Tom Skerritt to Make Broadway Debut in ‘A Time to Kill’

"Picket Fences" star joins Fred Thompson in John Grisham adaptation

"Picket Fences" star Tom Skerritt will make his Broadway debut in "A Time to Kill," the show's producers said Wednesday. 

Getty ImagesThe play is a the first stage adaptation of one of John Grisham's best-selling legal thrillers. Skerritt will portray Lucien Wilbanks, who serves as the eccentric mentor to Jake Brigance (Sebastian Arcelus), a young lawyer and the show's protagonist. 

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"A Time to Kill" centers on a racially charged murder trial involving an African-American man who takes the law into his own hands after his young daughter is brutally raped.

Skerritt won an Emmy for playing a town sheriff and family man in four seasons of "Picket Fences." He also etched memorable performances in such films as "M*A*S*H," "The Turning Point," "Alien" and "Top Gun."

On stage, he has appeared in Los Angeles and Seattle productions of  "Love Letters" and as the Stage Manager in Seattle's Intiman Theater production of "Our Town," but he has yet to make it to the Great White Way.

He rounds out a cast that includes Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins and former U.S. Senator and "Law & Order" star Fred Thompson. Ethan McSweeny ("The Best Man") will direct from a script by Rupert Holmes ("The Mystery of Edwin Drood").

"A Time to Kill" is set to open on Broadway Oct. 20 at the John Golden Theater.