Malcolm McDowell

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Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell 2015.jpg
McDowell at the 2015 Fan Expo Canada
Malcolm John Taylor

(1943-06-13) 13 June 1943 (age 75)
ResidenceOjai, California, U.S.
Alma materLondon Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active1964–present
Home townLiverpool, England
Margot Bennett
(m. 1975; div. 1980)

Mary Steenburgen
(m. 1980; div. 1990)

Kelley Kuhr
(m. 1991)
Children5, including Charlie McDowell

Malcolm McDowell (born Malcolm John Taylor; 13 June 1943) is an English actor, known for his boisterous and sometimes villainous roles. He trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

In a career spanning over 50 years, McDowell has played varied film roles across different genres as a character actor. He is perhaps best known for the controversial roles of Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), the title character in Tinto Brass's Caligula (1979), and Mick Travis in Lindsay Anderson's trilogy of if.... (1968), O Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982). He has appeared in films such as Time After Time (1979), Cat People (1982), Star Trek Generations (1994), Tank Girl (1995), Gangster No. 1 (2000), the 2007 remake of Halloween and its 2009 sequel, Halloween II, Easy A (2010) and The Artist (2011).

McDowell has had a string of roles on numerous television series such as Entourage (2006–2007; 2009–2011), Heroes (2007–2008), Franklin & Bash (2011–2014) and Mozart in the Jungle (2014–2018). He narrated the documentary The Compleat Beatles (1982), and in recent years has become a prolific voice actor in films, television series and video games such as Metalocalypse (2007–2012), Bolt (2008), Fallout 3 (2008), God of War III (2010), Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015) and The Elder Scrolls Online (2015). He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.[1]

Early life[edit]

McDowell was born Malcolm John Taylor in Horsforth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He is the son of Edna (née McDowell), a hotelier, and Charles Taylor, a publican. He is the middle of three siblings, with two sisters, Gloria (older) and Judy (younger).[2][3][4]

His family later moved to Bridlington, since his father was stationed at the nearby RAF Carnaby with the Royal Air Force. He grew up in Liverpool and worked in Planters nut factory in Aintree and in his father's pub in Burscough, Lancashire.[5] He is a fan of Premier League football team Liverpool and spent much of his boyhood on the Kop.[6][7] McDowell trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[8]


While enrolled in Cannock House School, McDowell began taking acting classes, and eventually secured work as an extra with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his film debut as school rebel Mick Travis in if.... (1968) by British director Lindsay Anderson. A landmark of British countercultural cinema, the BFI named if.... the 12th greatest British film of the 20th century.[9] McDowell's next roles were in Figures in a Landscape (1970) and The Raging Moon (1971). His performance in if.... caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick, who cast McDowell for the lead in A Clockwork Orange (1971), adapted from the novel by Anthony Burgess. He gained positive reviews for his performance as Alex DeLarge, a young hoodlum brainwashed by the British government in a dystopian future. He was nominated for Golden Globe, a National Society of Film Critics nomination, and a New York Film Critics Circle nomination as Best Actor.

McDowell in Voyage of the Damned (1977)

He worked with Anderson again for O Lucky Man! (1973), which was inspired by McDowell's experience working as a coffee salesman, and Britannia Hospital (1982). McDowell regularly appeared on British television productions in the 1970s in adaptations of theatre classics, one example being with Laurence Olivier in The Collection (1976), as part of the series Laurence Olivier Presents. He starred in Aces High (1975) and co-starred in Voyage of the Damned (1976), and as Dornford Yates' gentleman hero Richard Chandos in She Fell Among Thieves (1978) and the title character in Caligula (1979). He made his Hollywood debut as H. G. Wells in Time After Time (1979). He has often portrayed antagonists, later remarking on his career playing film villains: "I suppose I'm primarily known for that but in fact, that would only be half of my career if I was to top it all up".[10] In his biography Anthony Burgess: A Life, author Roger Lewis commented on McDowell's later career: "his pretty-boy looks faded and he was condemned to playing villains in straight-to-video films that turn up on Channel 5".[11]

McDowell appeared in the action film Blue Thunder (1983) as F.E. Cochrane, and the horror remake Cat People (1982). In 1983, he starred in Get Crazy as Reggie Wanker, a parody of Mick Jagger. Also in 1983, McDowell starred as the Wolf (Reginald von Lupen) in Faerie Tale Theatre's rendition of "Little Red Riding Hood" (his wife at that time, Mary Steenburgen, played Little Red Riding Hood). In 1984, he narrated the documentary The Compleat Beatles. He is known in Star Trek circles as "the man who killed Captain Kirk", appearing in the film Star Trek Generations (1994) in which he played the mad scientist Dr. Tolian Soran, and several overzealous Star Trek fans even issued death threats for this.[12] McDowell appeared in several computer games, most notably as Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn in the Wing Commander series of computer games. His appearance in Wing Commander III marked the series transition from 2D pre-rendered cutscenes to live-action cutscenes. His appearance in Wing Commander IV was during the final days of video game live action cutscenes.

