James Manis
(1939 - 2013)

James Manis
Nickname: Jimmy

Indiana, United States of America
April 18, 1939

California, United States of America
January 3, 2013

Acting, Movies, Music, Nascar, Sports, Traveling
In Memoriam


Jimmy passed away in Long Beach, California on January 3, 2013, where he lived for the past 29 years with his Wife & life partner Beverlee. Jimmy was 73 years old and is survived by his Step Son Charles (Chuck) Deaver; Adopted Sons, Ralph and Christopher (Chris) Manis: Sisters, Luella Polakis & Georgia Manis; Nieces, Amalia (Amy) Gawley Katherine (Kathy) Deeds; Nephews, Timothy Deeds and Steven Gawley; Great Nice, Lia Nicole Schott and Rachel Nicole Gawley; Great Nephew, Cameron Scott Deeds and James Charles Gawley; Great-Great Nephews Cade Michael and Nico Cameron Schott.

Jimmy was born in Gary Indiana on April 18, 1939 to Nicholas & Katherine Manis. He graduated Horace Mann High School in Gary, In and on to Indiana University to Major in Fine Arts. In 1962 he was drafted by the US Army, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas and honorably discharged in 1964. After the Army he moved to New York City/Greenwich Village where he successfully followed his ambition at HB Studios acting school with Uda Hagan & Herbert Berghof. In 1966 was with The Fourth Wall improve group with Marsha Wallace and writer, producer, actor, Jeremy Stevens, He was featured in several movies & commercials: 1970 Loving with George Segal & Eva Marie Saint; 1977 Breakstone commercials as Sam Breakstone’s Helper, which ultimately lead to his most notable character Aldo Cella, spokesperson for Cella Wines for 9 years,1977-1986; 1979 Going in Style with George Burns, Art Carney & Lee Strasberg. He retired as Aldo Cella in 1986, but continued to work in both motion pictures & TV shows. In 1987 LA Law, 1991 Defending your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep 1992-1993 Knots Landing and 1994 The George Carlin Show. All of his professional gigs can be seen on the James Manis Website.

Jimmy was a great jazz aficionado. Bix Biederbecke was his favorite artist (his California License Plate was BIXLVS.) While he attending IU he met and played drums with Wes Montgomery and Freddy Hubbard, who became personal friends throughout the years. After IU he was a regular at The Plug Nickel jazz club in Chicago, where he heard Miles Davis, John Coltrane. After moving to Greenwich Village he was a regular at the Village Vanguard; Owners Max & Lorraine Gordon always had a seat for him. Also among his Village favorites; The Five Spot and The Half Note. He said he probably heard every jazz great of the era and loved every minute of it. He had a great love for jazz and would visit the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach and The Catalina Bar in Hollywood after his moved to Long Beach.

Jimmy and Beverlee had a great life. They traveled Europe to Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland and Austria. Other trips were across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto, by train. Hawaii, Alaska the Caribbean and most recently driving from California to Georgia stopping in Santa Fe, NM, visiting family in Arkansas, through the Smokey Mountains to Williamsburg, VA, Rehoboth Beach, DE to visit with Sons Ralph & Chris and Ralph’s Wife Ellen for a stay at Ralph and Ellen’s beachfront home. Then to visit Son Chuck in Dublin, GA for a total of 7000 miles. Great fun and great times great life.

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

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Guest Book (4 entries)
Come in, Black Bandit,
Thinking about you Jimmy. I remember alot of laughs we had together about behind the scenes of show business stuff.
I'll miss you, but I won't forget you!
This is Red Leader,
Over & out
Steve Gawley (I married your niece, Ama)
December 19th, 2013
Thank you Chuck for creating this place to recollect the better times.Among his many talents, Chuck, you'll remember "The dog whisperer." :) Fond of the ansurd and loving what fun might be, he also was responsible for us getting into our first home which we were always appreciative of. He told us to roll it over into the second one and it gave our kids a place to feel was a family center.
Through good times and challenged days we will think back with a wry smile at all the smiles he brought.
As he was salty one with a twisted sense of humor, there is so much to say in "a wrap".
So I'll quote him on his last day as his threshold approached and he humorously thought of a lasting epitaph once attributed to Marlon Brando..."What the fuck was that all about."
Adios, Jimmy.
Tim Deeds
February 18th, 2013
Walt & Barb Carnahan (Friend)
February 14th, 2013
This is the memorial I set up for James Manis. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Chuck Deaver
January 4th, 2013
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"I miss you funny man. You scared me, teased me, loved me. Know that you played a big part in all of our lives and it now feels empty. Saga poli Theo mou. Amalia xxoo"
Amy Gawley
January 3rd, 2014
"Come in BLACK BANDIT: Today, one year ago you left us. We missed you for the annual Christmas @ the Deeds group photo. Your great nephews,Cade & Nico are growing up to be great kids. Beverlee is doing AOK. We miss you. This is RED LEADER, Over & O"
Steve Gawley
January 3rd, 2014
"I cannot believe it has been almost one year since you left us. I wish so much that you were here to see your Great Great Nephews Nico and Cade. They are such a delight; I know that they would love their Uncle Jimmy. I MISS YOU my love,we all do."
Beverlee Manis
December 20th, 2013
"I miss you Jimmy! Till we meet again….."
Chuck Deaver
December 19th, 2013
"Ankle demitrios jouramanis rest in peace"
peter Vasilopoulos
July 16th, 2013
"Jimmy, I miss you everyday. I treasure the life we had together.The memories we shared are what I will fall back on to get me through this empty time. Your loving Wife, Beverlee"
Beverlee Manis
January 21st, 2013


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