James Cromwell

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This article is about the American actor. For Doris Duke's first husband, see James H. R. Cromwell.
James Cromwell
James Cromwell 2010.jpg
Cromwell in March 2010
Born James Oliver Cromwell
(1940-01-27) January 27, 1940 (age 76)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Residence Warwick, New York, U.S.
Other names Jamie Cromwell
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1974–present
Children 3

James Oliver Cromwell (born January 27, 1940) is an American actor and producer. Some of his more notable films include Babe (1995), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Green Mile (1999), Space Cowboys (2000), The Sum of All Fears (2002), I, Robot (2004), and The Artist (2011), as well as the television series Six Feet Under (2003–2005), 24 (2007), American Horror Story: Asylum (2012), and Halt and Catch Fire (2015).

Cromwell has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Babe. In 2013, he won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor for his role in Still Mine and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role in American Horror Story: Asylum.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cromwell was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Manhattan, New York. He is the son of actress Kay Johnson (1904–1975) and actor, director, and producer John Cromwell (1887–1979), who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.[2] He has English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[3][4] He was educated at The Hill School, Middlebury College, and Carnegie Mellon University. Like his parents, he was drawn to the theater, performing in everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays.[citation needed]


Cromwell's first television performance was in a 1974 episode of The Rockford Files playing Terry,[5] a tennis instructor. A few weeks later,[6] he began a recurring role as Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family. In 1975, he took his first lead role on television as Bill Lewis in the short-lived Hot l Baltimore, appeared on M*A*S*H as Captain Leo Bardonaro, in the episode "Last Laugh" in Season 6 and a year later he made his film debut in Neil Simon's classic detective spoof Murder by Death.[citation needed]

In 1980, Cromwell guest-starred in the two-part episode "Laura Ingalls Wilder" of the long-running television series Little House on the Prairie. He played Harve Miller, one of Almanzo Wilder's (Dean Butler) old friends.[citation needed]

While Cromwell continued with regular television work throughout the 1980s, he made appearances in films for his supporting roles in the films Tank and Revenge of the Nerds (both 1984). He guest starred on the sitcom Night Court, playing a mental patient, along with Predator actor Kevin Peter Hall. He had starring roles in the 1990s critically acclaimed films Babe (1995), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Green Mile, and Snow Falling on Cedars (both 1999). He also played Dr. Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and the Star Trek: Enterprise pilot episode "Broken Bow" (the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" later reused some of the First Contact footage).[7] He has also appeared in other Star Trek roles, on the television series The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, though not as Cochrane (his appearances on these shows predated his role in First Contact); he guest-starred in episodes including "The Hunted", "Birthright" (Part I and II) and "Starship Down". He also voiced The Colonel in Dreamworks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.[citation needed]

Cromwell has had additional successes on television throughout his career. His role as newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst in the television film RKO 281 earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie. The following year, he received his second Emmy Award nomination for playing Bishop Lionel Stewart on the NBC medical drama series ER. In 2004, he guest-starred as former President D. Wire Newman in the The West Wing episode "The Stormy Present". From 2003 to 2005, Cromwell played George Sibley in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, which earned him his third Emmy Award nomination in 2003. Along with the rest of his castmates, he was also nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2005 and 2006. The following year, Cromwell played Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in The Queen (2006), that earned Helen Mirren an Academy Award for Best Actress. He also guest starred as Phillip Bauer, father of lead character Jack, in the sixth season of the Fox thriller drama series 24.[citation needed]

In October 2007, Cromwell played the lead role of James Tyrone Sr. in the Druid Theatre Company's production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, at the Gaiety in Dublin as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival's 50th Anniversary.[8] That same year he received the King Vidor Memorial Award from the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for his artistic achievements in film. More recently, Cromwell played George Herbert Walker Bush in Oliver Stone's W. (2008), that chronicles the rise to power of his son up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In an interview, Cromwell revealed that Stone had originally offered the role to Warren Beatty and Harrison Ford.[9]

