Tolkan, James 1931–

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Tolkan, James 1931–

(James B. Tolkan, James S. Tolkan, Jim Tolkan, James Tolkin)


Full name, James S. Tolkan; born June 20, 1931, in Calumet, MI; son of Ralph M. Tolkan (a cattle dealer); married Parmalee (a costume designer). Education: University of Iowa, B.A., drama, 1956; also attended East Arizona College and Coe College; trained for the stage with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, and at the Actors Studio. Avocational Interests: Collecting folk art.

Addresses: Agent—Paradigm, 360 N. Crescent Dr., North Building, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Career: Actor. Appeared with the Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA, 1967–68, then Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 1969, then Center Stage, Baltimore, MD, 1972–73; Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA, 1976, then Arena Stage, 1981. Previously worked as a railway hand and cattle truck driver. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1950–51.


Film Appearances:

(As James Tolkin) The Three Sisters, 1966.

Edwards, Stiletto, AVCO-Embassy, 1969.

Mr. Brown, They Might Be Giants, Universal, 1971.

Contact man, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Paramount, 1973.

(As James Tolkin) Lieutenant Steiger, Serpico, 1973.

Napoleon Bonaparte, Love and Death, United Artists, 1975.

Tom Paine, Independence, 1976.

Coroner, The Amityville Horror, American International, 1979.

District Attorney Polito, Prince of the City, Warner Bros., 1981.

Baldy, Wolfen, Warner Bros., 1981.

Lieutenant Glass, Author! Author!, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1982.

Conferee, Hanky-Panky, Columbia, 1982.

Bishop's voice, "The Bishop of Battle," Nightmares, Universal, 1983.

FBI agent Wigan, WarGames, United Artists, 1983.

Maynard, Iceman, Universal, 1984.

Howard Simpson, The River, Universal, 1984.

Hanley, Turk 182!, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1985.

Turner, Flanagan (also known as Walls of Glass), United Film Distribution, 1985.

Mr. Strickland, Back to the Future, Universal, 1985.

Lou Brackman, Armed and Dangerous, Columbia, 1986.

Stinger, Top Gun, Paramount, 1986.

Harry, Off Beat, Buena Vista, 1986.

Detective Lubic, Masters of the Universe, Cannon, 1987.

Mr. Bjornstead, Made in Heaven, Lorimar, 1987.

Colonel William Tanzer, Viper, Fries Distributing, 1988.

Benny Pistone, Split Decisions (also known as Kid Gloves), New Century/Vista, 1988.

Detective Joe Hanley, True Blood (also known as Edge of Darkness), Fries Entertainment, 1989.

Captain Coolidge, Second Sight, 1989.

(As James S. Tolkan) Judge, Family Business, 1989.

Strickland, Back to the Future, Part II, 1989.

Colonel Freeman, Ministry of Vengeance (also known as Helden USA 4), 1989.

Marshal Strickland, Back to the Future, Part III, Universal, 1990.

Numbers, Dick Tracy, Buena Vista, 1990.

Sal Nichols, Opportunity Knocks, Universal, 1990.

Vince, Driving Me Crazy (also known as Trabbi Goes to Hollywood), Motion Picture Corporation of America, 1992.

Patch, Hangfire, Motion Picture Corporation of America, 1991.

Mr. Thorn, Problem Child 2, Universal, 1991.

Agent Sterling, Bloodfist IV: Die Trying (also known as Die Trying), Horizons Home Video, 1992.

Levitt, Boiling Point (also known as L'extreme limite), Warner Bros., 1993.

Dan "Iceberg" Eagen, Underworld, Trimark Pictures, 1996.

Quon, Robo Warriors, 1996.

Dutch, Seven Times Lucky, Odeon Films, 2004.

Thomas Knight, Sr., Heavens Fall, 2005.

Television Appearances; Series:

Lester Mintz, Mary, CBS, 1985–86.

Captain Ray Parker, Sunset Beat, ABC, 1990.

Captain Mike "Rags" Ragland, The Hat Squad, CBS, 1992.

Dallas Cassel, Cobra (also known as Viper), syndicated, 1993–94.

Various characters, A Nero Wolfe Mystery (also known as Nero Wolfe), Arts and Entertainment, 2001–2002.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Kennel master, Little Spies, ABC, 1986.

Dr. Siegel, Leap of Faith (also known as Question of Faith), CBS, 1988.

(As James B. Tolkan) Major Alex Thompson, Weekend War, ABC, 1988.

Lieutenant Ed Henderson, The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (also known as Bloodbrothers: The Hillside Stranglers and The Hillside Stranglers), NBC, 1989.

Tenelli, The Sketch Artist (also known as Drawing Fire), Showtime, 1992.

