James Sikking

James Sikking

Mar. 5th, 1934
Born in
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 10"

James Sikking's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Doogie Howser, M.D. TV Show
Doogie Howser, M.D.
Hill Street Blues TV Show
Hill Street Blues
Room 222 TV Show
Room 222
Brooklyn South TV Show
Brooklyn South
Turnabout TV Show

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


James B. Sikking is still probably best known for his yeoman work on the TV series "Hill Street Blues" throughout most of the 80s. The Los Angeles native was born in 1934, the son of Unity ministers. His full name -- James Barrie Sikking -- was given to him as James M. Barrie (of "Peter Pan" fame) was his parents' favorite author at the time. Graduating from El Segundo High School, Sikking's interest in acting started after participating in various college plays while a student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, UCLA and the University of Hawaii. He made his professional stage debut with a production of "Damn Yankees" and broke into films with unbilled work in the films Five Guns West (1955) and The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956). He finally started receiving billing in the 1960s, albeit bit parts in films and TV, as minor villains or in-charge types with such roles as a professional assassin in Point Blank (1967), the head of vice squad in The New Centurions (1972), and a CIA agent in Scorpio (1973) coming his way. Sikking's first steady TV job was playing Dr. James Hobart for three years on the daytime soap "General Hospital" during the 1970s. Moving into "Grade A" quality films in the early 1980s, he still stayed pretty much in the background with little chance to shine such as his playing of Donald Sutherland's white-collar business buddy in the Oscar-winning Ordinary People (1980). It took his scene-stealing role as the gung-ho, often volatile and emotionally unpredictable Lt. Howard Hunter on "Hill Street Blues," however, to alter the course of his career. Following the show's demise after six seasons, Sikking continued to move around in the top supporting ranks, finding steady work on TV as David Howser, Neil Patrick Harris' doctor dad on "Doogie Howser, M.D." and in important roles in such mini-movies as "Doing Time on Maple Drive." Continuing in such movies as Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (1984), Narrow Margin (1990) and The Pelican Brief (1994), typically playing various authoritarians, he had a rare movie co-lead in Final Approach (1991). Long married to wife Florine, whom he met while at UCLA, his son Andrew is also an actor.

  • Father of 'Andrew Sikking' (qv). Also has a daughter, Emily.

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