Dourif has been nominated for an Oscar, as well as winning a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for his supporting role as Billy Bibbit in the critically acclaimed film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). He also received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal as Doc Cochran in Deadwood (2004–2006, 2019).
Alien franchise creditsEdit
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Billy Bibbit
- Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) - Tommy Ludlow
- Wise Blood (1979) - Hazel Motes
- Heaven's Gate (1980) - Mr. Eggleston
- Ragtime (1981) - Younger Brother
- Dune (1984) - The Mentat Piter De Vries
- Blue Velvet (1986) - Raymond
- Fatal Beauty (1987) - Leo Nova
- Child's Play (1988) - Chucky/Charles Lee Ray
- Mississippi Burning (1989) - Deputy Clinton Pell
- Spontaneous Combustion (1990) - Sam
- The Exorcist III (1990) - James Venamun
- Hidden Agenda (1990) - Paul Sullivan
- Body Parts (1991) - Remo Lacey
- Critters 4 (1992) - Al Bert
- Death Machine (1994) - Dante
- Progeny (1998) - Dr. Bert Clavell
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - Gríma Wormtongue
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 stepfather was golfer William C. Campbell.
His paternal grandparents emigrated from France, and his paternal grandfather co-founded the Standard Ultramarine and Color Company in Huntington. 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." 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.
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 who cast him in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). 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. However, still skeptical of his instant stardom, Dourif decided to return 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)," 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 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).