James Pickens Jr. is an American actor. Pickens was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He began acting while a student at Bowling Green State University. His first acting role was in a campus production of Matters of Choice by Chuck Gordone. Pickens earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from BGSU in 1976.
He is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Webber on the ABC medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy, and for his supporting role as Deputy Director Alvin Kersh on later seasons of the Fox Network science fiction series The X-Files. Pickens started his professional acting career at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City playing Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun. In 1981, Pickens performed in the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of A Soldier’s Play, starring alongside Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.
Pickens married Gina Taylor, a former member of Musique, on May 27, 1984 and has two children. In his spare time Pickens can be found riding horseback and roping cattle. He is a member of the United States Team Roping Championship and competes in roping events across the country. He owns an American Quarter Horse named Smokey.