Former Anchorage actor James Morrison has something in common with megastar actor James Earl Jones -- both won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award April 9.

Morrison, 35, was one of seven winners of the Best Lead Performance award given by the group of Los Angeles-area newspaper critics. Morrison won for his portrayal of free-lance photographer John Pinder in EL SALVADOR, a Rafael Lima play about journalists covering the war in Central America. The play also won awards for Best Production, Best Directing and Best Writing.

Morrison acted in several local productions before moving to New York and then Los Angeles to pursue his career. He returned to Anchorage two years ago to play Brick in the Alaska Repertory Theater’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

Morrison came to Alaska with his family in 1963 and attended West High School. He performed with the Anchorage Community Theater, the University of Alaska Anchorage drama department and several Rep productions, including DIAMOND STUDS, TAMING OF THE SHREW and I’M NOT RAPPAPORT, in which he played the drug dealer Cowboy.

The award has no money attached, and Morrison doesn’t expect any movie offers to appear.

"It’s just an honor to be in this kind of company, and it’s a nice compliment from the critics," Morrison said.

Interview by Elizabeth Pulliam, reporter for Anchorage Daily News.
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