Tom Skerritt at the 2012 AFI Acheivement Award ceremony for actress Shirley McClaine
|Birthname||Thomas Roy Skerritt|
|Born:||August 25, 1933|
|Birthplace||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|Appeared on/in:||MASH (film)|
|Character(s) played:||Captain Duke Forrest|
Thomas Roy "Tom" Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an American actor who has appeared in over 40 films and more than 200 television episodes since 1962. He is perhaps best known for his role as temporarily assigned surgeon Captain Duke Forrest in Robert Altman's MASH, as well as appearances in such films as Alien, Top Gun, A River Runs Through It, and the popular 1990's CBS-TV melodrama series Picket Fences. Skeritt, reportedly turned down the offer to reprise his role as Duke Forrest in the 1970 Academy Award-winning film version of M*A*S*H because he did not believe that a half-hour version of the film would be successful.
Skerritt was born in Detroit, MI, the son of Helen, a homemaker, and Roy Skerritt, a businessman. A 1951 graduate of Detroit's Mackenzie High School, Skerritt attended Wayne State University and UCLA.
Skerritt made his film debut in the 1962 film War Hunt, produced by Terry Sanders. Other notable film appearances include Harold and Maude (credited as "M. Borman", 1971), Big Bad Mama,Cheech & Chong's Up In Smoke (1978),Ice Castles (1978),as Captain A. J. Dallas in Alien (1979), as a would-be astronaut in Contact (1997) and SpaceCamp (1986), and in Top Gun (1986) as Commander Mike "Viper" Metcalf. In 1988, he starred with actress Nancy Allen and Lara Flynn Boyle in Poltergeist III.
Skerrit starred in the television series Bonanza (1964),Gunsmoke, as well as Evan Drake on Cheers. He then appeared in Picket Fences (1992–1996), in the role of Sheriff Jimmy Brock, for which he won an Emmy. More recently, he has starred in Homeland Security and The Grid.
He also portrays the deceased William Walker on Brothers & Sisters (1986), having appeared in the pilot as well as in several flashbacks since. This is his second time playing the husband of Sally Field, the first being his role in the film Steel Magnolias. He played the role of Ezekiel on ABC Family's Fallen miniseries. He also appeared as the guide on the showcase website for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. He lent his voice in the 2005 video game Gun, where he voices as Clay Allison.
He guest starred in seasons 3 and 4 of the hit TNT TV series Leverage as Nate Ford's father.
In February 2012, Skerritt played the title role in Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of Don Quixote. Skerritt is a co-founder of TheFilmSchool, where he is also an instructor.
Since 1988, Skerritt has divided his domestic life between his Lake Washington home in suburban Seattle, Washington and a home on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands. Skerritt has four grown children (three sons and one daughter) and an adopted daughter with his current wife.