9 of the creepiest character actors that have been on ‘The X-Files’
During its nine-season run, the TV institution otherwise known as “The X-Files” employed a stable of reliable character actors to play the show’s steady stream of creeps, mutants and monsters. To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, it’s time to look back on the veteran that guy players who justified Mulder and Scully’s salary.
Although versatile actor Terry O’ Quinn has been steadily working on both the stage and screen since the ’70s, he didn’t become a household name until his turn as “Lost’s” John Locke. However, in 1987, his breakout role as a serial killer in the film “The Stepfather” gave him the chance to show his acting chops. Plus, a successful performance as a deranged murderer makes him ripe for an “X-Files” guest spot. Or, in this case, a couple guest spots, given that series creator chris Carter cast him in the season 2 episode “Aubrey” and as a different character in the season 9 episode “Trust No 1”.
Tobin Bell is best known for attaching bear traps to people’s faces in the “Saw” torture porn movies, but before that he was terrorizing people with cigarettes that cause roaches to hatch in the smoker’s lungs in the season 7 “X-Files” episode “Brand X.”
Standing at lumbering 6-foot-5 with unsettling blue eyes, acclaimed actor Tom Noonan was born to play serial killers and sociopaths. His performance as Francis Dollarhyde, a serial killer the FBI dubbed “The Tooth Fairy.” With a role like this under his belt, Noonan seemed to be the natural choice to play a child murderer on the Season 4 episode “Paper Hearts.”
Robert Wisden played supporting roles in a number of sci-fi productions, crime procedurals and feature films. However, it’s in the role of contract killer Robert Patrick Modell where Wisden really shines. As an actor, Wisden had his work cut out for him when it came to selling the idea that he could influence his marks to commit suicide by just employing the right phrase and tone of voice. He really manages to sell it in the season 3 episode “Pusher” when he engages Agent Mulder in a tense game of Russian roulette.
Chinlund boasts an entire IMDb page where he plays douches and sleazebags, but he really ups the ante when he assumes the role of Donnie Pfaster, a death fetishist and serial killer who kidnaps women and murders prostitutes. In the season 2 episode “Irresistible,” he sets his murderous obsessions on Agent Scully and again in the season 7 episode “Orison.”
In one of the show’s best standalone episodes, the beloved veteran actor plays a mostly affable and slightly lecherous, but endearing old man, Clyde Bruckman. Unfortunately, this life insurance salesman’s tendency to accurately predict when and how people will die makes him more unsettling than charming. The late Peter Boyle walked away with an Emmy for his performance in the season 3 episode “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” and rightfully so.
Brad Dourif is the kind of actor that effortlessly makes an audience’s collective blood run cold. His inherent creep factor won him the role of the voice of the murderous doll Chucky in addition to the honor of being a frequent collaborator with Werner Herzog. Naturally, playing a psychic death row inmate on the eve of his execution in the season 1 episode “Beyond the Sea” is a piece of cake for someone of Dourif’s caliber.
It’s a shame that Doug Hutchison will probably be best remembered as the creepy husband of a child bride rather than the actor who played Eugene Tooms, one of the series most memorable villains. In the season 1 episodes “Squeeze” and “Tooms,” Hutchison plays a serial killer who feasts on the liver of his victims, as opposed to his real life role of a washed-up actor and tabloid punchline who feasts on the flesh of a teenager.