Life and career
Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a homemaker mother and a municipal accountant father. He has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, since the mid-1970s. On February 26, 1972, he was struck by a passing car while he attempted to help a friend move a stalled truck, which caused him to lose both his legs above the knee. Fifteen years to the day after the accident, he started appearing on Wiseguy as "Lifeguard" (Daniel Benjamin Burroughs). It was his first major role and lasted until 1990. Later, he starred in the fantasy television series Highlander: The Series as Joe Dawson, a member of a secret society known as the "Watchers". He reprised his role as Joe Dawson in Highlander: Endgame and Highlander: The Source, later installments of the Highlander film series, as well as providing voices for the anime Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. He starred in his own short-lived TV show, called The Jim Byrnes Show.
His other television roles include Higher Ground and cartoon voices in Beast Wars: Transformers, Beast Machines: Transformers, Shadow Raiders, Stargate Infinity, Dinosaur Train as Percy Paramacellodus and as Colonel Nick Fury in X-Men: Evolution. He appeared in the Taken mini series, which broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel and an episode of Twilight Zone entitled "Harsh Mistress". He has also appeared on the Syfy series Sanctuary, appearing as the father of Helen Magnus, played by Amanda Tapping.
As a musician, Byrnes has twice won the Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year, for That River in 1996 and House of Refuge on Black Hen Music in 2007. Byrnes was also honoured at the 2006 Maple Blues Awards, as Male Vocalist of the Year.
- Burning (1981) Polydor (vinyl)
- I Turned My Nights Into Days (1987) Stony Plain Records (vinyl)
- That River (1995) Stony Plain
- Love Is A Gamble (2001) One Coyote Music
- Fresh Horses (2004) Black Hen Music
- House of Refuge (2006) Black Hen Music
- My Walking Stick (2009) Black Hen Music
- Jim Byrnes Biography and Filmography; www.filmreference.com.
- See Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
- CD re-release 1998, Stony Plain Records, coupled with I Turned My Nights Into Days.
- CD re-release, 1998, Stony Plain Records, coupled with Burning.
- 1996 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
- Re-released 1997 on Band Together label, with the tracks in a different order.
- Limited pre-release; no general release.
- Contains six of the nine songs found on Love Is A Gamble; see Jim Byrnes detailed discography; www.jimbyrnes.org.
- 2007 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
- A compilation album of live performances from the Saturday Night Blues radio program on CBC Radio, hosted by Holger Petersen. Byrnes' "Blood In My Eyes" (also known as "I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You" and originally recorded on Fresh Horses) is included.
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