was picturing Julius in a distinctive looking hat. Then I remembered that he was in "Adv. of Brisco County Jr.".

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