James Bailey is an American author and television actor. He is known for publishing his memoir Man Interrupted (2006) and for his roles in CHiPs (1977) and The Ponder Heart (2011.)
James Bailey was born James Michael Bailey in Arkansas City, Kansas. In the early 1980s, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. He got his start in 1981, appearing as "Billy" in comedy film Back Roads, starring Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The same year, he was seen playing the role of "Mervyn" in the baseball player Leroy "Satchel" Paige's biopic Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel'. The character of Satchel was portrayed by Louis Gossett Jr.
In 1981, he also appeared in minor roles in two episodes of John Patterson-directed hit television series CHiPs: episode "Crash Course" in January and episode "Concours d'Elegance" in December.
After appearing in a supporting role in A Gathering of Old Men (1987,) Bailey landed one of the key roles in Lou Antonio's television drama film The Outside Woman (1989.)
While in Hollywood, Bailey was hit by severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) along with depression and anxiety. He spent almost three months in an American clinic that specialized in OCD before his complex interactions with other patients led to him being discharged. In his memoir Man Interrupted, published in 2006, he described himself as suffering from a "bizarre and debilitating form of obsessive-compulsive disorder." He was anxious about mind-altering drugs getting into his system and warping his behavior. The paranoia led him to wonder if people were trying to spike his food, or if he could get high just by touching a photograph of a marijuana leaf. He continued with his treatment and is now healed from it.
In January 2014, he published his second book, Almost, Texas –– a story about a good-looking Harvard student, Charmer Lewis, on his quest to find his purpose and meaning in life. The book caught attention of his friend, acclaimed director Mel Brooks, who tweeted:
My obsessive-compulsive friend James Bailey has a new book out. I bought 12 copies and I intend to read them all! pic.twitter.com/jUiTWH6X7G— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 16, 2014
Man, Interrupted: Welcome to the Bizarre World of OCD, Where Once More is Never Enough (Mainstream Publishing, October 1, 2006)
Almost, Texas (Kindle Edition, January 28, 2014)
Bailey lived in Louisiana and California where he continues to write and act. He is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles.