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Jeffrey Combs

Combs (right) in 2007
Born Jeffrey Alan Combs
September 9, 1954 (1954-09-09) (age 55)
Oxnard, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1971-1993; 2005; 2009 (theater) 1981—present (film/TV)

Jeffrey Alan Combs (born September 9, 1954) is an American actor known for his horror film roles and his appearances playing a number of characters in the Star Trek franchise.

Contents

Early life

Combs was born in Oxnard, California and raised in Lompoc, California. He attended Santa Maria's Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, and later developed his acting skills in the Professional Actor's Training Program at the University of Washington.

After spending several years performing in playhouses all along the West Coast, Combs moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and landed his first role in the 1981 feature film, Honky Tonk Freeway, in which he played an unnamed drive-in teller. His first horror film role came two years later in the 1983 film Frightmare, which set the path for the much of his career in the genre.

Career

Combs' best known horror role was as Dr. Herbert West, the main character in the movie Re-Animator, which he has reprised in the film's two sequels. The role has also made him somewhat of a sex symbol. He also portrayed the part of author H. P. Lovecraft (creator of the Herbert West character) in the film Necronomicon: Book of the Dead. Combs has starred in seven H.P. Lovecraft adaptations with the upcoming remake of Lovecraft's tale Dunwich Horror on the way to make eight. Producer Brian Yuzna, along with director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli had planned a possible fourth film, entitled House of Re-Animator, that would reunite the original Re-Animator cast of Combs, Bruce Abbott, and Barbara Crampton and was set in a fictionalized Bush-era White House. This would have been the possible first of a new trilogy that included Re-animator Unbound and Re-Animator Begins. Other film credits include FeardotCom (2002), House on Haunted Hill (1999), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) and Dark House.[1]

On television, Combs enjoyed critical and popular success playing alien characters on the various modern Star Trek incarnations, beginning in 1994 with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in 2000 with Star Trek: Voyager, and in 2001 with Star Trek: Enterprise. Even Trek fans unfamiliar with Combs' human face immediately recognized him due to his distinctive voice. Ironically, this distinctive voice Combs uses in all his screen roles is not his natural speaking voice but rather an affected one, as evidenced by interviews and commentaries on various DVDs of his film and television appearances. Combs originally auditioned for the role of Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but lost out to Jonathan Frakes, though producers kept him in mind for casting in the later series.

His largest science-fiction role to date has been his multi-episode, multi-season appearances on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Vorta clone Weyoun. On the same series, he had a recurring role as the Ferengi Brunt. During the DS9 episode "The Dogs of War", Combs appeared as both Weyoun and Brunt, making Trek history as the first guest actor to play two unrelated recurring roles in the same episode.

On Star Trek: Enterprise Combs had a very popular recurring role as Shran, an Andorian military officer. Shran represents a dramatic shift in character type for Combs, as his three previous Star Trek incarnations, Weyoun, Brunt and Penk, had all been somewhat passive officials, whereas Shran is a more heatedly aggressive leader. Enterprise producer Manny Coto once mentioned in an interview that he hoped to make Combs a regular on the show, had the series been renewed for a fifth season. In addition, Combs made some non-recurring appearances, including Officer Kevin Mulkahey[2] and Tiron on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Penk on Star Trek: Voyager, and the Ferengi Krem in Star Trek: Enterprise. He also had a cameo as a patron in Vic's Lounge in the final episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, along with many other actors, writers, and creators of the show. Combs has played nine onscreen roles in the Star Trek universe, as well as voicing Romulan Commander Suldok for the video game, "Star Trek: Elite Force II."

Beyond the Star Trek franchise, Combs has had roles in many other science fiction series. He starred as the telepath Harriman Gray, in "Eyes" (1994), a first season episode of Babylon 5. In August 2005, he appeared for the first time on the science fiction series The 4400 as Dr. Kevin Burkhoff; by 2006, this became a recurring role. In early 2007, he played a highly-fictionalized Edgar Allan Poe in "The Black Cat", an episode of Masters of Horror.[3] With his feet in both the horror and science-fiction worlds, as well as outside the two popular genres, Combs enjoys a diverse and varied fanbase.

