James Remar
William James Remar

(1953-12-31) December 31, 1953 (age 70)
Years active1978–present
Atsuko Remar
(m. 1984)

William James Remar (born December 31, 1953) is an American actor. He has played numerous roles over a 40 year career, most notably Ajax in The Warriors (1979), Albert Ganz in 48 Hrs. (1982), Dutch Schultz in The Cotton Club (1984), Jack Duff in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), Richard Wright in Sex and the City (2001–2004), and Harry Morgan, the father of the title character, in Dexter (2006–2013). Since 2009 he has done voice-over work in ads for Lexus luxury cars.[1] Remar studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

Remar's more recent roles include Frank Gordon in Gotham from 2016 to 2019; Peter Gambi in Black Lightning from 2018 to 2021; and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in Oppenheimer in 2023.

Early life

William James Remar was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 1953. He is the son of Elizabeth (née Boyle), who worked in mental health affairs for the state of Massachusetts, and Roy Remar, who was an attorney.[2][3] His father was of Russian Jewish descent, while his mother was a native of England and of Irish descent. He has three sisters and two brothers.[4] Remar grew up with his family in Newton, Massachusetts.[5]

Remar dropped out of high school when he was 15, although he attended what he described as "kind of an alternative school" for a year afterwards. He then traveled around the United States, briefly playing guitar in a rock band. Eventually, he returned home and went back to high school, although he decided not to attend college after graduating. Remar has said he decided to become an actor when he was 20; after he was laid off from his job as a roofer, he remembered a previous job performing at a summer camp, and said he would give himself three years to attempt an acting career before he would try something else.[3]

In Florida, Remar earned a role in a state production of Cross and Sword.[3] Afterwards, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, but was not asked back after his first year, which he described as "a devastating experience". Remar continued searching for other acting jobs, eventually landing the part of Kenickie in a touring production of Grease, and also performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, before making his film debut in On the Yard.[6]



Remar has spent the majority of his film career playing villains. He portrayed the violent gang member Ajax in the cult film The Warriors (1979),[7] and the murdering sociopath Albert Ganz in the hit 48 Hrs. (1982). Both films were directed by Walter Hill. Remar also played real-life 1930s-era gangster Dutch Schultz in The Cotton Club (1984).[8]

In contrast to these roles, Remar starred in the film Windwalker (1980) as the young Cheyenne Windwalker, for which he spoke his lines in the Cheyenne language.[9] He also portrayed a gay man in the film Cruising (1980). That same year, Remar had a cameo in the Western The Long Riders (1980) in a bar fight scene with David Carradine.

He was the star of the film Quiet Cool (1986) and was cast as Corporal Hicks in the science-fiction/horror film Aliens (1986), but was replaced by Michael Biehn shortly after filming began. At least one piece of footage featuring Remar made it into the final version of the film: when the Marines enter the processing station and the camera tilts down from the Alien nest, though Remar is not seen in close-up.[10] He is also filmed from the back as the Marines first enter the compound on LV-426 and when "Hicks" approaches the cocooned woman, again filmed from the rear so the viewer is unable to tell it is Remar and not Michael Biehn.[11]

He played Quill, one of the main villains in The Phantom (1996).[12] In 1994 he played a supporting role in the film 'Renaissance Man.' appeared in Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997), the sequel to the film Mortal Kombat (1995), taking over the role of Raiden from Christopher Lambert. He then followed this with a role in the direct-to-video science fiction film Robo Warriors (1996). Other films include Psycho (1998), in which he played the patrolman,[13] Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Wedlock (1991), Boys on the Side (1995), The Quest (1996), Rites of Passage (1999), Hellraiser: Inferno (2000), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Fear X (2003), Blade: Trinity (2004), The Girl Next Door (2004). He played a brief role as General Bratt in the prologue of Pineapple Express (2008). He also had a role in the horror film The Unborn (2009), alongside C.S. Lee, who portrays Vince Masuka in Dexter. He also played the father of Olivia Grey in Feed (2017).

Remar appeared in the film X-Men: First Class (2011) and voiced the Autobot Sideswipe in the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), replacing André Sogliuzzo.[14] He was also cast in the heist film Setup (2011) and starred in the film Arena (2011).

