Michael Chiklis

Michael Charles Chiklis (/ˈɪklɪs/ born August 30, 1963) is an American actor, television director, television producer and musician. He is best known for his role as Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Detective Vic Mackey on the FX police drama The Shield (2002–2008), for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2002, and was nominated in 2003. Other starring television roles of his include Commissioner Tony Scali on the ABC police drama The Commish (1991–1996), Chris Woods in Daddio (2000), Jim Powell on the ABC science-fiction comedy-drama No Ordinary Family (2010–2011), Vincent Savino in the CBS crime drama Vegas (2012), Dell Toledo in American Horror Story: Freak Show (2014), and Nathaniel Barnes in Gotham (2015–2017). In film, he is best known for his roles as The Thing in two Fantastic Four films (2005–2007), George Callister in Eagle Eye (2008), Terry Eidson in When the Game Stands Tall (2014), and Father Dave in Hubie Halloween (2020).

Michael Chiklis
Chiklis in 2019
Michael Charles Chiklis

(1963-08-30) August 30, 1963
EducationBoston University (BFA)
Occupation(s)Actor, director, producer
Years active1989–present
Michelle Chiklis
(m. 1992)
Children2, including Autumn

Early life

Chiklis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. His mother, Katherine (née Vousboukis), is a hospital administrative aide, and his father, Charlie Chiklis, runs a hair/beauty salon.[1][2] Chiklis has been described as having inherited his acting ability from his mother.[3] His father is a second-generation Greek American (his paternal ancestors came from Lesbos), and his mother is of Greek and Irish descent.[4] Chiklis grew up in Andover, Massachusetts[5] and began entertaining his family with celebrity imitations when he was 5 years old. As a child, Chiklis appeared in regional theater productions and became a member of the Actors' Equity Association at age 13. In the ninth grade, he portrayed Hawkeye Pierce in Andover High School's production of M*A*S*H.[5] He graduated from Boston University College of Fine Arts[6] with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.[7]


After graduating from college, Chiklis moved to Brooklyn, New York and was cast in the role of John Belushi in the controversial biopic Wired (1989).[8] The film was panned in general and flopped at the box office, though Chiklis's performance as Belushi (one of his idols) was highly praised.[9] He also guest starred in several popular television series such as Miami Vice, B.L. Stryker, Wiseguy, L.A. Law, Murphy Brown, and Seinfeld, as well as in bit parts in such films as Nixon.

Chiklis' first successful role was in The Commish, a police comedy/drama that ran from 1991 to 1996 on ABC. Chiklis played Anthony "Tony" J. Scali, a police commissioner in a small city in upstate New York. After The Commish, Chiklis starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Daddio.

In 1997, Chiklis replaced Rob Becker in the Broadway one-man show Defending the Caveman, taking on the role from January 1997[10] to the show's closing in June 1997.[11]

After playing Curly Howard in the TV movie The Three Stooges (2000), 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.[12] Chiklis won over creator Shawn Ryan and nabbed the leading role of the show's anti-hero, LAPD Detective Vic Mackey. 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 the Robot Chicken episode, "Monstourage"; the skit involved Mackey's 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 (2005) as Thing and reprised the role in its sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). A fan of the comic book series, he had dreamed of playing the character if ever a Fantastic Four movie were produced. Chiklis was often praised for his performance in a film that otherwise earned mixed reviews. His wife visited him on set during the filming but was unaware that he would be in his full bodysuit and makeup as The Thing; she was totally unprepared to see him like that, found it very distressing, and had to be guided from the set in order to collect herself.

In the film Eagle Eye (2008), Chiklis portrays the United States Secretary of Defense.

In the wake of the Bernie 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.[13]

Chiklis later starred in the ABC television series No Ordinary Family, which premiered on September 28, 2010,[14] as part of the 2010–11 television season[15] and ended in April, 2011.[16] He also co-starred in the CBS Crime drama Vegas.

In March 2014, it was announced that Chiklis had been cast in American Horror Story: Freak Show, season 4 of the FX anthology series.[17]

In 2014, Chiklis played a small part towards the end of the FX series Sons of Anarchy. He appears first in the episode "Rose Red", as a trucker who first encounters Gemma, who is on her way to her father, at a truck stop. He also plays a truck driver in the series finale.

In 2015, he appeared in Gotham as Captain Nathaniel Barnes.[18] In a nod to Chiklis' time on the Strike Team on The Shield, his character established a similarly named "Strike Force".

In September 2016, Chiklis released his first solo album, INFLUENCE. He wrote and produced the album at his own Extravaganza Music Studio.[19]

Personal life

Chiklis married Michelle Epstein on June 21, 1992, and they have two daughters: Autumn, born on October 9, 1993, and Odessa, born on March 26, 1999.[20] Autumn played Vic Mackey's daughter Cassidy on The Shield.[21]

A lifelong comic book fan, Chiklis rarely turns down an autograph request from children.[22] According to the DVD commentary for the Fantastic Four film, he has become hoarse from performing The Thing's voice so many times.

