Brad Dourif


Actor

About

Also Known As
Bradford Claude Dourif
Birth Place
Huntington, West Virginia, USA
Born
March 18, 1950

Biography

This thin-approaching-gaunt actor with a receding hairline rose to prominence as the stuttering, frail Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), and has gone on to play a variety of both tormented characters and spine-chilling evil ones. Brad Dourif arrived in NYC after dropping out of college at age 19 and joined the Circle Repertory Company where he won h...

Family & Companions

Janet Dourif
Wife
Counselor. Married c. 1974; divorced.

Notes

"Dourif has shown himself to be one of the most intense, most interesting young film actors of his generation. One possible problem: He'll be typecast as a lunatic." --critic Vincent Canby writing in The New York Times in 1980.

"Sudden fame scared the shit out of me! I didn't feel I deserved it and indulged in drugs."--Brad Dourif to The Hollywood Kids in Movieline.

Biography

This thin-approaching-gaunt actor with a receding hairline rose to prominence as the stuttering, frail Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), and has gone on to play a variety of both tormented characters and spine-chilling evil ones. Brad Dourif arrived in NYC after dropping out of college at age 19 and joined the Circle Repertory Company where he won his first notice as Stephen in the original company of "When You Comin' Back Red Ryder?" in 1972. Although he had appeared in a bit part in "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings" (1974), Dourif had his first role of consequence with "Cuckoo's Nest," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. By the end of the 1970s, after turning down roles in "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Hair" (1979), he had settled into playing characters that were edgy and often mentally unbalanced like the chauffeur Tommy Ludlow in "The Eyes of Laura Mars" (1978) and the deranged preacher Hazel Motes in "Wise Blood" (1979).

Dourif began the 80s with a supporting role in Michael Cimino's notorious "Heaven's Gate" (1980), but had better luck reteaming with Milos Forman as the Evelyn Nesbitt-obsessed character (simply known as Younger Brother) in "Ragtime" (1981). The actor played featured roles in two David Lynch films, the overblown "Dune" (1984) and the highly praised "Blue Velvet" (1985). Under Tom Holland direction , Dourif played a nasty drug dealer in "Fatal Beauty" (1987) and developed a cult following as psycho Charles Lee Ray, whose spirit possesses a doll named Chucky, in Holland's "Child's Play" (1988). For the inevitable sequels ("Child's Play 2" 1990, "Child's Play 3" 1991 and "Bride of Chucky" 1998), Dourif provided the chilling voice of the demonic. The performer also offered a chilling turn as the villainously abusive Detective Pell in "Mississippi Burning" (1988) and was shown to good effect as a mental patient in "William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist III" (1990).

For much of the 90s, Dourif was trapped playing his patented oddballs and psychos in genre fare (e.g., "Critters 4" 1992), parts he has readily admitted he accepted to pay the bills. On occasion, there would be an interesting role, like the TV executive seduced by visual reality in "Wild Palms" (ABC, 1993), his memorable guest spot as a death row inmate claiming psychic powers in a 1994 episode of Fox's "The X-Files," and the 1996 recurring role of the crew member aiding in saving the titular spaceship from aliens in "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN).

