Oscar Actors: Dourif, Brad–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage, Oscar, Emmy Noms)

Updated August 1, 2022
Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: Yes; mother actress; father, art collector who owned and operated dye factory.

Nationality: US, Huntington, West Virginia

Social Class: Upper-Middle

Race/Ethnicity/Religion

Family:

Education:

Training:

Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut:

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975; aged 26

Other Noms:

Other Awards: Emmy Award nomination

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span:

Marriage:

Politics:

Death: NA

 

Bradford Claude Dourif (born March 18, 1950) is American actor. He was nominated for an Oscar, and won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for his supporting role as Billy Bibbit in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).

He is also known for his roles as Charles Lee Ray/Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise (1988–present), and Gríma Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings series (2002–2003).

Dourif’s other film roles include Wise Blood (1979), Ragtime (1981), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Mississippi Burning (1988), The Exorcist III (1990), Alien Resurrection (1997), the 2007 remake of Halloween and its sequel.

He also appeared in television series, notably Deadwood (2004–2006, 2019), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Dourif was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on March 18, 1950, to Joan Mavis Felton (née Bradford), an actress, and Jean Henri Dourif, an art collector who owned and operated a dye factory.

His paternal grandparents emigrated from France, and his paternal grandfather co-founded the Standard Ultramarine and Color Company in Huntington.[4] After Dourif’s father died in 1953, his mother remarried champion golfer William C. Campbell, who helped raise Dourif and his five siblings (four sisters and one brother). From 1963 to 1965, Dourif attended the private Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, South Carolina. There, he pursued his interests in art and acting. Although he briefly considered becoming a flower arranger, he was eventually inspired to become an actor by his mother’s participation as an actress in a community theater called Give Me Shelter.

After Aiken, he attended Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, graduating in 1968. Dourif appeared as an amateur at the Fountain Valley Film Festival in 1969, taking second place in the 8 mm film category with his 10-minute entry “Blind Date.”[5] Dourif attended Marshall University for a time, before quitting college and moving to New York City to study acting on the advice of actress Conchata Ferrell.[6]

Career
Stage
Starting in school productions, Dourif progressed to community theater, joining up with the Huntington Community Players while attending Marshall University. In New York City, he studied with Sanford Meisner, and worked with Marshall Mason and Lanford Wilson at the Circle Repertory Company. During the early 1970s, Dourif appeared in a number of plays, off-Broadway and at Woodstock, New York, including The Ghost Sonata, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, and When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?, in which he was spotted by director Miloš Forman[6] who cast him in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).

In 2013, after a three-decade absence from the stage, Dourif chose to star alongside Amanda Plummer in the Off-Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Two-Character Play that played to critical acclaim at the New World Stages.[7] He explained, in a filmed interview released by the producers, why he broke his 29-year hiatus from acting in live theater: “I hated the stage, did not want to do it. And then somebody said, ‘Will you do a play? It’s with Amanda Plummer’, and I said, ‘Oh shit! No. Oh God, I’m gonna have to do this…'”.[8] It opened on June 10, 2013, and closed on September 29, 2013.[9] The play was subject to a number of performance cancellations, one relating to Dourif’s absence due to a death in the family. Plummer refused to perform without Dourif, notwithstanding the presence of an understudy.[10]

Film

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Dourif in 1991
Although One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is frequently cited as Dourif’s film debut, his first acting for screen was in a low-budget film called Split, which was never released.[citation needed] He followed this with a role in the film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975), but his bit part was omitted from the final cut of the film.[11] His portrayal of the vulnerable Billy Bibbit in Cuckoo’s Nest ended up being his big break, earning him a Golden Globe Award (Best Actor Debut) and a British Academy Award (Supporting Actor) as well as a nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[6]

In 1981, Vincent Canby listed Dourif as one of twelve actors to watch, calling Dourif “one of the most intense, most interesting young film actors of his generation.”[12] Dourif returned to New York, where he continued in theater and taught acting and directing classes at Columbia University until 1988 (Don Mancini[13] and Yves Lavandier were among his student), when he moved to Hollywood.[citation needed]

Dourif has often played eccentric or disturbed characters,[citation needed] starting with Cuckoo’s Nest and continuing with Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), John Huston’s Wise Blood (1979),[14] Forman’s Ragtime (1981), Marc Didden’s Istanbul (1985) and David Lynch’s Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986).

