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Creator / Kurtwood Smith

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"I love playing villains. When you're a bad guy, you get to do many real nasty things. It's a lot of fun."

Describe Kurtwood Smith, before I put my foot in your ass.

Kurtwood Larson Smith (born July 3, 1943) is an American actor best known for his roles in RoboCop (1987) as Clarence Boddicker and on That '70s Show as Red Forman. To animation fans, he's also known as the voice of General Galapagos on The Terrible Thunderlizards and Agent Bennett on The Zeta Project. As most of the aforementioned roles suggest, he frequently plays Jerkasses and villains.

He's frequently described by his co-workers on RoboCop and That '70s Show as one of the nicest people around.

Not to be confused with Curt Smith.

Notable Roles from Kurtwood Smith:

Tropes associated with Kurtwood Smith:

  • Aerith and Bob: He was originally to have been christened "Kurt", but his mother thought it to be too common, so "wood" was added to the end. He believes he is the only "Kurtwood" to exist.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: He's bald in nearly every role, and most of his characters are total hardasses.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: When playing villains, most notably Clarence Boddicker.
  • Hostility on the Set: Along with director Paul Verhoeven and co-star Miguel Ferrer (Bob Morton), Smith wasn't too happy with Peter Weller's attempt at Method Acting during the first few weeks RoboCop (1987) by insisting he be called "Murphy" or "Robo" on set, depending on the scene. Smith chose to just ignore Weller during the first few weeks, whereas Verhoeven found it silly and told Weller he couldn't bring himself to do it and and Ferrer actively defied it and called Weller by his real name, anyway.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Smith is noted for being a very kind and humble man in real-life.
  • Romance on the Set: Dick Jones's secretary with whom Clarence Boddicker flirts in RoboCop? Joan Pirkle, Smith's wife.
  • Typecasting: In several of his roles, he frequently plays arrogant characters or bad guys. He's admitted to enjoying playing villains.
    • Playing Against Type: The Federation President, Henry Langston, Jim Gordon, and Shyir Rev in Green Lantern: The Animated Series were generally much nicer people than most of the other characters he's played. The latter three are also much better fathers than Red Forman and especially Mr. Perry. Hell, Jim Gordon and Shyir Rev are the polar opposite of both of Smith's most well-known characters, as in addition to being better fathers than Red, Shyir Rev and James Gordon are cops (Rev being a member of the Green Lantern Corps. and Gordon, of course, being one of the most famous cops in fiction and had a trope named after him), whereas Clarence Boddicker is a Cop Killer.
  • Throw It In!: Smith was pretty fond on improvising in RoboCop (1987), including the scene Boddicker trying to outtough Sal. The part of Boddicker spitting blood onto Sgt. Reed's paperwork after Robo brings him in was also his idea.
    • Enforced Method Acting: That said, regarding said spitting blood bit, Smith and director Paul Verhoeven were the only ones who knew Smith was going to do that. Robert DoQui, who played Reed, and the other actors were in the dark and Reed even utters "Shit!" as a reaction.
  • What Could Have Been: Was offered the role of Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down as he didn't want a role that required prosthetics (though he would appear later, as Odo's predecessor in the role of security chief aboard Terok Nor; since said character was Cardassian, it required prosthetics).