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James Tolkan

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Occupation  Actor
Height  1.68 m
Years active  1960–present
Spouse  Parmelee Tolkan
Name  James Tolkan
Education  University of Iowa
Role  Actor

Full Name  James Stewart Tolkan
Born  June 20, 1931 (age 84) (1931-06-20) Calumet, Michigan, United States
Other names  James S. Tolkan, Jim Tolkan
Parents  Marjorie Tolkan, Ralph M. Tolkan
Movies  Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III, Top Gun, Masters of the Universe
Similar People  Thomas F Wilson, Claudia Wells, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, Lea Thompson

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James Stewart Tolkan (born June 20, 1931) is an American actor, known for his work in films such as Serpico, Top Gun and the Back to the Future franchise.


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Top gun actor james tolkan recites keats exclusively for mike geffner s inspired word

Early life

James Tolkan James Tolkan Pictures 25th Anniversary Screening Of

James Stewart Tolkan was born in Calumet, Michigan, the son of Dale Nichols and Ralph M. Tolkan, a cattle dealer, and attended the University of Iowa, Coe College, the Actors Studio and Eastern Arizona College.


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Tolkan is known for his role in the 1985 film Back to the Future as the strict, Hill Valley High School principal Gerald Strickland. He referred to Marty McFly, his father, and Biff Tannen derisively as "slackers". He reprised the role in the 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II, where unnamed gang members made a drive-by assault on him in a bleak alternate present (then 1985). He also referred to these criminals as "slackers" as he shot back. In 1990, he played the part of Mr. Strickland's grandfather Chief Marshal James Strickland in Back to the Future Part III. Tolkan would reprise his role as Strickland in addition to playing his character's ancestors and descendants in the 1991 animated series spin-off.

James Tolkan Back to the Future interview James Tolkan as Principal

Other well-known roles include an FBI agent in WarGames and Stinger, the no-nonsense commanding officer of the USS Enterprise's (CVN-65) embarked Carrier Air Wing in the 1986 box-office hit Top Gun. He portrayed the role of cold and determined District Attorney Polito in Sidney Lumet's Prince of the City. He also appeared in the 1987 film Masters of the Universe as Detective Lubic. He had a dual role in the Woody Allen comedy Love and Death, playing both Napoleon and a look-alike. He also appeared as Big Boy Caprice's accountant "Numbers" in the 1990 Warren Beatty film Dick Tracy. He appeared in Serpico (1973) in a small but notable role as a cop who loudly accuses Officer Serpico of having a gay encounter with another cop in the men's room.

Tolkan has also made guest appearances on many TV shows, including Naked City, Remington Steele, Miami Vice and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

A member of the repertory cast of A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001–02), he played more than a dozen varied roles in the A&E TV series and also directed two episodes ("Die Like a Dog" and "The Next Witness").

Personal life

On August 28, 1971, Tolkan married Parmelee Welles, a staffer at the American Place Theater in New York.


James Tolkan Wikipedia