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MICHAEL CHIKLIS (Melander) stars as gangster Vincent Savino in the CBS drama series "Vegas," opposite Dennis Quaid.

Chiklis recently wrapped production on PAWN, a crime thriller produced under his Extravaganza Films banner, in which he stars opposite Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta and Nikki Reed.

Previously, Chiklis starred in the Marvel Comics adaptations FANTASTIC FOUR and FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER as Ben Grimm, aka The Thing. Other film credits include EAGLE EYE, RISE, THE TAX MAN, LAST REQUEST and BODY AND SOUL.

A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Chiklis began entertaining his family with celebrity imitations when he was just 5 years old. He has been acting professionally since age 13, when he earned his Equity card while appearing in regional theater. Chiklis later graduated from the Boston University School of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. His first screen role came in the controversial WIRED, in which he played John Belushi. He auditioned for the role just days after his college graduation.

Widely known for playing Detective Vic Mackey on the groundbreaking FX Network drama "The Shield," Chiklis earned numerous awards and accolades for his portrayal of this morally compromised police officer. He won the 2002 Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama as well as 2003 Golden Globe and Emmy awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series.

In addition to his critically acclaimed acting on "The Shield," Chiklis also assumed the role of producer and director for many episodes. His other television credits include starring roles in the series "No Ordinary Family" (which he also helped produce), "The Commish," "Daddio" and television movie "The Three Stooges." His guest-starring roles include appearances on "Murphy Brown," "Wiseguy," "Miami Vice," "L.A. Law" and "Seinfeld."

After his role on "The Commish" wrapped, Chiklis went to Broadway, starring in the one-man show "Defending the Caveman." Written by Rob Becker, the play has been seen by more than 8 million people in 45 countries.

A musician when he is not acting, Chiklis recently released two singles he recorded with the Michael Chiklis Band.

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