William James Remar
December 31, 1953
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
William James Remar (born December 31, 1953) is an American actor. He has played numerous roles over a 40 year career, most notably Ajax in The Warriors (1979), Albert Ganz in 48 Hrs. (1982), Dutch Schultz in The Cotton Club (1984), Jack Duff in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), Richard Wright in Sex and the City (2001–2004), and Harry Morgan, the father of the title character, in Dexter (2006–2013). Since 2009 he has done voice-over work in ads for Lexus luxury cars. Remar studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
William James Remar was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 1953. He is the son of Elizabeth (née Boyle), who worked in mental health affairs for the state of Massachusetts, and Roy Remar, who was an attorney. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, while his mother was a native of England. He has three sisters and two brothers. Remar grew up with his family in Newton, Massachusetts.
Remar dropped out of high school when he was 15, although he attended what he described as "kind of an alternative school" for a year afterwards. He then traveled around the United States, briefly playing guitar in a rock band. Eventually, he returned home and went back to high school, although he decided not to attend college after graduating. Remar has said he decided to become an actor when he was 20; after he was laid off from his job as a roofer, he remembered a previous job performing at a summer camp, and said he would give himself three years to attempt an acting career before he would try something else.
In Florida, Remar earned a role in a state production of Cross and Sword. Afterwards, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, but was not asked back after his first year, which he described as "a devastating experience". Remar continued searching for other acting jobs, eventually landing the part of Kenickie in a touring production of Grease, and also performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, before making his film debut in On the Yard.
Remar has spent the majority of his film career playing villains. He portrayed the violent gang member Ajax in the cult film The Warriors (1979), and the murdering sociopath Albert Ganz in the hit 48 Hrs. (1982). Both films were directed by Walter Hill. Remar also played real-life 1930s-era gangster Dutch Schultz in The Cotton Club (1984).
In contrast to these roles, Remar starred in the film Windwalker (1980) as the young Cheyenne Windwalker, for which he spoke his lines in the Cheyenne language. He also portrayed a gay man in the film Cruising (1980). That same year, Remar had a cameo in the Western The Long Riders (1980) in a bar fight scene with David Carradine.
He was the star of the film Quiet Cool (1986) and was cast as Corporal Hicks in the science-fiction/horror film Aliens (1986), but was replaced by Michael Biehn shortly after filming began. At least one piece of footage featuring Remar made it into the final version of the film: when the Marines enter the processing station and the camera tilts down from the Alien nest, though Remar is not seen in close-up. He is also filmed from the back as the Marines first enter the compound on LV-426 and when "Hicks" approaches the cocooned woman, again filmed from the rear so the viewer is unable to tell it is Remar and not Michael Biehn.
He played Quill, one of the main villains in The Phantom (1996). He appeared in Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997), the sequel to the film Mortal Kombat (1995), taking over the role of Raiden from Christopher Lambert. He then followed this with a role in the direct-to-video science fiction film Robo Warriors (1996). Other films include Psycho (1998), in which he played the patrolman, Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Wedlock (1991), Boys on the Side (1995), The Quest (1996), Rites of Passage (1999), Hellraiser: Inferno (2000), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Fear X (2003), Blade: Trinity (2004), The Girl Next Door (2004). He played a brief role as General Bratt in the prologue of Pineapple Express (2008). He also had a role in the horror film The Unborn (2009), alongside C.S. Lee, who portrays Vince Masuka in Dexter. He also played the father of Olivia Grey in Feed (2017).
Remar appeared in the film X-Men: First Class (2011) and voiced the Autobot Sideswipe in the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), replacing André Sogliuzzo. He was also cast in the heist film Setup (2011) and starred in the film Arena (2011).
Remar played two different, unrelated characters in Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained (2012): Ace Speck and Butch Pooch. He starred, alongside Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, and Lauren Holly, in the thriller film The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015).
Remar's television appearances include the series Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, Sex and the City (as the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Kim Cattrall's character), Tales from the Crypt, Jericho, Third Watch, Justice League Unlimited, and Battlestar Galactica. He also appeared as a possessed mental patient in The X-Files ninth-season episode "Dæmonicus". He starred as Tiny Bellows on the short-lived television series The Huntress (2000–2001). He appeared in the miniseries The Grid (2004) as Hudson "Hud", the love interest of Julianna Margulies's character. He had a recurring guest role in the 2006 television series Jericho on CBS. Remar guest-starred in the CBS crime drama Numbers, playing a weapons dealer who later turns good and helps the FBI.
