Thomas Roy "Tom" Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an American actor who has appeared in more than forty films and more than two hundred television episodes since 1962. He is known for his roles in MASH, Alien, Top Gun, A River Runs Through It, Up in Smoke, and the television series Picket Fences.
Skerritt was born in Detroit, Michigan, 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 the University of California, Los Angeles. Skerritt served a tour of duty in the United States Air Force.
Skerritt made his film debut in War Hunt, produced by Terry Sanders and released in 1962. Skerritt's notable film appearances include MASH (1970), Harold and Maude (credited as "M. Borman", 1971), Big Bad Mama, Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke (1978), Ice Castles (1978), as Captain 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 Nancy Allen and Lara Flynn Boyle in Poltergeist III.
Skerritt guest-starred in the television series The Real McCoys (1963), as a letter carrier in the episode "Aunt Win Steps In". He was cast in Bonanza in 1964 and on Death Valley Days in 1965, as a young gambler, Patrick Hogan, who meets a tragic fate after winning a small fortune in the saloon in Calico in San Bernardino County, California. In another Death Valley Days episode, "A Sense of Justice" (1966), he played a young Roy Bean in San Diego, California, c. 1850, with his older brother, Joshua Bean, played by Tris Coffin...
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