The Life and Career of Ron Perlman

Photo Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films
October 2nd, 2012

The Life and Career of Ron Perlman

-- Film and voice actor Ron Perlman was born on April 13, 1950, in New York. Perlman's mother was a city employee, while his father worked as a repairman and jazz drummer. Overall, Perlman has stated that he did not have a bad childhood, but as a child growing up in Washington Heights, Perlman often felt he was overweight and eventually developed a low self-image. That experience would later strongly draw him toward portraying characters who are slightly deformed but always endearing. After graduating from George Washington High School, Pearlman attended Lehman College. At the time, the school did not offer a bachelor's degree in theater. After seeing his son in a college production, Perlman's father convinced him to pursue his passion for acting. Eventually, Perlman went on to graduate with a master's degree in theater arts from the University of Minnesota in 1973.

It was not until 1981 that Perlman would make his film debut. After appearing in "Quest for Fire," he landed a number of supporting roles in TV and film work. In 1987, he was cast in the role of Vincent opposite Linda Hamilton in the TV series "Beauty and the Beast." The role turned out to be a breakthrough for Perlman. He garnered a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series for his performance.

After the show ended in 1990, Perlman continued to land a number of roles in television and film. His most notable films during this time included "Romeo is Bleeding," "The Adventures of Huck Finn," "The Last Supper," "Police Academy: Mission to Moscow," "The Island of Dr. Moreau," "Enemy at the Gates," and "Alien Resurrection." Perlman also appeared in two story-to-movie adaptations by Stephen King: "Desperation" and "Sleepwalkers." While Perlman's film work was quite prolific throughout the 1990s and even into the 2000s, he also appeared in several TV series as well. He took on commercial advertising work as well, including a marketing campaign for Stella Artois beer in 2003. Titled "Devil's Island," the TV commercial won an impressive Silver Award.

The following year, Perlman landed another leading film role as the title character in the movie "Hellboy." He would later reprise the role in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." Within two years, Perlman demonstrated he had the ability and the depth to take on an entirely new genre of work when he voiced the characters of the Stabbington brothers in Disney's animated film "Tangled." He also narrated a television series, "1000 Ways to Die." Around the same time, Perlman landed the role of Clay Morrow on the FX television series "Sons of Anarchy."

Throughout his career, Perlman has become largely known for roles that require makeup. In some roles, Perlman's entire body has been covered in makeup, while others roles have required full facial prosthetics to achieve the desired look of a particular character. "Quest for Fire" was one of the first films to require the use of makeup for one of Perlman's characters. Other roles that required the use of makeup and/or prosthetics have included "Beauty and the Beast," "The Island of Dr. Moreau," "The Name of the Rose," and "Star Trek Nemesis."

Perlman has also established a reputation as a successful voice actor with numerous stints in animated series and video games. His video game credits include "Halo 2", "Halo 3," "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay," and "Justice League Heroes." "Fallout" fans may also easily recognize Perlman from his narration of the introductory films for the series. It is Perlman who utters the film's most famous phrase: "War. War never changes." Other video game voiceover work by Perlman has included voicing the characters of Slade in "Turok," Mr. Lancer in "Danny Phantom," and Mayor Hoodoo Brown in "Gun." He has also voiced characters in "Batman: The Animated Series," Superman: The Animated Series," and "Justice League Unlimited."

Perlman and his wife Opal have been married since 1981. The couple has two children together, a daughter and a son. Perlman is also an active volunteer with the Young Storytellers Program. In the summer of 2012, Perlman dressed in full makeup as the character Hellboy in support of the Make-A-Wish foundation.

The actor has a number of upcoming projects. In 2012 alone, he has appeared in "The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption," "Bad Ass," "Dirty Laundry," and "3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom." Next year, Perlman will appear in "Pacific Rim" and "Kid Cannabis."