James Brolin Biography

James Brolin is a well-known American actor, producer and director. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and other facts about his life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 18, 1940

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors American Men

Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Cancer

Born in: Los Angeles, California, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'4" (193 cm), 6'4" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Barbra Streisand (m. 1998), Jan Smithers (m. 1986–1995), Jane Cameron Agee (m. 1966–1984)

father: Henry Bruderlin

mother: Helen Sue Bruderlin

children: Jess Brolin, Josh Brolin, Molly Elizabeth Brolin

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

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James Brolin is a famous American actor, producer, and director who works in both films and television. Over the course of his long and productive career, he has appeared in many significant films, such as ‘Traffic’, ‘The Hunting Party’, and ‘Lost City Raiders.’ Brolin has won several awards for his marvelous performances, including two Golden Globe Awards and one Emmy Award. He has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and can be regarded as one of Hollywood’s finest and most successful actors. Born in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, Brolin developed an interest in acting as a teenager. Initially he appeared in supporting roles in episodes of several television shows. His first significant role on television was in the American medical drama show ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’, in which he played a main role. His role of Dr. Steven Kiley received great appreciation and won him his first award. His successful television career made him venture into films as well, and before long he established himself as a much-sought after actor on the big screen too.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • At the beginning of his acting career, Craig Kenneth Bruderlin adopted the screen name “James Brolin.” His first significant film was ‘Von Ryan’s Express’ a World War II adventure film, which was released in 1965. The film, which was directed by Mark Robson, was about a group of Allied Soldiers, and a daring escape they conduct by hijacking a train. Brolin appeared as soldier Private Ames.
  • In 1967, he appeared in ‘The Cape Town Affair’, a spy film which was about South African secret agents trying to save a confidential microfilm before the communists could get hold of it. Brolin played a main role, appearing as Skip McCoy. The film received mostly negative reviews.
  • In 1968, he was cast in a popular television medical drama ‘Marcus Welby, MD’ in which he appeared in a lead role. He appeared as a young, talented assistant physician Dr. Steven Kiley, for which he received much popularity and appreciation. The series became a huge success, and rose to become one of the top-rated TV shows of that time. He won an Emmy Award, along with a Golden Globe Award, for his performance.
  • He appeared in several movies over the next years, including ‘Skyjacked’ (1972), ‘Trapped’ (1973)’, ‘The Car’ (1977), ‘The Amityville Horror’ (1979), ‘Night of the Juggler’ (1980), and ‘High Risk’ (1981).
  • In the year 1983, he returned to television to appear in the popular series ‘Hotel’. His role of Peter McDermott, a hotel manager who tries to help people with their problems, was quite appreciated. The role got him nominated for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ twice, though he didn’t win either time.
  • Over the following years, he appeared in movies, such as ‘Deep Dark Secrets’ (1987), ‘Ted & Venus’ (1991), and ‘Parallel Lives’ (1994).
  • In the year 2000, he appeared in the hit crime drama ‘Traffic’, in which he portrayed a character named General Ralph Landry. The film was a huge commercial success, grossing more than 200 million worldwide. It also won a few Oscars.
  • In 2003, James Brolin portrayed former American president Ronald Reagan, in a popular 3-hour television film ‘The Reagans’. Directed by Robert Allen Ackerman, the film kindled controversy for its negative portrayal of Reagan. For his acting, Brolin was nominated for a ‘Golden Globe’ and a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’.
  • Over the following years, he appeared in main roles, as well as supporting roles, in several popular movies such as ‘The Alibi’ (2006), ‘The Hunting Party’ (2007), ‘Lost City Raiders’ (2008), ‘Standing Ovation’ (2010), ‘A Fonder Heart’ (2011), and ‘Accidental Love’ (2015).
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  • He was most recently seen in the film ‘Sisters’, a 2015 American comedy, which was directed by Jason Moore. The same year, he also started appearing in the television series ‘Life in Pieces’, playing a retired pilot named John Bertram Short. As of March 2017, the show is running in its third season.
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Major Works
  • ‘Marcus Welby, MD’, an American medical drama series, in which James Brolin was cast in a main role, was his first significant role for which he received much popularity and appreciation. The series, in which Brolin played a young doctor, was created by David Victor. The show, which aired for 172 episodes, won Brolin one Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award.
  • ‘The Amityville Horror’, a 1979 American horror film in which Brolin played the lead role, is among his most significant works. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg, the film also starred Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, and Murray Hamilto. The story is based on the supernatural experiences of the Lutz family, who had purchased a new residence in Amityville in New York, where a lot of murders were committed the previous year. The film received negative reviews from critics. However, it managed to be successful commercially, and grossed $86.4 million worldwide.
  • In the year 2000, Brolin appeared in the popular crime drama film ‘Traffic’, where he played a supporting role as General Ralph Landry. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film explored the illegal drug trade from a number of perspectives. The film, which was hugely inspired by actual people and events, starred actors Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Dennis Quaid, Jacob Vargas, and Catherine Zeta-Zones. It received mostly positive reviews. It also won four Oscars. The film was also a commercial success, grossing more than $200 million worldwide.
Awards & Achievements
  • James Brolin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film twice (1971 and 1973) for his role as Dr. Steven Kiley in the TV series ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’ He also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the same role.
Marriage & Love Life
  • James Brolin married Jane Cameron Agee in 1966. They had two children. The couple divorced in the year 1984. After nine years, Cameron passed away in a car accident.
  • Brolin’s second wife was Jan Smithers, whom he had married in 1986. The couple had a daughter. In 1995, Smithers filed for divorce.
  • Later Brolin met Barbra Streisand, a popular American, singer, actress and director, whom he married in 1998. Brolin currently resides with his wife in Malibu, California.

1. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

  (Drama, Crime, Biography)

2. Traffic (2000)

  (Thriller, Drama, Crime)

3. Von Ryan's Express (1965)

  (War, Adventure, Action)

4. The Boston Strangler (1968)

  (Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery)

5. Westworld (1973)

  (Western, Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller)

6. Capricorn One (1977)

  (Thriller, Action)

7. Fantastic Voyage (1966)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Family)

8. Antwone Fisher (2002)

  (Biography, Drama)


Golden Globe Awards
1973 Best Supporting Actor - Television Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969)
1971 Best Supporting Actor - Television Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969)
Primetime Emmy Awards
1970 Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Drama Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969)

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How To Cite

Article Title
- James Brolin Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- May 17, 2017
James Brolin

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