McEachin, a former police officer for the Hackensack Police Department (New Jersey) 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 discharged from the Army as a corporal. He was awarded both the Purple Heart
and Silver Star in 2005 by California 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 James McEachin dabbled in civil service as first
a fireman and then a police officer. In 1953, he had a brief law enforcement career as a police officer
for the Hackensack Police Department (New Jersey) 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 James 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. (Source for some of the information was en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McEachin)