Remar played two different, unrelated characters in Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained (2012): Ace Speck and Butch Pooch.[15] He starred, alongside Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, and Lauren Holly, in the thriller film The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015).[16]


Remar's television appearances include the series Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, Sex and the City (as the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Kim Cattrall's character),[17] Tales from the Crypt, Jericho, Third Watch, Justice League Unlimited, and Battlestar Galactica.[18] He also appeared as a possessed mental patient in The X-Files ninth-season episode "Dæmonicus".[19] He starred as Tiny Bellows on the short-lived television series The Huntress (2000–2001).[20] He appeared in the miniseries The Grid (2004) as Hudson "Hud", the love interest of Julianna Margulies's character.[21] He had a recurring guest role in the 2006 television series Jericho on CBS. Remar guest-starred in the CBS crime drama Numbers, playing a weapons dealer who later turns good and helps the FBI.

From 2006 to 2013, Remar co-starred in Dexter on Showtime. He was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dexter Morgan's adoptive father, Harry Morgan.[22]

In 2010, he played guest roles as Giuseppe Salvatore in The CW series The Vampire Diaries[23] and as James Ermine, a general for Jericho, a black-ops military contractor, on FlashForward.

He also voiced Vilgax in the animated television series Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, replacing Steve Blum. He guest-starred in Private Practice in 2010, playing a physician named Gibby, who works with Doctors Without Borders.[24] On July 23, 2017, Remar was cast as Peter Gambi on the superhero drama Black Lightning.[25] The series would run for four seasons from January 2018 to May 2021, Remar's Gambi a series regular for its entirety.[26] He would then be cast in a recurring role on The Rookie as Tom Bradford, Tim’s father.[27] He was later cast in Welcome to Derry, an upcoming television series prequel to the 2017 film, It, set to debut on Max in 2025.[28]

Personal life

In 1984, he married Atsuko Remar.[29] They have two children.[30][31] In 1985, Remar was fired from the cast of Aliens after being arrested for drug possession.[32] He speaks fluent Japanese.