McDowell as Alex DeLarge in the classic A Clockwork Orange (1971)

In 1995, he co-starred with actress and artist Lori Petty in the science fiction/action comedy film Tank Girl. Here, he played the villain Dr. Kesslee, the evil director of the global Water and Power Company, whose main goal in the story was to control the planet's entire water supply on a future desert-like, post-apocalyptic Earth.

McDowell appeared in an episode of the animated series South Park, which provided a comedic retelling of the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. In the episode, McDowell played the real-life narrator of the story in live action, introducing himself simply as "a British person", in a parody of Masterpiece Theatre, and its ex-host, Alistair Cooke.[13]

McDowell played himself in Robert Altman's The Player, in which he chastises protagonist Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) for badmouthing him behind his back. He worked with Altman once again for The Company (2003) as "Mr. A.", the fictional director of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. His character was based on real-life director Gerald Arpino. McDowell had a brief but memorable role as the psychopathic Gangster in the British crime film Gangster No. 1 (2000). In the film I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003), he played a straight married man who rapes a young drug dealer to "teach him a lesson". The film also starred Clive Owen as the victim's elder brother.

McDowell at "The Genius of Stanley Kubrick" at the 2006 Traverse City Film Festival.

In 2006, McDowell portrayed radio mogul Jonas Slaughter on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The following year, he portrayed the villainous Mr. Linderman on the first season of the NBC series Heroes, a role he reprised in the third-season premiere. He starred in Jerry Was a Man, which appeared as an episode of Masters of Science Fiction on Sky.[14] He portrayed Terrence McQuewick on Entourage, and he made a Special Guest Appearance as the icy fashion designer Julian Hodge in the Monk season 4 episode, "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show". Never Apologize is a 2007 documentary film of Malcolm McDowell's one-man show about his experiences working with film director Lindsay Anderson.[15][16]

McDowell in 2008

McDowell appeared as Dr. Samuel Loomis in Rob Zombie's remakes of Halloween and Halloween II (in 2007 and 2009, respectively).[17] Although the films were not well received critically, they performed better at the box office and McDowell was widely praised for his performances and for being perfectly cast.[18][19] He also played Desmond LaRochette in Robert Whitlow's The List (2007), and Irish patriarch Enda Doyle in Red Roses and Petrol (2003).[20] His next film is the Canadian vampire comedy rock and roll film Suck (2009) with actor/director Rob Stefaniuk and the upcoming Alex Wright film Two Wolves.[21] In December 2009, he made an appearance in the music video "Snuff" by the heavy metal band Slipknot.[22] He appears, uncredited, as the curator Lombardi, in the film The Book of Eli (2010). McDowell portrayed Satan in the Christian comedy thriller film Suing the Devil (2011).[23]

In 2011, McDowell was cast in the role of Stanton Infeld on the TNT original series Franklin & Bash, and appeared in the Academy Award-winning film The Artist. In 2012, McDowell appeared in the horror films Vamps and Silent Hill: Revelation. On 16 March 2012, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, aptly outside the Pig n' Whistle British pub on Hollywood Boulevard. His fellow British actor Gary Oldman was in attendance and paid tribute to McDowell for inspiring him to become an actor.[5]

In 2013, he appeared as the title character in the psychological thriller The Employer, for which he won Best Actor at the Los Angeles Movie Awards.[24] In 2013, McDowell also ventured into the Steampunk genre, starring in the short film Cowboys & Engines alongside Richard Hatch and Walter Koenig. In 2013, he starred as King Henry II in the film Richard the Lionheart, with Gregory Chandler as the title character. He portrayed Father Murder in the 2016 Rob Zombie film 31.[25][26] McDowell also plays Boogeyman in Abnormal Attraction co-starring Gilbert Gottfried, Bruce Davison, Tyler Mane and Leslie Easterbrook.[citation needed]

Voice acting[edit]

