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The Cop and the Superhero

By Jim Ballas

Returning to the FX Network for its seventh and final season this September is The Shield, an hour-long police-drama. The Shield is about a Los Angeles Police Department anti-gang unit willing to do whatever it takes, even immoral acts, to get the job done. The show stars the Greek-American actor Michael Chiklis, known also for his role as “The Thing” in the Fantastic Four movies.

Chiklis was born in Lowell Massachusetts in 1963 to Charlie and Kate Chiklis. His father ran a hair salon and his mother worked in a hospital. Charlie Chiklis was a second-generation Greek-American whose family hailed from the island of Lesbos.

Chiklis began acting as a child and later received his degree from the Boston University College of Fine Arts. He was in multiple projects over the years, including starring as John Belushi in the biopic Wired and starring on another television show, The Commish. When The Commish ended, Chiklis sought to reinvent his image which led to his starring role on The Shield, which debuted in 2002.

The Shield premiered to critical acclaim and success. In 2002, Chiklis won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. In 2003, Chiklis won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series. That same year, The Shield won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama.

In 2005, Chiklis starred in Fantastic Four as “The Thing,” opposite Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd and Chris Evans. The sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer came out in 2007. Chiklis has been hailed for his performances in these movies, though the overall reception for the Fantastic Four series has been less than stellar.

Chiklis is also reported to have a role in the upcoming film Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan and Billy Bob Thornton, due out in September.

Chiklis is proud of his Greek Heritage, often traveling to his house in Lesbos, attending his Greek Orthodox Church services and encouraging his daughters to learn the language and the culture of Greece.

To see more of Chiklis in action, make sure to catch Eagle Eye, in theatres September 26, and the seventh season premiere of The Shield, debuting September 2.

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