Combs has done extensive voice work; among others, Combs voiced The Scarecrow in the 1997 "revamp" of Batman: The Animated Series. Combs continued his work in the DCAU several years later, with a recurring role as The Question in Justice League Unlimited. His version of the Question was well-regarded by both fans and the JLU writing staff and is credited for reviving interest in the character.

In July 2009, Combs returned to his stage roots and reprised his role as Edgar Allan Poe in a one-man theatrical show entitled Nevermore...an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe[1] at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Although only supposed to run for a month, the show enjoyed much success and sold-out crowds, and was extended four times. Nevermore as it is now simply known, will close its run in Los Angeles on December 19, 2009. The show will have its East Coast debut in January 2010 at Westminster Hall in Baltimore, MD, Poe's final resting place.[4]

On September 11, 2001, a man named Jeffrey Coombs (note the extra 'o' in the last name) was aboard hijacked American Airlines Flight 11, which was later crashed into the World Trade Center. Having been confused with the passenger on the jet, Combs the actor was pronounced dead by news media outlets and had to announce publicly that he was still alive.[5]

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1981 Honky Tonk Freeway Drive In Teller
Whose Life Is It Anyway? 1st year intern
1983 Frightmare Stu
The Skin of Our Teeth Henry Antrobus
The Man with Two Brains Dr. Jones
1985 Re-Animator Herbert West
1986 From Beyond Crawford Tillinghast
1987 Cyclone Rick Davenport
1988 Dead Man Walking Chaz
Cellar Dweller Colin Childress
1989 Bride of Re-Animator Dr. Herbert West Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1990 The Pit and the Pendulum Francisco the Inquisitor
Robot Jox Spectator/Prole
1991 The Guyver Doctor East
Death Falls Lonnie Hawks
Trancers II Dr. Pyle
1992 Doctor Mordrid - Master of the Unknown Doctor Mordrid
1993 Fortress D-Day
Necronomicon H. P. Lovecraft
1994 Love and a .45 Dinosaur Bob
The Lurking Fear Dr. Haggis
1995 Castle Freak John Reilly
Felony Bill Knight
Cyberstalker aka The Digital Prophet Andy Coberman
Dillinger and Capone Gilroy
1996 The Frighteners Special Agent Milton Dammers Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Norma Jean and Marilyn Montgomery Clift
1997 Time Tracers Dr. Carrington
Snide and Prejudice Therapist Meissner
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Mr. Brooks
Caught Up Security Guard
Spoiler Captain
1999 House on Haunted Hill Dr. Richard Benjamin Vannacutt
Poseidon's Fury: Escape From the Lost City Lord Darkennon Short film part of theme park ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL
2001 Faust: Love of the Damned Lt. Dan Margolies
The Attic Expeditions Dr. Ek
Contagion Brown
2002 Pulse Pounders Vol. 1 The Evil Clergyman Film never released
FeardotCom Detective Sykes
2003 Beyond Re-Animator Dr. Herbert West
2005 Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy Dr. Preston King
All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos Thomas White
Edmond Desk Clerk
Voodoo Moon Frank Taggert
2006 Satanic Detective Joyner
Abominable Buddy, the Clerk
Blackwater Valley Exorcism Sheriff Jimmy Fleck
2007 Return to House on Haunted Hill Dr. Richard Benjamin Vannacutt
The Wizard of Gore The Geek
Brutal Sheriff Jimmy Fleck
The Attackmen Mr. Simms
Stuck 911 Operator
2008 Parasomnia (film) Detective Garrett
Western Big Sky Kevin Meselet In pre-production
2009 The Dunwich Horror Wilbur Whateley Completed, awaiting release
Dark House Walston Rey In post-production
Urgency Sumner Cavic Completed, awaiting release
Steeltown In pre-production
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Television works

(Star Trek and The 4400 credits separate)