In 2015, Cromwell executive-produced Janek Ambros's feature documentary Imminent Threat about the War on Terror's impact on civil liberties.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]


Cromwell was married to Ann Ulvestad from 1976 to their divorce in 1986; they had three children. Cromwell married his second wife, actress Julie Cobb, on May 29, 1986; they divorced in 2005.[10] On January 1, 2014, Cromwell married actress Anna Stuart at the home of Stuart's former Another World co-star Charles Keating.[citation needed]


Cromwell is known for his tall stature; at 6 ft 6.5 in (1.99 m), he is the tallest actor nominated for an Academy Award. His son John is even taller, standing at a height of 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m).[11] In the 2012 film Memorial Day, John played the young Bud Vogel, while James played him as a grandfather,[12] and both Cromwells appear as the same character at different ages in American Horror Story: Asylum (2012) and the first season of Betrayal (2013). Cromwell grew up to be taller than both of his parents: his father was 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and his mother was 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m).[citation needed]


In the late 1960s, Cromwell was a member of the Committee to Defend the Panthers, a group organized to defend 13 members of the Black Panther Party who had been imprisoned in New York on charges of conspiracy. All 13 were eventually released. In a 2004 interview with CNN, Cromwell praised the Panthers.[13]

Cromwell has long been an advocate of progressive causes, particularly regarding animal rights. He became a vegetarian in 1974 after seeing a stockyard in Texas and experiencing the "smell, terror, and anxiety".[14] He became an ethical vegan while playing the character of Farmer Hoggett in the 1995 film Babe.[15] He frequently speaks out on issues regarding animal cruelty for PETA, largely on the treatment of pigs.[16]

In the book Money Men, author Jeffrey Birnbaum describes how John McCain went out of his way to meet Cromwell as he advocated on Capitol Hill for funding of Native American arts education.[17]

Cromwell served as the narrator of the short film Farm to Fridge, a documentary produced by Mercy for Animals.[18]

In an October 2008 interview, Cromwell strongly attacked the Republican Party and the George W. Bush administration, saying that their foreign policy would "either destroy us or the entire planet".[9]

Legal issues[edit]

Cromwell and J.G. Hertzler show their arrest citations at the Crestwood station protest

In February 2013, Cromwell was arrested for interrupting a University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting while showing a graphic photo of a cat to protest alleged mistreatment of animals on campus.[19][20] The well-publicized incident, which garnered nationwide notice, was resolved on March 25, 2013, when an attorney representing Cromwell entered no-contest pleas to the non-criminal offense and agreed to pay $100 forfeitures and court costs of $263.50.[21] In December 2015, he was removed from an event in New York for heckling an energy company receiving an award.[22]