McDowell was the featured narrator in the documentary, The Compleat Beatles released in 1982. He has voiced Lord Maliss in Happily Ever After (1993), the Superman villain Metallo in Superman: The Animated Series, Mad Mod on Teen Titans, Merlyn in DC Showcase: Green Arrow, (2010) Arkady Duvall (son of Ra's al Ghul) on Batman: The Animated Series and as the voice of a Death Star commander on a Robot Chicken episode parodying Star Wars. He is also a regular on the second season of the Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse as Vater Orlaag and other characters. McDowell also voiced Dr. Calico in Disney's Bolt (2008) and the henchman Reeses II in the animated series Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys, a show laced with references to many movies including his own role in A Clockwork Orange.[citation needed]

Malcolm McDowell at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival

In 2006–07, he contributed spoken word to two Pink Floyd tribute albums produced by Billy Sherwood: Back Against the Wall and Return to the Dark Side of the Moon. He has also provided voice-over work for Borgore on his album #NEWGOREORDER (2014). In 2008, McDowell began a recurring role as Grandpa Fletcher on Phineas and Ferb. He also narrated the award-winning documentary Blue Gold: World Water Wars.[citation needed]

McDowell reprised his role of Metallo in the video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips and an episode of Justice League Unlimited. He also provided his voice for the character President John Henry Eden in the video game Fallout 3, Rupert Pelham in the game WET, King Solomon in the Word of Promise Audio Bible, and the CEO of Stahl Arms in Killzone 3, Jorhan Stahl.[27] He also voiced Daedalus in God of War III. He is the voice for the primary antagonist Molag Bal in the MMO The Elder Scrolls Online. He is also the voice of Dr. Monty in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.[citation needed]

McDowell portrays the role of Caiaphas in The Truth & Life Dramatised audio New Testament Bible, a 22-hour, celebrity-voiced, fully dramatised audio New Testament which uses the RSV-CE translation.

McDowell is the host of Fangoria's Dreadtime Stories, a monthly series of radio dramas with a mystery, horror, science fiction and dark humour theme. Each month, a new episode is available for download, and scripts, as used by McDowell and the supporting actors, are also available at the Fangoria website.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

McDowell's first wife (1975–80) was actress and publicist Margot Bennett. His second wife (1980–90) was actress Mary Steenburgen, whom he met while filming Time After Time. They had two children together: Lilly Amanda (born 21 January 1981) and Charles Malcolm (born 10 July 1983). They divorced in 1990.[citation needed]

His third wife (1991–present) is Kelley Kuhr, 24 years his junior, with whom he has three sons: Beckett Taylor (born 29 January 2004), Finnian Anderson (born 23 December 2006) and Seamus Hudson (born 7 January 2009). He is the maternal uncle of actor Alexander Siddig. He and his nephew both appeared in the film Doomsday (2008) by director Neil Marshall. The McDowells live in Ojai, California. He became a grandfather in January 2012 when daughter Lilly McDowell Walton gave birth to a girl, Clementine Mae.[citation needed]



List of voice performances in films
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Happily Ever After Lord Malice
1999 Can of Worms Barnabus TV movie
2004 Pinocchio 3000 Scamboli
2005 Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone Ogthar
2008 Bolt Dr. Calico
2008 Delgo Raius
2009 Super Rhino Dr. Calico Short
2010 Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes Professor Moriarity Direct-to-video
2010 DC Showcase: Green Arrow Merlyn[29] Short
2013 Meet the Small Potatoes Lester Koop
2013 Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem Vater Orlaag TV movie
2015 Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness Sly Baron Direct-to-video
List of voice performances in Television series
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Frasier Dr. Bruga Episode: "Give Him the Chair!"
1994 Aladdin Shaman Episode: "Raiders of the lost Shark"
1993–1995 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Zarm 2 episodes
1994 Batman: The Animated Series Arcady Duvall Episode: "Showdown"
1996 Spider-Man Abraham Whistler 2 episodes
1997 The Magic School Bus Mr. McClean Episode: "Gets Programmed"
1996 Biker Mice from Mars Dominic T. Stilton Episode: "Once Upon a Time on Mars III"
1996 Wing Commander Academy Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn 13 episodes
1996–1997 Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys Rhesus 2 2 episodes
1996–1999 Superman: The Animated Series John Corben / Metallo 6 episodes
1999 The Outer Limits Ship Episode: "The Human Operators"
2004 ChalkZone Barney the Encyclocentipedia Episode: "The Big Blow Up"
2003–2004 Teen Titans Mad Mod 2 episodes
2005 Justice League Unlimited Metallo / John Corben Episode: "Chaos at the Earth's Core"
2005 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Baron Von Ghoulish Episode: "Billy and Mandy Save Christmas"
2007 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Orientation Instructor Unknown episode
2007–2012 Metalocalypse Vater Orlaag / News Anchor / Kloketteer 37 episodes
2008–2014 Phineas and Ferb Grandpa Reginald "Reg" Fletcher 8 episodes
2010–2012 Hero Factory Mr. Akiyama Makuhero 4 episodes
2012 Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Shirong[30]
2012 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange The Dark Knight Episode:"Sir Juice-A-Lot"
2015 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Lord Fathom Episode: "The Great Never Sea Conquest"
2015–2016 TripTank Priest / Cloud / Fart Philosopher 4 episodes
2017 Jeff & Some Aliens Zib Zog / Grandfather 3 episodes
2017–2018 We Bare Bears Professor Lampwick 2 episodes
2018 Star Wars Rebels Minister Hydan 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn
1996 Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom
Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh Stuart Davenport
1997 Star Trek Generations Dr. Tolian Soran
1999 Superman Metallo
2002 Superman: Shadow of Apokolips
2008 Fallout 3 President John Henry Eden
2009 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Uprising EU President Rupert Thornley
Wet Rupert Pelham / Mr. Ackers
Bolt Dr. Calico
2010 God of War III Daedalus
2011 Killzone 3 Jorhan Brimve Stahl
2014 The Elder Scrolls Online Molag Bal
2015 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Dr. Monty "Gorod Krovi" DLC
2016 Call of Duty: Revelations Dr. Monty
2018 The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Molag Bal