Dourif kicked off the new millennium playing a regular role as a local townsman in the PAX-TV prequel "Ponderosa" (2001). But perhaps his biggest chance came when he accepted the part of the spy Grima Wormtongue in Peter Jackson's anticipated tripartite adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings" (filmed 1999-2000) which opened over three years: "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Return of the King" (2003). Dourif first appeared in the second instalment, bringing characteristic oddball menace to his role. He was next nominated for an Emmy as best supporting actor in a TV drama for his impressive turn as Doc Cochran in HBO's hard-as-nails Western series "Deadwood" (2004-06).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Deadwood: The Movie (2019)
Wildling (2018)
Cult of Chucky (2017)
Voice
Black Box (2015)
End of the World (2013)
Few Options (2011)
Priest (2011)
City of Shoulders and Noses (2010)
Death and Cremation (2010)
Halloween 2 (2009)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
Blood Shot (2009)
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)
Humboldt County (2008)
The Wizard of Gore (2008)
Touching Home (2008)
Halloween (2007)
The Wild Blue Yonder (2006)
Pulse (2006)
Vlad (2004)
Hyman Radescu
Seed of Chucky (2004)
The Hazing (2004)
The Box (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
[Grima] Wormtongue
Soulkeeper (2001)
The Prophecy III: the Ascent (2000)
Zealot
Shadow Hours (2000)
Interceptor Force (1999)
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Voice
Progeny (1998)
Dr Bert Clavell
Senseless (1998)
Brown's Requiem (1998)
Grim Prairie Tales II: Rescue Party (1998)
Farley Deeds
Cypress Edge (1998)
Nightwatch (1997)
Duty Doctor
Alien Resurrection (1997)
Phoenix (1997)
Reiger
Best Men (1997)
Sworn to Justice (1997)
If Looks Could Kill: From The Files of "America's Most Wanted" (1996)
Gene Hanson
Blackout (1996)
Thomas Payne
A Step Toward Tomorrow (1996)
Kirby
Murder in the First (1995)
Escape to Witch Mountain (1995)
Bruno; Luther
Escape From Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story (1995)
Sheriff Bill Douglas
Death Machine (1995)
Jack Dante
Color of Night (1994)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Trauma (1993)
Final Judgement (1992)
Critters 4 (1992)
Chaindance (1991)
Johnny Reynolds
Jungle Fever (1991)
London Kills Me (1991)
Child's Play 3 (1991)
Voice Of Chucky
Dead Certain (1991)
John Barnes
Body Parts (1991)
Schrei aus Stein (1991)
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Paul Sullivan
Split (1990)
Stephen King's Graveyard Shift (1990)
Tucker Cleveland--The Exterminator
Horseplayer (1990)
Child's Play 2 (1990)
Voice
Grim Prairie Tales (1990)
Sonny Boy (1990)
Weasel
Medium Rare (1989)
Terror on Highway 91 (1989)
Desperado: The Outlaw Wars (1989)
The Exorcist III (1989)
Spontaneous Combustion (1989)
Child's Play (1988)
Charles Lee Ray
Mississippi Burning (1988)
Fatal Beauty (1987)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Raymond
Impure Thoughts (1986)
Kevin Harrington
Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo (1986)
Lamar Sands
Dune (1984)
I, Desire (1982)
Paul
Ragtime (1981)
Heaven's Gate (1980)
Wise Blood (1979)
Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978)
Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force (1978)
Group Portrait With A Lady (1977)
Boris Dourif
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1974)

Cast (Special)

People Who Live in Brass Hearses (1993)
The Horror Hall of Fame II (1991)
Performer
The Mound Builders (1976)
Chad Jasker

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (1986)
Guyana Tragedy: Story of Jim Jones (1980)
Studs Lonigan (1979)
Danny O'Neill

Life Events

1970

Moved to NYC; roomed with actress Conchata Ferrell

1970

Acted with Circle Repertory Company

1972

First major theatrical role in "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" at Circle Rep

1974

Feature acting debut in "W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings"

1975

Breakthrough feature role, Billy Bibbit in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", directed by Milos Forman; earned Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor

1976

TV debut in "Great Performances" production of Lanford Wilson's "The Mound Builders" (PBS)

1978

Had title role in the NBC movie "Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force"

1979

Appeared in NBC miniseries "Studs Lonigan"

1979

Starred in John Huston's "Wise Blood" as an obsessed preacher

1980

Portrayed a doctor who follows cult leader Jim Jones to South America in "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones" (CBS)

1981

Had featured role as the man obsessed with explosives and Evelyn Nesbitt in Milos Forman's "Ragtime"

1982

Cast as a vampire in the ABC movie "I, Desire"

1985

First collaboration with director David Lynch, "Dune"

1986

Had featured role in Lynch's "Blue Velvet"

1988

Co-starred as a killer whose soul possesses a doll in "Child's Play"; also voiced the doll Chucky in the same film

1990

Reprised the voice of Chucky in "Child's Play 2"

1991

Again voiced Chucky in "Child's Play 3"

1993

Co-starred in ABC TV miniseries "Wild Palms"

1994

Made memorable guest appearance on "The X-Files" (Fox)

1997

Was featured in "Alien Resurrection"

1998

Made uncredited appearance in "Urban Legend" as a gas station attendant

1998

Once again voiced the murderous doll in "Bride of Chucky"

2000

Co-starred in "Shadow Hours" as a gas station owner

2001

Had regular role of a town resident named Frenchy in the PAX-TV prequel series "Ponderosa"

2002

Played Grima Wormtounge in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings" (filmed 1999-2000), released in three parts over three years: "The Fellowship of the Rings" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Return of the King" (2003)

2003

Reprised role of Wormtongue in the "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"

2004

Reprised his role as the voice of Chucky in "Seed of Chucky"

2004

Featured as Doc Cochran in the HBO drama "Deadwood"; earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for 2004

2007

Played Sheriff Lee Brackett in the "Halloween" revival feature

2009

Returned for "Halloween II"

2009

Played uncle Ted in "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done"

2012

Played Zoso on "Once Upon a Time"

2017

Reprised role of killer doll Chucky yet again in "Cult of Chucky"

