Kansas Historical Foundation
Board of Directors
Elected to board: 1999
James Reynolds grew up in Oskaloosa. He attended Washburn University in Topeka. While in the theater department there he discovered his passion for acting.
He has worked in theater in San Francisco and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Los Angeles he performed in primetime television and motion pictures, becoming one of the foundation blocks of NBC-TV’s Days of Our Lives, where for nine years he played police commander Abe Carver. In 1991 he joined the series, Generations, and played the powerful business tycoon Henry Marshall, earning an Emmy nomination as outstanding lead actor in a drama series. After the series ended he returned to his role at Days.
He formed Free State Productions, a film and TV production company in Kansas. He toured his one-man show, I, too, am American, a commentary on the African American experience from the time the first slaves were brought to this country up to the present. He and his wife, Lissa, own and operate Classes Unlimited, a learning center in South Pasadena, California.
He is a member of National Preservation and California Preservation groups. His community activities involve more than 20 charitable fundraisers around the country annually. He has served as the spokesperson for the National Children Asthma Center. He has been active with the PTA, YMCA, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, the National Jewish Hospital, and the Boy Scouts. He established Big Men Stuff, a company that utilizes clothing items with embroidered slogans to fight abuse.
He is interested in the history of the West, African American history, and Kansas history. His wife, Lissa, is an actress and a business partner. They have one son.
Reynolds was first elected to the Kansas Historical Foundation Board of Directors in 1999.