(written from a Production point of view)
Jeffrey Alan Combs (born 9 September 1954; age 64) is an actor who has the distinction of portraying eight different characters on three Star Trek television series, most notably those of Brunt and the various Weyouns on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Andorian Thy'lek Shran on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Personal life Edit
Born in Oxnard, California, Combs was raised in Lompoc, California along with many older and younger siblings. He graduated from Lompoc High School in 1972, after which he honed his acting talents at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California and the Professional Actor's Training Program at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.
In 1980, after spending four years performing for regional theater, Combs moved to Los Angeles where he landed roles in the films Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Honky Tonk Freeway, both released in 1981. The latter one starred Teri Garr.
Combs is widely recognized as an actor of science fiction and horror movies. His first experience with both genres came in 1983 when he appeared in the science fiction comedy The Man with Two Brains, a film which also featured fellow Trek guest stars James Cromwell, David Warner, and Earl Boen. A few months later, he was seen in the horror film Frightmare, co-starring Scott Thomson.
Combs has since starred in many movies in the horror and science fiction genres, specifically those based on the works of writer H. P. Lovecraft. His most well-known Lovecraftian role (and, indeed, his most famous film role in general) is that of Dr. Herbert West in the 1985 classic Re-Animator. He reprised this role in two more films, Bride of Re-Animator in 1990 and Beyond Re-Animator in 2003.
Other Lovecraftian films starring Combs include From Beyond (1986, with Ted Sorel) and Lurking Fear (1994, with Vincent Schiavelli). Combs' association with Lovecraft was such that he actually played the author in the 1993 horror anthology Necronomicon, which featured Dennis Christopher, Gary Graham, Richard Lynch, and David Warner. His more recent Lovecraftian work was the television horror thriller The Dunwich Horror (2009, with Dean Stockwell). Combs voiced King Abdul in the animated feature Howard Lovecraft & the Undersea Kingdom (2017) and H.P. Lovecraft himself in the video sequel Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness (2018).
Outside of the Lovecraftian universe, Combs portrayed a Catholic Cleric in the 1991 film The Pit and the Pendulum, also starring Stephen Lee. Combs was further notable for playing the title role of Doctor Mordrid in 1992, on which he co-starred with Brian Thompson. Another notable role is that of crazed FBI agent Milton Dammers in the 1996 horror film, The Frighteners, which co-starred Julianna McCarthy.
Combs' other non-Lovecraftian sci-fi and horror films include Robot Jox (1989, starring Gary Graham), Guyver (1991, with Michael Berryman, Dennis Madalone, Brian Simpson, and Spice Williams), Trancers II (1991, with Richard Lynch), Fortress (1992, co-starring Kurtwood Smith and Tom Towles), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998, along with Bill Cobbs), the remake of House on Haunted Hill (1999, starring Famke Janssen), and Contagion (2002, with Megan Gallagher). More recent horror movie credits include Abominable (2006, in which he co-starred with Matt McCoy and Phil Morris), the remake of The Wizard of Gore (2007, with Brad Dourif), and Dark House (2009, with Diane Salinger and Don Stark).
Combs has of course ventured in other genres besides horror or sci-fi. He played "Dinosaur Bob" in the 1994 thriller Love and a .45 and appeared as Gilroy in the 1995 gangster picture Dillinger and Capone. This latter film co-starred F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Davies, Catherine Hicks, Clint Howard, Bert Remsen, and Time Winters. Combs was also seen in the thriller Felony (1996, co-starring Charles Napier and David Warner), the crime drama Caught Up (1998, with Tony Todd), and the thriller Edmond (2005). Additionally, in 1997, Combs and his DS9 co-stars Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman appeared together in the drama Snide and Prejudice (along with Mick Fleetwood).
Further film work includes the action film Urgency (2010), the fantasy film Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (2012, with Christopher Lloyd), the horror film Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation (2012, with Rhonda Aldrich), the horror film Would You Rather (2012, with Larry Cedar and Bobby C. King), the family comedy Elf-Man (2012), the thriller Favor (2013), the horror film The Penny Dreadful Picture Show (2013, with Sid Haig and Brandon Stacy), the horror comedy Suburban Gothic (2014, with Ray Wise), the family movie Beethoven's Treasure (2014, with Brian George and Patrick Kwok-Choon), the horror comedy Art School of Horrors (2015), the fantasy film Age of Stone and Sky: The Sorcerer Beast (2018), and the horror film Holiday Hell (2018).
He also appeared in the science fiction comedy Unbelievable!!!!! in 2018, which features an almost whole Star Trek cast including Chase Masterson, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols, Robert Picardo, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Nana Visitor, Walter Koenig, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer, Manu Intiraymi, Dina Meyer, Olivia d'Abo, Julie Warner, Armin Shimerman, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Max Grodénchik, Casey Biggs, Brenda Bakke, Patti Yasutake, McKenzie Westmore, Anthony Montgomery, Vaughn Armstrong, Gary Graham, Steve Rankin, Michael Dante, Jack Donner, Michael Forest, Sean Kenney, Gary Lockwood, Barbara Luna, Beverly Washburn, Celeste Yarnall, Bobby Clark, Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Crystal Allen, Menina Fortunato, and Christopher Doohan.
