kids encyclopedia robot

Tom Skerritt facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Tom Skerritt
Tom Skerritt 2014 (cropped).jpg
Skerritt in 2014
Thomas Roy Skerritt

(1933-08-25) August 25, 1933 (age 90)
Alma mater
Occupation Actor
Years active 1962–present
Charlotte Shanks
(m. 1957; div. 1972)
Sue Oran
(m. 1977; div. 1992)
Julie Tokashiki
(m. 1998)
Children 5
Military career
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  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.

Early life

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.

Tom Skerritt at the 47th Emmy Awards cropped
Skerritt in September 1994

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.

Personal life

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.



Year Title Role Notes
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
Savage Harvest Casey
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
SpaceCamp Zach Bergstrom
Opposing Force Logan
Wisdom Lloyd Wisdom
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
Singles Mayor Weber
1997 Contact David Drumlin
1998 Smoke Signals Police Chief
1999 The Other Sister Dr. Radley Tate
2001 Texas Rangers Richard Dukes
2002 Tuscaloosa
Changing Hearts Johnny Pinkley
Greenmail Tom Bradshaw Direct-to-video release
2003 Tears of the Sun Captain Bill Rhodes
Swing George Verdi
2006 Bonneville Emmett
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
2010 Redemption Road Santa
2011 Your Love Never Fails Jack
2012 Ted Himself
Soda Springs Walt Jackson
Wings Colonel
2013 Redwood Highway Pete
2014 Field of Lost Shoes Ulysses S. Grant
Wings: Sky Force Heroes Colonel
2016 A Hologram for the King Ron Clay
2017 Lucky Fred
Day of Days Mr. Walter
2019 The Phantom 52 Trucker/Whale/Ghost animated short film (premiered at Sundance)
2021 East of the Mountains Ben Givens
Catch The Bullet Dex

Gunsmoke. 12/17/1966

Orv Timpson


Year Title Role Notes
1962–1967 Combat! Soldier (uncredited)

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

Patrick Hogan Roy BeanSam Clemens

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"
1964-1973 Bonanza Jerry

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

Pete Edwards

Episode: "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet"
Episode: "Joshua's Kingdom"
1965–1972 Gunsmoke Edmund Dano

Ben Stone Orv Timpson Fred Garth Tuck Frye

Episode: "The Pretender"
Episode: "The Jailer"
Episode: "The Moonstone"
Episode: "The Noose"
Episode: "Jubilee"
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"
1971–1975 Cannon Dude

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 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 1 episode
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
Fallen Zeke ABC miniseries
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

Video game

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Gun Clay Allison Voice Only
2014 Alien: Isolation Arthur Dallas Voice; Nostromo Edition

Awards and nominations

Association Nominated Work Year Category Results Ref
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
1994 Nominated
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
1995 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
N/A 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
1996 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

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Tom Skerritt para niños

kids search engine
Tom Skerritt Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.