Monday, December 6, 2010

Fan-Boy Icon #31

If you are looking for a fan-boy pedigree, it is hard to outdo Brad Dourif's;One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dune, Blue Velvet, Child's Play (as the voice of "Chucky"), Alien: Resurrection, The Lord of the Rings, and the Halloween remakes. And that is just film. On television he has appeared on The Equalizer, Spenser for Hire, Moonlighting, Miami Vice, The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Millennium, and of course his role as "Doc" Cochran on Deadwood.

In my mind, Dourif can do no wrong. If he's in it, I'll watch it. He is also a bit of an anomaly for a character actor in that he is not exactly typecast, but always recognizable. He is like the anti-Gary Oldman. Oldman is a chameleon, and at times you might watch a movie and say, "that was Gary Oldman?" but Dourif is always recognizable. He is a personality chameleon, however. The meek and scared Billy Bibbit from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest contrasts with the tough and angry Tommy Ludlow of The Eyes of Laura Mars. He can be heroic or slimy, and even in his Piter De Vries or Grima Wormtongue makeup you know it is him. About the only time you don't recognize him immediately is as Chucky.

Of course, the role that lets you see more of Dourif than any other was his three season run on Deadwood, playing the troubled and turbulent Doc Cochran. Cochran was a medical veteran of the Civil War and not a fan of the dirty dealings in his new residence. The role was interesting in that it displayed the lack of medical understanding at the time and how at-odds that could be with a doctor's compassion. Also, as the only doctor in the middle of nowhere he was responsible for any and all medical problems. His main duties was as gynecologist and public health supervisor for the Deadwood prostitutes, but also had to deal with gunshot wounds, gastrointestinal maladies, broken bones, substance abuse, psychiatry, and in the case of Jewel (Geri Jewell of The Facts of Life fame), problems facing the physically disabled. It is a great role for Dourif, as he gets to be ornery, passionate, and funny by turns. If you have not seen Deadwood it is worth seeking out, despite the many continuity flaws.

IMDb Entry


Asrul "iLham" Sany said...

he's the evil one, aite???

Darius Whiteplume said...

He certainly plays some evil characters. Piter De Vries was the insane mentat in Dune who worked for the Harkonnens, and I believe his Star Trek Voyager character was a Bajoran murderer (I have not see it for a long time).

EJK said...

The man is incredible. I loved his part in "Beyond the Sea" from the X-Files, which is just so incredibly intense. His "ST: Voyager" mini-arc as Suder was one of the best character actor parts on a Trek spinoff. Another genre actor deserving of an Emmy that won't likely sniff a nomination (along with Brent Spiner).

Great Fan-Boy post and blog here, too.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Thanks! If you have not seen The Eyes of Laura Mars it is worth watching. John Carpenter wrote it, an while it has problems is still very cool.

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