On December 18, 2015, Cromwell and five other people were arrested while protesting the construction of a power station in Wawayanda, New York, near his home in Warwick, New York.[23] Cromwell and fellow Star Trek actor J. G. Hertzler were among the 19 people arrested in Watkins Glen, New York on June 6, 2016, for a protest against underground gas storage in salt caverns near Seneca Lake.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Murder by Death Marcel
1978 Cheap Detective, TheThe Cheap Detective Schnell
1981 Nobody's Perfekt Dr. Carson
1982 Born to the Wind Fish Belly
1983 Man with Two Brains, TheThe Man with Two Brains Realtor
1984 House of God, TheThe House of God Officer Quick
1984 Tank Deputy Euclid Baker
1984 Revenge of the Nerds Mr. Skolnick Credited as "Jamie Cromwell"
1984 Oh, God! You Devil Priest
1985 Explorers Mr. Müller
1986 Fine Mess, AA Fine Mess Detective Blist
1986 Last Precinct, TheThe Last Precinct Chief Bludhorn
1987 Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise Mr. Skolnick
1988 Rescue, TheThe Rescue Admiral Rothman
1989 Runnin' Kind, TheThe Runnin' Kind Unknown
1989 Pink Cadillac Motel Desk Clerk
1992 Babe, TheThe Babe Brother Mathias
1993 Romeo Is Bleeding Cage
1995 Babe Farmer Arthur Hoggett
1996 Eraser William Donohue
1996 People vs. Larry Flynt, TheThe People vs. Larry Flynt Charles Keating
1996 Star Trek: First Contact Dr. Zefram Cochrane
1997 L.A. Confidential Captain Dudley Smith
1997 The Education of Little Tree Granpa
1998 Owd Bob Adam MacAdam
1998 Species II Senator Judson Ross
1998 Deep Impact Alan Rittenhouse
1998 Babe: Pig in the City Farmer Arthur Hoggett
1999 General's Daughter, TheThe General's Daughter Lt. Gen. Joseph Campbell
1999 Bachelor, TheThe Bachelor Priest
1999 Green Mile, TheThe Green Mile Warden Hal Moores
1999 Snow Falling on Cedars Judge Fielding
2000 Space Cowboys Bob Gerson
2002 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron The Colonel
2002 Sum of All Fears, TheThe Sum of All Fears President J. Robert Fowler
2002 Nazi, TheThe Nazi Franz
2003 Blackball Ray Speight
2003 Snow Walker, TheThe Snow Walker Walter Shepherd
2004 I, Robot Dr. Alfred Lanning
2005 Longest Yard, TheThe Longest Yard Warden Rudolph Hazen
2006 Queen, TheThe Queen Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
2007 Dante's Inferno Virgil
2007 Becoming Jane Reverend Austen
2007 Spider-Man 3 Captain George Stacy
2008 Hit Factor Orson Fierce
2008 Tortured Jack
2008 W. George H. W. Bush
2009 Lonely Place for Dying, AA Lonely Place for Dying Howard Simons
2009 Surrogates Dr. Lionel Canter
2010 Secretariat Ogden Phipps
2011 Admissions The Clerk
2011 Artist, TheThe Artist Clifton
2012 Cowgirls n' Angels Terence Parker
2012 Memorial Day Bud Vogel
2012 Flying into Love Lyndon B. Johnson
2012 Still Mine Craig Morrison
2012 Soldiers of Fortune Sam Haussmann
2013 The Trials of Cate McCall Justice Sumpter
2014 Big Hero 6 Professor Callaghan / Yokai Voice
2016 The Promise Filming
2016 Marshall Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Rockford Files, TheThe Rockford Files Terry Episode: "The Countess"
1974 All in the Family Stretch Cunningham 3 episodes
1974 Maude Alfie Episode: "Last Tango in Tuckahoe"
1975 Hot l Baltimore Bill Lewis 13 episodes
1975 Barbary Coast Roy Episode: "The Ballad of Redwing Jail"
1976 Stranded Jerry Holmes Television film
1976 Once an Eagle J. L. Cleghorne Television film
1976–1977 Nancy Walker Show, TheThe Nancy Walker Show Glen 13 episodes
1977 Police Story Lutz Episode: "Ice Time"
1977 M*A*S*H Captain Leo Bardonaro Episode: "Last Laugh"
1977 Three's Company Detective Lannigan Episode: "Chrissy's Night Out"
1977 Barney Miller Sgt. Wilkinson Episode: "Group Home"
1977 Girl in the Empty Grave, TheThe Girl in the Empty Grave Deputy Malcolm Rossiter Jr. Television film
1977 Deadly Game Deputy Malcolm Rossiter Jr. Television film
1978 Peeping Times Bernard Mantee Comedy Special
1978 Maude Dr. Farrington Episode: "The Obscene Phone Call"
1978 Alice Detective Ralph Hilton Episode: "Who Ordered the Hot Turkey?"
1979 Barney Miller Neil Spencer Episode: "Strip Joint"
1979 Flatbush Sonny Episode: "Kar Kannibals"
1979 Eight Is Enough Coach Pollard Episode: "The Better Part of Valor"
1979 Diff'rent Strokes Father O'Brien Episode: "Arnold's Hero"
1979 White Shadow, TheThe White Shadow Mr. Hamilton Episode: "Mainstream"
1980 Flo Leon 2 episodes
1980 White Shadow, TheThe White Shadow Art Cummings Episode: "The Death of Me Yet"
1980 Little House on the Prairie Harve Miller 2 episodes
1980 A Christmas Without Snow Reverend Lohman Television film