He also voiced Vilgax in the animated television series Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, replacing Steve Blum. He guest-starred in Private Practice in 2010, playing a physician named Gibby, who works with Doctors Without Borders. On July 23, 2017, Remar was cast as Peter Gambi on the superhero drama Black Lightning. The series would run for four seasons from January 2018 to May 2021, Remar's Gambi a series regular for its entirety. He would then be cast in a recurring role on The Rookie as Tom Bradford, Tim’s father. He was later cast in Welcome to Derry, an upcoming television series prequel to the 2017 film, It, set to debut on Max in 2025.
|1978||On the Yard||Larson|
|The Long Riders||Sam Starr|
|1982||Partners||Edward K. Petersen|
|48 Hrs.||Albert Ganz|
|1984||The Cotton Club||Dutch Schultz|
|1986||The Clan of the Cave Bear||Creb|
|Band of the Hand||Nestor|
|Quiet Cool||Officer Joe Dylanne|
|1989||The Dream Team||Gianelli|
|1990||Tales from the Darkside: The Movie||Preston||Segment: "Lover's Vow"|
|1991||White Fang||'Beauty' Smith|
|1993||Fatal Instinct||Max Shady|
|1994||Renaissance Man||Captain Tom Murdoch|
|Miracle on 34th Street||Jack Duff|
|1995||Boys on the Side||Alex|
|Judge Dredd||Monroe, Block Warlord||Uncredited|
|Wild Bill||Donnie Lonigan|
|1996||The Quest||Maxie Devine|
|1997||Mortal Kombat Annihilation||Lord Raiden|
|1999||Rites of Passage||Frank Dabbo|
|2000||Blowback||John Matthew Whitman / Schmidt|
|What Lies Beneath||Warren Feur|
|Hellraiser: Inferno||Dr. Paul Gregory|
|2 Fast 2 Furious||U.S. Customs Agent Markham|
|2004||The Girl Next Door||Hugo Posh|
|Blade: Trinity||FBI Agent Ray Cumberland|
|2008||Pineapple Express||General Bratt|
|2009||The Unborn||Gordon Beldon|
|Endless Bummer||Sam Kramer|
|X-Men: First Class||U.S. General|
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Sideswipe||Voice|
|Arena||Agent Sam McCarty / Sam Lord|
|2012||Django Unchained||'Ace' Speck, Butch Pooch|
|Lap Dance||Patrick Moore|
|2015||The Blackcoat's Daughter||Bill|
|Papa: Hemingway in Cuba||Santo Trafficante Jr.|
|2016||USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage||Rear Admiral William S. Parnell|
|2017||The Night Watchman||Randall|
|The Saint||Arnold Valecross|
|2018||Speed Kills||Meyer Lansky|
|2019||Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||'Ugly Owl' Hoot|
|2020||Dead Reckoning||Agent Richard Cantrell|
|2022||The Noel Diary||Scott Turner|
|2023||Oppenheimer||Henry L. Stimson|
|1981||Hill Street Blues||Cooper||Episode: "Rites of Spring"|
|1984||The Mystic Warrior||Pesla||Television film|
|1985||Miami Vice||Robbie Cann||Episode: "Buddies"|
|1987||The Equalizer||Tremayne||Episode: "High Performance"|
|The Hitchhiker||Ron||Episode: "Homebodies"|
|Crime Story||Smilin' Jack||Episode: "Blast from the Past"|
|1989||Desperado: The Outlaw Wars||John Sikes||Television film|
|1990||Kojak: None So Blind||Wolfgang Reiger|
|Night Visions||Sergeant Thomas Mackey|
|Tales from the Crypt||Red Buckley||Episode: "Dead Wait"|
|Brotherhood of the Gun||Frank Weir||Television film|
|1996||Cutty Whitman||Cutty Whitman|
|1997||Total Security||Frank Cisco||13 episodes|
|1998||Inferno||Dr. Coleman West||Television film|
|1999||Walker, Texas Ranger||Keith Bolt||Episode: "The Principal"|
|2000||18 Wheels of Justice||Mitch Davis / "Gabriel"||Episode: "Wages of Sin"|
|2000-2001||The Huntress||Tiny Bellows||28 episodes|
|2001||Nash Bridges||Mark Lee Page||Episode: "Fair Game"|
|7th Heaven||James Carver||2 episodes|
|Strong Medicine||Guy Falls||Episode: "Systemic"|
|The X-Files||Professor Josef Kobold||Episode: "Dæmonicus"|
|Justice League||Lead Manhunter||Voice, episode: "In Blackest Night"|
|2001–2004||Sex and the City||Richard Wright||12 episodes|
|2002||The Twilight Zone||Alois Hitler||Episode: "Cradle of Darkness"|
|Third Watch||Det. Madjanski||4 episodes|
|2003||Peacemakers||Cole Hawkins||Episode: "Legend of the Gun"|
|Without a Trace||Lucas Vohland||Episode: "Confidence"|
|2004||The Grid||Hudson "Hud" Benoit||Miniseries|
|The Survivors Club||Roan Griffin||Television film|
|Ike: Countdown to D-Day||Gen. Omar Bradley|
|North Shore||Vincent Colville||21 episodes|
|2005||Battlestar Galactica||Meier||2 episodes|
|2005–2006||Justice League Unlimited||Hawkman, Shadow Thief||Voice, 2 episodes|
|2006||CSI: Miami||Capt. Quentin Taylor||Episode: "Open Water"|
|2006–2007||Jericho||Jonah Prowse||5 episodes|
|2006–2008||The Batman||Black Mask||Voice, 3 episodes|
|2006–2013||Dexter||Harry Morgan||96 episodes|
|2008||Eli Stone||Salinsky||Episode: "Praying for Time"|
|2009||The Unit||Reece||Episode: "Hero"|
|Criminal Minds||Tom Benton||Episode: "Demonology"|
|The Spectacular Spider-Man||Walter Hardy||Voice, episode: "Opening Night"|
|The Christmas Hope||Mark Addison||Television film|
|2009–2010||Batman: The Brave and the Bold||Harvey Dent / Two-Face||Voice, 2 episodes|
