James Kirk
of Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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James 'Buddy' Kirk of Corsicana has acted in several movies (including 'The Postman' with Kevin Costner) and commercials, as well as in print and billboard ads. Daily Sun photo/SCOTT HONEA

2/8/2004 ACTING A SIDELINE KIRK HOPES WILL SOAR: Corsicanan has extensive credits in movies and print, billboard advertisements

By DEANNA PAWLOWSKI/Daily Sun Staff

James Kirk is a carpenter by trade. But the profession he is passionate about is acting.

Kirk grew up in the orphan's home here in Corsicana, went to school here, played football at Navarro College, then went on to East Texas State. He married his high school sweetheart, Vickie Blue, and they have three sons, ages 16, 18 and 22. Vickie is a diagnostician for Corsicana Independent School District.

In addition to carpentry, Kirk worked for an oilfield company, spending five years working in North Africa. The majority of that time was spent in Libya.

"I'm one of the few people in the world who has ever gotten a Libyan speeding ticket," Kirk said. "I got run off the road during a motorcade for Col. Kadafi."

He also did a little theater in Amsterdam. But his love for acting goes further back.

"We had Christmas plays in the orphan's home," he said. "I always had a small part, and I always enjoyed it."

Kirk continued to act through junior high and high school, and also added modeling to his repertoire in high school.

Currently, Kirk has three agents in Dallas, Houston and Austin. He also has a commercial airing on Channel 13, which is Dallas' public television station KERA. He plays a cowboy talking with another cowboy extolling the virtues of public television.

"I recently did a part in 'The Alamo' with Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton, and did some horseback riding," Kirk said.

He had a part in "The Postman" with Kevin Costner. He was able to meet the author of the book, David Brin.

"The book was better than the movie," Kirk said. "The author of the book is a nice guy."

"The Roughriders" with Tom Berenger and Sam Elliott left Kirk with an impression of Elliott.

"Sam is a big man -- when he gets ready to shoot, you'd better get ready," he said.

Kirk did several scenes and lots of stand-in work on "Cadillac Jack" with Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black. Kirk sang with Black to James Taylor tunes, was called "Captain Kirk" by Hartman-Black, and called the Blacks "such cute, little people." Jody and Lynn Bottoms are two other locals who worked as wranglers on "Cadillac Jack."

A little known movie, starring actors who were unknown at the time, was called "Once Upon a Time in China." The stars of the picture were Jet Li and Samo Hung, of the television series "Martial Law." Kirk has made literacy commercials with Daryl Johnston, former Dallas Cowboy. He played a doctor with Lee Ann Rhimes in "Holiday in the Heart," and was on a billboard in Dallas for some time for Tropicana orange juice.

Kirk also worked three seasons at Six Flags Over Texas, the first two seasons as a Marshall named "Rope Walker" at the Judge Roy Bean Saloon. This stage name was in honor of the Corsicana Rope Walker, a transient who walked a tightrope over Main Street with a stove on his back, and fell to his death below.

"When folks ask me about my stage name, I get to tell them about Corsicana, and a bit of its history," Kirk said.

The third season was spent playing a bad guy in the Wild West Stunt Show, where Kirk enjoyed being booed by his own Gray-Y football players.

"I met people from every country at Six Flags," he said. "My picture is in many countries, because they all wanted their photo made with the Marshall and the bad guy."

Kirk has also done some episodes of "Walker, Texas Ranger" and a print shoot for Copenhagen with Ty Murray.

"I do it because I love it, it is fun, and I make a little money," Kirk said. "I've met people in the industry. I don't get called for big parts -- but I do get called. I'm not a method actor -- I don't believe in method acting. But I love those wonderful character roles."

Kirk's auditions have increased ten-fold, and he enjoys getting the monthly residual checks from commercials.

"Maybe somewhere along the way I'll find that role to showcase my talents I've had all along," he said.

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Deanna Pawlowski may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]

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