Sondra James Dies: ‘Joker’ And ‘Sick Of It’ Actor, Sound Department Veteran Was 82

Sondra James, a character actor who has appeared in film, TV and onstage over the past four decades with the likes of Ben Affleck, Robert De Niro, Christopher Lloyd, Mike Birbiglia and Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscar-winning role in 2019’s Joker, died September 12 in her native New York City after a five-month battle with lung cancer. She was 82.

The news was confirmed Monday by her manager Carolyn Anthony of Anthony & Associates Ltd.

James, made her feature film debut in Woody Allen’s 1995 pic Mighty Aphrodite, setting off a string of big-screen acting and voice credits that included Alfie, Taking Woodstock, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Dictator, Robots, Don’t Think Twice, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Climb and as Dr. Sally in Todd Phillips’ Joker.

Her last film credit is a role in the George Clooney directed The Tender Bar, starring Affleck and Lloyd and due out next year.

On TV, James’ credits included Law & Order, Blue Bloods, What We Do In the Shadows, Woody Allen’s Amazon series Crisis In Six Scenes and opposite Karl Pilkington in Sky TV’s Sick of It. Onstage, she was on the national tour of Funny Girl starring Debbie Gibson in the mid-1990s and later toured with Valerie Harper in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.

James also ran a one of New York’s largest postproduction loop groups, called Speakeasy, casting, coordinating and performing voice work for series including for six seasons of Sex and the City as well as Bored to Death, Boardwalk Empire, Smash and Damages, and movies True Grit, The Reader, The Devil Wears Prada and The Sixth Sense.

James is survived by her sons Michael (Nadine) Shenkman and Marc (Dina) Shenkman; her grandchildren Jake, Jordana, Jenna and Zach; great grandchildren Lynden and Harlow; brother Elliot Webb; and sister Carol Raskin.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Actors Fund.

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