Biography

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, American actor John Cullum made his Broadway debut as one of the many singing knights in Camelot in 1960. Four years later, he was reunited with Camelot star Richard Burton in Sir John Gielgud's modern-dress Hamlet; despite the formidable talent lineup in that production -- including Hume Cronyn, Alfred Drake, William Redfield, and Eileen Herlie -- Cullum earned critical accolades for his portrayal of Laertes. In 1966, he co-starred with Barbara Harris in the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, winning a Theatre World award in the process. The actor's subsequent principal stage activity was in musicals, from old standards such as Man of La Mancha and Carousel to new favorites like Shenandoah (perhaps Cullum's best Broadway assignment) and On the 20th Century. Although more at home on-stage than before the cameras, he began making regular TV appearances in the late '80s, most conspicuously in the controversial nuclear-doomsday special The Day After (1983). He also appeared as a regular on the long-running daytime serial One Life to Live and the nighttime series Buck James (1987). But Cullum became best known as Holling Vincouer, the young-at-heart bar owner and former mayor of Cicely, AK, on the popular CBS comedy drama Northern Exposure, which ran from 1990-1995. Additional appearances on such popular evening dramas as Touched by an Angel, Roswell, and ER found Cullum earning the status of go-to guy for reliable television performers in the 1990s, and though he would continue to appear onstage in such productions as The Dresser and Neil Simon's Rose's Dilemma, it was big screen roles in such efforts as The Notorious Betty Page, The Night Listener, and Charlotte's Web that kept the actor in the public eye during the millennial crossover. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi