Brad Dourif
Birth Date:
March 18, 1950
Birth Place:
Huntington, West Virginia, USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
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Chucky the Killer Doll


"We're all villains -- everybody. Every nation walks on the bones of some other nation that got wiped out, and that's why we're here. We're a pretty frightening, terrible beast, really. You spend your life as an actor, you have to use yourself, so I know pretty thoroughly by this time that I'm pretty much of a scoundrel anyway." Brad Dourif (on playing 'bad guys').

BAFTA-winning and Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated character actor Brad Dourif first rose to fame in the mid 1970s while playing Billy Bibbit in the critically-acclaimed film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." He would garner even more popularity as the voice of murderous doll Chucky in the "Child's Play" film series (1990, 1991, 1998, 2004) and as Gríma Wormtongue in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003).

"The great thing about being a villain, particularly in this culture, is that we love our villains, we're really fascinated by evil. So, I mean, if you find all the evil inside you and you're willing to express it, you can survive quite well in this business." Brad Dourif.

Meanwhile, the quirky veteran character actor has also starred in the films "Ragtime" (1981), "Dune" (1984), "Blue Velvet" (1986), "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Chaindance" (1990), "The Exorcist III" (1990), "Body Parts" (1991), "Alien: Resurrection" (1997), "Urban Legend" (1998), and "Shadow Hours" (2000). Next, he will appear in the upcoming films "Born of Earth," "Lock and Roll Forever," "Junkyard Dog," "Chain Letter," "Blood Shot," "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," "The Beautiful Outsiders," "The Kentucky Fried Horror Show." He is also rumored to voice the murderous doll Chucky again in an upcoming remake titled "Child's Play" that is expected in late 2009.

"Well, I've been cast as them . . . and I like to work, so I take those roles. You know, you try to be diverse, and try to have fun and round things out." Brad Dourif [on if he prefers to play edgier twisted characters].

On the small screen, the 5' 9" player with wild eyes is probably best remembered as town resident Maurice "Frenchy" Devereaux in the PAX-TV prequel series "Ponderosa" (2001-2002) and as physician Doc Cochran in the HBO Western drama series "Deadwood" (2004-2006).

As for his stage works, Dourif, a founding member of New York's Circle Repertory Theater, has stage credits that include title role appearance in the Off-Broadway production of "When You Comin' Back Red Ryder."

"I prefer film to the stage. I always like the rehearsal better than I like performing." Brad Dourif.

Bradford Claude

Childhood and Family:

In Huntington, West Virginia, Bradford Claude Dourif was born on March 18, 1950 to an actress mother named Joan Dourif and a father named Jean Dourif, an art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. When Dourif was 3 years old, his father died and his mother married William C. Campbell, a champion golfer, who helped raise Dourif, his two brothers, and three sisters.

Dourif attended Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, SC, from 1963 to 1965, during which he pursued his interests in art and acting. He then studied at Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated in 1969. He also enrolled at Marshall University of Huntington, West Virginia, where he signed up with the Huntington Community Players. However, at age 19, he left his hometown and college, and pack for New York City to become a theatre actor. Later, he would teach acting and directing at Columbia University.

"I am they type of person that once I make a decision, I must execute. Maybe I am a perfectionist in this way." Brad Dourif.

Dourif was married to and divorced from Joni Dourif, a businesswoman and self-proclaimed psychic. They have two daughters, Kristina Dourif Tanoue (born in 1976) and Fiona Dourif (born in 1981). Dourif also has a grandchild, Caden Kalani Kahalewai Dourif-Tanoue (born 2001). He resides in Manhattan and plays the didgeridoo, an Australian Aboriginal musical instrument.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


"I'm formally trained, I don't know what classically trained really means. I've worked with Sanford Meisner. And I've worked at Circle Rep with Marshall W. Mason and Lanford Wilson and some really good people. I was lucky. I had a lot of really good influences." Brad Dourif.

Son to an actress mother, Brad Dourif began acting in school productions and then in community theater, signing up with the Huntington Community Players, while attending Marshall University of Huntington. He headed to New York City at 19 and roomed with actress Conchata Ferrell. Meanwhile, he worked with the Circle Repertory Company, appearing in many off-Broadway and Woodstock, NY productions.

In 1972, Dourif got his first major theatrical role in Mark Medoff's "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" at Circle Rep. Three years later, he made his feature acting debut with an uncredited role in director John G. Avildsen's comedy starring Burt Reynolds and Conny Van Dyke, "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings" (1975).

Dourif soon landed his breakthrough feature role, as Billy Bibbit, a suicidal, stuttering and helpless young man whom nurse Ratched (payed by Louise Fletcher) has humiliated and dominated, in Milos Forman's critically-acclaimed film adaptation of the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). His performance in the film earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as well as won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture – Male and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In the following year, Dourif made his TV debut in "Great Performances" production of Lanford Wilson's "The Mound Builders" (1976; PBS). He later spent the rest of the 1970s playing the title role in the NBC movie "Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force" (1978), appeared in the NBC miniseries "Studs Lonigan" (1979), and starred as an obsessed preacher in John Huston's "Wise Blood" (1979).

Entering the 1980s, Dourif portrayed a doctor who follows cult leader Jim Jones (portrayed by Powers Boothe) to South America in the CBS movie "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones" (1980) and had a featured role as the man obsessed with explosives and Evelyn Nesbitt in Milos Forman's motion picture based on the historical novel by E. L. Doctorow, "Ragtime" (1981).

