8 Most Villainous TV Roles From Clancy Brown, ‘Dexter’s New Big Bad
If you know Clancy Brown, the actor playing the big bad in the upcoming Dexter revival, you know how well he plays a villain. After all, as you can see in the abridged résumé below, the guy certainly has had enough practice.
Brown has been playing baddies ever since his first screen credit, the fittingly titled 1983 Sean Penn flick, Bad Boys. And by the time he auditioned to voice Superman in Superman: The Animated Series in the mid-1990s, Brown was already aware of the typecasting.
“I went in and just blew them all away with my Superman,” he recalled with a laugh in a 2009 interview with Backstage. “And then they said, ‘Here’s an idea nobody has ever thought of: What if Clancy played the bad guy?’ So I rolled my eyes and said, ‘Can I, just one time, play the good guy?’”
And in Showtime’s Dexter revival, tentatively scheduled for this fall, Brown will star as the sinister Kurt Caldwell, believed to be the unofficial mayor of a town called Iron Lake and, most definitely, not someone to be crossed.
To show you just how good Brown is at playing bad, here are eight of his best villainous television roles from the past three decades.
Lex Luthor on Superman: The Animated Series
Brown first voiced Superman’s archenemy in this Kids’ WB show — and then again in the animated series Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and The Batman, as well as in various TV movies and video games.
Dr. Ellis West on ER
In a seven-episode arc on the NBC hospital drama, Brown played a doctor and efficiency consultant (from the aptly-named company Synergix) who dates Weaver (Laura Innes) only to land a deal with her workplace, County General Hospital.
Brother Justin Crowe on Carnivàle
The actor starred in this HBO drama, playing a merciless and manipulative Methodist preacher with magical powers of persuasion. It was a complex role, and some viewers found Crowe to be the show’s alternate protagonist.
Kelvin Inman on Lost
In a memorable guest-starring role on this ABC castaway drama, Brown played an intelligence officer who pressured Sayid (Naveen Andrews) into becoming a torturer before arriving at The Island with the DHARMA Initiative. Then, he deceived Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) because he needed a “sucker” to replace him in “saving the world” at the Swan station.
General Wade Eiling on The Flash
Eiling, Brown’s character on this CW superhero series and an unabashedly immoral Army general, performed experiments on animals and humans alike — that is, of course, until the meta-gorilla, Grodd, attacked him and took over his brain. (Coincidentally enough, Brown also voiced Grodd in Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise.)
Colonel Ray Schoonover on Daredevil and The Punisher
Another military man Brown played, Schoonover, a.k.a. The Blacksmith, was one of the drug lords behind a heroin smuggling ring — and one of the two men who ordered the murder of Frank “The Punisher” Castle’s (Jon Bernthal) entire family.
Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat on Billions
Brown appeared in this Showtime drama’s third and fourth seasons, playing a U.S. Attorney General hellbent on the demise of Chuck (Paul Giamatti) as the latter successfully runs for New York Attorney General. (Spoiler alert: Chuck finally gets the upper hand in the Season 4 finale.)
Burg on The Mandalorian
In perhaps Brown’s least recognizable role yet (though still not as unrecognizable as say, playing the hero would be), the actor donned red body paint and prosthetic horns to play a duplicitous Devaronian mercenary in a one-shot appearance on the Disney+ Star Wars spinoff tale.