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From 1987 through 1992 he was the spokesman for Skaggs Alpha Beta grocery stores for which he improvised commercials that garnered a collection of prestigious advertising awards. He acted as spokesman in commercials for TGI Friday's Restaurants, Belz Factory Outlet World, Ivory Liquid Soap. Tristate Megabucks, and CVS Drugstores. Currently he can be seen in improvised commercials for Kash 'n Karry stores in Florida, Schnuck's grocery stores in St. Louis, Ames department stores in New Hampshire and Luby's Cafeterias.
He has appeared on series television in Whose Line is it, Anyway?, a British comedy-improv show now seen on Comedy Central, and in a recurring role on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Other television credits include Seinfeld, Third Rock from the Sun, Grace Under Fire, Ned and Stacey, Seven Days, Family Matters and To Have and To Hold. Jim's feature film debut was in Ron Howard's The Paper (1993), starring Michael Keaton and Glenn Close. He was featured as a mission controller in the hit Universal movie, Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. He recently was seen in the Touchstone pictures comedy The Other Sister directed by Garry Marshall, and in Ed TV directed by Ron Howard. He also completed a featured role in Inherit The Wind for MGM, starring George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon that aired on Showtime and NBC. Jim played officer Who-Lihan in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" for Director Ron Howard. Jim is represented theatrically by William Bartoli at BBA Talent.
Jim Meskimen studied theater and art all his early life and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor's Degree in fine art after working extensively in oil painting, drawing and lithography, while also working in the theater. During his years as an art student, he traveledd several times to Galicia, Spain to study realist oil painting with the world renowned artist Miguel Arguello, with whom he apprenticed. Returning to the States he worked in the field of animation as a character designer for Rankin/Bass Productions while pursuing his career as an actor, designing for the TV shows Thundercats and Silverhawks.
Meskimen credits L. Ron Hubbard and his best-selling book, Dianetics for his success. "In 1982 I read Dianetics and started to apply the information I learned in the book to every aspect of my life which I was dissatisfied with," says Meskimen, "The result has been a steady growth of personal, artistic and financial success which never would have happened had I not applied what I had learned from Mr. Hubbard. Dianetics put me back in control of my life... permanently." He has gone on to record and direct several of L. Ron Hubbard's fiction works on cassette tapes for Bridge Publications.
Jim Meskimen grew up in a theatrical family; his sister Ellen is an improvisational actress and singer who for two seasons wrote for NBC's Veronica's Closet and now writes for Friends, his late father, Freeman, was an actor and director, and his mother is Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress Marion Ross of TV's Happy Days and the critically acclaimed Brooklyn Bridge. Jim performed improvisational theater with the award-winning ensemble Interplay, under the artistic direction of Tamara Wilcox-Smith for 13 years. He and his wife Tamra Meskimen have been fixtures in the improvisation theater community in New York and Los Angeles and currently perform with The Really Spontaneous Theatre Company. They live in Los Angeles.
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