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James Sikking Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJames Barrie Sikking
Nickname Jim
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James B. Sikking was born on March 5, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, the son of Unity ministers. Best known for his yeoman work as hard-charging, hardheaded SWAT leader Lt. Howard Hunter on the classic 80's police drama Hill Street Blues (1981), he received the name James Barrie Sikking as J.M. Barrie (of "Peter Pan" fame) was his parents' favorite author. Graduating from El Segundo High School, Sikking's interest in acting started after participating in various college plays while a student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, UCLA and the University of Hawaii.

Sikking made his professional stage debut in a production of "Damn Yankees" and broke into films with unbilled work in Five Guns West (1955) and The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956). He finally started receiving billing in the 1960s, albeit bit parts in films and television, as minor villains or in-charge types with such roles as a professional assassin in Point Blank (1967), the head of vice squad in The New Centurions (1972) and a CIA agent in Scorpio (1973) coming his way. Sikking's first steady television job was in 1973 when he was cast as Dr. James Hobart for three years on the daytime soap opera General Hospital (1963).

Moving into "Grade A" quality films in the early 1980s, Sikking still stayed pretty much in the background, such as his playing of Donald Sutherland's white-collar business comrade in the Oscar-winning Ordinary People (1980). It took his Emmy-nominated, scene-stealing role as the gung-ho, often volatile and emotionally unpredictable Lt. Hunter on Hill Street Blues (1981) to finally put him on the map.

Following the series' demise after six seasons, Sikking continued to move around in the top supporting ranks, finding steady work on television as Dr. David Howser, Neil Patrick Harris' father on Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989) and in important roles in such mini-movies as Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992). Continuing in such movies as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Narrow Margin (1990) and The Pelican Brief (1993), he typically played various authoritarians. He received his first major movie co-lead in Final Approach (1991) as an Air Force Colonel who develops amnesia after an air disaster. He ended the decade back in the precinct as part of the ensemble of Brooklyn South (1997).

Into the millennium, Sikking obtained featured roles in the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Fever Pitch (2005); the Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy Made of Honor (2008); the family drama Wild About Harry (2009) and his last movie role, as a doctor, in the drama Just an American (2012). On TV, he showed up on such series guest parts as "The Guardian," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Closer."

Long married to wife Florine, whom he met while at UCLA, his actor/son Andrew Sikking occasionally appeared as an officer on his father's series Brooklyn South (1997).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (1)

Spouse Florine Helen Caplan (1 September 1962 - present)  (2 children)
Mary Roanne Blakeman (19 May 1953 - 1956)  (divorced)

Trivia (6)

Father of Andrew Sikking. Also has a daughter, Emily.
His mom Sue, dad Andy, brother Tom, and brother Bob were ordained ministers in the Unity Church. Mom Sue led Unity by the Sea in Santa Monica for decades, and brother Bob served as president of the Assn. of Unity Churches for years.
Served in the army.
Acting since he was 14.
Father was a clergyman.
Spent 7 years in the series Hill Street Blues.

See also

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