Brad Dourif

Bradford Claude Dourif (/ˈdɔːrɪf/; born March 18, 1950) is an American actor. He was nominated for an Oscar, and won Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards 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 Chucky in the Child's Play franchise (1988–2017), and Gríma Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings series (2002–2003).

Brad Dourif
Dourif in 2002
Bradford Claude Dourif

(1950-03-18) March 18, 1950
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Janet Stephanie Charmatz (divorced)
Jonina Bernice Dourif (divorced)
Children2, including Fiona Dourif

Dourif's other film roles include Wise Blood (1979), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Mississippi Burning (1988), The Exorcist III (1990) and Alien Resurrection (1997). He also appeared in many television series, notably Deadwood (2004–2006, 2019), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Early life

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.[1][2] His stepfather was golfer William C. Campbell.[3]

His paternal grandparents emigrated from France, and his paternal grandfather co-founded the Standard Ultramarine and Color Company in Huntington.[4] 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]



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]


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. 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] Skeptical of his instant stardom, Dourif returned to New York, where he continued in theater and taught acting and directing classes at Columbia University until 1988, when he moved to Hollywood.

Dourif has often played eccentric or disturbed characters, starting with Cuckoo's Nest and continuing with Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), John Huston's Wise Blood (1979),"[13] 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, notably as the voice of Chucky in the Chucky 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, both of which were straight-to-DVD releases. 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 was initially cast as the Scarecrow in Batman Forever (1995) while Tim Burton was attached to the project (Burton had also wanted to cast Dourif as The Joker in Batman, but the studio refused[14]). However, the script was later heavily rewritten and the character was eventually removed. Joel Schumacher eventually took over the project and cast Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face and Jim Carrey as the Riddler.

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).


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 he made a brief cameo in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "The End of the Beginning."[16]


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 been married twice. He has one daughter, Kristina Dourif, with his first wife Janet,[18] and another daughter, actress Fiona Dourif,[19] with his second wife Joni.



Year Title Role Notes
1975One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestBilly BibbitBAFTA 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
1977Group Portrait with a LadyBoris Koltowski
1978Eyes of Laura MarsTommy Ludlow
1979Wise BloodHazel Motes
1980Heaven's GateMr. Eggleston
1981RagtimeYounger Brother
1984DuneThe Mentat Piter De Vries
1985IstanbulMartin Klamski
1986Blue VelvetRaymond
1986Impure ThoughtsKevin Harrington
1987Fatal BeautyLeo Nova
1988Child's PlayCharles Lee Ray/Chucky
1988Mississippi BurningDeputy Clinton PellNominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989Sonny BoyWeasel
1990Child's Play 2Chucky (voice)
1990Spontaneous CombustionSam
1990HorseplayerBud Cowan
1990Graveyard ShiftTucker Cleveland
1990The Exorcist IIIJames VenamunNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1990Hidden AgendaPaul Sullivan
1990ChaindanceJohnny ReynoldsNominated—Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor
1990Grim Prairie TalesFarley
1991Murder BluesJohn Barnes
1991Child's Play 3Chucky (voice)
1991Jungle FeverLeslie
1991Body PartsRemo LaceyFangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor
1991Scream of StoneFingerless
1991London Kills MeHemingway
1992Final JudgementFather Tyrone
1992Critters 4Al Bert
1993TraumaDr. Lloyd
1993Amos & AndrewOfficer Donnie Donaldson
1994Color of NightClark
1994Death MachineDante
1995Murder in the FirstByron Stamphill
1996Sworn to JusticeTeddy
1996A Step Toward TomorrowKirby
1997Jamaica BeatTom Peterson
1997NightwatchDuty Doctor
1997Best MenThe Vet
1997Alien ResurrectionDr. Jonathan Gediman
1998Brown's RequiemEdwards
1998SenselessDr. Wheedon
1998ProgenyDr. Bert Clavell
1998Urban LegendMichael McDonnellUncredited
1998Bride of ChuckyChucky (voice)
1999The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy ManGabriel
1999Cypress EdgeColin McCammon
1999InterceptorsDavid M. Webber
1999Silicon TowersAlton
2000Shadow HoursRoland Montague
2000The Prophecy 3: The AscentZealot
2001The GhostLt. Garland
2001SoulkeeperMr. Pascal
2002The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersGríma WormtongueOnline 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
2003The BoxStan
2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingGríma WormtongueExtended Edition only
2004Seed of ChuckyChucky (voice)
2004The Devil's Due at MidnightThe Dark One
2004The HazingProfessor Kapps
2004El PadrinoCyrus
2005Drop Dead SexyHerman
2005The Wild Blue YonderThe Alien
2005Man of FaithB. B. Gallen
2006PulseThin Bookish Guy
2007The ListJohan Gabini
2007The Wizard of GoreDr. Chong
2007HalloweenSheriff Lee Brackett
2008Touching HomeClyde Winston
2008Humboldt CountyJack
2009Born of EarthMayor
2009Lock and Roll ForeverZee
2009Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New OrleansNed Schoenholtz
2009Halloween IISheriff Lee Brackett
2009My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?Uncle Ted
2010Chain LetterMr. Smirker
2010Junkyard DogSheriff Holk
2011Fading of the CriesMathias
2011Catch .44Sheriff Connors
2011Death and CremationStan
2012Last Kind WordsWylon
2012Black BoxTom
2013Santa MonicaStanShort film
2013GingerclownWorm Creature (voice)
2013Blood ShotBob
2013Curse of ChuckyCharles Lee Ray/Chucky
2013MalignantThe Man
2014The Control GroupDr. Broward
2017Cult of ChuckyChucky (voice)
2017Out to LunchManShort film
2018WildlingDaddy/Gabriel Hanson
2018American DreamGeorge
2018Cut OffsDiggs


