Fans of "The Shield" know him as the bald-headed, loose-cannon detective Vic Mackey.
But having lived for a time with Michael Chiklis in New York City after the two graduated college, Selectman Jerry Stabile remembers Chiklis with a very different look.
Stabile came home one day to find the Andover native and future-award-winning actor sporting bleached hair and a crew-cut. An aspiring actor, Chiklis' new look was for an audition.
Such was life living in an apartment often full of unemployed actors and actresses, Stabile said.
"You never knew what you were going to see," said Stabile, who was working on Wall Street. "There was never a dull moment."
On June 27 Chiklis will be the featured attraction in Andover, the town in which he grew up.
At "Michael Chiklis Day," which will be marked with a 1 p.m. ceremony on the steps of Town Offices at 36 Bartlet St., the 44-year-old Andover High School graduate and Emmy Award winner will be honored for his career accomplishments.
Town officials plan to read a proclamation and give Chiklis a symbolic key to the town at the public event.
"I think that it's great when hometown folks like Mike go off and are successful and become celebrities," said Stabile. "It definitely reflects on the town. The impact that Andover had on him as a youth — he went through our school system, he participated in our sports and drama programs — I think that all had an effect on his course and now his celebrity."
Chiklis won an Emmy Award in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Mackey in cable network FX's "The Shield," which will enter its seventh and final season this fall. He also received a Golden Globe Award in 2003 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series Drama for his work on the popular television series.
Chiklis also starred in "The Commish," a television police drama that lasted 88 episodes between 1991 and 1995.
More recently, Chiklis played The Thing in two Fantastic Four movies released in 2005 and 2007.
Selectman Ted Teichert, who along with Stabile helped organized the June 27 event, noted that Chiklis received his "big break" portraying deceased actor John Belushi in the 1989 film "Wired."
Teichert said Chiklis participated in both drama and athletics as a student at Andover High.
"For someone to do both, it's hard to do," Teichert said. "Drama's not a team sport, but it involves other people. You've got to be there, like a team. I don't know how he did it."
School Committee member Dick Collins remembers Chiklis as a tough two-way football player and former team captain.
"He never missed a minute of football practice and he never missed a minute of play practice," said Collins, who admitted such a feat was made easier since the high school play director was also Collins' wide receiver coach.
"He was every bit as tough a football player as he is a detective on 'The Shield," Collins said. "He fits that role perfectly."
Stabile said he knew Chiklis growing up through his younger brother, Andover firefighter Stephen Stabile.
The two remain close to this day, attending together events such as the Patriots Super Bowl win over the Eagles in 2005.
Stabile said Chiklis' career keeps him extremely busy, but a vacation in the area presented the town with a chance to honor him.
"When they do have that opportunity to come into town, you have to take that opportunity and follow through," Stabile said. "He's one of those guys who doesn't forget where he came from."