Thomas Roy Skerritt
August 25, 1933
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
(m. 1957; div. 1972)
(m. 1977; div. 1992)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1951–1955|
Thomas Roy Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an American actor who has appeared in over 40 films and more than 200 television episodes since 1962. He is known for his film roles in M*A*S*H, Alien, The Dead Zone, Top Gun, A River Runs Through It, Poltergeist III, and Up in Smoke, and the television series Picket Fences and Cheers. Skerritt has earned several nominations and awards, including winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1993 for Picket Fences.
Skerritt was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Helen, a homemaker, and Roy Skerritt, a businessman. He is the youngest of three children. A 1951 graduate of Detroit's Mackenzie High School, Skerritt attended Wayne State University and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Skerritt enlisted just after graduating from high school, and served a four-year tour of duty in the United States Air Force as a classifications specialist. Most of his enlistment was spent at Bergstrom Field, Austin, Texas.
Skerritt made his film debut in War Hunt, produced by Terry Sanders and released in 1962. Skerritt's notable film appearances include M*A*S*H (1970), Harold and Maude (credited as "M. Borman", 1971), Fuzz, Big Bad Mama, Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke (1978), Ice Castles (1978), as Captain Dallas in Alien (1979), as a would-be astronaut in Contact (1997) and SpaceCamp (1986), and in Top Gun (1986) as Commander Mike "Viper" Metcalf. In 1988, he starred with Nancy Allen and Lara Flynn Boyle in Poltergeist III. In 1989, he played the role of Thomas Drummond "Drum" Eatenton in Steel Magnolias. In 1992, he appeared in the critically acclaimed Robert Redford-directed film A River Runs Through It, playing a fly-fishing loving minister and father of the two protagonist brothers in the film.
Skerritt played a guest part in Ray Walston's show My Favorite Martian in the 1963 episode "Mrs. Jekyll and Hyde" (Walston was a regular cast member 30 years later in Skerritt's show Picket Fences). He also guest-starred in the television series The Real McCoys (1963), as a letter carrier in the episode "Aunt Win Steps In". He was cast in Bonanza in 1964 and on Death Valley Days in 1965, as a young gambler, Patrick Hogan, who meets a tragic fate after winning a small fortune in a saloon. In another Death Valley Days episode, "A Sense of Justice" (1966), he played a young Roy Bean with his older brother, Joshua Bean, played by Tris Coffin. In a later Death Valley Days role, Skerritt played Mark Twain in the 1968 episode "Ten Day Millionaires", with Dabney Coleman as Twain's mining partner, Calvin H. Higby. The two lose a fortune in gold, but Twain learns his future is in writing. In 1972, Skerritt guest-starred in an episode of Cannon, entitled "Nobody Beats the House," playing the role of a young gambler. In 1975, he guest-starred in another episode of Cannon entitled "The Conspirators," playing the role of a corrupt sheriff.
Skerritt appeared in the ABC series Twelve O'Clock High (1964–1967), five episodes; Gunsmoke (1965–1972, also five episodes), and as Evan Drake on Cheers. He then appeared in CBS's Picket Fences (1992–1996), in the role of Sheriff Jimmy Brock, for which he won an Emmy Award. More recently, he has starred in Homeland Security and The Grid.
He portrayed the deceased William Walker on Brothers & Sisters, having appeared in the pilot and several flashbacks scenes. This was his second time playing the husband of Sally Field; the first was in Steel Magnolias.
He played the role of Ezekiel on ABC Family's miniseries Fallen alongside Paul Wesley. He also appeared as the guide on the showcase website for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. He lent his voice in the video game Gun (2005), where he voices Clay Allison. He then guest-starred in seasons three and four of Leverage as Nate Ford's father.
In February 2012, Skerritt played the title role in Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of Don Quixote. In 2014, Skerritt was reunited with his ex-Picket Fences co-star, Lauren Holly, to star with her in Field of Lost Shoes. He was reunited with his Alien co-star Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky, the latter's last film (2017).
Skerritt is founder and chairman of Heyou Media, a Seattle-based digital media company.
Since 1988, he has divided his time between his Lake Washington home in suburban Seattle, Washington, and a second home on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands.