1981 Barefoot in the Park Harry Pepper Television film
1981 Barney Miller Jason Parrish Episode: "Liquidation"
1982 Nurse Paul Moore Episode: "A Place to Die"
1982 Father Murphy Farley Webster 2 episodes
1982 Rainmaker, TheThe Rainmaker Noah Curry Television film
1982 Wall, TheThe Wall Francisek Television film
1984 Buffalo Bill Staunton McMoller Episode: "Jerry Lewis Week"
1984 Gimme a Break! Russell Cosgrove Episode: "Class of '84"
1984 Spraggue Lieutenant Hurley Television film
1984 Earthlings Simon Games Television film
1984–1985 Dallas Gerald Kane 3 episodes
1985 Night Court Alan Episode: "Nuts About Hurry"
1985 Family Ties John Hancock Episode: "Philadelphia Story"
1985 Riptide Joey Dietz Episode: "Girls Night Out"
1985 Hardcastle and McCormick Jake Fellows Episode: "Undercover McCormick"
1985 Knight Rider Curtis Episode: "Ten Wheel Trouble"
1985 Wildside Fake Buffalo Bill Episode: "Buffalo Who?"
1985 Hill Street Blues Lowenhandler Episode: "Grin and Bear It"
1985 Hunter Seymour Robbins Episode: "Sniper"
1985 Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone Obediah Payne Episode: "A Message From Charity"
1985–1986 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Gregory 2 episodes
1986 Amazing Stories Francis Episode: "One for the Road"
1986 Magnum, P.I. French Policeman Episode: "Photo Play"
1986 Dream West Major General David Hunter Television film
1986–1987 Easy Street Quentin Standard 22 episodes
1987 Alison's Demise Humboldt Hobson Television film
1988 China Beach Ambassador Episode: "Pilot"
1988 Mr. Belvedere Roy Gallagher Episode: "Fat Cats"
1988 Mama's Boy Lucky 3 episodes
1989 Christine Cromwell Arthur Episode: "Things That Go Bump in the Night"
1990 Life Goes On Bill Henderson Episode: "Thacher and Henderson"
1990 Matlock Judge Raymond Price Episode: "Nowhere to Turn"
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Prime Minister Nayrok Episode: "The Hunted"
1990 Miracle Landing B.J. Cocker Television film
1991 In a Child's Name Unknown Television film
1991 Young Riders, TheThe Young Riders Jacob Episode: "Peacemakers"
1991 Jake and the Fatman Havilland Episode: "It Never Entered My Mind"
1992 Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation Mr. Skolnick Television film
1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation Jaglom Shrek 2 episodes
1994 Home Improvement Fred Episode: "My Dinner with Wilson"
1994 Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love Mr. Skolnick Television film
1994 The Shaggy Dog Charlie "The Robber" Mulvihill Television film
1995 Indictment: The McMartin Trial Judge Pounders Television film
1995 Picket Fences The Bishop Episode: "Saint Zach"
1995 Hawkeye Unknown Episode: "The Visit"
1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Hanok Episode: "Starship Down"
1995–1996 Partners Mr. Saxonhouse 2 episodes
1996 Strange Luck Minister Episode: "Healing Hands"
1996 The Client Officer Joe Denton Episode: "The High Ground"
1999 Slight Case of Murder, AA Slight Case of Murder John Edgerson Television film
1999 RKO 281 William Randolph Hearst Television film
2000 Fail Safe Gordon Knapp Live broadcast
2001 ER Bishop Stewart 4 episodes
2001 Star Trek: Enterprise Dr. Zefram Cochrane 2 episodes
2001 Citizen Baines Senator Elliot Baines 7 episodes
2002 Death in the Family, AA Death in the Family Joel Lynch Television film
2002 The Magnificent Ambersons Major Amberson Television film
2002 RFK President Lyndon B. Johnson Television film
2003 Angels in America Henry 2 episodes
2003–2005 Six Feet Under George Sibley 27 episodes
2004 West Wing, TheThe West Wing President D. Wire Newman Episode: "The Stormy Present"
2004 Salem's Lot Father Donald Callahan Miniseries
2005 Pope John Paul II Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha Miniseries
2006 Avenger Paul Devereaux Television film
2007 24 Phillip Bauer 8 episodes
2007 Masters of Science Fiction Randolph Ludwin Episode: "Watchbird"
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Alistar Trumble 6 episodes
2009 Impact Lloyd 2 episodes
2009 Strikeout Director Television film
2009 Last Days of Lehman Brothers, TheThe Last Days of Lehman Brothers Hank Paulson Television film
2010 Sotto il Cielo di Roma Pope Pius XII 2 episodes
2012–2013 Boardwalk Empire Andrew W. Mellon 4 episodes
2012–2013 American Horror Story: Asylum Dr. Arthur Arden 10 episodes
2013 Do No Harm Dr. Phillip Carmelo 3 episodes
2013–2014 Betrayal Thatcher Karsten 13 episodes
2014–2015 Murder in the First Warren Daniels 10 episodes
2015 Halt and Catch Fire Jacob Wheeler 8 episodes
2016 The Young Pope Cardinal Michael Spencer Upcoming series


