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Kurtwood Larson Smith (born July 3, 1943) is an American television and film actor. He is best known for playing stern parental characters (That '70s Show, Dead Poets Society, Worst Week), and for his appearances in the genre of science fiction (Star Trek, The X-Files and as Clarence Boddicker in RoboCop). He also starred in the seventh season of 24.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Smith was born in New Lisbon, Wisconsin and he is the son of Mabel Annette Lund (née Larson) and George Smith. Smith's mother was a fan of a country singer named Kurt (or Curt) in the early 1940s. However, she thought "Kurt Smith" was too short a name, so she added "wood" ("she just tacked it on to the end", he said). Smith has said that he is likely the only Kurtwood.
Career[edit | edit source]
Smith notably portrayed the father role as Red Forman on the Fox sitcom That '70s Show, which ran from 1998 to 2006. After That '70s Show, Smith played Senator Blaine Mayer in the seventh season of the action thriller 24, and portrayed Dick Clayton in the CBS series Worst Week. He enjoyed a recurring role as a rogue FBI agent in Seasons 3-5 of the NBC (later CBS) series Medium, appearing in later episodes as a ghost after his character's death.
Before That '70s Show his other roles included playing Clarence Boddicker, the villain in Paul Verhoeven's science fiction action movie RoboCop, and Mr. Sue on Fox's "espionage comedy" The New Adventures of Beans Baxter from 1987 to 1989. He also co-starred as the strict father of Robert Sean Leonard's Neil in 1989's Dead Poets Society. He made a number of appearances in the Star Trek franchise, playing the President of the Federation in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a Cardassian named Thrax in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Things Past", and a Krenim scientist named Annorax in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Year of Hell".
He also has an extensive voice acting résumé, appearing in computer games such as Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, and FreeSpace 2, and on a number of animated series. He played a recurring role on the claymation series Gary & Mike as the vengeful Officer Dick and voiced the Dinosaur military commander character General Galapagos in the Savage Steve Holland produced Fox animated series Terrible Thunderlizards. He played the voice of Bob Johnson on Squirrel Boy and provided the voice of Kanjar Ro in Green Lantern: First Flight and starred as the sheriff in Last of the Dogmen.