Year Title Role Notes
1978 On the Yard Larson
1979 The Warriors 'Ajax'
1980 Cruising Gregory
The Long Riders Sam Starr
Windwalker Young Windwalker
1982 Partners Edward K. Petersen
48 Hrs. Albert Ganz
1984 The Cotton Club Dutch Schultz
1986 The Clan of the Cave Bear Creb
Band of the Hand Nestor
Quiet Cool Officer Joe Dylanne
1987 Rent-A-Cop Dancer
1989 The Dream Team Gianelli
Drugstore Cowboy Gentry
1990 Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Preston Segment: "Lover's Vow"
1991 White Fang 'Beauty' Smith
Wedlock Sam
1992 The Tigress Andrei
1993 Fatal Instinct Max Shady
Blink Thomas Ridgely
1994 Renaissance Man Captain Tom Murdoch
Miracle on 34th Street Jack Duff
1995 Boys on the Side Alex
Judge Dredd Monroe, Block Warlord Uncredited
Wild Bill Donnie Lonigan
1996 The Quest Maxie Devine
The Phantom Quill
1997 Mortal Kombat Annihilation Lord Raiden
1998 Psycho Highway Patrolman
1999 Rites of Passage Frank Dabbo
2000 Blowback John Matthew Whitman / Schmidt
What Lies Beneath Warren Feur
Hellraiser: Inferno Dr. Paul Gregory
2003 Fear X Peter
2 Fast 2 Furious U.S. Customs Agent Markham
Duplex Chick
2004 The Girl Next Door Hugo Posh
Blade: Trinity FBI Agent Ray Cumberland
2007 Ratatouille Larousse Voice[33]
2008 Pineapple Express General Bratt
2009 The Unborn Gordon Beldon
2B Tom Mortlake
Endless Bummer Sam Kramer
2010 Gun Detective Rogers
Red Gabriel Singer
2011 The FP Narrator Voice
X-Men: First Class U.S. General
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Sideswipe Voice[33]
Setup William Long
Arena Agent Sam McCarty / Sam Lord
Vs Rickshaw
2012 Django Unchained 'Ace' Speck, Butch Pooch
2013 Horns Derrick Perrish
2014 Persecuted John Luther
Lap Dance Patrick Moore
2015 The Blackcoat's Daughter Bill
Eden Coach DaFoe
Papa: Hemingway in Cuba Santo Trafficante Jr.
2016 USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage Rear Admiral William S. Parnell
2017 The Night Watchman Randall
The Saint Arnold Valecross
Feed Tom Grey
2018 Speed Kills Meyer Lansky
2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 'Ugly Owl' Hoot Scene deleted
2020 Dead Reckoning Agent Richard Cantrell
2022 The Noel Diary Scott Turner
2023 Oppenheimer Henry L. Stimson
2024 Drugstore June Arnold
TBA Megalopolis TBA Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Hill Street Blues Cooper Episode: "Rites of Spring"
1984 The Mystic Warrior Pesla Television film
1985 Miami Vice Robbie Cann Episode: "Buddies"
1987 The Equalizer Tremayne Episode: "High Performance"
The Hitchhiker Ron Episode: "Homebodies"
Crime Story Smilin' Jack Episode: "Blast from the Past"
1989 Desperado: The Outlaw Wars John Sikes Television film
1990 Kojak: None So Blind Wolfgang Reiger
Night Visions Sergeant Thomas Mackey
1991 Session Man McQueen
Tales from the Crypt Red Buckley Episode: "Dead Wait"
Brotherhood of the Gun Frank Weir Television film
1992 Strangers Bernard
Indecency Mick Clarkson
1996 Cutty Whitman Cutty Whitman
1997 Total Security Frank Cisco 13 episodes
1998 Inferno Dr. Coleman West Television film
1999 Walker, Texas Ranger Keith Bolt Episode: "The Principal"
2000 18 Wheels of Justice Mitch Davis / "Gabriel" Episode: "Wages of Sin"
2000-2001 The Huntress Tiny Bellows 28 episodes
2001 Nash Bridges Mark Lee Page Episode: "Fair Game"
7th Heaven James Carver 2 episodes
Strong Medicine Guy Falls Episode: "Systemic"
The X-Files Professor Josef Kobold Episode: "Dæmonicus"
Justice League Lead Manhunter Voice, episode: "In Blackest Night"
2001–2004 Sex and the City Richard Wright 12 episodes
2002 The Twilight Zone Alois Hitler Episode: "Cradle of Darkness"
Third Watch Det. Madjanski 4 episodes
2003 Peacemakers Cole Hawkins Episode: "Legend of the Gun"
Without a Trace Lucas Vohland Episode: "Confidence"
2004 The Grid Hudson "Hud" Benoit Miniseries
The Survivors Club Roan Griffin Television film
Ike: Countdown to D-Day Gen. Omar Bradley
Meltdown Colonel Boggs
North Shore Vincent Colville 21 episodes
2005 Battlestar Galactica Meier 2 episodes
2005–2006 Justice League Unlimited Hawkman, Shadow Thief Voice, 2 episodes[33]
2006 CSI: Miami Capt. Quentin Taylor Episode: "Open Water"
Thief Agent Patterson Miniseries
2006–2007 Jericho Jonah Prowse 5 episodes
2006–2008 The Batman Black Mask Voice, 3 episodes[33]
2006–2013 Dexter Harry Morgan 96 episodes
2007 Sharpshooter Dillon Television film
2008 Eli Stone Salinsky Episode: "Praying for Time"
2009 The Unit Reece Episode: "Hero"
Criminal Minds Tom Benton Episode: "Demonology"
The Spectacular Spider-Man Walter Hardy Voice, episode: "Opening Night"[33]
The Christmas Hope Mark Addison Television film
2009–2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Harvey Dent / Two-Face Voice, 2 episodes[33]
Ben 10: Alien Force Vilgax Voice, 7 episodes[33]
2010 D.R.E.A.M. Team Shawn Murphy Television film
Numb3rs Randall Priest Episode: "Arm in Arms"
FlashForward James Ermine Episode: "Blowback"
The Vampire Diaries Giuseppe Salvatore 2 episodes
Private Practice Gibby Episode: "Playing God"
2011 Human Target Warden Cole Episode: "Cool Hand Guerrero"
Hawaii Five-0 Elliott Connor Episode: "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau"
Young Justice Joar Mahkent / Icicle Sr., Wilcox Voice, episode: "Terrors"[33]
Pound Puppies Sarge Voice, episode: "The K9 Kid"[33]
2011–2012 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Vilgax Voice, 5 episodes[33]
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Joe Hatfield Miniseries
2013–2014 Beware the Batman Mr. Reese / Silver Monkey Voice, 3 episodes[33]
The Legend of Korra Tonraq Voice, 14 episodes[33]
Grey's Anatomy James Evans 6 episodes
Wilfred Henry Newman 5 episodes
2014 From Dusk till Dawn: The Series Ray Gecko Episode: "Boxman"
2014–2015 State of Affairs Syd Vaslo 9 episodes
2016 The Shannara Chronicles Cephalo 7 episodes
2017 Gotham Frank Gordon 3 episodes
NCIS: Los Angeles Admiral Sterling Bridges 3 episodes
The Path Kodiak 9 episodes
2018–2021 Black Lightning Peter Gambi 58 episodes
Main role
2018–2023 Magnum P.I. Captain Buck Greene 6 episodes
2019 The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants Additional voices 2 episodes, uncredited
Animal Kingdom Detective Andre 4 episodes
City on a Hill Richy Ryan 5 episodes
Recurring role[34]
2021 Creepshow Raymond Bateman Episode: "Skeletons in the Closet"
The Rookie Tom Bradford Episode: "Breakdown"[27]
2022 Yellowstone Kyle Fremont Episode: "The Sting of Wisdom"
2023 Paul T. Goldman Lt. Newman 2 episodes
2025 Welcome to Derry TBA [28]