Chiklis is a fan of both the Boston Red Sox[23] and the Boston Bruins,[24] was interviewed for the HBO documentary the Curse of the Bambino about the Red Sox's long struggle to win the World Series,[25] and narrated the video introduction of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.[26]

Chiklis is also an accomplished musician, specializing in drums and vocals, but also playing guitar and bass.[3] He is a member of several performing bands in the Boston area such as The Surgeon General, Best Kept Secret, and Double Talk.[3] He has starred in and produced films through his own production company, Extravaganza.[3][27]

In 2011, Chiklis and his band MCB released their first single "Til I Come Home", a tribute song to the soldiers overseas.[28] The song has been critically acclaimed worldwide and was used in his TV series No Ordinary Family in 2011.[29] MCB's prior music includes another single, "Make Me High", written for the independent film High School (2010), starring Chiklis, Adrien Brody, Colin Hanks, and Matt Bush; the single was released in spring 2011.[30]

Following his stint on American Horror Story: Freak Show, Chiklis told Larry King that he did not enjoy working on the show: "That was one of the darkest years of my career. It was, I think, it's one thing to do a horror film in the context of like two months or something like that, but to live in that for six months it just became, I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm an empathetic person, and I just sometimes start to take things on. But it was so dark, and it was so nasty."[31]

On the January 12, 2021 episode of The Talk, Chiklis revealed his passion for the martial arts, and stated that he had recently attained the rank of yellow belt in karate.


Chiklis has participated in celebrity Texas hold 'em tournaments to benefit comedian Brad Garrett's charity foundation, Maximum Hope. Chiklis has worked closely with many different charities over the years including The Children's Lifesaving Foundation,[32] Alzheimer's Association,[33] Autism Speaks[34] and the Revlon Run Walk.[35]



1989 Wired John Belushi
1990 The Rain Killer Reese
1995 Nixon TV Director
1998 Body and Soul 'Tiny' O'Toole
Taxman Andre Rubakov
Soldier Jimmy Pig
1999 Carlo's Wake Marco
St. Michael's Crossing Benjamin Arensen
Last Request Victim Short film
Do Not Disturb Hartman
2001 Spirited Away Chihiro's Father (voice) English dub
2002 The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina King Webster (voice)
2005 Fantastic Four Ben Grimm / The Thing
2007 Rise: Blood Hunter Clyde Rawlins
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Ben Grimm / The Thing
2008 Eagle Eye Secretary of Defense George Callister
The Legend of Secret Pass Calabar (voice)
2010 High School Dr. Leslie Gordon
2013 Parker Melander
Pawn Derrick
2014 When the Game Stands Tall Terry Eidson
2016 The Do-Over Carmine
Rupture Bald Man
2017 Fallen Narrator Documentary
2018 1985 Dale Lester
MFKZ Crocodile (voice)
2019 10 Minutes Gone Frank
2020 Hubie Halloween[36] Father Dave
2021 Don't Look Up Dan Pawketty
TBA The Senior Mike Flynt Post-production


1989 Miami Vice Jeffrey Whitehead Episode: "The Lost Madonna"
B.L. Stryker Unknown Episode: "Blues for Buder"
Wiseguy Carlo Spoletta 4 episodes
1990 Maverick Square Nicky 'Fat Nicky' Pilot Episode / TV Movie
Murphy Brown Tony Rocket Episode: "Brown and Blue"
1990–1991 L.A. Law Jimmy Hoffs 2 episodes
1991 Seinfeld Steve Episode: "The Stranded"
1991–1996 The Commish Police Commissioner Tony Scali 92 episodes
1998 Touched by an Angel Matt Colletti Episode: "Breaking Bread"
2000 Godzilla: The Series Colonel Charles Tarrington (voice) Episode: "Where is thy Sting?"
Daddio Chris Woods 15 episodes
The Three Stooges Curly Television movie
2000–2001 Family Guy Various Characters (voice) 4 episodes
2001 Heavy Gear: The Animated Series Lieutenant Jan Agusta (voice) Main role
2002–2008 The Shield Detective Vic Mackey 88 episodes
2003 Stuart Little Scar (voice) Episode: "No Job is Too Little"
2008 Robot Chicken Vic Mackey / The Thing / Doc / Detective (voice) Episode: "Monstourage"
2010–2011 No Ordinary Family Jim Powell 20 episodes
2012–2013 Vegas Vincent Savino 21 episodes
2014–2015 American Horror Story: Freak Show Dell Toledo 13 episodes
2014 Sons of Anarchy Milo 2 episodes
2015–2017 Gotham Captain Nathaniel Barnes / The Executioner 41 episodes
2015 Axe Cop (voice) Episode: "Heads Will Roll"
2016 The Simpsons Boston Americans Quarterback (voice) Episode: "The Town"
2018–2019 DuckTales Zeus (voice) 3 episodes
2020 Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (voice) Main role[37]
2021 Coyote Ben Clemens 6 episodes[38]
2022 Winning Time Red Auerbach 5 episodes[39]
2023 Accused 1 episode

Video games

2005 Fantastic Four Ben Grimm / The Thing Based on the film of the same name
2007 The Shield Vic Mackey Based on the TV series of the same name


1997Defending the Caveman[10]One-man show

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Shield Won
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Won
2003 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Won
2005 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
2006 MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Team (shared with Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans) Fantastic Four Nominated

The web series Jake and Amir often made reference to Chiklis in the phrase "going dickless for Michael Chiklis", which involves a person tucking their penis between their legs, ostensibly for Michael Chiklis.[40]


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  39. Michael Chiklis To Play Red Auerbach In HBO’s 1980s L.A. Lakers Series
  40. CollegeHumor (October 15, 2013). "Jake and Amir: Reddit Part 2, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEd5tKmg6YY. YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved October, 03, 2019.
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