(written from a Production point of view)
Bradford Claude Dourif (born 18 March 1950; age 72) is the veteran American character actor who played the sociopathic Betazoid crewman Lon Suder in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. He has portrayed a number of memorable characters on both the small and the big screen, with his most well-known including Billy Bibbit in the acclaimed film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Doc Cochran in the HBO television series Deadwood, Chucky in the Child's Play series of horror films, and Gríma Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Dourif was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He attended Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, South Carolina, from 1963 to 1965, where he briefly considered becoming an artist before deciding on an acting career. He later attended Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from which he graduated in 1969.
Dourif made an impression on audiences and critics in one of his first major film roles: that of mental patient Billy Bibbit in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (with Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Brocco, and Vincent Schiavelli, and make-up by Fred Phillips). He won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for this role, while his co-star Louise Fletcher won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film.
In 1978, Dourif worked alongside Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Rene Auberjonois in the horror-thriller Eyes of Laura Mars. The following year, Dourif received critical acclaim for his lead role as Hazel Motes in John Huston's Wise Blood, which co-starred Dan Shor and which was cast by Stratton Leopold. Dourif also worked with Dan Shor in the 1979 miniseries Studs Lonigan, which was directed by James Goldstone.
He appeared in the TV movie Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force (1978, with William Wintersole, Harv Selsby, Tom Ormeny, Steven Anderson, Gavan O'Herlihy, William Daniels, Mitchell Ryan, Alfred Ryder, David Spielberg, and David Ogden Stiers).
Dourif was one of several Star Trek alumni to appear in the 1980 TV miniseries Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones; his co-stars in this production included Meg Foster, Albert Hall, Madge Sinclair, Ed Lauter, and Star Trek: The Next Generation regular LeVar Burton. Dourif then had a supporting role in the infamous 1980 box office flop Heaven's Gate, as did Terry O'Quinn. Afterward, Dourif played the role of Younger Brother in the 1981 film Ragtime, reuniting with Cuckoo's Nest director Milos Forman. This film also featured Robert Joy.
Dourif's next film role was that of sinister mentat Piter DeVries in David Lynch's cult 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune, alongside Patrick Stewart's Gurney Halleck, Virginia Madsen's Princess Irulan and Dean Stockwell's Doctor Yueh. Dourif again worked with both Lynch and Stockwell when he played a hoodlum in Lynch's surreal, sadomasochistic mystery film Blue Velvet. He subsequently co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg and Harris Yulin in the 1987 comedy Fatal Beauty and played a deputy in 1988's Academy Award-nominated Mississippi Burning.
During this time, Dourif also continued to make appearances on television. He worked alongside Dennis Christopher in a 1984 episode of Tales of the Unexpected, directed by Leo Penn. He also appeared in a Richard Compton-directed episode of The Equalizer with Stephen McHattie and guest-starred on Spenser: For Hire, the detective series on which DS9's Avery Brooks was a regular cast member. He was then seen on Moonlighting, in an episode with Richard Beymer, and on The Hitchhiker, working with Kirstie Alley. In addition, he co-starred in such TV movies as Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo (directed by Marc Daniels) and Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (with Michael Nouri), both of which aired in 1986.
Dourif is well-known for voicing for the serial killer-possessed doll, Charles Lee Ray (Chucky), in the Child's Play horror films series. The first film in the series, 1988's Child's Play, starred Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home's Catherine Hicks and DS9 guest actor Chris Sarandon. Dourif returned to voice the sadistic toy in six sequels: 2 (which featured Gerrit Graham), 3 (with Dakin Matthews and Andrew Robinson), Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky, and Cult of Chucky. He also reprised the role in the 2021 TV series Chucky. Dourif even voiced the character for a cameo appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live.
Later horror and sci-fi works
Following his work on Dune and Child's Play, Dourif has acted in many horror, science fiction, or fantasy genre films. In 1990, he was seen in several horror films, including The Exorcist III, Graveyard Shift (which co-starred David Andrews and Stephen Macht), and Spontaneous Combustion (with Dey Young). He later had a supporting role in the horror/sci-fi film Critters 4, along with Anne Elizabeth Ramsay, and in the horror-thriller Trauma, with Jacqueline Kim.
