Family & Companions
Long a fixture in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction, both as an actor and a voiceover artist for video games and animation, Ron Perlman was best known for playing the wise-cracking, cigar-chomping demon paranormal investigator Hellboy in Guillermo del Toro's 2004 and 2008 comic-book adaptations. Prior to that, Perlman built a solid fan base as Vincent, the misunderstood Beast on the popular series "Beauty and the Beast" (CBS, 1987-1990), while enjoying a steady stream of supporting roles as both villains and sympathetic sidemen in films such as "Alien Resurrection" (1997) and "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002). Because of his lion-like features, Perlman's early career was often defined by roles that required heavy makeup that left the actor unrecognizable in public. But everything changed when he starred on the hit cable series "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-14), in which he played an aging, but no less bad-ass, head of a Hell's Angels-like motorcycle club. Perlman translated the success of that show onto big-screen roles in films such "Season of the Witch" (2011), "Conan the Barbarian" (2011) and "Drive" (2011), which helped give the middle-aged actor a boost later in his career.
Born on Apr. 13, 1950, in New York, NY to a jazz musician father and municipal worker mother, Perlman was an outgoing performer at an early age, first getting a taste of the stage with standup comedy as a teenager. After graduating George Washington High School, he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater from Lehman College and his master's in the same from the University of Minnesota. He returned to New York well-trained in classical theater and drama, making his off-Broadway debut in 1976 as the Emperor in "The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria" at the famed LaMaMa Theatre. Perlman's Broadway breakthrough came with "Teibele and Her Demon" in 1979, leading to many more stage roles, including "La Tragedie de Carmen" (1981) and a U.S. tour of the Rodgers and Hart musical "Pal Joey." The following year, his imposing frame and expressive features helped secure his feature film debut as a perpetually hungry Cro-Magnon guard who could literally smell trouble in "Quest for Fire" (1982).
In the first of many B-movies, Perlman had a supporting role in the tongue-in-cheek sci-fi comedy, "The Ice Pirates" (1984), before playing a monk under suspicion of murder in the adaptation of Umberto Eco's best-selling novel "The Name of the Rose" (1986). His real breakthrough came in 1987 when he was cast as the poignant, yet heroic half-human, half-animal Vincent in the series "Beauty and the Beast." While not a ratings success by any stretch, the series won a wildly devoted audience due in large part to the chemistry between Perlman and Linda Hamilton. His sterling performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series. During the show's run, Perlman beefed up his resume with television movies and was particularly memorable as the father of an Amish family who loses a child to a hate crime in "A Stoning in Fulham County" (NBC, 1988).
Perlman began to carve out a niche for himself in voicing characters for animated series, including "The Legend of Prince Valiant" (The Family Channel, 1991-95) and "The Adventures of Batman and Robin" (Fox, 1992-99), while ramping up his big-screen career with roles in the Stephen King adaptation "Sleepwalkers" (1993) and Guillermo del Toro's "Cronos" (1993). He played Pap Finn to Elijah Wood's Huck in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1993), then overdid it as a Russian mobster in the farcical "Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow" (1994). He voiced the animated kids show "Aladdin" (CBS/syndication, 1994-97) and debuted in the video game world as the voice of Rene Korda in "Chronomaster." Perlman's first leading role in a feature film came when he was cast as a circus strongman in Jeunet & Caro's "The City of Lost Children" (1995). In a refreshing return to adult drama, he was excellent as a political pundit and ill-fated dinner guest in "The Last Supper" (1996).
Perlman had the opportunity to appear alongside Marlon Brando as the putative spiritual leader of the men-beasts in John Frankenheimer's unintentionally campy "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1996). He went on to get a better profile boost opposite Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder in the fourth and final "Alien" film, "Alien Resurrection" (1997). Perlman's distinctive voice rolled out on popular video games "Fallout" and "Fallout 2," while being featured as Clayface in the animated series "The New Batman Adventures" (The WB, 1997-99). After a pair of uniquely dark comedies - "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died" (1998) and "Happy, Texas" (1999) - he portrayed an aging Russian sniper in the World War II epic "Enemy at the Gates" (2001), then played a member of the Bloodpack with a personal vendetta against a vampire hunter (Wesley Snipes) in del Toro's tense horror thriller, "Blade II" (2002). Reprising the voice of Clayface for half a dozen Batman-based series and video games, Perlman continued to voice a growing number of superhero and fantasy video games and animated series.
