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Overview for James Tolkan
James Tolkan

James Tolkan


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 20, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Calumet, Michigan, USA Profession: Cast ...


Born in near poverty in northern Michigan
Moved to Chicago with his family at age 14 (date approximate)
Was working as a railroad hand by age 15 (date approximate)
Moved with his mother to Tucson, Arizona
Left Eastern Arizona College to serve in the US Navy
Worked as a cattle truck driver before deciding to continue his higher education
Moved to NYC with $75 in his pocket after after graduating from the University of Iowa
Began studying with Stella Adler and won a two-year scholarship
Worked with the Actors Studio for three years
Replaced Robert Duvall in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" on the New York stage
Replaced Duvall in the Arthur Penn-directed Broadway production of "Wait Until Dark" when the actor broke his hip; continued in the role for two years
Feature debut, "Stiletto", a gangster drama
Acted on stage with Al Pacino in "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" and "Jungle in the Cities"
Recreated his role from the Broadway production of "Wings" for PBS's "American Playhouse" presentation
Portrayed Dave Moss in the Broadway production of David Mamet's play, "Glengarry Glen Ross"
Played the recurring role of insurance investigator Norman Keyes, the nemesis of "Remington Steele", on the popular detective detective series
First played the role of Mr. Strickland in Robert Zemeckis' "Back to the Future"
Widely seen as Stinger, a tough Naval commander who chastises Tom Cruise in "Top Gun"
Debut as a TV series regular, "Mary", a failed sitcom vehicle for Mary Tyler Moore (eliminated after three months when the show's format and time slot changed)
Provided narration for several installments of "America Undercover" documentary specials on HBO
Reprised the role of Strickland for Zemeckis's "Back to the Future II"
Cast as a regular on the short-lived (two episodes) series, "Sunset Beat", about a special team of cops who pose as bikers
Portrayed Marshal Strickland in "Back to the Future III"
Cast as a regular on "The Hat Squad", an eccentric crime series from executive producer/creator Stephen J Cannell

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