Italian-American actor Mitch Pileggi began his acting career in local theaters, B-movies, and as a guest star in a string of TV shows before making it big in 1994 when he was cast as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, the boss of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s lead characters Mulder and Scully, on Fox’s hit sci-fi drama series The X-Files, in which he stayed until its finale on May 19, 2002. He would later reprise the role in the show’s feature film adaptations, The X Files (1998), The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), and in the 2016 revival of the show.
Pileggi also played billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series Tarzan (2003), land developer Colin Dowling on the WB drama series The Mountain (2004-2005), detective Armen D. Spivak on the ABC action series Day Break (2006), and provided the voice of Commissioner Gordon (2005-2007) on Kids WB Emmy Award-winning animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, The Batman. He also played USAF Colonel Steven Caldwell on the Sci-Fi Channel series Stargate Atlantis.
On the big screen, the actor appeared in the high-school comedy film Three O’Clock High (1987), the action thriller Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987; starring Charles Bronson), and the horror Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988) before landing his breakout film role as serial killer Horace Pinker in Wes Craven’s cult classic horror/thriller Shocker (1989). He has since added to his resume roles in the films Basic Instinct (1992), It’s Pat (1994), Gun Shy (2000), and Man in the Chair (2007).
Pileggi’s other TV work includes guest spots on NBC’s series The A-Team, ABC’s Hooperman and Ohara, the cop drama Dragnet, FOX’s sci-fi series Alien Nation, CBS soap opera Falcon Crest, and ABC’s award-winning China Beach. He also had a recurring role on CBS primetime television soap opera Dallas and appeared in a string of TV movies, including Dalton: Code of Vengeance II (1986), U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart (1987), and Three on a Match (1987).
During his lengthy stint on The X-Files, Pileggi also guest-starred in such TV series as Pointman, Models Inc., Players, Walker, Texas Ranger, That 70s Show, ER, Batman Beyond, and The Lone Gunmen, as well as starred in the TV movies Raven Hawk (1996) and Legion of Fire: Killer Ants! (1998). He also had an unaccredited role in Wes Craven’s horror/comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett, Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), and was cast alongside Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson, and Oliver Platt in Eric Blakeney’s crime/comedy movie Gun Shy (2000).
After The X-Files ended in 2002, Pileggi hosted the Sci-Fi Channel short-lived revival of the syndicated documentary series In Search Of (2002), and co-starred as billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series Tarzan (2003). He had a recurring role on Supernatural, playing the characters Samuel Campbell, Azazels, and the Alpha Shapeshifter. He also starred in hit FX TV show Sons Of Anarchy as Ernest Darby. He had a recurring role as D.E.A. Agent Hammond (2003-2005) on the NBC cop drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
In 2012 Mitch joined the cast of the Dallas reboot in the role of Harris Ryland for two years, until the show’s cancelation in 2014. 2015 brought Mitch as a guest starring role as Donald DeCarlo on Blue Bloods.
In January of 2016, Mitch returned yet again to the role of Walter Skinner with the long awaited The X-Files revival mini-series.