Actor James Tolkan to Appear at 2010 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival #myUNA

Office of University Communications & Marketing

Actor James Tolkan to Appear at 2010 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival

Oct. 2, 2009

FLORENCE, Ala. – James Tolkan, the actor who added the word “slacker” to every educator’s vocabulary, will join actress Lea Thompson and screenwriter Bob Gale as a guest of the 13th annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival March 4-7, 2010. Tolkan, Thompson and Gale, each with many films to their credit, worked together on the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

Tolkan has played many tough film characters, including the strict, intimidating principal Strickland in the “Back to the Future” films. Other notable films include “Top Gun,” “War Games,” “Masters of the Universe,” “Dick Tracy” and Woody Allen’s “Love and Death,” in which he took on the roles of both Napoleon and a Napoleon look-alike.

Tolkan’s many television appearances include such diverse shows as “Naked City” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” He played multiple roles in more than a dozen episodes of “A Nero Wolfe Mystery” and also directed two episodes of the series.

After college, Tolkan, a native of Calumet, Mich., studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler at the Actors Studio. In addition to his work in film and television, he has performed in many stage productions, including “Wait Until Dark,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Macbeth.”

Tolkan and his wife, Parmelee, live in Lake Placid, N.Y., where they are active supporters of the arts and where James plays with the Saranac Lake Pool League.

Tolkan will join an impressive list of major celebrity guests who have appeared at he George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, including Lee Majors, Rance Howard, and Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Ernest Borgnine.

The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival is one of the few film festivals hosted by a university. The event was founded in 1998 by UNA alumnus and celebrated actor and entertainer George Lindsey. Lindsey’s own film career has included several important roles, including the character Goober Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

For more information on the 2010 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, visit, or contact the film festival staff at or 256-765-4592.

PHOTO AVAILABLE: For a photo of Tolkan, contact the Office of University Communications at 256-765-4225 or