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Italian-American actor Mitch Pileggi began his acting career in local theaters, B-movies, and as a guest star in a string of TV shows before making it big in 1994 when he was cast as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, the boss of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s lead characters Mulder and Scully, on Fox’s hit sci-fi drama series, The X-Files, in which he stayed until its finale on May 19, 2002. He would later reprise the role in the show’s feature film adaptations, The X Files (1998) and the upcoming The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).
Pileggi also played billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series Tarzan (2003), land developer Colin Dowling on the WB drama series The Mountain (2004-2005), detective Armen D. Spivak on the ABC action series Day Break (2006), and provided the voice of Commissioner Gordon (2005-2007) on Kids WB Emmy Award-winning animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, The Batman. He now plays USAF Colonel Steven Caldwell on the Sci-Fi Channel series ‘stargate Atlantis.
On the big screen, the actor appeared in the high-school comedy film Three O’Clock High (1987), the action thriller Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987; starring Charles Bronson), and the horror Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988) before landing his breakout film role as serial killer Horace Pinker in Wes Craven’s cult classic horror/thriller, ‘shocker (1989). He has since added to his resume roles in the films Basic Instinct (1992), It’s Pat (1994), Gun Shy (2000) and Man in the Chair (2007). Next, he will star in a film written and directed by Peter Coggan, Woodshop.
When he was a high school student in Turkey, Mitch Pileggi began acting in musical theater and impressed his teacher with his performance of the song Maria from West Side Story. He left acting after high school, but after returning to Austin from Iran, he resumed acting and became involved in the Zachary Scott Theatre as a bookkeeper, janitor and set builder. He was also an actor and appeared in the company’s productions of The Lark, Lone Star, Bent, and Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played Pilate.
After divorcing his first wife, Pileggi moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career. He landed a bit part in On the Line (1984) and made his first appearance on television in the made-for-television movie The Sky’s No Limit.
Pileggi followed it up with guest spots on NBC’s series The A-Team, ABC’s Hooperman and Ohara, the long-running cop drama Dragnet, FOX’s sci-fi series Alien Nation, CBS soap opera Falcon Crest, and ABC’s award-winning China Beach. He also had a recurring role on CBS primetime television soap opera Dallas and appeared in a string of TV movies, including Dalton: Code of Vengeance II (1986), U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart (1987), and Three on a Match (1987).
Meanwhile, Pileggi was seen in Phil Joanou’s high-school comedy film Three O’Clock High (1987; starring Casey Siemaszko), J. Lee Thompson’s action thriller Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987; starring Charles Bronson), and Ken Wiederhorn’s horror film Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988).
He was also cast in George Bloom’s independent drama film Brothers in Arms (1989; with Todd Allen, Charles Grant, and Dedee Pfeiffer) before landing his first feature lead in Wes Craven’s cult classic horror/thriller ‘shocker (1989), in which he played serial killer Horace Pinker.
In the early 90s, Pileggi guest-starred in an episode of the NBC crime drama Mancuso, FBI, NBC’s detective show starring Fred Dryer, Hunter, the sitcom starring U.S./Canadian actor Matt Frewer, Doctor Doctor, CBS western family series Paradise, as well as the FOX sitcoms Drexell’s Class, Get a Life, and Roc. He also appeared in the TV movies Night Visions (1990), Knight Rider 2000″ (1991), Trouble Shooters: Trapped Beneath the Earth (1993) and Pointman (1994).
On the wide screen, Pileggi co-starred with Rod Steiger and Isaac Hayes in Sam Irvin’s independent vigilante film Guilty as Charged (1991) and alongside Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas in Paul Verhoeven’s critically-acclaimed thriller Basic Instinct (1992). He also supported Julia Sweeney in Adam Bernstein’s comedy film It’s Pat (1994) and was cast in the Lou Diamond Phillips-directed erotic thriller, Dangerous Touch (1994).
Pileggi hit it big in 1994 when he joined the cast of Fox’s hit paranormal drama The X-Files in the recurring role of FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, the supervisor of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s lead characters Mulder and Scully. In 1995, Pileggi signed a six-year deal to appear on the show before eventually being picked as a regular in the 1996-1997 seasons. He stayed on the long-running show until its finale on May 19, 2002, and collected three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series that he shared with the show’s cast members. He also reprised his role in the show’s film version that was released in 1998.
During his lengthy stint on The X-Files, Pileggi also guest-starred in such TV series as Pointman, Models Inc., Players, Walker, Texas Ranger, That 70s Show, ER, Batman Beyond, and The Lone Gunmen, as well as starred in the TV movies Raven Hawk (1996) and Legion of Fire: Killer Ants! (1998). He also had an unaccredited role in Wes Craven’s horror/comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett, Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), and was cast alongside Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson, and Oliver Platt in Eric Blakeney’s crime/comedy movie Gun Shy (2000).
After The X-Files ended in 2002, Pileggi hosted the Sci-Fi Channel short-lived revival of the syndicated documentary series, In Search of (2002), and co-starred as billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series Tarzan (2003). He also played land developer Colin Dowling on the WB drama series The Mountain (2004-2005) and had a recurring role as D.E.A. Agent Hammond (2003-2005) on the NBC cop drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Pileggi next played Armen D. Spivak on the ABC series Day Break (2006) and provided the voice of Commissioner Gordon (2005-2007) on the Kids WB Emmy Award-winning animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, The Batman. He now plays USAF Colonel Steven Caldwell on the Sci Fi Channel series ‘stargate Atlantis.
Pileggi was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the WB drama series loosely based on the DC Comics series, Birds of Prey, ABC’s drama starring Tim Daly, Eyes, NBC’s political drama The West Wing, FX Networks Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama series Nip/Tuck, CBS cop-crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS police procedural drama Cold Case, ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning primetime medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, ABC’s Golden Globe, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning legal drama comedy Boston Legal, and the CW comedy-drama Reaper.
He also appeared in the made-for-television movies 1st to Die (2003), with Tracy Pollan, Gil Bellows, Carly Pope, Megan Gallagher, and Angie Everhart, and Recount (2008), starring Kevin Spacey. As for his film work, Pileggi won a Best Ensemble Cast award at the Method Fest for co-starring with Christopher Plummer, Michael Angarano, M. Emmet Walsh, and Robert Wagner in writer/director Michael Schroeder’s award-winning independent drama film, Man in the Chair (2007).
Pileggi revisited his X-Files role in the second feature film based on the popular sci-fi series, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which was released on July 25, 2008, in North America. He completed filming Woodshop, a comedic drama written and directed by Peter Coggan. Pileggi began a recurring role in the FX channel’s revolutionary biker drama series ‘sons of Anarchy as the tattooed leader of the NORDS, Ernest Darby. Recently it was announced that Mitch would reprise his role of Samuel Campbell in the CW series ‘supernatural in a recurring status. In 2012 Mitch joined the cast of the DALLAS reboot in the role of Harris Ryland for two years, until the show’s cancelation in 2014. 2015 brought Mitch as a guest starring role as “Donald DeCarlo” on BLUE BLOODS. In January of 2016, Mitch returned yet again to the role of “Walter Skinner” with the long awaited X-FILES revival mini series.