He was also cast as a vampire in the ABC movie "I, Desire" (1982; aka. "Desire, the Vampire") and made his first collaboration with director David Lynch in the Academy Award-nominated science fiction film based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel, "Dune" (1985), in which he portrayed Peter De Vries. In the subsequent year, Dourif reteamed with Lynch, playing a featured role as Raymond in his mystery film, "Blue Velvet" (1986; with Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern), which exhibits elements of both film noir and surrealism.

In 1988, Dourif co-starred as a notorious killer named Charles Lee Ray whose soul possesses a doll named Chucky in Don Mancini's cult supernatural horror film "Child's Play," in which he also voiced the doll. He would later reprise the voice of Chucky in the successful sequels "Child's Play 2" (1990), "Child's Play 3" (1991), "Bride of Chucky" (1998), and "Seed of Chucky" (2004).

"There is nothing wrong with horror films. Their existence has definitely had an impact on me. It is important to have scary demons in our world on film. We have them in the world. That is why we are afraid, it is nice to have a visual and to have a confrontation with it." Brad Dourif.

Meanwhile, in 1990, Dourif portrayed the James "The Gemini Killer" Venamun in director William Peter Blatty's horror movie based on Blatty's novel "Legion," the sequel to Blatty's original "Exorcist" novel, "The Exorcist III," which earned him a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. He was also nominated a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as a mental patient handcuffed to a prisoner (played by Michael Ironside), in Allan A. Goldstein's Canadian drama film "Chaindance" (1990), and won Fangoria Chainsaw's Best Supporting Actor Award for his work opposite Jeff Fahey, Paul Ben-Victor, and Kim Delaney, in Eric Red's horror thriller film "Body Parts" (1991).

In the following years, Dourif co-starred with James Belushi, Dana Delany, Robert Loggia, and Kim Cattrall in ABC TV miniseries "Wild Palms" (1993), made memorable guest appearance in a 1994 episode of Fox's Peabody, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning science fiction television series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, "The X-Files."

He also played the recurring role of Crewman Lon Suder (1996) on the UPN science fiction television series "Star Trek: Voyager," was featured as Dr. Jonathan Gediman, one of the scientists involved in cloning Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and studying the Aliens, in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's science fiction film, "Alien: Resurrection" (1997; also featuring Winona Ryder), and made an uncredited appearance as a gas station attendant in Jamie Blanks' horror film "Urban Legend" (1998; with Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Robert Englund, Tara Reid, and Joshua Jackson).

Hitting the new millennium, Dourif co-starred as a gas station owner in writer/director Isaac H. Eaton's drama/thriller "Shadow Hours." with Balthazar Getty, Peter Weller, and Rebecca Gayheart. He then had a regular role of a town resident named Maurice "Frenchy" Devereaux in the PAX-TV prequel series "Ponderosa" (2001-2002), which was envisioned as a prequel to the long-running series "Bonanza."

2002 saw Dourif appeared as Grima Wormtongue, the chief advisor to King Théoden of Rohan and henchman of Saruman who serves as an archetypal flatterer, liar, and manipulator, in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of the J. R. R. Tolkien's second and third book series, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002), which earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture and won him an Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble, as well as "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003), which won him a Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Acting Ensemble.

From 2004 to 2006, Dourif played Doc Cochran, the physician of the camp, in the HBO Western drama series "Deadwood," which earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

During his "Deadwood" tenure, Dourif continued acting in films, in "The Hazing" (2004), "Padrino, El" (2004), "The Great War of Magellan" (2005), "Drop Dead Sexy" (2005), "The Wild Blue Yonder" (2005), and "Pulse" (2006). He most recently acted in the films "Sinner" (2007), "The List" (2007), "The Wizard of Gore" (2007), "Halloween" (2007), "Humboldt County" (2008), and "Touching Home" (2008), as well as guest starred in a January 2008 episode of "Law & Order."

"I am good when there is something central about the character. There is always a human theme I attach myself to. I am really looking for something that is moving or enlightening or something with depth as an actor. I look for these kinds of roles." Brad Dourif.

Dourif has completed his latest film, "Born of Earth," a horror by Tommy Brunswick in which he stars opposite Daniel Baldwin and James Russo, and will soon wrap Chris Grismer's comedy "Lock and Roll Forever," Kim Bass' psychological thriller "Junkyard Dog" (alongside Vivica A. Fox), Deon Taylor's horror/thriller "Chain Letter" (with Nikki Reed), and Dietrich Johnston's horror/comedy "Blood Shot" (with Lance Henriksen).

He is now filming Werner Herzog's crime/drama film "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" with Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes, and Jennifer Coolidge, Andrew Jones' crime/drama/action "The Beautiful Outsiders" alongside Tara Reid, and C.L. Gregory's horror/thriller "The Kentucky Fried Horror Show." He is also rumored to voice the murderous doll Chucky again in an upcoming remake titled "Child's Play" that is expected in late 2009.

"I'm a whore. If they have a check and camera and a script and stuff for me to say, I am mostly there, unless I just can't take it. No, really, I do like to work. It just depends on whether there is a whole lot of stuff for me to choose from, because if there is I am choosy. If there's not a lot of work, then I try to find some redeeming value in the parts being offered. If it is awful, then, of course, I can't do it. But I have to say, I am pretty lucky in that there are usually things coming in. That said, sometimes it is slow." Brad Dourif.


  • Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Acting Ensemble, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2003

  • Online Film Critics Society: Best Ensemble, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2003

  • Fangoria Chainsaw: Best Supporting Actor, "Body Parts," 1991

  • Golden Globe: Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture - Male, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1976

  • BAFTA: Best Supporting Actor, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1977

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