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Jim Byrnes
Byrnes at Japan Expo 2010
Born James Thomas Kevin Byrnes
September 22, 1948(1948-09-22) (age 74)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Musician, film, guitarist, TV, voice actor
Years active 1966–present

James Thomas Kevin "Jim" Byrnes[1] (born September 22, 1948) is an American blues musician, guitarist, and actor.

Life and career

Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother was a homemaker, and his father was a municipal accountant.[1] 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 move a stalled truck on the Island Highway North of Parksville, which injured his legs and forced them both to be amputated.[2]

Fifteen years to the day after the accident, he started appearing on Wiseguy as Daniel Burroughs, better known as Lifeguard. 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. He played a recruiting sergeant for the Union Army in an episode of "Copper" called "The Children of the Battlefield."

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, Colonel Nick Fury in X-Men: Evolution and as Duke Dermail in Gundam Wing. 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 and as Shineoa San in an episode of Andromeda as well as the voice of Virgil Vox in nine additional episodes.

As a musician, Byrnes has won the Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year three times, for That River in 1996 and House of Refuge on Black Hen Music in 2007, and for Everywhere West in 2011.[3] Byrnes was also honoured at the 2006 Maple Blues Awards, as Male Vocalist of the Year.[4] The Canadian Folk Music Awards recognized him as the Contemporary Singer of the Year in 2006 and 2009.[5][6]



  • Burning (1981) Polydor (vinyl)[7]
  • I Turned My Nights Into Days (1987) Stony Plain Records (vinyl)[8]
  • That River (1995) Stony Plain[9][10]
  • Love Is A Gamble (2001) One Coyote Music[11]
  • Fresh Horses (2004) Black Hen Music[12]
  • House of Refuge (2006) Black Hen Music[13]
  • My Walking Stick (2009) Black Hen Music
  • Everywhere West (2011) Black Hen Music[14]
  • I Hear the Wind in the Wires (2012) Black Hen Music
  • St. Louis Times (2014) Black Hen Music

Compilation Inclusions

  • Vancouver Seeds 2 (1981)
  • Saturday Night Blues: 20 Years (2006) CBC[15]



  • Harmony Cats, as Frank Hay
  • Highlander: Endgame
  • Highlander: The Source
  • Highlander: The Search for Vengeance as Doc/Rudy
  • "The Snow Queen" (starring Bridget Fonda) voices the guardian Polar Bear of the Snow Queen's palace


  • Wiseguy, as the Lifeguard
  • Highlander: The Series and Highlander: The Raven, as Joe Dawson
  • Sanctuary, as Gregory Magnus
  • Higher Ground (Canadian TV series) as Frank, founder of a school for troubled teens


  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog - Additional voices
  • Beast Wars: Transformers - Inferno
  • Beast Machines - Thrust
  • Mega Man - Dr. Light, Pharaoh Man, Air Man, Quick Man, Top Man, Gravity Man
  • Street Fighter - Guy
  • King Arthur and the Knights of Justice - Merlin
  • X-Men: Evolution - Nick Fury
  • War of the Worlds: Goliath - Theodore Roosevelt
  • Stone Protectors
  • Camp Candy - Additional Voices
  • Ultimate Book of Spells
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Gladmane (Episode: Viva Las Pegasus)
  • Slugterra - Viggo Dare


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jim Byrnes Biography and Filmography;
  2. "The Loss of His Legs Is No Handicap for Wiseguy's Jim Byrnes". People, May 21, 1990.
  3. See Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
  4. "2006 Maple Blues Awards Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  5. "Results 2006". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  6. "Results 2009". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  7. CD re-release 1998, Stony Plain Records, coupled with I Turned My Nights Into Days.
  8. CD re-release, 1998, Stony Plain Records, coupled with Burning.
  9. 1996 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
  10. Re-released 1997 on Band Together label, with the tracks in a different order.
  11. Limited pre-release; no general release.
  12. Contains six of the nine songs found on Love Is A Gamble; see Jim Byrnes detailed discography;
  13. 2007 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
  14. 2010 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.
  15. 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.

External links

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