(written from a Production point of view)
James Barrie Sikking (born 5 March 1934; age 87), from Los Angeles, California, is the actor who played the self-righteous Captain Styles in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. He was a good friend of the film's director and co-star, Leonard Nimoy, with whom he worked a number of times.
A favorite of producer Steven Bochco, Sikking is best known for his Emmy-nominated role as Lieutenant Howard Hunter on the television series Hill Street Blues. Star Trek: The Original Series guest actress Barbara Babcock was also a cast member on that show, as were Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest stars Barbara Bosson, Tony Plana, and Jonathan Banks. Sikking later became known for his role on Bochco's medical dramedy Doogie Howser, M.D. as the title character's father. Also a part of that show's cast was Star Trek guest actor Lawrence Pressman and Star Trek: The Next Generation guest performer Lucy Boryer. Sikking's son Andrew had a recurring role as a uniformed officer on Bochco's NYPD Blue, working over the years with Gordon Clapp, Sharon Lawrence, and Michael Buchman Silver.
Sikking had previously been a regular on the daytime soap opera General Hospital. In 1992, he and late Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Bibi Besch played a married couple in the made-for-TV special Doing Time on Maple Drive. Sikking also has numerous television guest appearances to his credit, including The Fugitive, My Favorite Martian (starring Ray Walston), Bonanza, thrice on Hogan's Heroes (shot of the Desilu/Paramount Studios lot, appearing alongside Marj Dusay, Willard Sage and John Crawford, as well as being the only known series crossover performer to make his Star Trek appearance afterwards), Mission: Impossible (a Desilu production, also featuring a plethora of former TOS performers, including Nimoy, with whom he co-starred in the first of his two appearances), The Streets of San Francisco, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, Starsky and Hutch, and Hunter, among many others. One of his earliest TV appearances, however, was an episode of The Outer Limits alongside his Star Trek III co-star William Shatner (as well as TOS actors Lawrence Montaigne and Malachi Throne).
Besides Star Trek III, his notable film credits also include Ordinary People (1980), Up the Creek (1984, with Robert Costanzo and Frank Welker), Sikking played the stingy Bill Watson in the 1987 comedy hit Soul Man with Voyager guest star Wallace Langham, Narrow Margin (1990, with Harris Yulin), and The Pelican Brief (1993, with Casey Biggs). He also appeared in the 1973 film Scorpio, which also featured TOS/DS9 guest actor John Colicos. He most recently appeared in the 2005 remake of Fever Pitch, as did DS9 guest actor Jack Kehler.
Sikking and Star Trek III producer Harve Bennett had been acquaintances for quite some time prior to their collaboration on Search for Spock. Bennett produced two 1972 ABC Movies of the Week which featured Sikking and his fellow Star Trek III co-star Paul Kent: The Astronaut (also starring Robert Lansing and Monte Markham) and Family Flight (also with Ed Begley, Jr. and Bill Zuckert). The following year, Bennett produced the unsold series pilot for The Alpha Caper, which also featured Sikking and Kent as well as their fellow Star Trek III actor Paul Sorensen, TOS guest actor Vic Tayback, DS9 guest actor Kenneth Tobey, and Leonard Nimoy. And in 1984, the same year in which Star Trek III was released, Bennett worked with Sikking again on The Jesse Owens Story, which also starred Vic Tayback and future TNG actors Ben Vereen, Ronny Cox, and LeVar Burton.
Sikking later collaborated with Bennett on the animated science fiction series Invasion America, to which Sikking, Nimoy, Bennett, Ronny Cox, and Tony Jay lent their voices.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects in which Sikking worked with other Star Trek alumni include:
- Coffee, Tea or Me? (1973, with Kenneth Tobey and Marcy Lafferty)
- Whisper of the Heart (1995, 2006 English version, with Judi Durand and Bradley Pierce)
- The Outer Limits episode "Cold, Hands, Warm Heart" (1964, with William Shatner)