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Othello Montano Broadway revival
1992 Hamlet Polonius Broadway revival
2007 Long Day's Journey into Night James Tyrone, Sr. Druid Theatre
2012 Waiting for Godot Pozzo Center Theatre Group
2014 Rupert Rupert Murdoch Sydney Theatre Company

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Canadian Screen Awards raises the star wattage". Toronto Star, March 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "John Cromwell – Films as director:, Other films:". Filmreference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ "1". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Pedigree of Cromwell's family". Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Countess". January 1, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2016 – via IMDb. 
  6. ^ "All in the Family (a Titles & Air Dates Guide)". Epguides.com. November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ "StarTrek.com Offers Commentary on 'In a Mirror, Darkly'". TrekToday. April 27, 2005. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Gaiety Theatre Dublin, Ireland – Irish Theatre Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b "W: James Cromwell vs. George Bush Snr.". SuicideGirls. October 15, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "James Cromwell files for divorce", Associated Press, January 14, 2005
  11. ^ Ellis, Cynthia, "Tribeca Film Festival Interview: John and James Cromwell: A .45 at 50th", The Huffington Post, May 4, 2010
  12. ^ "Memorial Day". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Black Panther, drunk priest, kind farmer". CNN. June 18, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2007. 
  14. ^ "AR-News James Cromwell interview in The Age (Melbourne) focuses on animal rights". EnviroLink Network. June 23, 2003. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ Cardoni, Salvatore (December 27, 2011). "James Cromwell: You Don't Own Another Creature". Takepart.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Select Your Media Preferences: James Cromwell's PETA Ad". Peta Tv. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ The Money Men By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Crown Books 2000, page 181
  18. ^ "Farm to Fridge". Meatvideo.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ WMTV (2013-02-07). "Actor James Cromwell Arrested at UW Regents Meeting". Gray Television, Inc. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "James Cromwell Arrested Protesting UW Cat Experiments". PETA. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Attorney for actor James Cromwell agrees to fine for pro-animal outburst". The Cap Times. 
  22. ^ "'Babe' Star James Cromwell Escorted From N.Y. Event for Heckling". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  23. ^ Randall, Michael (December 18, 2015). "Six protesters taken into custody in anti-CPV power plant demonstration". recordonline.com. Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Star Trek Actors Arrested, Call on Gov. Cuomo to Boldly Go Beyond Fossil Fuels - EcoWatch

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]