Dourif has appeared in a number of horror films, most notably as the voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise. He portrayed the Gemini Killer in The Exorcist III (1990) and appeared in Death Machine (1994) and Alien Resurrection (1997). He later appeared as Sheriff Lee Brackett in Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009). In 2013, Dourif reprised his role as Chucky in the sixth installment of the Child’s Play franchise, Curse of Chucky, and then again in the 2017 sequel, Cult of Chucky. His daughter, Fiona Dourif, also starred with him in both films.

Other notable film roles include Gríma Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and supporting roles in Fatal Beauty (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988), Hidden Agenda (1990), London Kills Me (1991) and Sinner (2007).

Dourif has worked with director Werner Herzog on many occasions, appearing in Scream of Stone (1991), The Wild Blue Yonder (2005), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), and My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (2009).

Television
In 1984, Dourif played a suspected serial killer in the episode “Number Eight” of Tales of the Unexpected. In 1994, he appeared in The X-Files episode “Beyond the Sea” as the psychic serial killer Luther Lee Boggs. He also portrayed Lon Suder in a three episode story arc on Star Trek: Voyager and guest starred as a troubled monk haunted by visions in Babylon 5. Dourif later gained acclaim as Doc Cochran in Deadwood, receiving a 2004 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

In 2011, he guest-starred in the third-season finale of Fringe[15] and, in 2014, appeared in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode “The End of the Beginning”.

In 2021, Dourif reprised his role as Chucky in the television series adaption of the Child’s Play franchise titled Chucky.[16]

Music
In 2012, Dourif contributed spoken word vocals to three songs on the album Misery Together by the Norwegian duo Thinguma*jigSaw.[17] Dourif also appears in the music videos for “Stranger in Town” (1984) by Toto and “Drinking from the Bottle” (2012) by Calvin Harris.

Personal life
Dourif has two daughters: Kristina / Christina Dourif, born c. 1976,[1][2] and actress Fiona Dourif, born 1981,[2][18] with his late wife[18] Jonina Dourif,[2][19] whose name sometimes appears in media as Janet.[1]

Filmography
Film
Year Title Role Notes
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Billy Bibbit BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1977 Group Portrait with a Lady Boris Koltowski
1978 Eyes of Laura Mars Tommy Ludlow
1979 Wise Blood Hazel Motes
1980 Heaven’s Gate Mr. Eggleston
1981 Ragtime Younger Brother
1984 Dune The Mentat Piter De Vries
1985 Istanbul Martin Klamski
1986 Blue Velvet Raymond
Impure Thoughts Kevin Harrington
1987 Fatal Beauty Leo Nova
1988 Child’s Play Charles Lee Ray/Chucky
Mississippi Burning Deputy Clinton Pell Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989 Sonny Boy Weasel
1990 Child’s Play 2 Chucky (voice)
Spontaneous Combustion Sam
Horseplayer Bud Cowan
Graveyard Shift Tucker Cleveland
The Exorcist III James Venamun Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Hidden Agenda Paul Sullivan
Chaindance Johnny Reynolds Nominated—Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor
Grim Prairie Tales Farley
1991 Murder Blues John Barnes
Child’s Play 3 Chucky (voice)
Jungle Fever Leslie
Body Parts Remo Lacey Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor
Scream of Stone Fingerless
London Kills Me Hemingway
1992 Final Judgement Father Tyrone
Critters 4 Al Bert
1993 Trauma Dr. Lloyd
Amos & Andrew Officer Donnie Donaldson
1994 Color of Night Clark
Death Machine Dante
1995 Murder in the First Byron Stamphill
Phoenix Reiger
1996 Sworn to Justice Teddy
A Step Toward Tomorrow Kirby
1997 Jamaica Beat Tom Peterson
Nightwatch Duty Doctor
Best Men John “Gonzo” Coleman
Alien Resurrection Dr. Jonathan Gediman
1998 Brown’s Requiem Edwards
Senseless Dr. Wheedon
Progeny Dr. Bert Clavell
Urban Legend Michael McDonnell Uncredited
Bride of Chucky Chucky (voice)
1999 The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy Man Gabriel
Cypress Edge Colin McCammon
Interceptors David M. Webber
Silicon Towers Alton
2000 Shadow Hours Roland Montague
The Prophecy 3: The Ascent Zealot
2001 The Ghost Lt. Garland
Soulkeeper Mr. Pascal
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Gríma Wormtongue Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2003 The Box Stan
Vlad Radescu
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gríma Wormtongue Extended Edition only
2004 Seed of Chucky Chucky (voice)
The Devil’s Due at Midnight The Dark One
The Hazing Professor Kapps
El Padrino Cyrus
2005 Drop Dead Sexy Herman
The Wild Blue Yonder The Alien
Man of Faith B. B. Gallen
2006 Pulse Thin Bookish Guy
2007 Sinner Caddie
The List Johan Gabini
The Wizard of Gore Dr. Chong
Halloween Sheriff Leigh Brackett
2008 Touching Home Clyde Winston
Humboldt County Jack
2009 Born of Earth Mayor
Lock and Roll Forever Zee
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Ned Schoenholtz
Halloween II Sheriff Leigh Brackett
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Uncle Ted
2010 Chain Letter Mr. Smirker
Junkyard Dog Sheriff Holk
2011 Fading of the Cries Mathias
Priest Salesman
Catch .44 Sheriff Connors
Death and Cremation Stan
2012 Last Kind Words Wylon
Black Box Tom
2013 Santa Monica Stan Short film
Gingerclown Worm Creature (voice)
Blood Shot Bob
Curse of Chucky Charles Lee Ray/Chucky
Malignant The Man
2014 The Control Group[citation needed] Dr. Broward
2015 Rosemont Abe
2017 Cult of Chucky Chucky (voice)
Out to Lunch Man Short film
Cut Off Diggs
2018 Wildling Daddy/Gabriel Hanson
American Dream George
2019 Obsession George
2021 The Shuroo Process Dr. Feinstein

