There’s a sort of career that we come across a lot, mostly in older performers, where they do literally hundreds of movies, shorts, and TV shows. Voice workers still have that; you’re seeing voice actors doing that many, especially if you add in video games. It’s a lot more surprising to see a working actor do over a hundred movies, over a hundred TV shows—including several live-action shows where he did considerably more than a dozen episodes—plus over thirty video games and still be acting today. There are a few, and Ron Perlman is definitely one of the most notable of them.
Perlman got started as a stage actor. He was thinking about giving up the business when he was approached for The Name of the Rose. However, from that point on, he was working more steadily than I think people realize. Mostly this is because, for years of his career, he was a supporting actor. His characters didn’t even always have names. Frankly, they still don’t; even these days, he’s playing a lot of characters with names like “The Admiral” or “The Merc.” Even in his current success, he’s Big Scary Guy.
But the best pairing of his career has been with Gulliermo del Toro. He says the two are like brothers. They’ve worked together many times; he was del Toro’s first choice for Hellboy. Mike Mignola’s, come to that. Indeed, he has done many, many roles in makeup as well. It seems he has started giving advice to assorted other actors on how to act in prosthetics and full-face makeup and so forth, because genuinely, does anyone other than Doug Jones know more about that than Ron Perlman does?
Which, yes, leads us to Beauty and the Beast. Which, yes, I watched and loved in junior high. I haven’t seen it since then, I think, but oh, I loved it. Contrary to popular belief, it did not launch Linda Hamilton’s career; it was three years after The Terminator. But he and Hamilton had wonderful chemistry, and I am definitely one of the people who thought that the show went downhill after her character was killed. And not just because just swapping out love interests is a terrible solution to a performer who wants to leave the show.
And, okay, he also does voice acting. That’s true. He’s the ominous Bular in Trollhunters, which I mostly mention because, seriously, more people need to watch Trollhunters. He’s the dry and determined Vice Principal Lancer in Danny Phantom, another show I feel to be underrated. He’s even played Satan, on that episode of Animaniacs where the Warners went to Hell. He’s done a ton of work, to the point that he currently has a whopping thirteen movies in some stage of production. It is astounding, genuinely astounding. He used to say it was because his wife had a fondness for shoes; I don’t know what his excuse is now that he’s getting divorced.