The GI Film Festival, which will be held on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington , DC , is proud to announce that actor, author, filmmaker and war hero James McEachin has joined the festival line-up. Mr. McEachin will screen Old Glory, a film he wrote, produced, directed and starred in. The film is a follow-up to Reveille, a 2006 short film in which he starred with David Huddleston.
James McEachin has enjoyed a career in film and television that spans four decades and is perhaps best known for his long-running role as Lt. Brock in Perry Mason, with episodes that ran from 1986 to 1995. Splitting time between film and television, he has appeared in well over 100 productions, and has worked with such greats as John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Bette Davis, Clint Eastwood, Henry Fonda, and Steven Spielberg.
In addition to Perry Mason and starring in his own NBC series, Tenafly, McEachin has appeared in such television dramas as Matlock; Hill Street Blues; Diagnosis Murder; Columbo; and Murder She Wrote.
Mr. McEachin, a Korean War veteran, and Ambassador for the U.S. Army Reserve, received the Silver Star and Purple Heart. McEachin sustained multiple wounds in combat and served in the military for a period of six years.
In 2005, Mr. McEachin released an award-winning CD Voices: A Tribute to the American Veteran, a compilation of his own writing, narration, and musical direction meant to honor all those who have served and are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.
James McEachin (b. May 20, 1930) is an African-American actor and award-winning author most notably noted for his role as the first black man to have his own show on NBC called TENAFLY, and for his many character roles such as portraying police lieutenant Brock in the Perry Mason television movie series.
As a young man, James McEachin served in the U.S. Army before, and then during the Korean War. Serving in King Company, he was wounded (nearly fatally) in an ambush and left for dead. He was rescued by a young blond boy who carried him for two days and many miles over difficult terrain and nearby gunfire to safety before disappearing from McEachin's life forever. McEachin was one of only two soldiers to survive the ambush. He was awarded both the Purple Heart and Silver Star in 2005 by CA Congressman David Dreier after McEachin participated in a Veterans History Project interview given by Dreier's office and in which they discovered McEachin had no copies of his own military records. Dreier's office quickly traced the records and notified McEachin of the Silver Star commendation and awarding him all seven of his medals of valor shortly thereafter and fifty years after his service.
Following his military career McEachin dabbled in civil service as first a fireman and then a policeman before he moved to California and became a record producer. Known as Jimmy Mack in the industry, he worked with young artists like Otis Redding and went on to produce The Fury's. He began his acting career shortly after, and was signed by Universal as a contract actor in the 1960s. He was regularly cast in professional, "solid citizen" occupational roles, such as a lawyer or a police commander, guesting on numerous series such as Hawaii Five-O, Mannix, and Dragnet. He played the dee-jay Sweet Al Monty in Play Misty for Me (1971) with Clint Eastwood. In 1973, McEachin starred as Harry Tenafly, the title character in Tenafly, a short-lived detective series about a police officer turned private detective who relied on his wits and hard work, rather than guns and fistfights.
While continuing to guest star in many television series and appearing in several feature-length films, McEachin landed his most memorable role, that of police lieutenant Brock in the 1986 television movie Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun. He would reprise this role in more than a dozen Perry Mason telemovies, appearing opposite the late Raymond Burr.
In the 1990s, McEachin semi-retired from acting to pursue a writing career. His first work was a military history of the court-martial of 63 black American soldiers during the First World War, titled Farewell to the Mockingbirds (1995), which won the 1998 Benjamin Franklin Award. His next works, mainly fiction novels, included The Heroin Factor (1999), Say Goodnight to the Boys in Blue (2000), The Great Canis Lupus (2001), and Tell me a Tale: A Novel of the Old South (2003). McEachin also published Pebbles in the Roadway in (2003), a collection of short stories and essays which the author describes as "a philosophical view of America and Americans." In (2005) McEachin produced the award-winning audio book VOICES: A Tribute to the American Veteran.
In early (2006) the film short REVEILLE in which McEachin starred with David Huddleston began to play to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and people began to request copies of the film. The film was posted on video,google.com and quickly garnered 1.5 million hits and a deluge of fan mail to the jamesmceachin.com website which inspired McEachin's latest contribution, OLD GLORY in which he wrote, produced, directed, and acted. OLD GLORY is McEachin's directorial debut.
In 2001, McEachin received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Morgan State University. In 2005, he became an Army Reserve Ambassador, this distinction carries the protocol of a two-star general.