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James Allen Preston Sr.[1] (born November 13, 1932)[2] is an American actor. Preston is best known for his role as Ozzie Cleveland on the NBC primetime television series Hill Street Blues which originally aired from 1981 until 1987.

J. A. Preston
Good Times 1976.JPG
Preston as Walter Ingles with his girlfriend Wilona Woods (portrayed by Ja'net Dubois) on Good Times circa 1976.
James Allen Preston

(1932-11-13) November 13, 1932 (age 86)
EducationNorth Carolina College
Years active1971–2006
Known forOzzie Cleveland – Hill Street Blues
Merilyn Alsop
(m. 1957; div. 1972)



Life and careerEdit

Preston was born in Washington, D.C.[3] In addition to his role on Hill Street Blues, Preston is also known for his roles as Leo Daltry in Dallas, Richard Matthews in Santa Barbara, court-martial judge Col. J. A. Randolph, USMC in the 1992 film A Few Good Men, and the minor but important role of a USAF Major General in Air Force One (1997). Preston also appeared on the NBC television series The A-Team as a judge presiding over a military tribunal convened to try the A-Team. He also appeared in 3 episodes of Martin as Gina’s (Tisha Campbell-Martin) father Dr. Cliff Waters.

Personal lifeEdit

Preston was married to Merilyn Alsop from 1957 until divorcing in 1972. Together, Preston and Alsop had three children before their divorce: Scott, Dominique, and James Preston.[1]

Selected filmographyEdit



  1. ^ a b "Merilyn Alsop Preston Taylor: Obituary". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland. May 1, 2010. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  2. ^ "J. A. Preston". IMDb. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "J. A. Preston Biography ((?)-)". Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Search for J.A. Preston". Lortel Archives.

External linksEdit