Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Icons of Horror: Jeffrey Combs

For my final weekly "Icon of Horror" selection in celebration of all things Halloween this month, I took my brother's suggestion of a more recent screen terror to profile.

Veteran character actor, Jeffrey Combs has been a reliable presence in theatre, film and television for thirty+ years, with memorable appearances in horror, science fiction and animated genre series - in addition to his many performances in non-genre roles.

His resume of film and television terrors include Frightmare, The Man with Two Brains, 1985's Re-Animator [his most famous role as Lovecraft's Herbert West], From Beyond, Cellar Dweller, Bride of Re-Animator, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Guyver, Trancers II, Doctor Mordrid - Master of the Unknown, Fortress, Necronomicon, The Lurking Fear, Castle Freak, The Frighteners, I Still Know What You did Last Summer, House on Haunted Hill, Faust: Love of the Damned, FeardotCom, Beyond Re-Animator, Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy (TV), Satanic (TV), Abominable (TV), Return to House on Haunted Hill, The Wizard of Gore, Parasomnia and The Dunwich Horror (recently completed).

On television he has also appeared in genre series like Beauty and the Beast, Freddy's Nightmares, The Flash (as Captain Cold), Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, Babylon 5, The Twilight Zone, Masters of Horror and animated series such as The New Adventures of Batman (as The Scarecrow), Spider-Man and Justice League Unlimited (as The Question). Combs has been featured in recurring roles as various alien characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. He had originally auditioned for the original Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Commander William Riker (casting that would have been "ideal", since for me Jonathan Frakes was always a bit of a letdown in that critical role).

In an eerie twist on September 11, 2001, Jeffrey Combs was mistakenly identified as one of the fatalities of a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center, forcing him to publicly state that he was very much "alive", the true victim's name, Coombs - had a different spelling.

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