Who is Kurtwood Smith?

Kurtwood Larson Smith was born in New Lisbon, Wisconsin USA, on 3 July 1943 – his zodiac sign’s Cancer, and he holds American nationality. He’s a famous actor and producer, with close to 200 acting credits to his name, perhaps still known best for his portrayal of Red Forman, one of the main characters in the evergreen romantic comedy series “That ‘70s Show”, created by Bonnie Turner and Mark Brazill, and which also starred Laura Prepon, Topher Grace and Mila Kunis. The series follows a group of teenage friends living in Wisconsin in the ‘70s, aired from 1998 to 2006, and won 16 of the 93 awards for which it was nominated.

Although some people believe that Kurtwood’s retired from acting, it’s widely known that he’s still highly active in the film industry, and is currently shooting for the upcoming comedy series “That ‘90s Show”.

Early life and education

Kurtwood was raised in New Lisbon an only child by his father George Smith, who fought as a Major during World War II and died in Europe, and his mother Mabel Annette Lund (nee Larson) who was a housewife; Mabel was a huge fan of country singer Kurt who was popular in the ‘40s, and she thus named her son ‘Kurtwood’, believing that ‘Kurt’ was too short.

Kurtwood studied at Canoga Park High School, and was class president during his final year; he was mostly into playing sports, acting with the school’s drama club, and dancing during his teenage years. Upon matriculating in 1961, he enrolled at San Jose State College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965, then continued his education at Stanford University, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1969.

He spent the following decade appearing solely in theatre plays, and for his performance won many awards, including three Drama-Logue Awards for “Green Grow the Lilacs”, “Idiot’s Delight”, and “Billy Budd”.

Roles in TV series

Kurtwood made his debut TV series appearance with his portrayal of Guy in Laundromat in the hit 1980 romantic comedy drama “Soap”, while a couple of his most notable performances in the ‘80s were in the crime drama “Lou Grant”, the action crime drama “The Renegades”, and the fantasy comedy “The New Adventures of Beans Baxter”.

The year 1993 saw Kurtwood play Jack Lord in the comedy “Big Wave Dave’s”, created by David Isaacs and Ken Levine, and which starred Adam Arkin, Jane Kaczmarek and Patrick Breen. It follows two friends who’ve moved to Hawaii from New York City, and have bought a surf shop there.

Between 1993 and 1996, Kurtwood voiced Dinosaur Military Commander in the animated adventure comedy “Eek! The Cat”, created by Savage Steve Holland and Bill Kopp, who also starred in it; it follows the misadventures of the anthropomorphic purple cat Eek, and the series won one of the four awards for which it was nominated.

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Kurtwood had a couple of notable performances in the 2000s, such as in the animated action adventure “The Zeta Project”, the short animated adventure “Robot Chicken”, and the animated adventure comedy “Squirrel Boy”, all voice roles.

Between 2013 and 2015, he portrayed Henry Langston in the fantasy drama “Resurrection”, created by Aaron Zelman, and which starred Omar Epps, Matt Craven and Frances Fisher. It follows the people living in Arcadia, Missouri and was nominated for two awards.

Three of Kurtwood’s most recent roles in TV series have been in four episodes of the animated comedy drama “F Is for Family” between 2018 and 2021 (voice role), six episodes of the 2021 biographical drama “The Integral Principles of the Structural Dynamics of Flow” and three episodes of the 2022 biographical mini-series “The Dropout”.

Roles in movies

Kurtwood’s debut film appearance was in the 1980 musical comedy “Roadie”; he gained recognition in 1983, when cast to play Clarence in the comedy “Going Berserk”, starring John Candy, Joe Flaherty and Eugene Levy, and which follows a chauffeur who’s been hypnotized to kill his fiancée’s congressman father. Kurtwood appeared in several popular movies in the remainder of the ‘80s, such as the 1984 action crime drama “Flashpoint”, the 1985 romantic horror comedy “The Midnight Hour”, and the 1987 action crime science fiction “RoboCop”, which won 11 of the 26 awards for which it was nominated, including two Oscar nominations for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

What marked the ‘90s for him was perhaps his portrayal of Stump Sisson in the critically acclaimed 1996 crime thriller drama “A Time to Kill”, directed by Joel Schumacher, and which starred Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. It follows a young lawyer who’s defending a black man after he’d killed two white men who had raped his 10-year-old daughter; the movie won seven of the 19 awards for which it was nominated.

