James Tolkan

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Actor (1931)
Fri Mar 17 2023
By   Binaya_22

James Tolkan is an American actor who has been working in movies since the 60s. His popular works include some of the classic films like Top Gun, where he played the role of Stinger, and Back to the Future, where he played the role of Mr. Strickland.

Tolkan has an estimated net worth of $5 Million. His wife's name is Parmelee Tolkan. He stands at the height of 5 Feet and 6 Inches (168 cm) and his body weighs 75 kg (165 lbs).

Tolkan's Early Acting Days

Tolkan was able to establish himself in the world of acting but it was far from easy. His early phase as an actor wasn't easy. He has always loved theatres and broadway is where he started his acting career.

James Tolkan is sitting behind the counter as he is talking to two people.
James Tolkan in Naked City (Source: YouTube)

Robo Warriors actor, Tolkan's first-ever salary as an actor was $35 per week for a small show. He was barely making any money. But, he continued working, and his hard work and perseverance paid off in the end.

Yes, James Tolkan Is Married To Parmelee Tolkan

James Tolkan found the love of his life in Parmelee Tolkan. The two have been married for more than half a century. They walked down the aisle on August 28, 1971, at St. Eustace Episcopal Church in Lake Placid, New York. They are a living example of one of the few successful Hollywood marriages.

Top Gun actor Tolkan, first crossed paths with Parmelee in New York. These two first met at The American Place Theatre. They are enjoying their married life and are living a low-profile life.

Tolkan's wife, Parmelee is also involved in the film industry. She is a board member of the Lake Placid Film Forum. He has revealed that his wife is an artist and paints film costumes. 

Parmelee has done painting jobs in films like Hardhat and Legs and They All Laughed. Parmelee used to work in The American Place Theatre when Tolkan first met her.

Net Worth Of The Top Gun Actor James Tolkan

James Tolkan's successful career has led him to have an estimated net worth of $5 Million similar to actor Brice Bexter. Acting is his primary source of income. He has been doing movies since the 60s and has worked on a lot of movies so far, which have helped him to become wealthy.

James Tolkan is sitting next to a lake.
James Tolkan quoting Keats (Source: YouTube)

The highest-grossing movie, Tolkan has worked on in his career so far is Top Gun. The movie made a box office collection of $179.8 Million, as per Rotten Tomatoes. Some other big commercial hit films he has worked on are Back to the Future Part II whose box office collection is $116.4 Million.

Formal Educational Background

Tolkan did not just study theatres but also attended University. He has studied at the University of Iowa, East Arizona College, and Coe College. 

Back to the Future actor, Tolkan was an athletic man during his days at EAC and was part of their football team and had even received a scholarship. Besides that, he was also involved in other athletic stuff like track and Golf. 

Tolkan has always been an artistic man and was involved in painting works and also worked as an assistant editor at the Gila Monster newspaper. He did his schooling at Tucson’s Amphitheatre High School.

Where Did Tolkan Learned Acting?

Back to the Future actor Tolkan took some formal lessons in acting before jumping to the big screen. Unlike many actors, he didn't always dream of becoming one. 

James Tolkan and Michael J. Fox are staring at one another.
James Tolkan in Back to the Future (Source: YouTube)

Tolkan developed an interest in it after his Navy days were over. He developed his acting skills at the Actors Studio, which is a drama school in New York. 

Tolkan was learning on a scholarship and his learning process was far from easy. It has been mentioned on his IMDb page that he studied with actor Lee Strasberg and actress Stella Adler during his time in New York. But before the Actors Studio, Cobra actor, Tolkan was learning at a Theatre in Iowa.

About Tolkan's Parents

Top Gun actor, James Tolkan is the only child in the family. His father's name is Ralph M. Tolkan and his mother's name is Marjorie Tolkan. Both of his parents lived a quiet life. 

The information on Tolkan's mother, Marjorie has been kept under wraps. But, his father, Ralph used to work as a cattle dealer as mentioned on his IMDb page. 

Also, Tolkan's parents stopped living under the same roof when he was still young. Impulse Gamer has published an interview on their website where he mentioned that his parents divorced when he was 15 years old.

Yes, Tolkan Has Served In The Navy

Tolkan before becoming an actor served for the United States. He was in the US Navy. But, his time in the military was very short-lived. He was forced to leave in less than a year because of a heart problem.

James Tolkan is on his uniform sitting on his desk.
James Tolkan in Top Gun (Source: YouTube)

Top Gun actor, Tolkan was selected for the USS Sandoval APA-194 attack ship during his short time in the Navy. He joined them during the Korean War and received his training in San Diego. 

Used To Be A Boxer

James Tolkan has always been an athletic man, from playing football in College to being an incredible boxer. He used to be a boxer before he joined the Navy. And, he was kind of untouchable during his prime years as he hadn't lost a single match as an amateur boxer in the Golden Gloves.

Tolkan's boxing ability also came in handy for him during his time in the Navy. The actor has revealed that no one would mess with him as his friends in the Navy had seen what he could do. He has also revealed that he never once had to do the midnight to 4 am shift thanks to his friends.

A Quick Summary Of James's Career

James hails from Michigan and has been doing films since the 60s. The actor had an amazing acting career with his filmography including some iconic films like Top Gun and Back to the Future, the latter also featured actress, Judy Ovitz.

Tolkan's first-ever work was the 1960 show, Naked City where he was featured for one episode. He played the role of a Mail Clerk. His next big work didn't come until two years later in 1962 with the show, Armstrong Circle Theatre

Other than Stinger and Mr. Strickland, Tolkans has a lot of other popular roles too. His role as Detective Lubic in Masters of the Universe, and Numbers in Dick Tracy are also pretty famous.

Was In A Gang

James Tolkan, before his Navy and acting days, was going down the wrong path. He was part of a gang during his teenage years. This was around the time when his parents divorced.

We Are The Mighty, in their article, has mentioned Masters of the Universe actor, Tolkan's time in the gang. He also left his school because of this. Luckily, he was able to get out of this hell and improve his life after he left the place for Tucson, as mentioned in this article.


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