James Pickens, Jr.

Richard Webber
Actor Biography

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, James Pickens, Jr. started acting at the Karamu House, distinguished as the oldest African-American theater in the United States. After moving to New York, he performed in the historic 1981 production of Charles Fullers’ “A Soldiers Play” at the Negro Ensemble Company with fellow cast members Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. He was a member of the famed Circle Rep/Steppenwolf Theatre Company co-production of Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead,” and starred as Water Lee in the 25th anniversary revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Roundabout Theater.

Pickens moved to the West Coast and began a run of film and television performances. On the big screen he has been directed by some of the film industry’s finest, including Steven Soderbergh in “Traffic,” Oliver Stone in “Nixon” and Warren Beatty in “Bulworth,” and he appeared in four Barry Levinson films — “Sleepers,” “Sphere,” “Jimmy Hollywood” and “Liberty Heights.” He portrayed slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers in “Ghosts of Mississippi” (directed by Rob Reiner), and played Angela Bassett’s ex-husband in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” Other films include “Menace II Society,” “Home Room,” “Gridlock’d” and “Just Wright,” starring Queen Latifah and Common. He was recently seen in “42,” the feature about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, which starred Harrison Ford and was directed by Brian Helgeland.

Pickens performed in the Los Angeles stage reading of “8,” the actual court documents in the historic Proposition 8 marriage equality case, which was directed by Rob Reiner and included an all-star cast of George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, John C. Reilly and Brad Pitt.

Well known to television audiences for his recurring roles on such series as “NYPD Blue,” “The X-Files,” “The Practice,” “Philly,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Six Feet Under,” “The West Wing,” “Rosanne” and “Beverly Hills 90210,” Pickens also starred opposite Rob Lowe in “The Lyons Den” (NBC) and with William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman in “A Slight Case of Murder” (TNT). For his role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” he received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Drama Ensemble and, most recently, won an NAACP Image Award, which he describes as “especially gratifying after seven consecutive nominations!”

He and his wife oversee the James Pickens, Jr. Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the lives of families and children in underserved communities. He hosts an annual charity roping event in Los Angeles which draws some of the best team ropers in the sport. He and his wife, Gina, a singer, have a son and a daughter.

Grey's Anatomy Cast: Ellen Pompeo | Justin Chambers | Chandra Wilson | James Pickens, Jr. | Sara Ramirez | Kevin McKidd | Jessica Capshaw | Jesse Williams | Sarah Drew | Caterina Scorsone | Camilla Luddington | Jerrika HintonKelly McCreary | Jason George | Martin Henderson

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Character Biography

Fly-fishing; his career

Members of staff keeping secrets from him; sexually-charged doctors; striking nurses; alcohol (he is a recovered alcoholic)

Had an affair with Meredith's mom, Dr. Ellis Grey. He eventually ended their relationship. Webber's marriage somehow survived, despite Adele's knowledge of his affair. Richard later found himself entangled in a romantic rendezvous with Dr. Catherine Avery after they ran into each other. They went on to get married.

A mentor to the entire staff, Dr. Webber worked in New York for a number of years pioneering cutting edge surgery. He eventually returned to Seattle Grace, the hospital where—more than three decades ago—he was himself an intern. Richard blames himself for not being more attentive after Adele dies due to an Aortic Aneurysm. After surviving a frightening near-death experience, Webber is back to doing what he does best: mentoring doctors. He also has a newly-discovered daughter, Maggie, from his relationship with Ellis Grey.

Grey's Anatomy Characters: Meredith Grey | Alex Karev | Miranda Bailey | Richard Webber | Callie Torres | Owen Hunt | Arizona Robbins | Jackson Avery | April Kepner | Amelia Shepherd | Jo Wilson | Stephanie Edwards | Maggie Pierce

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