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Characters / The Fugitive Film

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The characters of The Fugitive and its Spin-Off U.S. Marshals.

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    Richard Kimble 

Dr. Richard Kimble
Played By: Harrison Ford

A respected vascular surgeon who was blamed for the murder of his wife and sentenced to death. When the prison bus he was on crashed, he escaped and went back to Chicago to catch the real murderer and prove his innocence.

  • Action Survivor: He's a doctor, not a fighter, but he's quick on his feet and is unspeakably clever.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Justified. The only thing that can prevent him from spending the rest of his life on the run is discovering who killed his wife.
  • Badass Bookworm: Kimble outpaces the Marshals at every turn with quick thinking, finds his wife's killer by researching the type of prosthetics the killer has, and finds time to save people in the process.
  • Beardness Protection Program: Inverted. When he escapes from custody, one of the first things he does is shave his beard off.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Kimble clearly takes his oath as a doctor very seriously, to the point of saving a young boy's life by changing his medical diagnosis, which he knows full-well could get him arrested (and almost does).
  • Crusading Widower: His efforts to find his wife's killer are just as much about avenging her as they are about clearing his name, if not more so.
    (From the novel, just before he leaps from the dam) "He could not die. For Helen's sake, he could not die."
    • Even after briefly wishing that he had been killed upon learning that he was the real target, he shakes it off and declares that despite his agony, it's better to have lived so as to see her murderer brought to justice.
  • Determinator: In his effort to clear his name and find his wife's killer, which gets lampshaded by his pursuers, and to Gerard, in his non-stop pursuit of Kimble.
    Nichols: You never give up Richard, YOU NEVER GIVE UP!
    Renfro: [regarding Kimble] Does this guy ever quit? [he then rolls his eyes as Gerard barks orders at him, indicating that he's thinking the same thing about him]
  • Guile Hero: Is highly intelligent, crafty, and resourceful, repeatedly evading the police and staying on the run all while investigating his wife's murder.
  • Heroic BSoD: Is in this throughout the film, but it's especially bad in the opening sequence. No surprise, given what's happened.
  • Important Haircut: He sports a beard for the first act of the movie, but shaves it off to disguise himself, and he only starts doing really badass things after it's shaved off.
  • Nice Guy: He's almost always friendly and he saves people's lives whenever he can, even if it could hinder him in the long run.
  • Technical Pacifist: He never uses a gun even when he has access to one. The point's driven home in the scene where he obtains two guns on the train but throws them into a bin afterwards.

    Mark Sheridan 

Mark Sheridan

Played By: Wesley Snipes

A former DSS agent who was ambushed by two men and killed them in self-defense; the two men were fellow DSS agents, and Sheridan was branded a mole, and forced to go into hiding and taking a false identity. After his true identity was exposed following a car crash, Sheridan escaped custody and went on the run.

  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Widower doctor who is playing it by the ear, only has the couple of hundred dollars one of his friends gave him and is chased only by the police (Kimble) vs. veteran spy who has a girlfriend that both helps and hinders him, access to some Hidden Supplies and is chased by the police and enemy spies (Sheridan).

    Eddie Copeland 


Played By: Eddie Bo Smith

A hostile inmate who escapes alongside Kimble.

  • Affably Evil: He's pretty friendly with Kimble.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald, and is a merciless criminal.
  • Dirty Coward: He refuses to help Kimble pull an injured guard out of the crashed prison bus and abandons them to save himself.
  • Pet the Dog: He hands Kimble the keys to unlock himself from his handcuffs, with no benefit to himself.
  • Scary Black Man: He's a big, imposing black criminal. That scene where he holds Newman hostage with a gun while screaming is proof of this.

Law Enforcement

U.S. Marshals

    Samuel Gerard 

Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard
"I don't care!"
"Listen up, ladies and gentlemen. Our fugitive has been on the run for 90 minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground, barring injuries, is 4 miles-an-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive's name is Doctor Richard Kimble. Go get him."
Played By: Tommy Lee Jones

A sardonic, cynical, and intelligent U.S. Marshal who pursues fugitives from justice.