The increasingly visible actor scored a supporting role as the Reman Viceroy in "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), though the 10th installment of the franchise was a lesser hit than previous offerings. But no matter, Perlman's next outing was a starring role that launched him to official movie-star status. Reuniting with Guillermo del Toro, Perlman provided the burly physique and resonant voice of artist Mike Mignola's lesser-known comic-book superhero in "Hellboy" (2004), focusing on a demon delivered to Earth who grows up to become a benevolent paranormal investigator. The surprise sleeper hit provided Perlman with his most high-profile role - albeit under layers of red makeup - since his days as the Beast. Critics and audiences alike credited his charisma as crucial to the film's success as the stunning visuals.
Perlman's critically hailed performance led to a flood of post-"Hellboy" offers. He delivered another standout performance in "The Last Winter" (2006), underground movie legend Larry Fessenden's profoundly chilling story of a group of oil drillers in a remote part of Alaska. The film received universal raves from reviewers, but only received a limited art house release before finding some popularity on DVD. He went on to star in another psychological horror hit, "Stephen King's Desperation" (ABC, 2006), an adaptation of the horror writer's haunting tale about evil consuming a small desert town. Though Uwe Boll's misguided video-game adaptation, "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" (2007), was rightly skewered by critics, Perlman was back in the clover with the sequel "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (2008). Del Toro's second outing again found Perlman's hero battling to protect the human race against demonic forces, but this time a new threat tempts him to reconsider his loyalty. The film scored critical kudos, while Perlman's characterization was again singled out as the key to the film's success.
After nearly a decade away from the small screen, Perlman was cast in "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-14), a popular cable drama about a biker club in Northern California. With his imposing demeanor, Perlman was an excellent choice to play Clay Morrow, auto-shop owner and leader of the Sons of Anarchy, a motorcycle club he helped found during the 1960s. Alongside Nicolas Cage, Perlman returned to theaters in the spring of 2011 in "Season of the Witch," starring as the loyal sidekick of a medieval knight seeking justice in plague-riddled Europe. Detouring into art-house territory with his supporting part in the neo-noir film "Drive" (2011), Perlman also mixed things up by voicing the incredibly evil Lich on the cult-favorite animated series "Adventure Time" (Cartoon Network, 2010- ). In 2013, he collaborated again with del Toro for a memorable turn as eccentric businessman Hannibal Chau in the sci-fi/action movie "Pacific Rim" and voiced the one-eyed giant Polyphemus in "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters."
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made Off-Broadway debut in "The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria"
Made Broadway debut in "Teibele and Her Demon"
Cast in feature film debut in Jean-Jacques Annaud's film "Quest for Fire"
Landed breakthrough role as Vincent on the CBS series "Beauty and the Beast" opposite Linda Hamilton
Played head of Amish family in "A Stoning in Fulham County"
Returned to Broadway, assuming the role of Col. Jessep in "A Few Good Men"
Voiced villain Clayface on the FOX animated series "Batman: The Animated Series"
Landed first leading film role as the gargantuan oaf in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "The City of Lost Children"
Provided character voices for the USA Network's animated "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm"
Appeared in featured role in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Alien Resurrection"
Co-starred on the CBS drama series "The Magnificent Seven"
Portrayed a Romulan viceroy in "Star Trek: Nemesis"
Played the title role of the benevolent comic book demon in Guillermo del Toro's "Hellboy"
Cast opposite Jason Statham in Uwe Boll's "Dungeon Siege"
Starred in Larry Fessenden's horror feature "The Last Winter"
Reprised role for Guillermo del Toro's "Hellboy II: The Golden Army"
Cast as Clay Morrow, the president of the motorcycle gang and stepfather of the main character, on the FX series "Sons of Anarchy"
Co-starred with Ryan Gosling in the action film "Drive"
Played the leader of the Cimmerians and the title character's father in the remake of "Conan the Barbarian"
Voiced The Lich on animated series "Adventure Time"
Reunited with del Toro as black market dealer Hannibal Chau in "Pacific Rim"
Had a guest role on "The Blacklist"
Voiced Armaggon on animated series "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Appeared in "Harry Potter" series spinoff "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
Voiced Bular in Guillermo del Toro's Netflix series "Trollhunters"
Appeared in Chuck Wepner biopic "Chuck"