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James Pickens Jr.

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Fast Facts

  • Once wanted to be an illustrator or cartoonist
  • Caught an early big break with a 1989 guest spot on Roseanne, which turned into a recurring role
  • Appeared in four films directed by Barry Levinson: Jimmy Hollywood (1994), Sleepers (1996), Sphere (1998) and Liberty Heights (1999)
  • Liberty Heights costarred his future Grey's Anatomy cast mate Justin Chambers
  • In 2006, he executive produced the musical revue Gospel! Gospel! Gospel! at Cleveland's Karamu House Theatre, where he used to perform
  • Was honored by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers during their Black Heritage Celebration in 2008
  • Delivered the keynote address at the 2008 summer commencement ceremony at Bowling Green State University, his alma mater; he also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award that day
  • Though he plays a recovering alcoholic on Grey's Anatomy, he does not drink; this is his way of honoring his late father, who struggled with alcoholism
  • Along with his wife, has helped raised his granddaughter, Dominique
  • Competes in rodeo and roping events across the country, and is a member of the U
  • S
  • Team Roping Championship

Awards

  • 2007Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 2006Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: winner
  • 2005Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 1998Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: nominated

Relationships

  • Marlin Pickens--Brother
  • Gavyn Pickens--Daughter
  • Marie Walker--Sister
  • Carl Pickens--Son
  • Gina Taylor Pickens--Wife