James Pickens, Jr.

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James Pickens, Jr.
James Pickens, Jr.jpg
James Pickens, Jr. (with Dawnn Lewis) at a charity golf tournament, 2008
BornJames Pickens, Jr.
(1954-10-26) October 26, 1954 (age 59)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Spouse(s)Gina Pickens
ChildrenCarl Pickens
Gavyn Pickens
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James Pickens, Jr.
James Pickens, Jr.jpg
James Pickens, Jr. (with Dawnn Lewis) at a charity golf tournament, 2008
BornJames Pickens, Jr.
(1954-10-26) October 26, 1954 (age 59)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Spouse(s)Gina Pickens
ChildrenCarl Pickens
Gavyn Pickens

James Pickens, Jr. (born October 26, 1954) is an American actor. He is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy, and for his supporting role as Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on later seasons of the Fox Network science fiction series The X-Files.

Early life[edit]

Pickens was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He began acting while a student at Bowling Green State University. His first acting role was in a campus production of Matters of Choice by Chuck Gordone.[1] Pickens earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from BGSU in 1976.[1]


Pickens started his professional acting career at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City playing Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun.[1] In 1981, Pickens performed in the Negro Ensemble Company's production of A Soldier's Play, starring alongside Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.[1]

In 1990, Pickens moved to the West Coast and began his Hollywood career playing Zack Edwards on the soap opera Another World from 1986 to 1990. He went on to have recurring roles on "X-Files" as Deputy Director Kersh, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The West Wing, Roseanne, Beverly Hills, 90210, JAG, and Six Feet Under.

In 2002, Pickens had a cameo appearance as the male zoo doctor in the film Red Dragon.

In the February 28, 2007, all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, he portrays a man whose life experiences lead him to volunteer in the peace movement, and plays alongside actors Ed Asner, Barbara Bain, Amy Brenneman, George Coe, and Wendie Malick. The play is an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution,[2] which seeks to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the U.S. government, to be funded by a two percent diversion of the Pentagon's annual budget.[3]

In 2005, Pickens was chosen to play Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

Personal life[edit]

Pickens is married to Gina Taylor, a former member of Musique, and has two children. In his spare time Pickens can be found riding horseback and roping cattle. He is a member of the United States Team Roping Championship and competes in roping events across the country. He owns an American Quarter Horse named Smokey.

James's two children, Carl Tharps and Gavyn Picken, are both pursuing careers in show business. His son Carl is working on a Hip-Hop career and can be seen in various television appearances, including Hangin' with Mr. Cooper where he appeared alongside his long-time friend Omar Gooding. His father James Pickens Sr. worked for the City of Cleveland.


1986F/XAmbulance Driver
1992TrespassPolice Officer Reese
1993Boiling PointPrison Officer
1993Menace II SocietyMan
1994Hostile IntentionsCapt. Connor
1994Jimmy HollywoodCook
1995Dead PresidentsMr. Curtis
1995NixonBlack Orator
1996Power 98Det. Wilkinson
1996Ghosts of MississippiMedgar Evers
1997RocketManBen Stevens
1998SeinfeldDet Hudson
1998SphereO.S.S.A. Instructor
1998BulworthUncle David
1998How Stella Got Her Groove BackWalter Payne
1999Liberty HeightsSylvia's Father
2000TrafficBen Williams
2002Home RoomPrincipal Robbins
2003White RushDenny
2008Ball Don't LieRoberto
2010Just WrightLloyd Wright
201342 (film)Mr. Brock