|Ben 10: Alien Force||Vilgax||Voice, 7 episodes|
|2010||D.R.E.A.M. Team||Shawn Murphy||Television film|
|Numb3rs||Randall Priest||Episode: "Arm in Arms"|
|FlashForward||James Ermine||Episode: "Blowback"|
|The Vampire Diaries||Giuseppe Salvatore||2 episodes|
|Private Practice||Gibby||Episode: "Playing God"|
|2011||Human Target||Warden Cole||Episode: "Cool Hand Guerrero"|
|Hawaii Five-0||Elliott Connor||Episode: "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau"|
|Young Justice||Joar Mahkent / Icicle Sr., Wilcox||Voice, episode: "Terrors"|
|Pound Puppies||Sarge||Voice, episode: "The K9 Kid"|
|2011–2012||Ben 10: Ultimate Alien||Vilgax||Voice, 5 episodes|
|2012||Hatfields & McCoys||Joe Hatfield||Miniseries|
|2013–2014||Beware the Batman||Mr. Reese / Silver Monkey||Voice, 3 episodes|
|The Legend of Korra||Tonraq||Voice, 14 episodes|
|Grey's Anatomy||James Evans||6 episodes|
|Wilfred||Henry Newman||5 episodes|
|2014||From Dusk till Dawn: The Series||Ray Gecko||Episode: "Boxman"|
|2014–2015||State of Affairs||Syd Vaslo||9 episodes|
|2016||The Shannara Chronicles||Cephalo||7 episodes|
|2017||Gotham||Frank Gordon||3 episodes|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||Admiral Sterling Bridges||3 episodes|
|The Path||Kodiak||9 episodes|
|2018–2021||Black Lightning||Peter Gambi||58 episodes|
|2018–2019, 2023||Magnum P.I.||Captain Buck Greene||6 episodes|
|2019||The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants||Additional voices||2 episodes, uncredited|
|Animal Kingdom||Detective Andre||4 episodes|
|City on a Hill||Richy Ryan||5 episodes|
|2021||Creepshow||Raymond Bateman||Episode: "Skeletons in the Closet"|
|The Rookie||Tom Bradford||Episode: "Breakdown"|
|2023||Paul T. Goldman||Lt. Newman||2 episodes|
|2025||Welcome to Derry †||TBA|||
|2010||Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame||Harvey Dent / Two-Face|
|2011||Killzone 3||Captain Jason Narville|
|2014||Destiny||Executor Hideo, New Monarchy Merchant|
|2017||Destiny 2||Executor Hideo|
|2022||Destiny 2: The Witch Queen||Executor Hideo|
Awards and nominations
|2007||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Television Actor||Dexter||Nominated|
|2009||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Preston Bailey, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Valerie Cruz, Kristin Dattilo, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, C. S. Lee, Jason Manuel Olazabal, David Ramsey, Christina Robinson, Jimmy Smits, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas||Nominated|
|2010||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Preston Bailey, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Brando Eaton, Courtney Ford, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, C. S. Lee, John Lithgow, Rick Peters, Christina Robinson, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas||Nominated|
|2011||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Jennifer Carpenter, April Lee Hernández, Michael C. Hall, Desmond Harrington, Maria Doyle Kennedy, C. S. Lee, Jonny Lee Miller, Julia Stiles, Luna Lauren Velez, Peter Weller and David Zayas||Nominated|
|2012||San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Ensemble Performance Shared with Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Zoë Bell, Don Johnson, Walton Goggins and Bruce Dern||Django Unchained||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||The Life Career Award||—||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Billy Brown, Jennifer Carpenter, Josh Cooke, Aimee Garcia, Michael C. Hall, Colin Hanks, Desmond Harrington, Rya Kihlstedt, C. S. Lee, Edward James Olmos, Luna Lauren Velez and David Zayas||Dexter||Nominated|
|2013||Gold Derby Award||Ensemble Cast Shared with Dennis Christopher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington||Django Unchained||Nominated|
|2014||Behind the Voice Actors Award||People's Choice Voice Acting Award Shared with Janet Varney, Dee Bradley Baker, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, J. K. Simmons, Mindy Sterling, Seychelle Gabriel, Aubrey Plaza, Aaron Himelstein, John Michael Higgins, Adrian LaTourelle, Richard Riehle and Lisa Edelstein||The Legend of Korra||Won|
|Television Voice Acting Award Shared with Janet Varney, Dee Bradley Baker, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, J. K. Simmons, Mindy Sterling, Seychelle Gabriel, Aubrey Plaza, Aaron Himelstein, John Michael Higgins, Adrian LaTourelle, Richard Riehle and Lisa Edelstein||Nominated|
|Prism Award||Male Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline||Grey's Anatomy||Nominated|
- Barry, Keith (March 16, 2009). "Lexus Pursues a New Pitchman". Wired. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- "James Remar". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
- Egan, Sean. Can You Dig It: The Phenomenon of The Warriors. p. 58.