From 1957 to 1972, Skerritt was married to Charlotte Shanks, with whom he has three children: Andy, Erin, and Matt. He was married to Sue Oran from 1977 to 1992, with whom he has a son, Colin. Since 1996, he has been married to Julie Tokashiki. They have one daughter, Emi.
|1962||War Hunt||Sergeant Stan Showalter|
|1964||One Man's Way||Leonard Peal (Grown)|
|1965||Those Calloways||Whit Turner|
|1970||M*A*S*H||Captain Augustus Bedford "Duke" Forrest|
|1971||Wild Rovers||John Buckman|
|Harold and Maude||Motorcycle Officer||Credited as M. Borman|
|1972||Fuzz||Detective Bert Kling|
|1974||Thieves Like Us||Dee Mobley|
|Run, Run, Joe!||Margherito|
|Big Bad Mama||Fred Diller|
|1975||The Devil's Rain||Tom Preston|
|1976||Plot of Fear||Chief Inspector|
|Madama, La||Rick Dylan|
|1977||The Turning Point||Wayne Rodgers|
|1978||Up in Smoke||Strawberry|
|Ice Castles||Marcus Winston|
|1979||Alien||Captain Arthur Dallas|
|1981||A Dangerous Summer||Howard Anderson|
|Silence of the North||Walter Reamer|
|1982||Fighting Back||John D'Angelo|
|1983||The Dead Zone||Sheriff George Bannerman|
|1986||Top Gun||CDR Mike "Viper" Metcalf|
|1987||Maid to Order||Charles Montgomery|
|The Big Town||Phil Carpenter|
|1988||Honor Bound||Sam Cahill|
|Poltergeist III||Bruce Gardner|
|1989||Big Man on Campus||Dr. Webster|
|Steel Magnolias||Drum Eatenton|
|1990||The Rookie||Eugene Ackerman|
|1992||Poison Ivy||Darryl Cooper|
|Knight Moves||Captain Frank Sedman|
|Wild Orchid 2: Two Shades of Blue||Ham McDonald||Direct-to-video release|
|A River Runs Through It||Reverend John Maclean|
|1998||Smoke Signals||Police Chief|
|1999||The Other Sister||Dr. Radley Tate|
|2001||Texas Rangers||Richard Dukes|
|Changing Hearts||Johnny Pinkley|
|Greenmail||Tom Bradshaw||Direct-to-video release|
|2003||Tears of the Sun||Captain Bill Rhodes|
|2006||Stephen King's Desperation||Johnny Marinville|
|2007||The Velveteen Rabbit||Horse|
|2008||Beer for My Horses||Sheriff Wilson Landry|
|2009||Whiteout||Dr. John Fury|
|For Sale by Owner||Clive Farrier|
|Rivers of a Lost Coast||Narrator|
|2011||Your Love Never Fails||Jack|
|Soda Springs||Walt Jackson|
|2014||Field of Lost Shoes||Ulysses S. Grant|
|Wings: Sky Force Heroes||Colonel|
|2016||A Hologram for the King||Ron Clay|
|Day of Days||Mr. Walter|
|2021||East of the Mountains||Ben Givens|
|Catch The Bullet||Dex|
Glinski (uncredited) Hicks Burke Sergeant Decker
|Episode: "Combat Front"|
Episode: "A Day in June"
Episode: "The Prisoner"
Episode: "Losers Cry Deal"
Episode: "Nothing to Lose"
Episode: "The Gantlet"
|1962–1971||The Virginian||Eric Kroeger
Reverend Paul Martin Billy Landers Moran Rafe Bobby Allen
|Episode: "Impasse (aired 1962)"|
Episode: "The Secret of Brynmar Hall"
Episode: "The Showdown"
Episode: "The Crooked Path"
Episode: "The Saddle Warmer"
Episode: "Nan Allen"
|1963||Laramie||Price||Episode: "No Place to Run"|
|The Real McCoys||Mailman||Episode: "Aunt Win Steps In"|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Dr. Frank Farmer||Episode: "Run for Doom"|
|My Three Sons||Young Steve||Episode: "The Proposals"|
|1963–1968||Death Valley Days||Emmett DaltonDennis Driscoll||Episode: "Three Minutes to Eternity"|
Episode: "Honor the Name Dennis Driscoll"
Episode: "The Book"
Episode: "Sense of Justice"
Episode: "Ten Day Millionaires"
|1964||Wagon Train||Hamish Browne||Episode: "The Last Circle Up"|
|My Favorite Martian||Dr. Edgar Edgarton||Episode: "Miss Jekyll and Hyde"|
|1964–1967||12 O'Clock High||Lieutenant Ryan
Lieutenant Parmalee Sergeant Ben Rodale Lieutenant Paddy Gialella Technical Sergeant Neely
|Episode: "Soldiers Sometimes Kill"|
Episode: "Those Who Are About to Die"
Episode: "The Came the Mighty Hunter"
Episode: "Twenty Fifth Mission"
Episode: "Long Time Dead"
Corporal Bill Tanner
|Episode: "Thanks for Everything, Friend"|
Episode: "The Hunter"
|1965||Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea||Frank Richardson||Episode: "The Enemies"|
|Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||Corky Mardis||Episode: "...The Daily Press vs. City Hall"|