  1. ^ "British Actor Malcom McDowell Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Malcolm McDowell profile at". 13 June 1943. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  3. ^ MacKenzie, Suzie (24 April 2004). "What if". The Guardian. London.
  4. ^ "2005 Philadelphia Film Festival - Artistic Achievement Award - Malcolm McDowell". 23 October 2006. Archived from the original on 23 October 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Malcolm McDowell Honoured With Walk Of Fame Star, Gary Oldman Pays Tribute". Huffington Post.
  6. ^ "Malcolm McDowell - Maxim Interview". Maxim. Retrieved 9 January 2013
  7. ^ "Never Apologize - An interview with Malcolm McDowell" Archived 9 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Movie Mail. Retrieved 9 January 2013
  8. ^ "One on One with Malcolm McDowell". HoboTrashcan. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  9. ^ British Film Institute - Top 100 British Films (1999). Retrieved August 27, 2016
  10. ^ craveonline (14 May 2007). "Malcolm McDowell on Linderman and Dr. Loomis". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  11. ^ [Roger Lewis, Anthony Burgess: A Life, published 2002]
  12. ^ "Malcolm McDowell Killed Kirk... But Hated It, Part I". CBS. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  13. ^ Reesman, Bryan (3 June 2011). "Malcolm McDowell: Ultraviolent Past, Satanic Future". Attention Deficit Delirium. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  14. ^ (4 August 2006). "Cast Set for 'Masters of Sci Fi'". Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  15. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (14 August 2008). "An Actor's Playful Tribute to a Dissident Director". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "Never Apologize: A Personal Visit with Lindsay Anderson". Guardian. 2007.
  17. ^ TRINITY OF TERRORS Guest Profile: Malcolm McDowell Archived 14 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Matthew Turner (28 September 2007). "Halloween review". The ViewLondon. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  19. ^ Kim Newman. "Empire review". Empire. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  20. ^ "''Red Roses and Petrol''". Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  21. ^ "Malcom McDowell Scores Starring Role in 'Two Wolves'". BloodyDisgusting.
  22. ^ " Video – Housewife of NYC Jill Zarin Offends Southern Ladies". Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Funny 'Devil': Malcolm McDowell Talks Playing the Dark One in New Film".
  24. ^ "List of 2013 Los Angeles Movie Award Winners". Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  25. ^ "Rob Zombie's '31′ Begins Filming With…Malcolm McDowell".
  26. ^ "Malcolm McDowell Joins Rob Zombie's 31".
  27. ^ "Malcolm McDowell to play the scheming Stahl Arms CEO".
  28. ^ Barraclough, Leo. "Malcolm McDowell to Play Strauss in Nazi-Era 'Legacy of Fire' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  29. ^ Harvey, James (September 24, 2010). "Main Cast, Crew Details For "DC Showcase: Green Arrow" Animated Short". Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  30. ^ "Malcolm McDowell Is Master Shifu's Dad In 'Kung Fu Panda: Father Crime' – January 16, 2012". 7 January 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.


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