James Pickens Jr. (born October 26, 1954) is an American actor. He is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy, and for his supporting role as Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on later seasons of the Fox Network science fiction series The X-Files.

Early life

Pickens was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He began acting while a student at Bowling Green State University. His first acting role was in a campus production of Matters of Choice by Chuck Gordone. Pickens earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from BGSU in 1976.


Pickens started his professional acting career at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City playing Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun. In 1981, Pickens performed in the Negro Ensemble Company's production of A Soldier's Play, starring alongside Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.

In 1990, Pickens moved to the West Coast and began his Hollywood career playing Zack Edwards on the soap opera Another World from 1986 to 1990. He went on to have recurring roles on "X-Files" as Deputy Director Kersh, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The West Wing, Roseanne, Beverly Hills, 90210, JAG, and Six Feet Under.

In 2002, Pickens had a cameo appearance as the male zoo doctor in the film Red Dragon.

In the February 28, 2007, all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, he portrays a man whose life experiences lead him to volunteer in the peace movement, and plays alongside actors Ed Asner, Barbara Bain, Amy Brenneman, George Coe, and Wendie Malick. The play is an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution,[2] 808, which sought to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the U.S. government, to be funded by a two percent diversion of the Pentagon's annual budget.[3]

In 2005, Pickens was chosen to play Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

Personal life

Pickens married Gina Taylor, a former member of Musique, on May 27, 1984 and has two children. In his spare time Pickens can be found riding horseback and roping cattle. He is a member of the United States Team Roping Championship and competes in roping events across the country. He owns an American Quarter Horse named Smokey.

James's two children, Carl Tharps and Gavyn Pickens, are both pursuing careers in show business. His son Carl is working on a Hip-Hop career and can be seen in various television appearances, including Hangin' with Mr. Cooper where he appeared alongside his long-time friend Omar Gooding. His father James Pickens Sr. worked for the City of Cleveland.



1986F/XAmbulance Driver
1992TrespassPolice Officer Reese
1993Boiling PointPrison Officer
1993Menace II SocietyMan
1994Hostile IntentionsCapt. Connor
1994Jimmy HollywoodCook
1995Dead PresidentsMr. Curtis
1995NixonBlack Orator
1996Power 98Det. Wilkinson
1996Ghosts of MississippiMedgar Evers
1997RocketManBen Stevens
1998SeinfeldDet Hudson
1998SphereO.S.S.A. Instructor
1998BulworthUncle David
1998How Stella Got Her Groove BackWalter Payne
1999Liberty HeightsSylvia's Father
2000TrafficBen Williams
2002Home RoomPrincipal Robbins
2003White RushDenny
2008Ball Don't LieRoberto
2010Just WrightLloyd Wright
201342Mr. Brock


1986–1990Another WorldZack EdwardsUnknown episodes
1990–1996RoseanneChuck Mitchell19 episodes
1991–1992Beverly Hills, 90210Henry Thomas10 episodes
1992BlossomVinnieEpisode: "The Letter"
1992Parker Lewis Can't LoseFredEpisode: "Hungry Heart"
1992L.A. LawJoseph RussellEpisode: "Zo Long"
1992Doogie Howser, M.D.BertEpisode: "Roommate with a View"
1992ExclusiveJonathan HeglinTelevision film
1993Murder, She WroteSonny GreeneEpisode: "The Survivor"
1994RenegadeLieutenant Pete CallowayEpisode: "Hostage"
1994CoachRick WilliamsEpisode: "Blue Chip Blues"
1994Me and the BoysCoachEpisode: "Black Dads Can't Jump"
1994SodbustersIsaacTelevision film
1994Child's Cry for Help, AA Child's Cry for HelpBrad CurrieTelevision film
1994Lily in WinterChickTelevision film
1995Trail by FireTelevision film
1995Sharon's SecretAshmoreTelevision film
1995Touched by an AngelGeorgeEpisode: "The Driver"
1996In the HouseRussellEpisode: "My Crazy Valentine"
1996Lazarus Man, TheThe Lazarus ManN/AEpisode: "The Conspirator"
1996One West WaikikiN/AEpisode: "Allergic to Golf"
1996Dangerous MindsCoach Butch KellyEpisode: "Moonstruck"
1996BloodhoundsAgent John DeGrafTelevision film
1996–1997Something So RightJim5 episodes
1997Pacific PalisadesJosh SmithEpisode: "Past & Present Danger"
1997Walker, Texas RangerStaff Sergeant Luther ParrishEpisode: "The Fighting McLains"
1997–1998Brooklyn SouthDetective4 episodes
1997–2000Practice, TheThe PracticeDetective Mike McKrew15 episodes
1998Pretender, TheThe PretenderClark ThomasEpisode: "Crash"
1998SeinfeldDetective HudsonEpisode: "The Finale"
1998Little Girl Fly AwayDetective Walter EngelhartTelevision film
1998–2000Any Day NowJudge Lucius Pearl3 episodes
1998–2002X-Files, TheThe X-FilesFBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh19 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
1999Vengeance UnlimitedMr. HobbsEpisode: "Friends"
1999JAGCommander Wallace Burke2 episodes
1999A Slight Case of MurderDet. Larry GrayTelevision film
2000City of AngelsWilson Patterson3 episodes
2000DaddioDoug GraysonEpisode: "The Premium Also Rises"
2000District, TheThe DistrictMr. LaneEpisode: "The Real Terrorist"
2000Family LawN/AEpisode: "Family Values"
2000NYPD BlueLt. Joe Abner3 episodes
2001Semper FiMr. MaddoxTelevision film
2001–2002PhillyClyde Coleman7 episodes
2002Strong MedicineDr. Everett SloaneEpisode: "Outcomes"
2002Crossing JordanAgent HawkinsEpisode: "Bombs Away"
2002MDsMr. FarrellEpisode: "Cruel and Unusual"
2002–2003Six Feet UnderRoderick Charles2 episodes
2002–2003BeckerCliff Bennett2 episodes
2003CSI: MiamiPrison WardenEpisode: "Body Count"
2003Lyon's Den, TheThe Lyon's DenTerrance Christianson3 episodes
2004Line of FireKenneth StevensEpisode: "The Senator"
2004West Wing, TheThe West WingMayorEpisode: "Full Disclosure"
2004Jack & BobbyMarcus RideEpisode: "Pilot"
2005Curb Your EnthusiasmDoctor2 episodes
2005–presentGrey's AnatomyRichard WebberMain Cast (Season 1–present)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2006–11)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2006, 2008)
2007–2009Private PracticeRichard Webber2 episodes