Tommy Lane, Who Starred in ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘Shaft,’ Dead at 83

by Jennifer Shea

Actor and stuntman Tommy Lane, known for his roles in Live and Let Die and Shaft, has died at a Florida hospital. He was 83 years old.

The performer died after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Variety reports. Lane, who began life as Tommy Lee Jones in Miami, was a jazz musician as well as an actor and stuntman. After his acting roles in the 1970s, he played trumpet and flugelhorn at Blue Note in New York City during the 1980s.

In Shaft, Lane played Leroy, a character who crashes through John Shaft’s (Richard Roundtree) Times Square office window. Two years after that 1971 blaxploitation hit, Lane appeared in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die. He played one of Kananga’s henchmen, and he got to chase Roger Moore in a speedboat along the coast of an island.

Tommy Lane Acted in Multiple Movies During the 1970s and 80s

In Live and Let Die, Lane had several lines. According to Variety, he said, “Bond ripped off one of our boats. He’s headed for the Irish Bayou. The man that gets him stays alive! Now, move you mothers!” Later, during the speedboat chase, he menaced Bond: “You made one mistake back on that island, Bond. You took something that didn’t belong to you. And you took it from a friend of Mr. Big’s. That kind of mistake is tough to bounce back from.”

Besides those two well-known movies, Lane also appeared in Cotton Comes to Harlem, Ganja & Hess, and Shamus. Over the course of his career, he appeared on the TV shows Simon & Simon and Flipper, as well. (The latter show, an NBC series, was his breakout performance.)

As a stuntman, Lane worked on the sets of Shaft and Ganja & Hess and 1972’s Come Back Charleston Blue. In the TV realm, he contributed stunts to the TV movie The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd, the TV series Flipper and the CBS drama Simon & Simon, per Deadline.  

Lane leaves behind a wife, Raquel Bastias-Lane, seven children, a stepson, several grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren.