Well known and respected for recurring roles on "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) and "The Practice," James Pickens, Jr. has recently garnered attention for portraying Dr. Richard Webber on the hit ABC series "Grey's Anatomy" (2005- ). A jack-of-all-trades, Pickens has led an accomplished career on both stage and screen.
Born Oct. 26, 1954 in Cleveland, OH, Pickens pursued acting on the New York stage throughout the 1980's. He performed in a number of important stage productions, including the 25th anniversary production of "A Raisin in the Sun," "Balm and Gilead" for the Circle Rep/Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Negro Ensemble Company's "A Soldier's Play" opposite Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.
Relocating to the West Coast in 1990 to pursue film and television roles, Pickens found consistent work on a number of TV series, appearing in episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994), and "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1993). Pickens made a mark on the big screen with roles in "Menace II Society" (1993), "Dead Presidents" (1995), and Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995). In 1996, Pickens landed a guest spot on the sit-com "Roseanne" (ABC, 1989-1997), which soon turned into a recurring role on the series and a major break for the actor. He went on to appear in the Barry Levinson films "Jimmy Hollywood" (1994), "Sleepers" (1996) and "Sphere" (1998), as well as "Ghosts of Mississippi" (1996), "Bulworth" (1998), and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (1998).
In 2000, Pickens landed recurring roles on both "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) and "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), as well as appearing in the Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh film "Traffic" (2000). He continued his successful streak in television with recurring work on "Philly" (ABC, 2001-2002) and as FBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on the cult Sci-Fi hit "The X-Files" (FOX, 1993-2002). Pickens followed the series with roles on a number of primetime dramas, including "Crossing Jordan" (NBC, 2001-07), "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12), "The Lyon's Den" (NBC, 2003), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-06), and the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under" (2001-05).
Pickens scored his biggest break yet, when in 2005, he landed a regular role as Chief of Surgery Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy" (2005- ). On one of the network's consistent hits each week, Webber has effectively portrayed a wide range of emotions in different storylines - particularly his toughness during his hospital stay and his tenderness in scenes between himself and Meredith Grey's mother who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.
Cast (Feature Film)
Performed with the historic Negro Ensemble Company in a production of "A Soldier's Play," with Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson
Portrayed Zack Edwards on the daytime soap "Another World" (NBC)
First big break was a guest spot on "Roseanne," (ABC) which lead to a recurring role
Portrayed slain civil rights leader Medgar Evans in the acclaimed Rob Reiner-directed film, "Ghosts of Mississippi"
Had a recurring role on "The Practice," playing Detective Mike McKrew
Cast as a series regular on FOX's "The X-Files," playing FBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh
Played Angela Bassett's ex-husband, Walter, in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"
Appeared in Steven Soderbergh's award winning film "Traffic"
Played Keith's (Mathew St. Patrick) domineering father on the HBO series "Six Feet Under"
Cast as attorney Terrance Christianson on NBC's legal drama "The Lyon's Den" with Rob Lowe
Cast as Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy"
Made a guest appearance on the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice" as Dr. Richard Webber
Co-starred opposite Queen Latifah in "Just Wright"