Outside of Star Trek, Combs has made guest appearances on several other television series. In 1987, he appeared on an episode of Beauty and the Beast, starring Ron Perlman. Also in 1987, he was seen on Houston Knights, working with Madlyn Rhue.
Further expanding his science fiction credits, Combs has worked on The Flash (1991, with Dick Miller), Babylon 5 (1994, with Andreas Katsulas, Bill Mumy and David L. Crowley), Perversions of Science (1997, with Jeff Corey, Ron Perlman, and David Warner), and the remake of The Twilight Zone (2003). He also played the recurring role of Kevin Burkhoff on the science fiction series The 4400 (2005-2007).
Other series on which he has appeared include Freddy's Nightmares (1989), Hunter (1991, in an episode with Kenneth Marshall), Life Goes On (1991, with David Graf and Bill Smitrovich), The Single Guy (1996, starring Olivia d'Abo and Mark Moses), Martial Law (2000, with Neal McDonough and T.J. Storm), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2003), and Cold Case (2008).
In 1996, Combs had a role in the television movie Norma Jean & Marilyn. Also starring in this movie were Ashley Judd, Steven Culp, David Drew Gallagher, Alex Henteloff, and John Rubinstein. In 2005, Combs appeared in two made-for-TV horror movies: Voodoo Moon and Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy.
Combs is also a sought-after voice actor, appearing in numerous animated television shows. He has most prominently worked as a voice actor for animation set in the DC Animated Universe, specifically as The Scarecrow in The New Batman Adventures (1997, working on the same episode as Charles Rocket) and The Question in several episodes of Justice League (2004-2006, alongside Clancy Brown, Robert Foxworth, Virginia Madsen, and Charles Napier). He also voiced the Scarecrow for the video game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003), which also featured Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Loren Lester, and Ron Perlman. Combs voiced the Autobot Ratchet in Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's Transformers: Prime (2010-2013), Viceroy in Chadam (2010), The Leader in Avengers: World's Mightiest Heroes (2010-2012), Rat King in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012-2016), and Ratchet in Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2016-2017).
Further television guest work includes episodes of Thundercats (2012, with Kevin Michael Richardson and Corey Burton), Femme Fatales (2012), Criminal Minds (2014), Ben 10: Omniverse (2014, with Bumper Robinson, Dee Bradley Baker, and Michael Dorn), Gotham (2015, with Becky Ann Baker), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2015, with Fred Tatasciore and Clancy Brown), Stan Against Evil (2017), and Togtone (2018).
Star Trek Edit
Combs auditioned for the role of William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but lost the part to Jonathan Frakes. Frakes remembered Combs and cast him as Tiron while directing the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine third season episode "Meridian". ("Hidden File 10", DS9 Season 5 DVD special feature)
Combs has since earned himself quite a number of appearances on Star Trek, guest starring in thirty-one episodes of Deep Space Nine, one episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and eleven episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. In "The Dogs of War", Combs played both Weyoun and Brunt, becoming one of only three Star Trek actors ever to play two unrelated characters in the same episode (the others being Patrick Stewart in "The Defector", in which he played both Jean-Luc Picard and Michael Williams, and Brian Markinson in VOY: "Faces", in which he played both Pete Durst and Sulan), and the only one credited for playing both characters in that episode. He did it a second time while playing Weyoun and an unnamed holosuite guest in "What You Leave Behind", the final episode of Deep Space Nine. He has also appeared in two Star Trek series finales: "What You Leave Behind" and "These Are the Voyages...".
The species that he played on Star Trek include three Ferengi, a Vorta, a Norcadian, and an Andorian. He also played an imaginary Human in "Far Beyond the Stars". The name of Tiron's race was never revealed. Combs has said that out of all the Trek roles he has played, Weyoun is his favorite character. 
When interviewed in Star Trek Monthly issue 43 in 1998 about his two recurring roles on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Combs said that he preferred Weyoun chiefly because he had much more "freedom" to define the character with each appearance, whereas playing Brunt (or any Ferengi character) was simply a matter of following Armin Shimerman's example.
Manny Coto has also said, had Star Trek: Enterprise been given a fifth season, the recurring character of Shran may have joined Enterprise as an "auxiliary or an advisor".   As of 2018, Combs remarked, he never heard of such a proposal. ("Behind the Masks" panel at Destination Star Trek Birmingham, 21 October 2018)
Star Trek appearances Edit
Voice acting credits Edit
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dominion Wars as Weyoun
- Star Trek: Elite Force II as Commander Suldok
- Star Trek Online as Weyoun and Brunt
Further reading Edit
- "Jeffrey Combs", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 17, pp. 14-16, 18-21, September 2000
- Star Trek's Mr. Everywhere - A Jeffrey Combs interview, Part 1 at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Star Trek's Mr. Everywhere - A Jeffrey Combs interview, Part 2 at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- An Interview with Jeffrey Combs - Part 1 at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- An Interview with Jeffrey Combs - Part 2 at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- An Exclusive Interview with Jeffrey Combs(X) at StarTrek.com