Still teen-lean after three decades in the business (he played Dr. Duke in the 1970 film version of M*A*S*H), Skerritt's rugged looks have aged well. "Years ago, someone said that I was a character actor locked in a leading man's body," says the fledgling jazzman. "I thought that was a wonderful compliment." And an accurate one. His
Hemingway-esque visage has helped sell Guess? jeans, and currently he plays it tough, but with an undercurrent of sensitivity, as the preacher-patriarch in A River Runs Through It and the wise sheriff of CBS's deliciously quirky Picket Fences.
Happiest at home in Seattle with second wife Sue, who runs a bed & breakfast, Skerritt enjoys a skirmish with the opposite sex. "When an intelligent woman engages in a conflict with you, and you're strong enough to stay with it, you can only get to be a better man for it." Matt, are you taking notes?