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Kurtwood Smith

July 3, 2007

From 2005.

Kurtwood Smith has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. He’s been acting for a long time, and started off doing guest spots in lots of shows I used to watch back in the 80s. He also starred in one of the constants of my youth, North and South, Book II. I used to watch the mini-series a few times a year, and finally got them on DVD fairly recently. It’s not much more than a glorified soap opera, but is still kind of fun to watch. Smith played a surly colonel in command of the sharpshooter regiment that Billy Hazzard is attached to.

Smith’s next standout role according to my reckoning is the courage-killing Mr. Perry in Dead Poets Society. The movie remains in my top ten favorites of all time, and just wouldn’t work without Smith. You just love to hate him in that role. Smith also played the president of the Federation in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It’s a small role, but I often quote one of his lines. He also guest starred on DS9 and Voyager.

Smith also had a part in Oscar, but I haven’t seen it in so long that I barely remember anything from the film and that sadly doesn’t include him. He was also in Deep Impact, but I’ve only seen parts of it. He’s done some voice work including Robot Chicken which was as a result of his real claim to fame, as the cantankerous, but compassionate, Red Forman on That 70s Show. Without Red and Kitty that show is not nearly as good as it was before it jumped the shark in horrible fashion. As awesome as he was in Dead Poets Society, he will always be Red to me now.

Smith is 64.

Other birthdays: Tom Cruise, Connie Nielsen, Patrick Wilson, Yeardley Smith, Shawnee Smith, Montel Williams, and Alan Autry.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2007 6:28 am

    He is quite good in That 70’s Show.

  2. July 4, 2007 7:01 am

    Yeah. As I said, I think he and Kitty make the show.

  3. March 5, 2008 5:56 pm

    You forgot to mention that he also played one of the greatest villains of all time in Robocop. That movie would not have been worth watching without Kurtwood Smith. It’s hard to imagine a more utterly evil, but at the same time almost likeable, character than Clarence Botticker.

  4. March 5, 2008 6:16 pm

    That could be because I haven’t seen Robocop in years, and I’m not sure I bothered watching the whole thing. I might give it another go to see him though. He’s awesome.

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