James Pickens Jr.

Last updated
James Pickens Jr.
James Pickens, Jr.jpg
Pickens in 2007
Born (1954-10-26) October 26, 1954 (age 66)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Gina Taylor
(m. 1984)

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 and education

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 1986, 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 . He also served a role in 42. In 1997, Pickens played the role of Stevens, head of NASA, in Disney’s comedy Rocket Man.

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 808, [2] which sought 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 . In 2018, Pickens has reprised his role as Chuckie Mitchell in two episodes of the tenth season revival of Roseanne . [4]

Personal life

Pickens married Gina Taylor, a former member of Musique, on May 27, 1984 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 Pickens, 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.



1986 F/X Ambulance Driver
1992 Trespass Police Officer Reese
1993 Boiling Point Prison Officer
1993 Menace II Society Man
1994Hostile IntentionsCapt. Connor
1994 Jimmy Hollywood Cook
1995 Dead Presidents Mr. Curtis
1995 Nixon Black Orator
1996 Power 98 Det. Wilkinson
1996 Sleepers Guard Marlboro
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Medgar Evers
1997 Gridlock'd Supervisor
1997 RocketMan Ben Stevens
1998 Sphere O.S.S.A. Instructor
1998 Bulworth Uncle David
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Walter Payne
1999 Liberty Heights Sylvia's Father
2000 Traffic Ben Williams
2002 Red Dragon Male Zoo DoctorUncredited
2002 Home Room Principal Robbins
2003 White Rush Denny
2005 Venom Sheriff
2008 Ball Don't Lie Roberto
2010 Just Wright Lloyd Wright
2013 42 Mr. Brock


1986–1990 Another World Zack EdwardsUnknown episodes
Roseanne Chuck Mitchell21 episodes
1991–1992 Beverly Hills, 90210 Henry Thomas10 episodes
1992 Blossom VinnieEpisode: "The Letter"
1992 Parker Lewis Can't Lose FredEpisode: "Hungry Heart"
1992 L.A. Law Joseph RussellEpisode: "Zo Long"
1992 Doogie Howser, M.D. JerryEpisode: "Roommate with a View"
1992ExclusiveJonathan HeglinTelevision film
1993 NYPD Blue NathanEpisode: "Personal Foul"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Sonny GreeneEpisode: "The Survivor"
1994 Renegade Lieutenant Pete CallowayEpisode: "Hostage"
1994 Coach Rick WilliamsEpisode: "Blue Chip Blues"
1994 Me and the Boys CoachEpisode: "Black Dads Can't Jump"
1994 Sodbusters IsaacTelevision film
1994 A Child's Cry for Help Brad CurrieTelevision film
1994Lily in WinterChickTelevision film
1995Trail by FireTelevision film
1995Sharon's SecretAshmoreTelevision film
1995 Touched by an Angel GeorgeEpisode: "The Driver"
1996 In the House RussellEpisode: "My Crazy Valentine"
1996 The Lazarus Man N/AEpisode: "The Conspirator"
1996 One West Waikiki N/AEpisode: "Allergic to Golf"
1996 Dangerous Minds Coach Butch KellyEpisode: "Moonstruck"
1996BloodhoundsAgent John DeGrafTelevision film
1996–1997 Something So Right Jim5 episodes
1997 Pacific Palisades Josh SmithEpisode: "Past & Present Danger"
1997 Walker, Texas Ranger Staff Sergeant Luther ParrishEpisode: "The Fighting McLains"
1997–1998 Brooklyn South Detective4 episodes
1997–2000 The Practice Detective Mike McKrew15 episodes
1998 The Pretender Clark ThomasEpisode: "Crash"
1998 Seinfeld Detective HudsonEpisode: "The Finale"
1998Little Girl Fly AwayDetective Walter EngelhartTelevision film
1998–2000 Any Day Now Judge Lucius Pearl3 episodes
2018 [5]
The X-Files FBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh 20 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
1999 Vengeance Unlimited Mr. HobbsEpisode: "Friends"
1999 JAG Commander Wallace Burke2 episodes
1999A Slight Case of MurderDet. Larry GrayTelevision film
2000 City of Angels Wilson Patterson3 episodes
2000 Daddio Doug GraysonEpisode: "The Premium Also Rises"
2000 The District Mr. LaneEpisode: "The Real Terrorist"
2000 Family Law N/AEpisode: "Family Values"
2000 NYPD Blue Lt. Joe Abner3 episodes
2001Semper FiMr. MaddoxTelevision film
2001–2002 Philly Clyde Coleman7 episodes
2002 Strong Medicine Dr. Everett SloaneEpisode: "Outcomes"
2002 Crossing Jordan Agent HawkinsEpisode: "Bombs Away"
2002 MDs Mr. FarrellEpisode: "Cruel and Unusual"
2002–2003 Six Feet Under Roderick Charles2 episodes
2002–2003 Becker Cliff Bennett2 episodes
2003 CSI: Miami Prison WardenEpisode: "Body Count"
2003 The Lyon's Den Terrance Christianson3 episodes
2004 Line of Fire Kenneth StevensEpisode: "The Senator"
2004 The West Wing MayorEpisode: "Full Disclosure"
2004 Jack & Bobby Marcus RideEpisode: "Pilot"
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm Doctor2 episodes
2005–present Grey's Anatomy Richard Webber Main Cast (Season 1–present)
381 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2006–11)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2006, 2008)
2007–2009 Private Practice Richard Webber 2 episodes
2010Seattle Grace: Message of Hope Richard Webber 6 episodes
2018Grey's Anatomy: B-Team Richard Webber 1 episode
2018 Yellowstone Old CowboyEpisode: "The Unravelling, Pt. 2"
2018–present The Conners Chuck Mitchell8 episodes
2020 Station 19 Richard Webber 1 episode

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Actor, alum Pickens to address BGSU grads". Bowling Green State University. www.bgsu.edu. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. "H.R.808 - Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act, 110th Congress (2007-2008)" . Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  3. Martino, Stacey. "The Gift of Peace". Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  4. Ausiello, Michael (November 17, 2017). "Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Good Doctor, Roseanne, Chicago Fire, Supernatural, Walking Dead, The Flash and More". TVLine. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  5. "Listings - X-FILES, THE on FOX | TheFutonCritic.com". www.thefutoncritic.com. Retrieved January 20, 2018.