A couple of Kurtwood’s most notable performances in the new millenium were in the 2004 horror thriller “Evil Remains”, the 2005 comedy “The Trouble with Dee Dee”, and the 2007 comedy drama “Entry Level”.

He played Geoffrey Shurlock in the popular 2012 biographical romantic drama “Hitchcock”, directed by Sacha Gervasi, and which starred Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson. It follows the British moviemaker Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife Alma Reville, while they were shooting for the 1960 movie “Psycho”; the film won five of the 35 awards for which it was nominated, including an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Make-up and Hairstyling.

Kurtwood’s three most recent film roles have been in the 2019 comedy “Business Ethics”, the  horror science fiction drama “Firestarter” and the comedy “Untitled Nate Bargatze Project” both in 2022.

Other credits

Kurtwood sang the songs “Happy Together” and “Shake Your Groove Thing” in the 2002 episode “The ‘70s Musical” of the series “That ‘70s Show”.

He’s received three special thanks: for the 2009 short movie “That Which Is Within”, the 2016 horror thriller film “The Unwilling”, and the 2019 episode “Robocop” of the documentary series “The Movies That Made Us”.

Kurtwood produced the pilot episode of the upcoming comedy series “That ‘90s Show”.

He’s been featured in numerous documentaries, most recently in the 2016 video “The Doting Father: An Interview with Kurtwood Smith”, the 2021 series “The Movies That Made Us”, and the 2022 movie “In Search of Tomorrow”; he’s also to appear in the upcoming documentary films “RoboDoc: The Creation of RoboCop”, and “To the Journey: Looking Back at Star Trek: Voyager”.

Kurtwood’s made a guest appearance in several talk-shows, including “Katie Chats”, “1 on 1 with Kristian Harloff” and “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show”.

Awards and nominations

Kurtwood won a 2006 Garden State Film Festival Independent Spirit Award, and a 2016 Behind the Voice Actors People’s Choice Voice Acting Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Short, the latter for his and his colleagues’ performance in “Regular Show: The Movie”.

He was also nominated for a 1999 Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Actor in a New Comedy Series, for “That ‘70s Show”.

Love life and wife

Kurtwood married his first wife, non-celebrity American Cecilia Souza on 26 June 1964; the ceremony was private, with only the closest of their friends and family members attending. Cecilia gave birth to their daughter Laurel Garner on 30 August 1971 in San Jose, California, who’s become an actress, having appeared in five movies and TV series; their second daughter Shannon followed in 1973, but Kurtwood and Cecilia divorced in the following year.

He married his second wife, American actress Joan Pirkle on 5 November 1988; the two had met two years earlier, on the set of the movie “RoboCop”, and have since been together.

Kurtwood hasn’t spoken of any other women whom he’s perhaps been with, and as of September 2022, he’s married to his second wife Joan Pirkle, and has two daughters with his first wife Cecilia Souza.

Hobbies and interesting facts

Kurtwood’s stated in a couple of interviews that he loves to play villains, as being a bad guy allows him to do various nasty things, making it ‘a lot of fun’.

There’s a fan page of Kurtwood on Instagram, which he’s allowed to be launched, and is today followed by more than 60,000 people, and numbers close to 100 pictures and videos uploaded onto it.

He loves to travel, and has been all around the world for both work and pleasure, while his dream travel destination’s London, England.

Kurtwood’s a philanthropist, and has donated money to schools, for cancer research, and to animal shelters.

He has his own favorite actor and actress – the late Robin Williams and Meryl Streep – while some of his favorite movies include “Dead Poets Society” (in which he also appeared), “Good Morning, Vietnam”, and “The Bridges of Madison County”.

Age, height and net worth

Kurtwood’s age’s 79. His hair and eyes are brown, his height’s 6ft 1in (1.85m) and he weighs around 165lbs (75kgs).

His net worth’s been estimated at over $10 million as of September 2022.

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