TV

Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Mound Builders Chad Jasker Television film
1977 The Gardener’s Son Robert McEvoy Television film
1978 Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich Television film
1979 Studs Lonigan Danny O’Neill 3 episodes
1980 Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones David Langtree Television film
1982 I, Desire Paul Television film
1984 Tales of the Unexpected Hitchhiker Episode: “Number Eight”
1986 The Equalizer Fenn Episode: “Out of the Past”
Spenser: For Hire Maxie Lyons Episode: “Rage”
Rage of Angels Seymour Bourne Television film
Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo Lamar Sands Television film
1987 Moonlighting Father McDonovan Episode: “All Creatures Great…and Not So Great”
The Hitchhiker Billy Baltimore Jr. Episode: “The Legendary Billy B.”
Miami Vice Joey Wyatt Episode: “Theresa”
1989 Murder, She Wrote Dr. Warren Overman Episode: “Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble”
Desperado: The Outlaw Wars Camillus Fly Television film
Terror on Highway 91 Keith Evans Television film
1993 Wild Palms Chickie Levitt 3 episodes
Tales from the Crypt Virgil Episode: “People Who Live in Brass Hearses”
1994 The X-Files Luther Lee Boggs Episode: “Beyond the Sea”
A Worn Path Hunter Television film
1995 Babylon 5 Charles Dexter/Brother Edward Episode: “Passing Through Gethsemane”
Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story Sheriff Bill Douglass Television film
Escape to Witch Mountain Luther/Bruno Television film
1996 Star Trek: Voyager Lon Suder 3 episodes
Blackout Thomas Payne Television film
If Looks Could Kill M. Eugene “Gene” Hanson Television film
1997 Millennium Dennis Hoffman Episode: “Force Majeure”
1999 The Norm Show The Devil Episode: “Norm and Shelley”
The Magnificent Seven Rupert Brauner Episode: “Chinatown”
The Hunger Manno Episode: “Sin Seer”
2001–2002 Ponderosa Maurice Deveraux 8 episodes
2004–2006 Deadwood Dr. Amos “Doc” Cochran 33 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2008 Law & Order Dr. David Lingard Episode: “Called Home”
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Iggy Drexel Episode: “Torch”
2011 Fringe Moreau Episode: “The Day We Died”
Psych Bernie Bethel Episode: “Shawn, Interrupted”
Miami Magma Jacob Capilla Television film
2012 Wilfred P.T. Episode: “Questions”
Criminal Minds Adam Rain Episode: “The Lesson”
Swamp Volcano Jacob Capilla Television film
2012–2014 Once Upon a Time Zoso 2 episodes
2013 End of the World Dr. Walter Brown Television film
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Thomas Nash Episode: “End of the Beginning”
2016 The Wilding David Stearns Television film
2019 Deadwood: The Movie Dr. Amos “Doc” Cochran Television film
2021–present Chucky Chucky (voice) 8 episodes

Video games

2001 Myst III: Exile Saavedro
2002 Run Like Hell Fred (voice)
2005 Gun Reverend Josiah Reed (voice)
2012 Dishonored Piero Joplin (voice)