|1965-1966||The Fugitive||Neely Hollister
|Episode: "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet"|
Episode: "Joshua's Kingdom"
Ben Stone Orv Timpson Fred Garth Tuck Frye
|Episode: "The Pretender"|
Episode: "The Jailer"
Episode: "The Moonstone"
Episode: "The Noose"
|1966||The Time Tunnel||Matthew Gebhardt||Episode: "The Death Trap"|
|1966–1972||The F.B.I.||Robert Hastings
John Clarence Rim Thorn Hazard Bill Leonard
|Episode: "The Assassin"|
Episode: "The Legend of John Rim"
Episode: "Unknown Victim"
Episode: "The Deadly Species"
|1967||Mannix||Morgan Carpenter||Episode: "Warning - Live Blueberries"|
|Hallmark Hall of Fame||Trapani||Episode: "A Bell for Adano"|
|1968||Cimarron Strip||Enoch Shelton||Episode: "Knife in the Darkness"|
|Run for Your Life||Lou Patterson||Episode: "The Killing Scene"|
|Felony Squad||Gerald Gardner||Episode: "Matched for Murder"|
|1969||The Outsider||Arnie Cambor||Episode: "A Bowl of Cherries"|
|Lancer||Bill Blake||Episode: "The Knot"|
|1970||Hawaii Five-O||Lew Morgan||Episode: "Most Likely to Murder"|
|Medical Center||Artie Atwood||Episode: "Between Dark and Daylight"|
|The Name of the Game||Pete||Episode: "Cynthia Is Alive and Living in Avalon"|
|Bracken's World||Gil Dobie||Episode: "A Team of One-Legged Acrobats|
|1971||Storefront Lawyers||Paul Marek||Episode: "This Money Kills Dreams"|
|The Birdmen||Orville "Fitz" Fitzgerald||ABC Television film|
|Nichols||Charley Doyle||Episode: "The Marrying Fool"|
Toby Hauser Sheriff Andrews
|Episode: "The Salinas Jackpot"|
Episode: "Nobody Beats the House"
Episode: "The Conspirators"
|1974||Get Christie Love!||Unknown||Episode: "Deadly Betrayal"|
|Kolchak: The Night Stalker||Senator Robert W. Palmer||Episode: "The Devil's Platform"|
|The Manhunter||Barry Richards||Episode: "Flight to Nowhere"|
|1975||The Last Day||Bill Powers||NBC Television film|
|Barnaby Jones||Darrin Addison||Episode: "Image of Evil"|
|1976||SWAT||Maynard Hill||Episode: "Dragons and Owls"|
|Sara||Newt Johnson||Episode: "The Child Bride"|
|Alle origini della mafia||Bernardino Campo||ITC miniseries; Episode: "La Speranza"|
|1978||Baretta||Al Brimmer||Episode: "The Appointment"|
|Maneaters are Loose!||John Gosford||CBS Television film|
|1983||Ryan's Four||Dr. Thomas Ryan||5 episodes|
|1984||Calendar Girl Murders||Lieutenant Dan Stoner||ABC Television film|
|A Touch of Scandal||Father Dwelle||CBS Television film|
|1986||Miles to Go...||Stuart Browning||CBS Television film|
|The Hitchhiker||Detective Frank Sheen||Episode: "True Believer"|
|The Parent Trap II||Bill Grand||ABC Television film|
|The Twilight Zone||Alex Mattingly||Episode: "What Are Friends For?"|
|Danger Bay||Don Bared||Episode: "The Fish Who Walks"|
|1987||Poker Alice||Jeremy Collins||CBS Television film|
Based on the frontier gambler Poker Alice, with Elizabeth Taylor in the lead role
|1987–1988||Cheers||Evan Drake||Episode: "A Kiss Is Still a Kiss"|
Episode: "Tale of Two Cuties"
Episode: "Yacht of Fools"
Episode: "Let Sleeping Drakes Lie"
Episode: "The Sam in the Grey Flannel Suit"
Episode: "Backseat Becky, Up Front"
|1988||Moving Target||Joseph Kellogg||NBC Television film|
|Nightmare at Bittercreek||Ding||CBS Television film|
|1989||The Heist||Ebbet Berens||HBO Television film|
|Red King, White Knight||Stoner||HBO Television film|
|1990||The China Lake Murders||Sheriff Sam Brodie||Television film|
|Child in the Night||Bass||CBS Television film|
|ABC Afterschool Special||Jim||Episode: "A Question About Sex"|
|She'll Take Romance||Judge Warren Danvers||ABC Television film|
|1992||Getting Up and Going Home||Jack Montgomery||Television film|
|In Sickness and in Health||Jarrett Mattison||CBS Television film|
|1992–1996||Picket Fences||Sheriff Jimmy Brock||87 episodes|
|1997||Divided by Hate||Steve Riordan||USA Television film|
|Chicago Hope||Jim Kellner||Episode: "Guns N' Roses"|
|What the Deaf Man Heard||Norm Jenkins||CBS Television film|
|1998||Two for Texas||Sam Houston||TNT Television film|
