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Michael Chiklis (1963)

Michael Charles Chiklis

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  Summary  

Michael Charles Chiklis is an American actor, voice actor, occasional director and television producer. Some of the previous roles for which he is best known include Commissioner Tony Scali on the ABC police drama The Commish, LAPD Detective Vic Mackey on the FX police drama The Shield, Thing in the Fantastic Four film series, and Jim Powell on the science-fiction, comedy-drama No Ordinary Family.

  Biography  

 early life
Chiklis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of Charlie Chiklis, a second-generation Greek American who runs a hair/beauty salon, and Katherine, a hospital administrative aide from whom Chiklis has been described as inheriting his acting ability. Chiklis' paternal ancestors came from Lesbos Island and his mother is of Greek and Irish descent. Chiklis grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and began entertaining his family with celebrity imitations when he was five years old. As a child, Chiklis appeared in regional theater productions and became a member of the Actors' Equity Association at age thirteen. He later attended Boston University College of Fine Arts, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

At age 20, Chiklis shaved his head to look like he had male-pattern baldness for his role as a 95-year-old man in You Can't Take It With You. Instead of using powder on his head , he used greasepaint, and he failed to remove it properly at the end of each day. This killed the hair follicles on his head, essentially shaping his career in many ways. Chiklis has said in an that this was a very traumatic experience as a young actor, and is the reason he wore a hairpiece in Wired.

 career
After graduation, Chiklis moved to New York City with high ambitions, but he struggled for several years before being cast in the role of John Belushi in the controversial biopic Wired in 1989. The film was panned in general and flopped at the box office. He also guest starred in several popular television series such as Miami Vice, L.A. Law, Murphy Brown, and Seinfeld alongside bit parts in films like Nixon.

Chiklis' first successful role was in The Commish, a police comedy/drama that ran from 1991-1996 on ABC. Chiklis played Anthony "Tony" J. Scali, a police commissioner in a small city in upstate New York. A stern but lovable father figure, Chiklis' character had an easygoing style, smart wit, and an unorthodox approach to parenthood and police work. After The Commish, Chiklis starred in the short-lived and critically panned NBC sitcom Daddio.

After playing Curly Howard in a television movie about the Three Stooges, Chiklis decided to reinvent his image. With his wife's help, he spent six months on an extensive workout regimen and shaved his head. He turned up to audition for The Shield looking nothing like the pudgy, friendly character of The Commish. Winning over creator Shawn Ryan, Chiklis nabbed the leading role of the show's anti-hero, LAPD Detective Vic Mackey. Although The Shield was extremely controversial because of its violent content, Chiklis' performance was highly praised. His first major recognition came when he won the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series for the role. Chiklis received a Golden Globe Award that same year for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series-Drama as well. Between 2004 and 2005, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series but did not win. Chiklis later parodied his role as Vic Mackey in "Monstourage," an episode of Robot Chicken. The skit involved Mackey accidentally switching places with Ben Grimm.

Since 2000, Chiklis has taken up a number of voice roles, voicing Chihiro's father, Akio, in the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away and Roman/King Webster in the direct-to-video feature The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina. He has also performed in several episodes of Family Guy and had a voice role in Heavy Gear: The Animated Series.

In 2005, he starred in Fantastic Four as Thing and reprised the role in its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Being a fan of the comic book series, he had dreamed of playing the character if ever there was a Fantastic Four movie being produced. Chiklis was often praised for his performance in a film that otherwise earned mixed reviews.

Chiklis had a role in the 2008 film Eagle Eye as the United States Secretary of Defense.

In the wake of Bernard Madoff scandal, Chiklis is developing a series at FX about a similar investment scheme. The project, called House of Cards, concerns a group committing an elaborate scam similar to the Madoff fraud. Chiklis had been developing the project since February 2008 after he and his wife became victims of a Ponzi scheme themselves. Cards will likely center on the leader of the scheme, with Chiklis planning to executive produce but not star.

Chiklis most recently starred in the ABC television series No Ordinary Family, which premiered on September 28, 2010, as part of the 2010-11 television season and ended in April, 2011.

 personal life
Chiklis married Michelle Epstein on June 21, 1992, and they have two daughters, Autumn, born on October 9, 1993, and Odessa, born in 1999. Autumn played Vic Mackey's daughter Cassidy on The Shield.

He attended Andover High School, the same high school as his good friend Jay Leno.

A lifelong comic book fan, he rarely turns down an autograph request from children. In fact, according to the DVD commentary for the Fantastic Four film, his voice has been going hoarse from doing The Thing's voice so many times; in Chiklis's own words: How do you say "no" to an 8 year old?

Chiklis is a fan of both the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins, was interviewed for the HBO documentary The Curse of the Bambino about the Red Sox's long struggle to win the World Series, and narrated the video introduction of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

He is also an accomplished musician, specializing in drums and vocals but also playing guitar and bass. A member of several performing bands in the Boston area such as The Surgeon General, Best Kept Secret and Double Talk.

In 2011, Michael Chiklis and his band MCB released their first single "Til I Come Home." This powerful rock ballad is a tribute to soldiers who long for the day when they come home to loved ones. The song has been critically acclaimed world wide. MCB's prior music was another single, Make Me High written for the independent film High School starring Chiklis, Adrien Brody, Colin Hanks and Matt Bush. It is scheduled for spring 2011 release.

 Philanthropy
Chiklis has participated in celebrity Texas Hold 'Em tournaments to benefit comedian Brad Garrett's charity foundation, Maximum Hope.
Michael has worked closely with many different charities over the years including The Children's Lifesaving Foundation, The Alzheimer's Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Revlon Run Walk benefiting breast cancer research.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Michael Chiklis", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.