Joe Maloney, Beyond Betrayal, CBS, 1994.

Dave Fanelli, Sketch Artist II: Hands That See (also known as A Feel for Murder and Sketch Artist II), Showtime, 1995.

Agent Price, Love in Ambush (also known as L'amour en embuscade, Angkor, and Mirabeau), 1997.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Ray Parker, Sunset Beat, ABC, 1990.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Billy, "Wings," American Playhouse, PBS, 1983.

Narrator, "Do the Guilty Go Free?," America Undercover (documentary), HBO, 1988.

Narrator, "Convicts on the Street: One Year on Parole," America Undercover (documentary), HBO, 1990.

Narrator, "Guns: A Day in the Death of America," America Undercover (documentary), HBO, 1990.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(As Jim Tolkan) Mail clerk, "The Man Who Bit a Diamond in Half," Naked City, 1960.

Stefan Malwitz, "The Man Who Refused to Die," Armstrong Circle Theatre, 1962.

"The Night Watch," NYPD, 1969.

Roger Williams, "The Peach Gang," Ourstory, PBS, 1975.

Coach Beasley, "Queen for a Day," Hill Street Blues, NBC, 1985.

Norman Keyes, "Diced Steele," Remington Steele, 1985.

Norman Keyes, "Forced Steele," Remington Steele, 1985.

Norman Keyes, "Bonds of Steele," Remington Steele, 1986.

Norman Keyes, "The Steele That Wouldn't Die: Parts 1 & 2," Remington Steele, 1987.

Mason Mather, "Amen … Send Money," Miami Vice, NBC, 1987.

Ruger, "The Visitation," The Equalizer, CBS, 1989.

Principal Dr. B. Langford Oates, "Day Damn One," The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, NBC, 1990.

"The Trap," Tales from the Crypt, HBO, 1991.

"Fetch This, Pal," Tequila and Bonetti, 1992.

Coach Silva, "Hulk Arnold," The Wonder Years, 1993.

JAG, NBC, 1995.

Commander Cyrus Quinn, "Heart of Darkness," Nowhere Man, UPN, 1996.

Coach Philips, "Hoops" (also known as "Hoop Dreams"), Early Edition, CBS, 1996.

FBI Agent in charge, "The Dragon House: Parts 1 & 2," The Pretender, NBC, 1997.

Television Director; Episodic:

"The Next Witness," A Nero Wolfe Mystery (also known as Nero Wolfe), Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

"Die Like a Dog," A Nero Wolfe Mystery (also known as Nero Wolfe), Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Improvised council, Between Two Thieves, York Playhouse, New York City, 1960.

Frank, The Shoemaker and the Peddler, East 74th Street Theatre, New York City, 1960.

Seth Gale, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Phoenix Theatre Company, Anderson Theatre, New York City, 1963.

Herman Glogauer, Once in a Lifetime, York Playhouse, 1964.

Carnival person, The Three Sisters, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1964.

A View from the Bridge, Sheridan Square Playhouse, New York City, 1965.

Understudy for the role of Harry Roat, Jr., then Harry Roat. Jr., Wait until Dark, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Weiss, The Cannibals, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1968.

Officer of the Queen's guard, Mary Stuart, Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1971.

Two Ton Tessie (sergeant), Pinkville, St. Clement's Church Theatre, New York City, 1971.

Pope, The Silent Partner, Actors' Studio, New York City, 1972.

Jury member, Twelve Angry Men, Queens Playhouse, New York City, 1972.

Tola, Narrow Road to the Deep North, Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Dr. Marrow, Forty-Two Seconds from Broadway, Playhouse Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Katz, Full Circle, American National Theatre and Academy Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Gonzalo, The Tempest, New York Shakespeare Festival, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, New York City, 1974.

Rosse, Macbeth, New York Shakespeare Festival, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, 1974.

Charlie Allman, Dream of a Blacklisted Actor, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Dandelion Wine, Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1976.

Allon, Menachem, and D. P., Golda, Morosco Theatre, 1977.

Skinny, Jungle of Cities, Colonnades Theatre, New York City, 1979.

Billy, Wings, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1979.

The Life of Galileo, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, 1981.

The Front Page, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1982.

Dave Moss, Glengarry Glen Ross, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL, then John Golden Theatre, New York City, both 1984.

Harvey, One Tennis Shoe, Marathon '85, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, 1985.

Detective Lieutenant Fine, "Clara" in Danger: Memory!, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, 1987.

Major Tours:

Dr. Artinian, then bell boy, The Best Man, U.S. cities, 1961–62.


Video Games:

Voice of Commander Hondo, Top Gun: Fire at Will, 1996.