Character actor John Finn has proven prolific with more than 80 film and television appearances since his screen debut in 1979 on the trucker and chimpanzee buddy comedy "B. J. and the Bear". Yet his career in acting had a late start, as he first pursued a path in the Navy. After several years of service, Finn walked away from the armed forces and pursued his long-held interest in the preforming arts. Following a string of one-offs on such popular 1980s television series as the superhero saga "The Incredible Hulk" and the music-fueled drama "Fame", Finn made his film debut playing a reporter in the 1984 obsession-fueled crime drama "Death Mask". His first major film role came five years later when he was cast as Sergeant Major Mulcahy in the Oscar-winning docudrama "Glory", which centered on the United States' first all-black volunteer company in the midst of the Civil War. After scores of smaller roles, Finn earned his first series regular role in 1996 on the short-lived cop drama "EZ Streets", playing Captain Geary. This led to more cop parts, including recurring roles on two New York-set crime series, "Brooklyn South" and "NYPD Blue". Then in 2003, Finn was cast as series regular Lieutenant John Stillman on the Philadelphia-set crime drama "Cold Case". Once the series ended after seven seasons, Finn tapped into his armed service experience, portraying Marine Commandant Charles T. Ellison, a recurring character on the Navy-based investigation drama "NCIS".