- "Remar, Robert: Part 1". Rutgers University Oral History Archives. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
- "James Remar in town during 'Hatfields' shoot". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
- Egan, Sean. Can You Dig It: The Phenomenon of The Warriors. p. 59.
- Maslin, Janet (February 10, 1979). "Movie: 'Warriors' Creates Visual Style That Is Stark:The Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Gussow, Mel (March 22, 1984). "PARTING FILM SHOTS:COPPOLA AND DUTCH". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Maslin, Janet (March 13, 1981). "PLAINS WARRIOR REUNITES WITH HIS SON". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Making of Aliens. 2003. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021.
- Laskin, Nicholas (November 14, 2014). "Rare Pics Of James Remar In James Cameron's 'Aliens' Before He Was Fired". IndieWire. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Petrakis, John (June 7, 1996). "HIGH-FLYING 'PHANTOM' A THROWBACK TO COMIC-STRIP INNOCENCE". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Johnson, Malcolm (December 5, 1998). "ANALYZING 'PSYCHO'". Hartford Courant. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Trumbore, Dave (May 28, 2013). "TRANSFORMERS 4 Autobot Images". Collider. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Sneider, Jeff (November 9, 2011). "Thesps line up for 'Django Unchained'". Variety. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "James Remar Gets Possessed In 'February'". Bloody Disgusting. February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- Shaw, Gabbi (March 23, 2018). "WHERE ARE THEY NOW: The cast of 'Sex and the City' 20 years later". Insider. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- "'Grey's Anatomy' Taps James Remar For Season 10 Role". HuffPost. August 18, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Schneider, Michael (April 19, 2004). "Remar moves to 'Shore'". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Wertheimer, Ron (July 26, 2000). "TELEVISION REVIEW; Mama Is a Bounty Hunter, Just Making an Honest Living". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Martin, Denise (February 11, 2004). "'The Grid' locates thesp". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- "Paleyfest 2010: Dexter Panel Reveals a Few Clues for Season Five". Retrieved March 5, 2010.
- Keck, William (November 20, 2009). "Dexter's Dad Does Vampire Diaries". TV Guide Magazine. Archived from the original on May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "James Remar to star in Private Practice season 4". Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
- Petski, Denise (July 23, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Casts James Remar & Damon Gupton As Series Regulars, Watch Trailer – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Madden Toby, Mekeisha (May 25, 2021). "Black Lightning Series Finale Recap: The Passing of the Torch — Grade It!". TVLine. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (November 2, 2021). "The Rookie Casts Peyton List as Tim's Sister, James Remar as Their Father". TVLine. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 5, 2023). "HBO Max 'It' Prequel Series 'Welcome To Derry' Sets Taylour Paige, Jovan Adepo, James Remar & Chris Chalk". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2023.
- "James Remar Has Been Secretly Married For 36 Years But Who Is His Wife Atsuko Remar". fabiosa.com. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- "Lisa Remar | 'Still Good' EP Centered On Overcoming Isolation". Flaunt Magazine. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
- "Jason Remar". IMDb. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- Aliens: 26 facts about the movie to celebrate Alien Day 4/26|url=https://www.cineworld.co.uk/static/en/ie/blog/aliens-facts-about-movie-alien-day%7C
- "James Remar (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved August 27, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
- Hipes, Patrick (February 26, 2019). "'City On A Hill': James Remar & Gloria Reuben To Recur On Showtime Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Destiny - End Credits - IGN Video. IGN Video. September 11, 2014. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
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