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Tom Atkins Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 13 November 1935Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Handsome, rugged, versatile and charismatic character actor Tom Atkins was born on November 13, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Atkins initially became an avid horror film fan in his childhood days; Howard Hawks' immortal classic The Thing from Another World (1951) made an especially strong impression on him as a kid. Tom attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and was a member of the Gamma Phi Fraternity. Atkins made his film debut as a rookie police officer in the Frank Sinatra private eye-outing The Detective (1968); it was the first of many police officer roles he has played throughout the years. Tom appeared in two films for director John Carpenter: he is very likable as Nick Castle in the spooky ghost film The Fog (1980) and solid as Rehme in the fantastic futuristic sci-fi/action cult film Escape from New York (1981). Atkins had a nice small role as a disapproving and overbearing father in the wrap-around segments of the immensely enjoyable fright feature anthology Creepshow (1982). He made for a touchingly flawed hero as Dr. Daniel Challis in the unjustly maligned Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).

Tom gave a smack dead-on-the-money terrific performance as weary, cynical and suicidal Detective Ray Cameron in the delightful Night of the Creeps (1986) (this movie is Tom's personal favorite among all the horror films he has acted in). He was once again excellent as the similarly burnt-out Lt. Frank McCrae in the fine Maniac Cop (1988) and impressive as the guilt-ridden heroin smuggler Michael Hunsaker in the exciting blockbuster Lethal Weapon (1987). Atkins had a recurring part as Lt. Alex Diehl on the television series The Rockford Files (1974); he reprised this character in several spin-off made-for-TV movies. Among the television series Tom has done guest spots on are Oz (1997), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), Walker, Texas Ranger (1993), The Equalizer (1985), Spenser: For Hire (1985), The Fall Guy (1981), Lou Grant (1977), Baretta (1975) and M*A*S*H (1972). Outside of his film and television work, Atkins has had a long and distinguished stage career. He has acted on Broadway in the plays "The Changing Room" (Tom won a 1973 Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Performer), "Keep It in the Family" and "The Unknown Soldier and His Wife". His off-Broadway credits include "Vikings", "Long Days Journey Into Night", "Whistle in the Dark" and "Nobody Hears a Broken Drum". Tom frequently acts in plays held at the Pittsburgh Public Theater; he has garnered plenty of accolades for his outstanding portrayal of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney in the acclaimed one-man show "The Chief". Tom Atkins resides in Peters Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (2)

Janis Lee Rodgers (15 March 1986 - present) (1 child)
Garn Stephens (? - ?)

Trade Mark (1)

Often plays police officers

Trivia (10)

Graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Member of Gamma Phi Fraternity.
During his childhood, he was a huge fan of science fiction and horror films.
His favorite of all the movies he has worked on is Night of the Creeps (1986).
Has a Golden Retriever named Gus.
Is a frequent player in shows at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, most famously in the one-man show "The Chief", in which he depicts the late founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney.
His son E. Taylor Atkins graduated from Peters Township High School in Pennsylvania.
Has appeared with Adrienne Barbeau in four films: The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981), Creepshow (1982) and Two Evil Eyes (1990).
Currently lives in Peters Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. [2004]
His longtime partner David Lewell died in 2004.

Personal Quotes (6)

Richard Donner was a particular delight. He's a wonderful kind of old-fashioned director, from what I would have thought the golden days of Hollywood must have been from the '30s and '40s. He was just a big, handsome, strapping, strong, delightful, cigar-smoking, very open, gregarious guy. He would talk to anybody. He never closed off the set.
Jimmy Garner is a very gracious guy, as he was then and he is still today.
You know, they just don't make big movie stars the way they used to, maybe because the system has changed, the studio system, but it's sad to see people like Jimmy Stewart go, all the giants of the past.
Mel Gibson was lovely. He was on the edge of both scenes that I had with Danny Glover.
Well, I grew up in Pittsburgh. My father worked for J&L Steel. We were a blue collar family. And that's the kind of actor I am. What you see is what you get. I've played a lot of cops and a few bad guys. No one has ever hired me to play a brain surgeon, though I have played a couple of docs.
I made a few other films in New York in the late 60's, early 70's. But I think The Fog (1980) was my first film in Los Angeles. I could be wrong. And it was a "horror" film. And then I made a bunch of horror films for a while. And I loved them. I had always admired Vincent Price, and though I never worked with him, it was one of the treats of my life to meet him in Los Angeles, and we were mutual fans. I would like to have had a career like his.

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