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James Tolkan

Fiery, forceful and intimidating character actor James Tolkan has carved out a nice little niche for himself in both movies and television alike as a formidable portrayer of fierce and flinty hard-boiled tough guy types. James Stewart Tolkan was born on June 20, 1931 in Calumet, Michigan. His father, Ralph M. Tolkan, was a cattle dealer. James ... See full bio »

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Known For

Back to the Future
Back to the Future Mr. Strickland
Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part III Marshal James Strickland
Top Gun
Top Gun Stinger


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 2015 Bone Tomahawk
 2013 Phil Spector (TV Movie)
Judge Fidler
 2011 Leverage (TV Series)
Dean Chesny
- The Cross My Heart Job (2011) ... Dean Chesny
 2006 Heavens Fall
Thomas Knight, Sr.
 2004 Seven Times Lucky
 2001-2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV Series)
FBI Agent Richard Wragg / Benedict Aiken / Leo Bingham / ...
- Cop Killer (2002) ... Ed Graboff
- The Silent Speaker: Part 2 (2002) ... FBI Agent Richard Wragg
- The Silent Speaker: Part 1 (2002) ... FBI Agent Richard Wragg
- Help Wanted, Male (2002) ... Ben Jenson
- Too Many Clients: Part 2 (2002) ... Benedict Aiken
 1997 The Pretender (TV Series)
FBI Special Agent Korkos
- Dragon House: Part 2 (1997) ... FBI Special Agent Korkos
- Dragon House: Part 1 (1997) ... FBI Special Agent Korkos
 1997 Love in Ambush (TV Movie)
Agent Price
 1996 Early Edition (TV Series)
Coach Philips
- Hoops (1996) ... Coach Philips
 1996 Robo Warriors
 1996 Underworld
Dan 'Iceberg' Eagan
 1996 Nowhere Man (TV Series)
Commander Cyrus Quinn
- Heart of Darkness (1996) ... Commander Cyrus Quinn
 1995 Sketch Artist II: Hands That See (TV Movie)
 1994 River of Stone
 1994 Beyond Betrayal (TV Movie)
Joe Maloney
 1993/I Boiling Point
 1993 The Wonder Years (TV Series)
Coach Silva
- Hulk Arnold (1993) ... Coach Silva
 1992 Bloodfist IV: Die Trying (Video)
Agent Sterling
 1992 Sketch Artist (TV Movie)
 1992 Tequila and Bonetti (TV Series)
K-9 Unit Leader
- Fetch This, Pal (1992) ... K-9 Unit Leader
 1991 Problem Child 2
Mr. Thorn
 1991 Tales from the Crypt (TV Series)
Sgt. McClaine
- The Trap (1991) ... Sgt. McClaine
 1991 Hangfire
 1990 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV Series)
Dr. Oates
- Day Damn One (1990) ... Dr. Oates
 1990 Dick Tracy
 1990 Sunset Beat (TV Series)
Ray Parker
 1990 Opportunity Knocks
 1989 Family Business
Judge (as James S. Tolkan)
 1989 Second Sight
 1989 Ministry of Vengeance
Col. Freeman
 1989 True Blood
Det. Joseph Hanley
 1989 The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (TV Movie)
Lt. Ed Henderson
 1989 The Equalizer (TV Series)
- The Visitation (1989) ... Ruger
 1988 Split Decisions
Benny Pistone
 1988 Leap of Faith (TV Movie)
Doctor Siegel
 1988 Viper
Col. William Tansey
 1988 Weekend War (TV Movie)
Dr. Alex Thompson (as James B. Tolkan)
 1987 Miami Vice (TV Series)
Mason Mather
- Amen... Send Money (1987) ... Mason Mather
 1987 Made in Heaven
Mr. Bjornstead
 1986 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (TV Series)
The Kennel Master
- Little Spies (1986) ... The Kennel Master
 1986 Armed and Dangerous
Lou Brackman
 1986 Top Gun
 1986 Off Beat
 1985 Walls of Glass
 1985 Hill Street Blues (TV Series)
Coach Beasley
- Queen for a Day (1985) ... Coach Beasley
 1985 Turk 182!
 1984 The River
Howard Simpson
 1984 Iceman
 1983 Nightmares
Bishop's Voice (segment "The Bishop of Battle") (voice)
 1983 WarGames
 1983 American Playhouse (TV Series)
- Wings (1983) ... Billy
 1982 Author! Author!
Lt. Glass
 1982 Hanky Panky
 1981 Prince of the City
Assistant U.S. Atty. George Polito
 1981 Wolfen
 1979 The Amityville Horror
 1976 Independence (Short)
Tom Paine
 1975 Abduction
Off-Duty Cop
 1975 Ourstory (TV Series)
Roger Williams
- The Peach Gang (1975) ... Roger Williams
 1973 Serpico
Steiger (as James Tolkin)
 1973 The Werewolf of Washington
Dark Glasses
 1973 The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The Man's contact man
 1971 They Might Be Giants
Mr. Brown
 1969 Stiletto
 1969 N.Y.P.D. (TV Series)
- The Night Watch (1969)
 1966 The Three Sisters (as James Tolkin)
 1960 Naked City (TV Series)
Evan Humbolt - Mail Clerk
- The Man Who Bit a Diamond in Half (1960) ... Evan Humbolt - Mail Clerk (as Jim Tolkan)
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Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(November 26, 1976 to January 2, 1977) He acted in Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall adaptation of Eduardo De Filippo's play, Saturday, Sunday, Monday," at The Arena Stage Theatre in Washington D.C. with Dolores Sutton, Marilyn McIntyre, Gary Bayer, David Garrison, Robert Prosky, Laura Esterman, Grace Keagy, Stanley Anderson, ... See more »

Alternate Names:

James B. Tolkan | James S. Tolkan | Jim Tolkan | James Tolkin


5' 6" (1.68 m)

Did You Know?


Was the first person in mind for the role of strict high school principal Gerard Strickland in Back to the Future (1985). See more »


Frequently cast in Sidney Lumet films. See more »

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