James B. Sikking may have made his enduring impression on pop culture as Lieutenant Howard Hunter, the pipe-smoking, somewhat prissy but still gung ho S.W.A.T. team leader, on the Steven Bochco-produced "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87). Though initially depicted as fairly ridiculous, Hunter became more sympathetic and complex as the series progressed. Sikking enjoyed another healthy run as the kindly but no-nonsense doctor dad of a 16-year-old surgeon on Bochco's "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-93) and returned to series TV as an internal affairs officer on Bochco's "Brooklyn South" (CBS, 1997-98. One of Sikking's earliest TV jobs was a stint on the ever popular ABC daytime serial "General Hospital", as Dr. James Hobart, the troubled physician in the life of Audrey (Rachel Ames). He went on to amass over 200 TV guest shots on a wide array of series and became a familiar face in TV-movies and miniseries. Notable among the latter were his performances as Attorney General Elliot Richardson in "The Final Days" (ABC, 1989), the stern patriarch in the superior Fox drama "Doing Time on Maple Drive" (1992), and as General Douglas MacArthur in the 1995 HBO film "In Pursuit of Honor".
Sikking's feature career goes back to the mid-1960s. He can be glimpsed in "Von Ryan's Express" (1965) playing a soldier alongside Frank Sinatra. A notable early credit had him playing a hit man in John Boorman's classic gangster film "Point Blank" (1967). Sikking was also a supercilious starship captain cut down to size in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984). His other film work includes "Charro!" (1969), "The Magnificent Seven Ride" (1972), "The Electric Cowboy" (1979). "Ordinary People" (1980), "Outland" (1981), "Narrow Margin" (1990), and "The Pelican Brief" (1993). In the latter blockbuster, he played the FBI director.