Year Title Role Notes
1976The Mound BuildersChad JaskerTelevision film
1977The Gardener's SonRobert McEvoyTelevision film
1978Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air ForceSgt. Leonard MatlovichTelevision film
1979Studs LoniganDanny O'Neill3 episodes
1980Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim JonesDavid LangtreeTelevision film
1982I, DesirePaulTelevision film
1986The EqualizerFennEpisode: "Out of the Past"
1986Spenser: For HireMaxie LyonsEpisode: "Rage"
1986Rage of AngelsSeymour BourneTelevision film
1986Vengeance: The Story of Tony CimoLamar SandsTelevision film
1987MoonlightingFather McDonovanEpisode: "All Creatures Great...and Not So Great"
1987The HitchhikerBilly Baltimore Jr.Episode: "The Legendary Billy B."
1987Miami ViceJoey WyattEpisode: "Theresa"
1989Murder, She WroteDr. Warren OvermanEpisode: "Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble"
1989Desperado: The Outlaw WarsCamillus FlyTelevision film
1989Terror on Highway 91Keith EvansTelevision film
1993Wild PalmsChickie Levitt3 episodes
1993Tales from the CryptVirgilEpisode: "People Who Live in Brass Hearses"
1994The X-FilesLuther Lee BoggsEpisode: "Beyond the Sea"
1994A Worn PathHunterTelevision film
1995Babylon 5Charles Dexter/Brother EdwardEpisode: "Passing Through Gethsemane"
1995Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper StorySheriff Bill DouglassTelevision film
1995Escape to Witch MountainLuther/BrunoTelevision film
1996Star Trek: VoyagerLon Suder3 episodes
1996BlackoutThomas PayneTelevision film
1996If Looks Could KillM. Eugene "Gene" HansonTelevision film
1997MillenniumDennis HoffmanEpisode: "Force Majeure"
1999The Norm ShowThe DevilEpisode: "Norm and Shelley"
1999The Magnificent SevenRupert BraunerEpisode: "Chinatown"
1999The HungerMannoEpisode: "Sin Seer"
2001–2002PonderosaMaurice Deveraux8 episodes
2004–2006DeadwoodDr. Amos "Doc" Cochran33 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
2008Law & OrderDr. David LingardEpisode: "Called Home"
2010Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDr. Iggy DrexelEpisode: "Torch"
2011FringeMoreauEpisode: "The Day We Died"
2011PsychBernie BethelEpisode: "Shawn, Interrupted"
2011Miami MagmaJacob CapillaTelevision film
2012WilfredP.T.Episode: "Questions"
2012Criminal MindsAdam RainEpisode: "The Lesson"
2012Swamp VolcanoJacob CapillaTelevision film
2012–2014Once Upon a TimeZoso2 episodes
2013End of the WorldDr. Walter BrownTelevision film
2014Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Thomas NashEpisode: "End of the Beginning"
2016The WildingDavid StearnsTelevision film
2019Deadwood: The MovieDr. Amos "Doc" CochranTelevision film

Video games

Year Title Role
2001Myst III: ExileSaavedro
2002Run Like HellFred (voice)
2005GunReverend Josiah Reed (voice)
2012DishonoredPiero Joplin (voice)


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  2. "Bradford-Dourif". The New York Times. June 11, 1944. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  4. Baptista, Robert J. (September 22, 2006). "Henry Dourif Biography". Colorants Industry History. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  5. "14 Apr 1968, Page 31 – Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph at". Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph. April 14, 1968. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  6. Roberts, Jerry (October 26, 1990). "CRAZED – With two Hollywood films opening today and seven more in the can, Brad Dourif may just be Hollywood's busiest actor". Daily Breeze. p. E3.
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  12. Canby, Vincent (January 18, 1981). "Film View – Speculating on Talent: 12 Actors to Watch in 1981". The New York Times. p. D19. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  13. "WISE BLOOD: Screening and Discussion with Michael Fitzgerald". CrossroadsCultural Crossroads Cultural Center. November 11, 2017.
  14. Acuna, Kirsten (October 14, 2013). "Tim Burton Originally Wanted 'Chucky' Voice Actor Brad Dourif To Play The Joker In 'Batman'". Business Insider. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  15. Fitzpatrick, Kevin (April 5, 2011). "Fringe's Latest Casting Told You To Take The Wizard's Staff". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  16. Ocampo, Shane. "Agents of SHIELD, (Season1 Episode 16)".
  17. Profile Archived November 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  18. "Brad Dourif Biography (1950-)".
  19. Crow, David (August 2, 2018). "The Purge TV Series: Fiona Dourif Finds Compassion in Suicide Cult". Retrieved September 18, 2018.
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