In 1994, Dourif guest-starred on the popular science fiction series The X-Files. He subsequently appeared on such genre series as Millennium (opposite Megan Gallagher, Terry O'Quinn, and Morgan Woodward) and Babylon 5 (with Andreas Katsulas, Bill Mumy, and Patricia Tallman). He also appeared in the 1995 sci-fi TV movie Escape to Witch Mountain, working with Henry Gibson, Kevin Tighe, and Cuckoo's Nest co-star (and fellow Trek alum) Vincent Schiavelli.
In 1997, Dourif appeared in the fourth Alien film, Alien: Resurrection, along with Raymond Cruz, Leland Orser, Ron Perlman, and Winona Ryder. In 2002, he appeared as the evil Grima Wormtongue in the blockbuster fantasy film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which co-starred John Rhys-Davies and Karl Urban. Dourif's only scene in the third film, Return of the King, was cut from the theatrical release but was restored in the special edition DVD.
Dourif's other genre credits include the horror films Soulkeeper (with Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.), Vlad (with Paul Popowich and Guy Siner), and Pulse (with Zach Grenier). He also appeared in the 2007 remake of the horror film The Wizard of Gore with Jeffrey Combs.
More recently, Dourif played Sheriff Lee Brackett in Rob Zombie's remake of the classic horror film Halloween. Malcolm McDowell and veteran genre players Sid Haig, Clint Howard, Richard Lynch, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Towles, and Adrienne Barbeau also had roles in this film (although Barbeau's scenes were cut from the final product). Dourif, McDowell, and Roebuck reprised their roles in the 2009 sequel, Halloween 2.
Other film and television credits
Dourif played ruthless drug dealer Joey Wyatt in a 1987 episode of the popular action series Miami Vice. He was seen in Spike Lee's 1991 romantic drama Jungle Fever, and, in 1994, he played one of the several patients of a psychiatrist played by Scott Bakula in the thriller Color of Night, which also co-starred Erick Avari and Jeff Corey. Dourif then had a supporting role in the 1995 thriller Murder in the First, co-starring Christian Slater, Ben Slack, Eve Brenner, Time Winters, and Stefan Gierasch.
Some of Dourif's lesser-known film credits include 1997's Sworn to Justice with TOS star Walter Koenig and 2000's Shadow Hours with TNG's Michael Dorn and Enterprise guest star Peter Weller. He portrayed Dr. Wheedon in the comedy Senseless (1998, with Jenette Goldstein, Richard McGonagle, Greg Grunberg, Alexander Enberg, Manu Intiraymi, Ivar Brogger, Cyia Batten, Jack Shearer, Len Costanza, John Wilkie, Janet Dey, Bruce Dobos, Andray Johnson, and Rubin Knight), and in 2001, he acted with Cary-Hiroyuki in the action-thriller film The Ghost.
From 2004 through 2006, Dourif starred as Doc Cochran on HBO's Western series Deadwood, which earned him an Emmy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. This series also featured Leon Rippy, Alice Krige, Jim Beaver, Titus Welliver, Larry Cedar, and Keone Young.
In 2008, Dourif guest-starred on the NBC drama Law & Order, in an episode with Michael McKean. That same year, he appeared with Lee Meriwether in the drama film Touching Home. More recently, he had a supporting role in the acclaimed 2009 crime film The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, inspired by the 1992's Bad Lieutenant.
Dourif played the part of the villain Saavedro in the computer game Myst III: Exile. He lent his voice to the 2002 video game Run Like Hell, as did his Voyager co-star Kate Mulgrew and Enterprise guest star Clancy Brown. Also, both Dourif and Ron Perlman voiced two of the villains in the hit 2005 game Gun. Additionally, Dourif performed voice acting for the Natural Philosopher Piero Joplin, a supporting character in the 2011 game Dishonored.