Stately stage leading man Howard C. Hickman entered films through the auspices of producer Thomas H. Ince. Hickman starred as Count Ferdinand, the Messianic protagonist of Ince's Civilization (1916). He co-starred with his actress wife Bessie Barriscale in several productions before returning to the theatre. In the talkie era, he accepted innumerable featured and bit roles as doctors, judges, ministers, senators, and executives. Generations of filmgoers will remember Howard Hickman for his brief appearance as John Wilkes, father of Ashley Wilkes and father-in-law of Melanie Hamilton, in Gone with the Wind (1939).