An immediately recognizable if not always identifiable character actor for over a half-century, James Tolkan provided volume and venom as hot-wired authority figures in such popular films as "Serpico" (1973), "WarGames" (1983), "Top Gun" (1986) and the "Back to the Future" trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990). Though frequently billed far down on the cast list, Tolkan immediately captured audiences' attention through his fire-breathing delivery and demeanor; actors ranging from Al Pacino and Tom Cruise to Joe Mantegna and J.T. Walsh did their best to stand toe-to-toe with him in a scene and not get singed. The 1980s were Tolkan's most prolific period, with "Top Gun" and the first two "Future" films introducing him to the widest audience. In subsequent years, he worked largely in television, though the small screen did little to reduce his outsized energy. One of Hollywood's busiest supporting players, James Tolkan was also one of its most formidable, and in turn, one of its most memorable.