If you were to mention Michael Chiklis’ name five years ago, most people would probably either confess that they’ve never heard of him, or compare him to his soft-as-a-teddy-bear detective, Tony Scali, from “The Commish.” You wouldn’t be very far from the truth if you did the latter, because Chiklis is one of the most personable actors working in Hollywood today. It’s funny, then, that if you were to mention his name now, the majority of the response would be in relation to the incredibly immoral character of Vic Mackey that he plays on the FX series, “The Shield.” Born in 1963 in a small town of Massachusetts, Chiklis began acting at the ripe age of thirteen. Staring out in a local playhouse in New Hampshire, Chiklis quickly rose through the ranks as a performer of the classics, though he admits that he would have acted “in anything they would let [him] act in.” After finishing high school, Chiklis left his hometown to study acting at the Boston University School of Fine Arts, and from there, left for New York to take on the world.
The Big Apple wasn’t all it was cut out to be, and Chiklis quickly discovered that acting wasn’t as easy as it looked; at least securing a job wasn’t. After performing in off Broadway productions for nearly three years, Chiklis got his first taste of success when he was offered the role of John Belushi in the Hollywood biopic, “Wired.” Chiklis followed up his mild victory with guest spots on shows like “Murphy Brown” and “Seinfeld,” before finally getting his own series in 1991 with “The Commish.” Following his five-year stint on “The Commish,” Chiklis appeared in a number of low-budget films (mostly either direct-to-video or made-for-TV) until he snagged an audition for FX’s first stab at an original series; a cop drama called “The Farm.” The name of the show was later changed to “The Shield,” but the creators were more than thrilled that a “big-name” actor like Chiklis would even be interested in their small project. It doesn’t hurt to mention that they were more than a little worried that the good-natured actor would find it difficult to fill the role of the gritty Vic Mackey, but once Chiklis came to the audition, complete with a shaved head and a brand new physique, creator Shawn Ryan was sold. Since then, Chiklis has been experiencing a sort of renaissance for his career, and it should be a fun ride to watch.
Michael on the Web
An online database for the actor's film and TV career.
TV Guide: Michael Chiklis
Michael Chiklis Videos, Interviews and More on TV Guide's Online Video Guide
A not-so-impressive actor page nicely complemented by a nice coverage of red carpet events.
The official website for the actor.
The official website for Chiklis' hit FX series.
The ultimate source for entertainment news on the actor.
Michael on the Screen
Michael Chiklis is best known for his work as the down and dirty detective Vic Mackey on FX’s runaway hit “The Shield,” but he has been working in the business for quite some time. Along with portraying two legendary comedians (John Belushi in the controversial “Wired” and Curly Howard in “The Three Stooges”), Chiklis first became a star with the series, “The Commish,” and has also lent his voice and writing talents to the animated series, "Family Guy." It’s no secret that TV is what Chiklis does best, but with his newly gained critical fame from “The Shield,” don’t be surprised if he takes the film industry by storm as well.
With "The Shield" done for the year, fans will have to look to the big screen to catch Chiklis doing his thing. Among his upcoming projects include the vampire thriller "Rise," as well as the summer sequel to "Fantastic Four," "Rise of the Silver Surfer."
From the Mouth of Chiklis
On his job:
"A brick layer, lays bricks...I'm an actor, that's what I do."