#M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory), On this day, June 20, 1931 actor James Stewart Tolkan was born

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Known for his work in films such as Serpico, Top Gun and the Back to the Future franchise., American actor James Stewart Tolkan was born on this day,  June 20, 1931.

A Calumet, Michigan native,  Tolkan  appeared in Serpico (1973) in a small but notable role as a cop who loudly accuses Officer Serpico of having a gay encounter with another cop in the men’s room.


He is also known for his role in the 1985 film Back to the Future as the strict, Hill Valley High School principal Gerald Strickland.

He is also know as Stinger, the no-nonsense commanding officer of the USS Enterprise’s (CVN-65) embarked Carrier Air Wing in the 1986 box-office hit Top Gun.

He portrayed the role of cold and determined District Attorney Polito in Sidney Lumet’s Prince of the City. He also appeared in the 1987 film Masters of the Universe as Detective Lubic.

He had a dual role in the Woody Allen comedy Love and Death, playing both Napoleon and a look-alike. He also appeared as Big Boy Caprice’s accountant “Numbers” in the 1990 Warren Beatty film Dick Tracy.

Tolkan is 86 today.


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