  • The Ace: Sam's very good at what he does.
  • Always Gets His Man: Is a determined and relentless Marshal and a great foil for Kimble.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Is able to calculate Kimble's location (accurately) by factoring every possibility during the crash.
  • Breakout Character: Gerard was so popular that he got his own Spin-Off. With all the opportunities to be sarcastic, funny and badass (as opposed to the somber Richard Kimble), it's not a surprise that many people thought Gerard's the more interesting character.
  • Character Development: In the beginning, Gerard's the only one willing to hunt down Kimble. Towards the end, he becomes the only one willing to protect him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Carries two guns. This pays off when Kimble takes one of them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As one would expect from Tommy Lee Jones, Gerard's perpetually making sarcastic quips and eviscerating people with his snarky comebacks.
    Officer: There is simply no way he could've survived that jump!
    Gerard: That ought to make him easier to catch!
  • Deuteragonist: He is the character of secondary importance in the first film behind Richard, having an equal amount of time in the film as him. His investigation and manhunt for Richard along with his crew are also secondary to the plot.
  • Determinator: He's not willing to take any chances in bringing Kimble to justice. This ends up working in Kimble's favor, as Kimble uses Gerard's devotion to justice to follow up key clues to the case that ends up uncovering crucial parts of the bad guy's plot.
  • A Father to His Men: Gerard in spades. He doesn't hesitate for a second to gun down Copeland for taking Newman hostage (and later straight up tells a superior he did it because Copeland was "going to hurt one of my kids".) Late in the investigation he compliments Newman's work, and the younger Marshal practically melts with pride. Deadpan Snarker he may be, but there's no doubt that Gerard has this attitude towards his team. This is especially evident in the spin-off, when Newman gets shot and killed; Gerard gets pissed.
  • Hero Antagonist: Gerard's a fully competent Marshal, if a bit rough around the edges, and is hunting down a convicted fugitive. Sure, Kimble claims to be innocent. It's not like they don't all claim to be innocent.
    • Not to mention, as Gerard points out to Kimble during their confrontation in the dam, he doesn't care whether or not Kimble killed his wife. He's not doing it for vengeance, he's not part of a larger conspiracy. His job is to simply capture an escaped fugitive.
    • Additionally, Gerard's savvy enough to immediately notice the inconsistencies of Kimble's alleged murder of his wife. He immediately points out that a murder to claim a life insurance policy makes no sense to a wealthy, successful doctor like Kimble. He still faithfully does his job but it shows he's willing to think for himself.
  • Inspector Javert:
    • He's the Javert to Kimble's Valjean. The name Gerard itself was picked because it's French. It's his job to bring back Kimble; the truth of Kimble's conviction is not his business. The chase through the storm drains is also a pretty blatant reference to Les MisĂ©rables, which has a similar scene towards the end of the book.
      Kimble: I didn't kill my wife!
      Gerard: I don't care!
    • By the climax of the film, this concept is toyed with. Gerard's still just as zealous to arrest him as he was at the beginning of the search, but now his motivation has gone from simply arresting Kimble for his alleged crimes to protecting Kimble from the CPD, who believe him to be a Cop Killer and will shoot him on sight. Revealing he has exonerating evidence in hand to make Kimble surrender to him was merely pragmatic in some ways.
  • Insufferable Genius: Gerard's cocky, but a very good investigator nonetheless. And despite his apparent obsession with capturing Kimble, he and his crew are able to figure out that he's innocent, more or less on their own.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's snarky, grumpy and ruthless but not a bad guy at all.
    Kimble: I thought you didn't care.
    Gerard: I know. (Beat) Don't tell anybody, okay?
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Technically speaking, Gerard's the antagonist of the film as he's hunting Richard during his crusade but he's not a bad person at all and isn't doing it out of any personal animosity but simply because it's his profession. Gerard's pursuit of Kimble inevitably made him encounter evidence that Kimble's conviction was indeed false and he gets embroiled in the intrigue as a matter of course.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Has a distinctly Southern accent, wears jeans to work, and isn't afraid of crude honesty, despite being a high-ranking law enforcer whose specialty's hunting down dangerous criminals. Fittingly, his actor, Tommy Lee Jones, is from Texas.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Strictly speaking, Gerard doesn't fit this trope, as Kimble's actually innocent of the crime for which he was condemned — although he is guilty of fleeing custody, which is why Gerard's after him. Hence, Gerard arguably skirts this role, as he's a determined hunter whom Kimble and the audience must respect. It does become a straighter example as the movie goes on and Gerard slowly begins to realize and piece together Kimble's innocence, and ultimately chases him down not just to apprehend him but also to protect him.
  • Team Dad: His response to his superiors who are mad at him for shooting Copeland:
    Gerard: What can I tell you, sir? Mr. Copeland was a bad man. He was gonna kill one of my kids. [beat] Well sir, you can blame me, I mean I'm the one who shot him. [hangs up]

    Cosmo Renfro 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro

Played By: Joe Pantoliano

A loudmouthed member of Gerard's team of U.S. Marshals.