Year Title Role Episode/s
1983 The Mississippi Military cadet We Remember, We Revere
Houston Nights Frank Stark Lady Smoke
1983 Beauty and the Beast Python No Way Down
1988 Jake and the Fat Man Alan Shuba What is This Thing Called Love
Incredibly Strange Film Show Himself Tsui Hark and Stuart Gordon
1989 Freddy's Nightmares Ralph Love Stinks
Life Goes On Burk Clifton Invasion of the Thatcher Snatchers
Hunter James Wilkins Fatal Obsession, Part 2
1991 The Flash Jimmy Swain Captain Cold
Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero Roger "Sheck" Shector A Quartet Of Creatures
Sisters Derek Cotts Protective Measures
1994 Babylon 5 Harriman Gray Eyes
1995 The Single Guy Klein The Virgin
1996 The New Batman Adventures Scarecrow Never Fear
Perversions of Science Prisoner #50557 The Exile
1998 The Net Max Copernicus Lunatic Fringe
1999 FreakyLinks Coroner Subject: Live Fast, Die Young
2000 Martial Law Antoine Trembel In the Dark
2002 The Twilight Zone Harry Radditch The Placebo Effect
She Spies Indigo The Replacement
Spider-Man Professor Head Over Heels
Spider-Man Dr. Zellner Flash Memory
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dr. Dale Sterling Jackpot
Justice League Unlimited The Question Fearful Symmetry
Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Gyrus Krinkle A Man Called Krinkle
2004 Justice League Unlimited The Question Double Date
Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy Dr. Preston King
Justice League Unlimited The Question Question Authority
Justice League Unlimited The Question Flashpoint
2005 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Gyrus Krinkle Incident on Ranger 7
2006 Justice League Unlimited The Question Grudge Match
Masters of Horror Edgar Allan Poe The Black Cat
2008 Cold Case Sly Borden Spiders
2009 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Kite Man Long Arm of the Law
Series Episode Character
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #454: Meridian Tiron
#469: Family Business Brunt
#488: Bar Association Brunt
#496: To The Death Weyoun
#497: Body Parts Brunt
#517: Ties of Blood and Water Weyoun
#518: Ferengi Love Songs Weyoun
#523: In The Cards Weyoun
#524: A Call To Arms Weyoun
#525: A Time To Stand Weyoun
#528: Behind The Lines Weyoun
#529: Favor The Bold Weyoun
#530: The Sacrifice Of Angels Weyoun
#533: Statistical Probabilities Weyoun
#534: The Magnificent Ferengi Brunt
#535: Waltz Weyoun
#538: Far Beyond The Stars Detective Kevin Mulkahey
#542: Inquisition Weyoun
#543: In The Pale Moonlight Weyoun
#547: Profit And Lace Brunt
#550: Tears of the Prophets Weyoun
#551: Image In The Sand Weyoun
#552: Shadows and Symbols Weyoun
#556: Treachery, Faith and the Great River Weyoun
#562: The Emperor's New Cloak Brunt
#567: Penumbra Weyoun
#568: Til Death Do Us Part Weyoun
#569: Strange Bedfellows Weyoun
#570: The Changing Face Of Evil Weyoun
#572: Tacking Into The Wind Weyoun
#574: The Dogs Of War Weyoun and Brunt
#575 & 576: What You Leave Behind Weyoun & Holosuite Guest
Star Trek: Voyager #232: Tsunkatse Penk
Star Trek: Enterprise #007: The Andorian Incident Shran
#014: Shadows of P'Jem Shran
#019: Acquisition Krem
#041: Cease Fire Shran
#065: Proving Ground Shran
#076: Zero Hour Shran
#085: Kir'Shara Shran
#088: Babel One Shran
#089: United Shran
#090: The Aenar Shran
#098: These Are The Voyages... Shran
The 4400 Wake Up Call Dr. Kevin Burkoff
Lockdown
The Fifth Page
Mommy's Bosses
Being Tom Baldwin
The Ballad Of Kevin And Tess
Terrible Swift Sword
Fifty-Fifty
The New World
The Wrath Of Graham
Daddy's Little Girl
One Of Us
Ghost in The Machine
Tiny Machines
The Great Leap Forward

References

Further reading

Voisin, Scott, "Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting." BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 9-781593-933425.

External links


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