2019

Returned as Doc Cochran in HBO's long-gestating "Deadwood" revival film

Photo Collections

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Premiere Brochure
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Premiere Brochure

Videos

Movie Clip

Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978) -- (Movie Clip) Lace Day In Columbus Circle Faye Dunaway the title character most convincing, Brad Dourif a tech, Rene Auberjonois her agent, Michael Tucker an editor, Darlanne Fluegel and Lisa Taylor her models, Irvin Kershner directing on location, Columbus Circle in Manhattan, when the visions come back, in Eyes Of Laura Mars, 1978.
Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978) -- (Movie Clip) I've Seen All Kinds Of Murder Her entourage led by Rene Auberjonois and Michael Tucker at the police station, Faye Dunaway (the photographer title character who somehow saw the murder through the killer’s eyes) finds out Tommy Lee Jones, whom she met earlier, is a detective, and has evidence from the previous killing, while another cop (Frank Adonis) interviews her handyman (Brad Dourif), in Eyes Of Laura Mars, 1978.
Wise Blood (1979) -- (Movie Clip) That Makes Me A Bastard We know that Sabbath Lily (AmyWright), daughter of a phony street preacher, is determined to seduce novice anti-Jesus Christian preacher Hazel (Brad Dourif),in director John Huston's Wise Blood, 1979, from the Flannery O'Connor novel.
Wise Blood (1979) -- (Movie Clip) Jesus Don't Exist! On his first day in Taulkinham (really Macon, Georgia) Hazel Motes (Brad Dourif), with new sidekick Enoch (Dan Shor), confronts preacher Hawks (Harry Dean Stanton) and daughter Lily (Amy Wright), in John Huston's Wise Blood, 1979.
Wise Blood (1979) -- (Movie Clip) Before I Met The Prophet The relatively normal scam-artist preacher Hoover Shoates (Ned Beatty) extends professional courtesy to firebrand Hazel Motes (Brad Dourif), who isn't having any, in Wise Blood, 1979, directed by John Huston from the Flannery O'Connor novel.
Wise Blood (1979) -- (Movie Clip) Gone To Become An Angle Discharged veteran Hazel Motes (Brad Dourif) finds the grave of his grandfather (played by director John Huston), at the family farm, then decides to go to town, early in Wise Blood, 1979, from the Flannery O'Connor novel.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Getting Things Off Your Chest McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) joins group session on the psych ward, Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) leading, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, William Redfield, Christopher Lloyd and Sydney Lassick as “Cheswick” among the inmates, in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) -- (Movie Clip) You All Crazy? With assist from the Chief (Will Sampson), McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) grabs a bus and leads fellow mental patients (Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, William Redfield, Vincent Schiavelli et al) on a breakout, picking up Candy (Marya Small), in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975.
Blue Velvet -- (Movie Clip) Pabst Blue Ribbon! Lots of swearing as Frank (Dennis Hopper) brings Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini), Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) et al to visit Ben (Dean Stockwell) in writer-director David Lynch's Blue Velvet, 1986.
Sonny Boy (1990) -- (Movie Clip) Weasel Samantha Phillips and Christopher Bradley are the victims of whimsical armed-robber Weasel (Brad Dourif) who doesn't realize he's kidnapped the narrating-baby title-character in Sonny Boy, 1990.
Sonny Boy (1990) -- (Movie Clip) Growing Up Sonny Boy (Michael Griffin) narrates a coming-of-age sequence featuring parents Slue (Paul L. Smith) and "Pearl" (David Carradine) and sidekick Weasel (Brad Dourif) in Sonny Boy, 1990.

Trailer

Family

Joan Dourif
Mother
Former actor. Remarried.
Christina Dourif
Daughter
Born c. 1976; mother Jonina Dourif.
Fiona Dourif
Daughter
Born c. 1981; mother Jonina Dourif.

Companions

Janet Dourif
Wife
Counselor. Married c. 1974; divorced.

Bibliography

Notes

"Dourif has shown himself to be one of the most intense, most interesting young film actors of his generation. One possible problem: He'll be typecast as a lunatic." --critic Vincent Canby writing in The New York Times in 1980.

"Sudden fame scared the shit out of me! I didn't feel I deserved it and indulged in drugs."--Brad Dourif to The Hollywood Kids in Movieline.

"Chucky is a lot of fun, like doing primal scream therapy. For a few days, I rip my throat out looping the movie, pick up my check, and go home."--Dourif to The Hollywood Kids in Movieline

"It's a little intimidating to work with a great actor like Jack Nicholson, but in the end it always helps you. He would tell me little tips that were a huge help in my learning to adjust to film." --Brad Dourif