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Multiple Years / Troubled Life of James Stacy
Actor James Stacy first gained fame as Fred, a peripheral college-age character on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, from 1958 through 1965. He became well known for the Bonanza-like western series Lancer, portraying hot-headed eldest son Johnny Lancer from 1968 to 1970. Stacy was involved in a major motorcycle mishap in November 1973. A drunk driver named Carter Gordon rammed his car into Stacy's motorbike on a Los Angeles road, killing Stacy's passenger (actress/girlfriend Claire Cox) and seriously injuring the actor. Stacy lost his left arm and leg. Stacy's ex-wife (Connie Stevens) organized a lavish benefit to help offset his medical and rehabilitation costs. Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand both performed at the function which raised $118,000. Stacy later won a seven-figure judgment against the Chopping Block Bar, a Beverly Hills tavern that had served the drunk driver. For a while Stacy returned to acting in roles specially designed to showcase his disability, such as playing a double-amputee Vietnam War veteran in the made-for-TV movie Just a Little Inconvenience. He also appeared on Highway to Heaven. However, Stacy became a pariah in 1995 when he pleaded no contest to molesting an 11-year-old neighbor girl in California. He fled to Hawaii to avoid sentencing and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff. Stacy likely would have been given no jail time for his crime based on his disability, but his post-arrest behavior and reports of him stalking two other young girls eventually got him a six-year prison sentence. Stacy died suddenly in 2016 in his doctor's office from anaphylactic shock after he had a severely adverse reaction to an injection of antibiotics. Stacy was 79 years old.