James Stewart Tolkan, an American actor, was born on June 20, 1931, in Calumet, Michigan, USA, to cattle dealer Ralph M. Toklan and Marjorie Tolkan.
James Tolkan: Early Life and Family
Harry and Anna Tolkan, his paternal grandparents, were Russian-Jewish immigrants. His Finnish maternal grandparents were Alexander and Sofia Silvola.
James received his education at Coe College, Eastern Arizona College, the Actors Studio, and the University of Iowa. He spent a year in the US Navy before studying at the Actors Studio with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg.
Professional Career Of James Tolkan
In 1945’s “Love and Death,” he played Napoleon Bonaparte and his impersonator. The Woody Allen comedy was a satire on Russian literature. He played Tom Paine in “Independence” the following year.
In 1973, he portrayed Lt. Steiger, a homophobic cop, in “Serpico.” His character accuses Officer Serpico and another cop of having a gay encounter in the men’s bathroom. The neo-noir biographical crime was directed by Sidney Lumet.
In 1979, he played a Coroner in Stuart Rosenberg’s supernatural horror film “The Amityville Horror,” based on Jay Anson’s 1977 novel of the same name, and starring Margot Kidder and James Brolin. Margot and James play a young couple who buy a house and are haunted by the forces that inhabit it. The story is based on the Lutz family’s experiences in Amityville, New York. Serial murders had occurred in the house a year before they moved in. In 2005, a remake of the film was released.
In Sidney Lumet’s 1981 film “Prince of the City,” James played District Attorney Polito, a determined and cold lawyer. The following year, he starred as Lt. Glass in Arthur Hiller’s comedy-drama “Author! Author!”
In 1983, he appeared in two films. In “War Games,” he played FBI Agent George Wigan, which received three Academy Award nominations and several awards, including a Saturn and a BAFTA. “WarGames” is a collection of four short films based on urban legends. He also played Bishop in “Nightmares,” an American horror anthology starring Veronica Cartwright, Lance Henriksen, Emilio Estevez, and Cristina Raines.
In the 1985 film “Back to the Future,” directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, James played Gerald Strickland.
James Tolkan’s Relationship
James Tolkan met his future wife while she was working as a staffer at the American Place Theatre in New York. They married on August 28, 1971, in a private ceremony at St. Eustace Episcopal Church in Lake Placid, New York. They are still married and live in Lake Placid, New York.
Hobbies and Interesting facts
On Rotten Tomatoes, his highest-rated films are “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” in 1973 and “Love and Death” in 1989, both with a 100% rating, “Back to the Future” with a 96% rating, and “Second Sight” with a 0% rating.
James spends his spare time collecting folk art.
James Tolkan Height & Weight
He is a 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall bald man. James has blue, intense eyes, which help him play characters who are overbearing and strict.
James Tolkan Net Worth 2023
As of mid-2020, James Tolkan net worth is estimated to be more than $5 million.