  • Butt-Monkey: He has elements of this in both films, but particularly U.S. Marshals.
  • Flanderization: In The Fugitive, Renfro's something of a loudmouth, but he's more snarky than anything and is pretty respected, being second-in-command to Gerard. In U.S. Marshals, Renfro's turned into a loud mouthed boor who says whatever's on his mind, no matter how crass, and is the group's resident Butt-Monkey.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Mainly in U.S. Marshals.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Subverted in U.S. Marshals. While he's flanderized into a more comical character, his competence's completely unaffected.

    Noah Newman 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Noah Newman
Played By: Tom Wood

A rookie member of Gerard's team of U.S. Marshals.

  • Butt-Monkey: He's subject to a lot of teasing by his colleagues for being the new guy.
  • Character Development: He gradually goes from a naive rookie to a competent lawman.
  • New Meat: He's the rookie of Gerard's team, and is clearly inexperienced. Even after becoming more competent and mature, his teammates still rib him about being the new guy.
  • Sacrificial Lion: His death in U.S. Marshals is what makes it personal for Gerard.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He's gunned down by Royce in U.S. Marshals.

    Erin Poole 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Erin Poole

A member of Gerard's team.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She's gone without an explanation in U.S. Marshals, having been replaced by Cooper.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments. First, when she and the other marshals are walking through the scene of the train wreck:
    Gerard: (after Poole stumbles) Poole, you gotta get some new boots.
    Renfro: I told you not to wear the heels.
    Gerard: And I want you to wear two coats.
    Poole: Sure, next train wreck.
    • Then after Gerard gets Kimble's file:
    Renfro: "Richard Kimble, vascular surgeon..." Vascular surgeon - what the hell is that?
    Poole: Somebody that makes more money than you.

    Robert Biggs 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Biggs
Played By: Daniel Roebuck

A member of Gerard's team of U.S. Marshals.


Deputy U.S. Marshal Henry
"Is that an elevated train?"

A member of Gerard's team of U.S. Marshals.

  • The Generic Guy: He gets very little characterization compared to the rest of Gerard's team.
  • The Smart Guy: He instinctively identifies the sound of an elevated train over a recording.

    Savannah Cooper 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Savannah Cooper

A member of Gerard's team of U.S. Marshals.




Detective Kelly
Played By: Ron Dean

One of the detectives who handled Kimble's case and got him imprisoned, who aids in Gerard's efforts to recapture him.

  • Dirty Cop: He may not be explicitly corrupt but he's so incompetent and has such an inexplicable axe to grind against Kimble that it's a distinction without a difference.
  • Hate Sink: He's incompetent and egotistical, with his shoddy investigating being the reason Kimble was wrongfully arrested in the first place.
  • Jerkass: He's always shown to be both arrogant and supremely inept, never admitting to his own fault or listening to Gerard and his team.
  • Never My Fault: He constantly refuses to even consider that Kimble's innocent. Even when Kimble's innocence is finally proven to the public, he's last seen denying that he was at fault for Kimble's wrongful imprisonment while being hounded by reporters for his inept investigation.
  • Police Are Useless: His "investigation" of Kimble could most charitably be called incompetently handled.
  • Those Two Guys: With Rossetti.


Detective Rossetti

Played By: Joseph Kosala

One of the detectives who handled Kimble's case and got him imprisoned, who aids in Gerard's efforts to recapture him.

  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He's quieter than Kelly, but he's the one who gives the order to kill Kimble on sight after he's blamed for Sykes' murder of a transit cop.
  • Jerkass: While he's less of an ass than Kelly, he's still just as much of an incompetent hothead.
  • The Quiet One: Talks far less than Kelly.
  • Those Two Guys: With Kelly.

Other Jurisdictions

    Sheriff Rawlins 

Sheriff Rawlins

Played By: Nick Searcy

An arrogant and incompetent sheriff who butts heads with Gerard.


    John Royce 

DSS Special Agent John Royce

A DSS agent assigned to aid Gerard and his team in capturing Sheridan.

