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Michael Chiklis

Michael Chiklis

The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Actor
Countries United States of America
Occupations Actor Voice actor Stage actor Television actor
Gender male
Birth August 30, 1963 (Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, U.S.A.)
Height: 1.7018 m
Education Boston University
The details

Michael Charles Chiklis (born August 30, 1963) is an American actor and television producer. He is perhaps best known for his role as LAPD Detective Vic Mackey on the FX police drama The Shield, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He is also known for playing Commissioner Tony Scali on the ABC police drama The Commish, The Thing in the Fantastic Four film series, and Jim Powell on the ABC science-fiction comedy-drama No Ordinary Family. Additionally, he co-starred as Vincent Savino in the CBS crime drama Vegas. In 2014 Chiklis joined the cast of American Horror Story for its fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show. The following year he was cast as Nathaniel Barnes, in the second season of Gotham, as a series regular.

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. Chiklis has been described as inheriting his acting ability from his mother. His father is a second-generation Greek American (his paternal ancestors came from Lesbos) 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. In the ninth grade, he portrayed Hawkeye Pierce in Andover High School's production of M*A*S*H. He later attended Boston University College of Fine Arts, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.


After graduation, Chiklis moved to Brooklyn, New York City and was 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, B.L. Stryker, Wiseguy, L.A. Law, Murphy Brown, and Seinfeld alongside bit parts in films like Nixon.

Chiklis's 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. After The Commish, Chiklis starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Daddio.

After playing Curly Howard in the 2000 TV movie 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. 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.

Chiklis in 2007 promoting Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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. His wife visited him on set during the filming but was not aware that he would be in his full bodysuit and makeup as The Thing; she was totally unprepared for seeing him like that and found it very distressing, having to be guided from the set in order to collect herself.

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 later 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. 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, the fourth season of the FX anthology series.

In 2014 Chiklis also played a small part towards the end of the FX series Sons of Anarchy, where he appears first on the episode 'Rose Red', he played a trucker who first encounters Gemma on her way to her father at a truck stop, heavely implied to be Vic Mackey. Then in the series finale, his character drives his tractor-trailer truck head-first (unintentionally) into Jax Teller.

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

Michael Chiklis released his first solo album "INFLUENCE" in September 2016. Chiklis wrote and produced the album at his own Extravaganza Music Studio.

Personal life

Chiklis married Michelle Moran 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.

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.

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

In 2011, Michael Chiklis and his band MCB released their first single "Til I Come Home", a tribute song to the soldiers overseas. The song has been critically acclaimed worldwide and was used in the TV series Modern Family in 2011. 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, single released spring 2011.

Following his stint on American Horror Story: Freakshow, 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'.


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, Alzheimer's Association, Autism Speaks and the Revlon Run Walk.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Wired John Belushi
1990 The Rain Killer Reese
1995 Nixon TV Director
1998 Body and Soul Tiny O'Toole
1998 Taxman Andre Rubakov
1998 Soldier Jimmy Pig
1999 Carlo's Wake Marco
1999 St. Michael's Crossing Benjamin Arensen
1999 Last Request Victim Short film
1999 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
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Ben Grimm / The Thing
2008 Eagle Eye Secretary of Defense George Callister
2008 The Legend of Secret Pass Calabar Voice
2010 High School Dr. Leslie Gordon
2013 Parker Melander
2013 Pawn Derrick
2014 When the Game Stands Tall Terry Eidson
2016 The Do-Over Carmine
2016 Rupture Bald Man
2018 1985 Dale Lester
2018 MFKZ Crocodile Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Miami Vice Jeffrey Whitehead Episode: "The Lost Madonna"
1989 B.L. Stryker Unknown Episode: "Blues for Buder"
1989 Wiseguy Carlo Spoletta 5 episodes
1990 Murphy Brown Tony Rocket Episode: "Brown and Blue"
1990–91 L.A. Law Jimmy Hoffs 2 episodes
1991 Seinfeld Steve Episode: "The Stranded"
1991–96 The Commish 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?"
2000 Daddio Chris Woods 9 episodes
2000 The Three Stooges Curly Television movie
2000–01 Family Guy Various (voice) 5 episodes
2001 Heavy Gear: The Animated Series Lt. Jan Agusta (voice) 40 episodes
2002–08 The Shield Vic Mackey 88 episodes
2003 Stuart Little Claw (voice) Episode: "No Job is Too Little"
2008 Robot Chicken Various (voice) Episode: "Monstourage"
2010–11 No Ordinary Family Jim Powell 20 episodes
2012–13 Vegas Vincent Savino 21 episodes
2014–15 American Horror Story: Freak Show Dell Toledo 9 episodes
2014 Sons of Anarchy Milo 2 episodes
2015–17 Gotham Captain Nathaniel Barnes / The Executioner 25 episodes
2015 Axe Cop N/A Episode: "Heads Will Roll"
2016 The Simpsons Boston American's Quarterback (voice) Episode: "The Town"
2018 DuckTales Zeus Voice role; Episode: "The Spear of Selene"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
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

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 Gruffud and Chris Evans) Fantastic Four Nominated
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