|1999||Into the Wild Blue||Host||History Documentary|
|The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer||Fred Maddux||NBC miniseries|
|Aftershock: Earthquake in New York||Thomas Ahearn||CBS Television film|
|2000||An American Daughter||Walter||Lifetime Television film|
|High Noon||Will Kane||TBS Television film|
|Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis||Joseph P. "Joe" Kennedy||CBS Television film|
|2001||Chestnut Hill||Daniel Eastman||Unsold TV pilot|
|The Voyage to Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Host||Short Documentary|
|2002||Path to War||General William Westmoreland||HBO Television film|
|Will & Grace||Dr. Jay Markus||Episode: "The Needle and the Omelet's Done"|
|2003||Biography||Passages Read By||Episode: "Jack London—Forces of Nature"|
|The West Wing||Senator Chris Carrick||Episode: "Constituency of One"|
|2004||Homeland Security||Admiral McKee||NBC Television film|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Judge Oliver Taft||Episode: "Poison"|
|The Grid||CIA Deputy Director Acton Sandman||TNT miniseries|
|2005||Vinegar Hill||Fritz Grier||CBS Television film|
|Category 7: The End of the World||Colonel Mike Davis||CBS miniseries|
|2006||Mammoth||Simon Abernathy||Sci-Fi Television film|
|Huff||Ben Huffstodt||Episode: "Red Meat"|
Episode: "So...What Brings You to Armageddon?"
Episode: "Radio Silence"
|Desperation||John Edward Marinville||ABC Television film|
|2006–2008||Brothers & Sisters||William Walker||Episode: "Patriarchy (pilot)"|
Episode: "Mistakes Were Made (Part 1 & 2)"
Episode: "Love Is Difficult"
Episode: "Prior Commitments"
Episode: "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
|2007||Killer Wave||Victor Bannister||Miniseries|
|The Dead Zone||Herb Smith||Episode: "Denouement"|
|2008||Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!||Himself||Episode: "Pepperoni"|
|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde||Gabe Utterson||Television film|
|The Trojan Horse||President Stanfield||CBC miniseries|
|2010||Leverage||Jimmy Ford||Episode: "The Three Card Monte Job"|
|The Closer||Joey O.||Episode: "Elysian Fields"|
|2012||Leverage||Jimmy Ford||Episode: "The Radio Job"|
|White Collar||Alan Mitchell||Episode: "Pulling Strings"|
|2014||The Good Wife||James Paisley||Episode: "We, the Juries"|
Episode: "The One Percent"
|2015||Madam Secretary||Patrick McCord||Episode: "Chains of Command"|
|2016||Journey Back to Christmas||Tobias Cook||Television film|
|2014||Alien: Isolation||Arthur Dallas||Voice; Nostromo Edition|
|American Television Awards||Picket Fences||1993||Best Actor in a Dramatic Series||Nominated|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Contact||1998||Favorite Supporting Actor — Drama||Nominated|
|DVD Exclusive Awards||Alien||2003||Best Audio Commentary (New for DVD) (for reissue – Alien Quadrilogy)||Won|
|Emmy Awards (Primetime)||Picket Fences||1993||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Won|||
|Genie Awards||Silence of the North||1982||Best Performance by a Foreign Actor||Nominated|
|Golden Globes||Picket Fences||1994||Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama||Nominated|||
|Key West Film Festival||Alien/The Phantom 52||2019||Career Achievement Award||Won|
|National Board of Review Awards||The Turning Point||1977||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Satellite Awards||East of the Mountains||2022||Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama||Nominated|
|—||2022||Mary Pickford Award||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Leverage||2012||Best Guest Performance in a Television Series||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Picket Fences||1995||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Viewers for Quality Television Awards||Picket Fences||1993||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Nominated|
|Picket Fences||1994||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Nominated|
|Western Heritage Awards||Two for Texas||1999||Television Feature Film||Won|