Ronald N. "Ron" Perlman (born April 13, 1950) is an American television, film, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles as Vincent in the television series Beauty and the Beast (for which he won a Golden Globe), as the comic book character Hellboy in both 2004's Hellboy and its 2008 sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and as Clarence "Clay" Morrow in television series Sons of Anarchy.
Perlman is also well known as a frequent collaborator of Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro, also having roles in his films Cronos, Blade II, and Pacific Rim. He is also known for his voice-over work as the narrator of the post-apocalyptic game series Fallout, Clayface in Batman: The Animated Series, Slade in the animated series Teen Titans, The Lich in Adventure Time, The Stabbington Brothers in Disney's animated film Tangled, and as the narrator of the television series 1000 Ways to Die.
Perlman was born in Washington Heights, New York. His mother, Dorothy, was a municipal employee, and his father, Bertram "Bert" Perlman, was a jazz drummer and repairman. Perlman stated in a 1988 interview that "It was not a bad childhood but...I had a perception of myself that was, I was terribly overweight as a young kid, and it was sort of a low self image." Perlman continued to say that this experience is one thing that attracts him to "playing these sorts of deformed people who are very endearing".
Perlman's family was Jewish, and Perlman had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. He attended George Washington High School and later Lehman College in New York City in 1971, which did not have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at that time. He has said that he and his father were "very close", and that it was his father, after seeing Perlman in a college production of Guys and Dolls, who told Perlman, "You have to do this... You understand this? You gotta do this." Perlman says, "So, he gave me permission to be an actor...wow." Perlman attended the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a master's degree in theater arts in 1973.
Perlman started his career as a stage actor appearing in various productions and made his feature film debut in Jean-Jacques Annaud's film Quest for Fire (1981). Ron's start in cinema was quite difficult. Jean-Jacques Annaud said that when he contacted Ron for playing Salvatore in The Name of the Rose (1986), Ron was thinking of abandoning his career. After various minor and supporting roles in films and television series, his breakthrough role came when he played Vincent in the TV series Beauty and the Beast, opposite Linda Hamilton from 1987 to 1990. This earned him a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series in 1989.
He went on to play roles in many films and television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s as well as the 2000s. His most notable film appearances were in films such as The Name of the Rose (1986), Romeo is Bleeding (1993), The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994), The Last Supper (1995), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Enemy at the Gates (2001), Blade II and Star Trek: Nemesis (both 2002) and two Stephen King story-to-movie adaptations, Sleepwalkers and Desperation. His appearances in television series include Highlander: The Series, The Outer Limits and The Magnificent Seven.
He played his first leading film role in 1995, when he played "One" in Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's French-language The City of Lost Children. In 2003, Perlman starred in a commercial for Stella Artois beer. This commercial, which was called "Devil's Island," won a Silver Award at the 2003 British Advertising Awards. He got another leading film role in 2004 when he played the title role in the comic book adaptation Hellboy. Perlman reprised his role as Hellboy in the straight to DVD animated features Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006) and Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007) as well as Hellboy II: The Golden Army, released on July 11, 2008.
In 2008, Perlman joined the cast of the TV show Sons of Anarchy on FX playing Clay Morrow, the president of the motorcycle club.
Roles that required make-up
Perlman is known for playing roles which require extensive make-up, some to the point where his entire body is covered or his face requires full facial prosthetics. Some examples include his first film role in Quest for Fire, where he played a Neanderthal; The Name of the Rose where he plays a disfigured hunchback; Beauty and The Beast, where he played Vincent, a man with the face of a half-man half-lion-like beast; The Island of Dr. Moreau where he also plays a half man/half animal; Star Trek: Nemesis in which he is the Reman viceroy; and the Hellboy films where he plays the titular demon. He even gave his Beauty and The Beast co-star Armin Shimerman advice when Shimerman was going to be in full-facial prosthetics guest-starring as a Ferengi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Perlman also has a successful career as a voice actor in addition to his onscreen acting, having portrayed characters in numerous video games and animated series. These include Casper High teacher Mr. Lancer in Danny Phantom, The Lich in Adventure Time, Kurtis Stryker in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Justice in Afro Samurai and various characters in DC Comics based series such as the villainous Slade, a version of DC character Deathstroke in the Teen Titans animated series and again in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Clayface in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, Jax-Ur in Superman: The Animated Series, Orion in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Sozin in Avatar: The Last Airbender, several villains (Killer Croc, Rumor and Bane) in The Batman, Doctor Double X in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Sinestro in Green Lantern: The Animated Series.
His video game credits include Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood in the games Halo 2 and Halo 3, Jagger Valance in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Batman in Justice League Heroes. He is well known by Fallout fans for narrating the introductory movies in the series, including uttering the famous phrase "War. War never changes." He also voices "Slade" in the 2008 Turok game, and Emil Blonsky/Abomination in Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Conan for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and voices the fast-talking Mayor Hoodoo Brown in the Neversoft game Gun.
Perlman also provided the narration for the introduction to UFC on FOX 13.
He has been married to Opal Stone Perlman since February 14, 1981; they have two children, a daughter, Blake Amanda (born 1984), and a son, Brandon Avery (born 1990). Perlman has volunteered as an actor with the Young Storytellers Program. On July 9, 2012 he supported the Make-A-Wish foundation by fulfilling a boy's dream to meet him dressed in full, film-ready makeup as Hellboy.