    Bertram Lamb 

DSS Director Bertram Lamb

Played By: Patrick Malahide

The head of the DSS.

    Frank Barrows 

DSS Special Agent Frank Barrows

Played By: Rick Snyder

Lamb's quiet right-hand man.


    Helen Kimble 

Helen Kimble

Played By: Sela Ward

Richard Kimble's beloved wife, who was murdered by the One-Armed Man.

  • Innocent Bystander: Helen Kimble was ultimately this, as Richard learns that her killer was really after him.
    Richard: [to Nichols] Why Helen?
  • The Lost Lenore: Her murder's the very reason for the events of the movie and Kimble's clearly haunted by it right until the very end.
  • Posthumous Character: Helen Kimble is only seen briefly alive in flashbacks.

    Charles Nichols 

Dr. Charles Nichols

Played By: Jeroen Krabbé

Kimble's best friend and a fellow doctor.

  • Big Bad Friend: Kimble's enraged when he realizes Charles Nichols, his friend since medical school, arranged Helen's murder.
    (from the novel, during their final confrontation) "I don't know you. I never did know you..."
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sets up Kimble and his wife to be murdered, settled for framing him for his wife's murder when only she was killed, and was arranging again for him to be killed, all while pretending to help him and to profit from a new drug being developed.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He is one of the few people Richard dares to contact while on the run, and his demeanor is one of surprise and trying to be helpful. He later relates this encounter to Gerard and his team, while also affirming that Richard will outsmart them. This apparent best friend behavior is shown to be an act, and he was responsible for hiring Sykes and Helen's death.
  • Hidden Villain: As the film progresses, Richard conducts his own investigation and finds evidence linking Charles to the murder of his wife. When Richard confronts Charles at a public event, Charles fights Richard, revealing himself to be the true main antagonist of the film.

    The One-Armed Man 

Frederick Sykes/The One-Armed Man
Played By: Andreas Katsulas

A former police officer turned security officer and hitman for Devlin-MacGregor.

  • Artificial Limbs: He has a prosthetic arm.
  • Cop Killer: Kills a subway cop while trying to kill Kimble. This doubly ironic, as Sykes is a former cop himself implied to have leaned on his old contacts to help sail under the initial investigation, and because of the below trope...
  • Dirty Cop: He was one, before he left the force and became a gun-for-hire.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kimble, and later Gerard, find numerous pictures in Sykes' home of him with friends and family. Meanwhile, one of the pictures on Nichols' desk is with a woman, presumably his wife.
  • Evil Cripple: A murderous one-armed man.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He has Andreas Katsulas' deep voice.
  • Fallen Hero: Subverted. He claims to be this while being interrogated by Gerard, but it's pretty blatant he was always a dirty cop.
  • Jerkass: He's a perpetually sullen grouch who's gruff and hostile towards everyone he meets.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never said how he lost his arm, though Sykes claims that he lost in the line of duty.
  • Obviously Evil: Being an Perpetual Frowner and a Jerkass, it takes Gerard and his team about a minute to figure out he's evil.

    Kathy Wahlund 

Kathy Wahlund
Played By: Jane Lynch

One of Kimble's colleagues and friends.

  • A Friend in Need: When questioned by Gerard's men, she tells them that if Kimble came to her for help, she would help him, as she believes him to be innocent (though she also says she doesn't think he would come to her). Sure enough, late in the movie, Kimble comes to her for help, and she doesn't hesitate.

    Ann Eastman 

Dr. Ann Eastman
Played By: Julianne Moore

A surgeon working at County Cook Hospital who becomes suspicious of Kimble, who's disguised as a janitor.

  • Fiery Redhead: She doesn't hesitate to confront and interrogate Kimble about why he was looking at a patient's X-ray and about how the kid ended up in surgery rather than observation, nor to call security when she realizes that something's not right. She later snaps back at Gerard when he criticizes her for not doing more, asking what else she could have possibly done, seeing as she's a doctor rather than a cop. In the novel, it's made clear that Gerard takes an immediate liking to her precisely because she's not intimidated by him.

    Alec Lentz 

Dr. Alec Lentz

Played By: David Darlow

A doctor and the head of the pharmaceutical company Devlin-MacGregor.

    Marie Bineaux 

Marie Bineaux

Played By: Irene Jacob

Mark Sheridan's girlfriend.