For good reason, it was James Reynolds Day about two weeks ago in Oskaloosa, Kansas.
Reynolds, a veteran actor today, grew up in the small community he will forever call home.
“That path brought me to this adopted hometown,” he said, smiling as he held his firstever Emmy for his role as Abe Carver on NBC’s Days of Our Lives while being honored for the high achievement Wednesday night during the South Pasadena City Council meeting. “It has been quite a path from that tiny town of Oskaloosa to this moment.”
Modest, Reynolds, a longtime South Pasadena resident, appeared deeply honored to receive a certificate of recognition from the five member local council as he clutched the golden statue.
Reynolds, who will never forget his roots, was named one of the 105 “Greatest Citizens” in Kansas, joining a list of impressive names, including Emilia Earheart, Dwight Eisenhower, and Gale Sayers. In the Sunflower State, Reynolds has served on the Kansas State Historical Society board for more than 20 years.
He doesn’t hold back when it comes to giving. Unselfish, as a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, he has traveled the world more than 20 times visiting troops for the USO.
Reynolds, friendly and down-to-earth, has spent nearly 50-years on stage, screen and in television and is an acclaimed, big time star in most circles. Yet, in South Pasadena where everyone knows your name, he’s simply “James,” a good-natured soul who seems to fit in with the community like an old shoe.
The four-time Emmy nominee was proud as he pulled out the shiny Emmy and showed it to audience members before the council and the city manager gathered around for a picture, each one asked to touch the prestigious award.
Sincere and appreciative of the accolades bestowed upon him, it didn’t take long for Reynolds to thank the City Council for its support of the arts. “Its crown jewel is not only being known as the City of Trees,” he said of South Pasadena, “but as a city for the Arts. Thank you for your continued support.”
He and his wife, Lissa, are the owners and co-artistic directors of the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena and both founding members of SPARC – the South Pasadena Arts Council.
Together they have received numerous designations, perhaps, none more worthy than the South Pasadena Image Award presented by the mayor each year to “citizens who have worked in the community to enhance the city’s image,” explained South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Richard Schneider, a long time friend of Reynolds.
After the group picture, the actor quipped, “Sorry for making your meeting last longer,” which drew a laugh.
Yes, humble and kind – that’s James Reynolds.