He has appeared in numerous television shows - True Blood, Boston Legal, Nip/Tuck, CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Las Vegas, Matlock, Saving Grace, Ghost Whisperer, In the Heat of the Night, Blue Bloods, Airwolf, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Hell on Wheels among others. He also has appeared in many films such as Lincoln, Protocol, Innerspace, Rocky II, False Identity, Abuse of Power, Thicker Than Water, Amber Waves, Summer School Teachers, and others. Hines also appeared in the miniseries War and Remembrance and The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory. Hines also starred in the soap opera, One Life to Live as Brian Beckett from 1984 - 1986, General Hospital as Kyle Morgan from 1990 - 1991 and The City as Malcolm Christerphor from 1994 - 1995. Hines made his New York stage debut in Valentine's Day, directed by Horton Foote, and has appeared in many plays in New York and Los Angeles. From 2014 to 2015, Hines portrayed Captain August Robertson in the Cinemax TV series The Knick.
He wrote, produced and starred in the western drama, The Outsider and directed the horror thriller, The Mill.
Hines was a member of musical group The Swingin' Medallions between 1968 and 1971.
He was once married to Michelle Phillips, most notable as a singer in The Mamas & the Papas. Hines has two sons: Gray Hines, and Austin Hines. Austin's mother is Michelle Phillips. Hines continues to write, produce, direct and act in television and films.
- Together for Days (1972) - Shelley's Dance Partner
- Summer School Teachers (1974) - Bob
- The Day of the Locust (1975) - French Lt.
- Rocky II (1979) - Emergency Room Aide
- Protocol (1984) - Jerry
- Innerspace (1987) - Rusty
- False Identity (1990) - Tommy
- Soldier's Fortune (1991) - Link
- Street Knight (1993) - Murphy
- Discretion Assured (1994) - Austin
- The Outsider (1994) - John Gower
- Strong Island Boys (1997) - Coach
- When (1999) - Austin
- Just for the Time Being (2000) - Mike Fischer
- Sally (2000) - Ben
- A Terceira Morte de Joaquim Bolívar (2000) - Michael Phillips
- Beacon Hill (2004) - Spanky Reardon
- The Mill (2008) - A Killer
- Beneath the Dark (2010) - Tim
- Lincoln (2012) - Gideon Welles
- Slightly Single in L.A. (2013) - Detective Johnson
- Bloodline (2013) - Ranger Ray
- Martial Science (2013) - Dick Roberts
- Hot Bath an' a Stiff Drink (2014) - Sheriff Roscoe Hardin
- North Blvd (2014) - Sid
- Hollywood (2015) - Dave
- The Family Fang (2015) - Sheriff Hale
- JOB's Daughter (2016) - Sheriff Conolly
- C Street (2016) - Reverend Fink
- Kensho at the Bedfellow (2017) - Frank
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) - Mr. Arthur
- Adams Sloan, Robin (1981) "The Gossip Column", Lewiston Morning Tribune, October 6, 1981, p. 12E. Retrieved November 18, 2013
- "Soap Notes", The Vindicator, January 15, 1996, p. B11. Retrieved November 18, 2013
- Whiting, Richard (June 22, 2018). "Swingin' Medallions founder John McElrath dies". Associated Press. Retrieved January 2, 2019.