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Kurtwood Smith

Kurtwood SmithAKA Kurtwood Larson Smith

Born: 3-Jul-1943
Birthplace: New Lisbon, WI

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Red on That 70's Show

Kurtwood Smith says strangers often approach him on the street, pleading to be called a dumb-ass as only Smith can utter the insult. "Dumb-ass" became his catch phrase in eight seasons as the paternally gruff Reginald "Red" Forman on That '70s Show. He was offered the role because the producers wanted a no-nonsense, Chuck Norris type, and Norris himself turned it down. He says his performance was inspired by his own stepfather, who died just as That '70s Show first went into production.

Smith was an infant when his real father, a fighter pilot in World War II, died after being shot down on a bombing run over Germany. His mother wanted to name him Kurt, but she added the extra 'wood' because she thought the name 'Kurt Smith' sounded too curt and insignificant. Smith suspects he is the world's only Kurtwood.

He was a longtime character actor before his sitcom success, usually playing cops, crooks, and other tough guys. On TV, he played the coldhearted Capt Joseph Scanlon on the mid-1980s undercover cop show Renegades with Patrick Swayze and Tracy Scoggins. In the late-80s New Adventures of Beans Baxter, Smith played the sinister mastermind who perpetually threatened the teenage spy Beans. In a funny but short-lived 1993 sitcom about a Hawaiian surf shop, Big Wave Dave's with David Morse and Jane Kaczmarek, Smith played a wacky freeloader who improbably claimed to be Hawaii Five-O's Jack Lord. He also provides the voice of Andy's father on Squirrel Boy. Fans of Star Trek know Smith as the Cardassian Thrax on Deep Space Nine, the time traveler Annorax on Voyager, and the President of the Federation in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

In his best-remembered movie roles, he played John Travolta's choreographer in Staying Alive, the sadistic second-string bad-guy who worked for Ronny Cox in RoboCop, Robert Sean Leonard's domineering father in Dead Poets Society, Nicole Kidman's clueless father in To Die For, the Secretary of Defense in Travolta's Broken Arrow, and one of Winona Ryder's several psychiatrists in Girl, Interrupted. In his quintessential film performance, he played the cruel warden of a privatized prison in Fortress with Christopher Lambert, and he took a rare leading role in Hard Scrambled, an independent drama where his thuggish character wants control of a run-down diner.

Smith's wife is actress Joan Pirkle. They both worked on Robocop, where she played Cox's secretary, and Smith's character made a pass at her. Off-camera, Smith and Pirkle are longtime activists for single-payer universal health care.

Father: George Smith
Mother: Mabel Annette Lund
Wife: Cecilia Souza (m. 10-Jun-1964, div. 1974, one son, one daughter)
Son: Shannon Smith (radio personality "Dr Sauce")
Daughter: Laurel Smith
Wife: Joan Pirkle (actress/activist, m. 5-Nov-1988)

    High School: Canoga Park High School, Canoga Park, CA (1961)
    University: College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA
    University: BA, San Jose State University (1966)
    University: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
    University: MFA Theater, Stanford University (1969)
    Teacher: Drama, Cañada College, Redwood City, CA

    Dean for America
    John Edwards for President

    Agent Carter Vernon Masters (2016-)
    Resurrection Henry Langston (2014-15)
    Worst Week Dick Clayton (2008-09)
    24 Sen. Blaine Mayer (2009)
    That '70s Show Red Forman (1998-2006)

    Amityville: The Awakening (29-Jun-2017)
    Turbo (17-Jul-2013) [VOICE]
    Hitchcock (1-Nov-2012)
    Cedar Rapids (11-Feb-2011) · Orin Helgesson
    Green Lantern: First Flight (28-Jul-2009) [VOICE]
    Entry Level (13-May-2007) · Nick
    Evil Remains (26-Jul-2004)
    Teddy Bears' Picnic (29-Mar-2002)
    Girl, Interrupted (8-Dec-1999) · Dr. Crumble
    A Bright Shining Lie (30-May-1998)
    Deep Impact (7-May-1998) · Otis Hefter
    Shelter (16-Jan-1998)
    Prefontaine (24-Jan-1997)
    A Time To Kill (24-Jul-1996)
    Broken Arrow (9-Feb-1996) · Secretary of Defense Baird
    Citizen Ruth (Jan-1996) · Norm Stoney
    Last of the Dogmen (8-Sep-1995) · Sheriff Deegan
    Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (14-Jul-1995) · Gen. Cooper
    To Die For (May-1995) · Earl Stone
    Dead on Sight (2-Sep-1994)
    Boxing Helena (3-Sep-1993)
    The Crush (2-Apr-1993) · Cliff Forrester
    Fortress (5-Mar-1993)
    Shadows and Fog (30-Mar-1992) · Vogel's Follower
    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (6-Dec-1991) · Federation President
    Company Business (6-Sep-1991) · Elliot Jaffe
    Oscar (26-Apr-1991) · Lt. Toomey
    Quick Change (13-Jul-1990) · Russ Crane
    Heart of Dixie (25-Aug-1989) · Prof. Flournoy
    Dead Poets Society (2-Jun-1989) · Mr. Perry
    True Believer (17-Feb-1989) · Robert Reynard
    Rambo III (25-May-1988) · Griggs
    Robocop (17-Jul-1987) · Clarence
    The Christmas Gift (21-Dec-1986)
    North and South II (4-May-1986)
    The Midnight Hour (1-Nov-1985)
    Deadly Messages (21-Feb-1985)
    Flashpoint (31-Aug-1984) · Carson
    Going Berserk (28-Oct-1983) · Clarence
    Staying Alive (15-Jul-1983) · Choreographer
    Missing Pieces (14-May-1983)
    Zoot Suit (Jan-1982) · Sgt. Smith
    Murder in Texas (3-May-1981)
    Roadie (13-Jun-1980)

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