Video games

Year Title Role
2005 The Warriors Ajax
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame Harvey Dent / Two-Face
2011 Killzone 3 Captain Jason Narville[33]
2014 Destiny Executor Hideo, New Monarchy Merchant[35]
2017 Destiny 2 Executor Hideo
2022 Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Executor Hideo

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Saturn Award Best Supporting Television Actor Dexter Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Preston Bailey, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Valerie Cruz, Kristin Dattilo, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, C. S. Lee, Jason Manuel Olazabal, David Ramsey, Christina Robinson, Jimmy Smits, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas Nominated
2010 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Preston Bailey, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Brando Eaton, Courtney Ford, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, C. S. Lee, John Lithgow, Rick Peters, Christina Robinson, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas Nominated
2011 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Jennifer Carpenter, April Lee Hernández, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, Maria Doyle Kennedy, C. S. Lee, Jonny Lee Miller, Julia Stiles, Luna Lauren Velez, Peter Weller and David Zayas Nominated
2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Performance Shared with Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Zoë Bell, Don Johnson, Walton Goggins and Bruce Dern Django Unchained Nominated
Saturn Award The Life Career Award Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Billy Brown, Jennifer Carpenter, Josh Cooke, Aimee Garcia, Michael C. Hall, Colin Hanks, Desmond Harrington, Rya Kihlstedt, C. S. Lee, Edward James Olmos, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas Dexter Nominated
2013 Gold Derby Award Ensemble Cast Shared with Dennis Christopher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington Django Unchained Nominated
2014 Behind the Voice Actors Award People's Choice Voice Acting Award Shared with Janet Varney, Dee Bradley Baker, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, J. K. Simmons, Mindy Sterling, Seychelle Gabriel, Aubrey Plaza, Aaron Himelstein, John Michael Higgins, Adrian LaTourelle, Richard Riehle and Lisa Edelstein The Legend of Korra Won
Television Voice Acting Award Shared with Janet Varney, Dee Bradley Baker, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, J. K. Simmons, Mindy Sterling, Seychelle Gabriel, Aubrey Plaza, Aaron Himelstein, John Michael Higgins, Adrian LaTourelle, Richard Riehle and Lisa Edelstein Nominated
Prism Award Male Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Grey's Anatomy Nominated


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  28. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 5, 2023). "HBO Max 'It' Prequel Series 'Welcome To Derry' Sets Taylour Paige, Jovan Adepo, James Remar & Chris Chalk". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2023.
  29. ^ "James Remar Has Been Secretly Married For 36 Years But Who Is His Wife Atsuko Remar". fabiosa.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
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  32. ^ Aliens: 26 facts about the movie to celebrate Alien Day 4/26|url=https://www.cineworld.co.uk/static/en/ie/blog/aliens-facts-about-movie-alien-day%7C
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