Actors Whose Names You Probably Don’t Know But Should: James Tolkan

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You all know him.  It’s impossible not to recognize that bald head of his.  And you’ll never mistake the line “your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash” for anyone else.  It’s Commander Tom Jardian AKA “Stinger” from Top Gun.  His real name?  James Tolkan.  I almost went with Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future but come on.   You just can’t top that line.

And here’s another line you can’t top. It’s very obscure but it’s hilarious.  In the last dog fight scene in Top Gun there’s a part where Slider and Ice realize that there are 5 Mig Fighters instead of 4.  The radar picks up on this and the assistant guy says to Stinger, “there’s 5 sir.”  And Stinger says “THAT’S FIVE?”

If you own Top Gun I implore you to watch this scene again and rewind “that’s five” at least 20 times.  It’s very funny.  In any event, here’s to James Tolkan, token bald mean no holds barred type of guy.  You are the dude.

*Here’s something cool.  In 1996 he played a guy named Commander Hondo on some crappy Top Gun thing on TV.   Another crazy fact?  The guy is 83 now.  Yes, 83.  Anyway, enjoy this classic Tolkan clip


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