James Sikking

Active - 1949 - 2008  |   Born - Mar 5, 1934 in Los Angeles, California  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Thriller, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

James B. Sikking (the "B" stands for Barrie, as in James M. Barrie, his parents' favorite author) was active in student theatricals at the University of California-Santa Barbara, UCLA and the University of Hawaii. Sikking's first film was 1963's The Strangler; his subsequent movie work found him alternating between punkish villains and steely authority types. His earliest regular TV stint was as Dr. James Hobart, one of Rachel Ames' many amours, on the daytime drama General Hospital. If we bypass his brief stint as cosmetics executive Geoffrey St. James in the mercifully short-lived 1979 sitcom Turnabout, we can regard Lt. Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues as Sikking's first recurring prime-time TV characterization. Looking like a cross between George C. Scott and Roy Scheider on both of their bad days, Lt. Hunter was Hill Street Station's gonzo SWAT team leader, eager to prove his worth by blowing a hole in anyone who looks at him cross-eyed. It is to Sikking's credit that he invested this initially two-dimensional character with depth and humanity, so much so that Hunter caused viewers' hearts to skip a beat or two when he attempted suicide in a 1984 episode. Sikking remained with H.S.B. until its cancellation in 1987, moving on to such assignments as "The Old Man" in the Jean Shepherd-inspired cable flick Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss (1989). From 1989 to 1993, Sikking co-starred as Dr. David Howser, father of 16-year-old medical genius Neil Patrick Harris, on the weekly sitcom Doogie Howser MD. James B. Sikking's recent film credits include the pompous Captain Styles in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (1984) and FBI chief Denton Voglers in The Pelican Brief (1994).

Movie Highlights

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