What with race being an integral part of just about any political discussion these days, I find it ironic that one of my favorite black actors passed away two months ago and I barely noticed. About a week after Julius Carry died I stumbled across a post about him on a black-issues blog. The post (which I can't find again, sorry) remembered Carry as "Sho'nuff, The Shogun of Harlem," the bad guy in the kung-fu-movie homage/parody "The Last Dragon".

Now, don't get me wrong, that movie was fun, but Carry was a good actor. He was best known for playing handsome black men. He played Murphy Brown's love interest for a while. He was on one of my favorite underrated sitcoms, "Doctor, Doctor" as a doctor (duh). He also appeared in dozens of other productions starting in 1979 with "Disco Godfather" (he played someone called "Bucky") and worked regularly up until 2006.

However, the role I'll always remember him for was his turn as Lord Bowler along side Bruce Campbell in one of my favorite shows of all time "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." Yep, the show was a western and one of the leads was a black guy who wasn't an ex-slave or any other stereotype. He was a hero (sometimes an anti-hero) in his own right. I was kind of hoping to see Bowler get his own spin-off series. Sadly, the series, itself, didn't last long.

"Brisco" was a show that didn't require acting "brilliance" from its actors, but it did require them to be able to master humor, drama, duplicity, deception, irony and honor all while maintaining likability. Julius Carry was a man I had hoped to write for one day.

I don't say that about just anyone. He was one of those guys like Jimmy Stewart or Carry Grant--not necessarily known for their "brilliant" acting, but their performances were brilliant nonetheless--brilliant and memorable.

Julius Carry III died on August 19, 2008 of pancreatic cancer. He was just 56 years old.

If you haven't seen "Brisco" I highly recommend you check it out on DVD. Carry is really wonderful in it and because that show I'll always remember him.

Julius Carry III RIP. You will be missed!
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