1986–90Another WorldZack Edwards
1992BlossomVinnieEpisode: "The Letter"
1992Parker Lewis Can't LoseFredEpisode: "Hungry Heart"
1992ExclusiveJonathan HeglinTelevision film
1992L.A. LawJoseph RussellEpisode: "Zo Long"
1992Doogie Howser, M.D.BertEpisode: "Roommate with a View"
1991–92Beverly Hills, 90210Henry Thomas
1993Murder, She WroteSonny GreeneEpisode: "The Survivor"
1994RenegadeEpisode: "Hostage"
1994CoachRick WilliamsEpisode: "Blue Chip Blues"
1994SodbustersIsaacTelevision film
1994Me and the BoysCoachEpisode: "Black Dads Can't Jump"
1994Child's Cry for Help, AA Child's Cry for HelpBrad CurrieTelevision film
1994Lily in WinterChickTelevision film
1995Trial by FireTelevision film
1995Sharon's SecretAshmoreTelevision film
1995Touched by an AngelGeorgeEpisode: "The Driver"
1996BloodhoundsAgent John DeGrafTelevision film
1996In the HouseRussellEpisode: "My Crazy Valentine"
1996Lazarus Man, TheThe Lazarus ManEpisode: "The Conspirator"
1996One West WaikikiEpisode: "Allergic to Golf"
1996Dangerous MindsCoach Butch KellyEpisode: "Moonstruck"
1990–96RoseanneChuck Mitchell
1997Pacific PalisadesJosh SmithEpisode: "Past & Present Danger"
1997Walker, Texas RangerStaff Sergeant Luther ParrishEpisode: "The Fighting McLains"
1996–97Something So RightJim
1998Pretender, TheThe PretenderClark ThomasEpisode: "Crash"
1998SeinfeldDetective HudsonEpisode: "The Finale"
1998Little Girl Fly AwayDetective Walter EngelhartTelevision film
1997–98Brooklyn SouthDetectiveFour episodes
1999Vengeance UnlimitedMr. HobbsEpisode: "Friends"
1999Slight Case of Murder, AA Slight Case of MurderDet. Larry GrayTelevision film
1999JAGCommander Wallace BurkeEpisode: "The Return" & "Rogue"
2000City of AngelsWilson PattersonEpisodes: "The Prince and the Porker", "Assume the Position" & "Deliver the Male"
2000DaddioDoug GraysonEpisode: "The Premium Also Rises"
2000District, TheThe DistrictMr. LaneEpisode: "The Real Terrorist"
2000Family LawEpisode: "Family Values"
1993–2000NYPD BlueNathan Foster
Lt. Joe Abner
Episode: "Personal Foul"
Episodes: "Along Came Jones", "Jackass" & "Little Abner"
1997–2000Practice, TheThe PracticeDetective Mike McKrew
1998–2000Any Day NowJudge Lucius PearlEpisodes: "Huh?", "A Parent's Job" and "Pay Your Dues"
2001Semper FiMr. MaddoxTelevision film, uncredited role
2002Strong MedicineDr. Everett SloaneEpisode: "Outcomes"
2002Crossing JordanAgent HawkinsEpisode: "Bombs Away"
2002MDsMr. FarrellEpisode: "Cruel and Unusual"
1998–2002X-Files, TheThe X-FilesFBI Deputy Director Alvin KershScreen Actors Guild Award (nominated)
2001–02PhillyClyde Coleman
2003CSI: MiamiPrison WardenEpisode: "Body Count"
2003Lyon's Den, TheThe Lyon's DenTerrance ChristiansonEpisodes: "The Fifth", "Pilot" and "Hubris"
2002–03Six Feet UnderRoderick CharlesEpisodes: "The Liar and the Whore" & "Everyone Leaves"
2002–03BeckerCliff BennettEpisodes: "Blind Injustice" & "But I've Got Friends I Haven't Used Yet"
2004Line of FireKenneth StevensEpisode: "The Senator"
2004West Wing, TheThe West WingMayorEpisode: "Full Disclosure"
2004Jack & BobbyMarcus RidePilot episode
2005Curb Your EnthusiasmDoctorEpisodes: "The Smoking Jacket" & "The Ski Lift"
2007–09Private PracticeRichard WebberEpisodes: "In Which We Meet Addison, a Nice Girl From Somewhere Else"; "Ex-Life"
2005–presentGrey's AnatomyRichard WebberNAACP Image Award (nominated-2)
Screen Actors Guild Award (won-1) (nominated-1)


  1. ^ a b c d Anatomy of an Actor, BGSU Magazine , 8(Summer 2007):12-13.
  2. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.00808: 808
  3. ^ Martino, Stacey (2007-02-28). "The Peace Alliance". The Gift of Peace. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 

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