skip navigation
Niels Mueller

Niels Mueller

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

It would have been easy for actor Robert Patrick to become a cinematic one-hit wonder after his breakout role in James Cameron's blockbuster sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). As the liquid metal killing machine sent from the future to do battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger, his performance was as terrifying as it was understated. It was also just the type of iconic role that an actor could get pigeon-holed by. Pragmatic in his choice of projects, Patrick continued onward as relentlessly as his T-1000 character, taking whatever work came his way. Following "Judgment Day," there were low-budget thrillers like 1994's "The Cool Surface," in addition to roles in more respectable features such as "Cop Land" (1997) alongside Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. Patrick managed to land some choice television jobs as well, performing admirably in recurring roles on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1998-2006) and as Agent Doggett on "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). Later big screen appearances would find him collaborating with heavy hitters like director Clint Eastwood in "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006), and leading man George Clooney in "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009). With such a diverse body of work, the...

It would have been easy for actor Robert Patrick to become a cinematic one-hit wonder after his breakout role in James Cameron's blockbuster sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). As the liquid metal killing machine sent from the future to do battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger, his performance was as terrifying as it was understated. It was also just the type of iconic role that an actor could get pigeon-holed by. Pragmatic in his choice of projects, Patrick continued onward as relentlessly as his T-1000 character, taking whatever work came his way. Following "Judgment Day," there were low-budget thrillers like 1994's "The Cool Surface," in addition to roles in more respectable features such as "Cop Land" (1997) alongside Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. Patrick managed to land some choice television jobs as well, performing admirably in recurring roles on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1998-2006) and as Agent Doggett on "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). Later big screen appearances would find him collaborating with heavy hitters like director Clint Eastwood in "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006), and leading man George Clooney in "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009). With such a diverse body of work, the ever-employable Patrick would gain the reputation of being one of the most dedicated and consistently strong working actors in film and television.

Born Robert Hammond Patrick, Jr. on Nov. 5, 1958 in Marietta, GA., the young aspiring athlete attended Ohio's Bowling Green State University in 1979. Making the varsity team his freshman year, Patrick dropped out after taking a sudden interest in acting and theater - a pursuit he had only half-heartedly considered as a youngster. After a few aimless years, it was a serious boating accident on Lake Erie that nearly cost Patrick his life and prompted him to reevaluate his lack of personal direction. In 1984 a newly motivated Patrick moved to Hollywood, intent on becoming an actor. It would not be long before he landed a role as a beatnik in the play "Go" later that same year. From there it was on to a string of no-budget Roger Corman-produced cheapies that allowed Patrick to earn his Screen Actors Guild card. In "Warlords from Hell" (1987) he made his debut as a psychotic biker, following that with a turn as another madman in the "Mad Max" rip-off, "Equalizer 2000" (1987), and Vietnam-era soldiers in "Eye of the Eagle" (1987) and "Behind Enemy Lines" (1988). When action-helmer Renny Harlin put him in a small role as a terrorist in the sequel to the Bruce Willis blockbuster "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" (1990), it seemed Patrick was finally poised to get some recognition. And with his next part, he most definitely would.

The next year, Roger Corman alum James Cameron cast Patrick as the shape-shifting cyborg death machine T-1000 in the mega-hit, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). While on the surface, the role might not have appeared to require much technique and certainly any dialogue, Patrick dedicated himself to imbuing the character with an aura of pure menace, acquitting himself with devastating effect against Arnold Schwarzenegger's robotic hero. It was a career-making role, but almost immediately Patrick feared being typecast. Nonetheless, he did spoof his "T2" persona as a bad cop in the Mike Myers laugh-fest "Wayne's World" (1992) and did an outright reprisal of the part with a cameo in the Schwarzenegger bomb "The Last Action Hero" (1993). That same year, Patrick broke from type, portraying the loyal friend of D.B. Sweeney's character in "Fire in the Sky" (1993), a small film about a man who, after a brief disappearance, claims to have been abducted by aliens. But despite that high profile success, Patrick was unable to make a jump to the A-list. Soon he was back to appearing in such low-budget fare as the erotic thriller "Body Shot"(1993), the action adventure "Hong Kong '97" (1994), and the goofy video game adaptation, "Double Dragon" (1994), as the post-apocalyptic crime lord, Shuko. And although Patrick performed admirably as Demi Moore's loony ex-husband in "Striptease" (1996), the sexually- charged stinker did nothing to boost his career.

Fate smiled on Patrick when he joined the all-star cast of James Mangold's well-received tale of small town police corruption, "Cop Land" (1997), as Harvey Keitel's right hand man. However, in the years to come Patrick's projects would be all over the map. There were generic made-for-cable actioners like "Tactical Assault" (HBO, 1998), in addition to work on more mainstream efforts like the teen horror movie "The Faculty" (1998), as well as the direct-to-video sequel to the Robert Rodriquez vampire flick, "From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money" (1999). Things improved for the actor at the dawn of the new millennium when Patrick landed the plumb second season role of a desperate gambler indebted to Tony Soprano on the game-changing mob drama, "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1998-2007). In 2000, Patrick was tapped by producer Chris Carter to join the long-running "The X-Files" (FOX, 1993-2002) as Agent John Doggett, the new partner of Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully (after David Duchovny's departure), remaining with the series until its swansong in 2002. Patrick also appeared in several high-profile features, including the neo-western "All the Pretty Horses" (2000) as Matt Damon's father, Robert Rodriguez's family adventure "Spy Kids" (2001), and the mind-numbing "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003). Patrick also managed to land a meatier role as a firefighter in the film "Ladder 49" (2003) opposite Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta.

Though still appearing in missteps like the motorcycle saga "Supercross: The Movie" (2005), Patrick never failed to impress when utilized in solid material, such his turn as country music legend Johnny Cash's bitter, unforgiving father in the superior biopic "Walk the Line" (2005) - once again teaming with director James Mangold. Back on the small screen, Patrick had a memorable 2005 guest stint on the cultural phenom "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010), appearing in one of the show's many flashbacks as a former cohort of the wily conman, Sawyer (Josh Holloway). There was also a recurring role on the underwater adventure "Stargate: Atlantis" (SyFy, 2004-08) as a Marine colonel, and another father of a music icon as Elvis Presley's father Vernon in the miniseries "Elvis" (CBS, 2005). Patrick followed up with a recurring role as Major Tom Ryan on the David Mamet military drama "The Unit" (CBS, 2005-09). Back in the feature world, Patrick played the villain in the action misfire "The Marine" (2006), taking on former wrestling superstar, John Cena. In better company, but with just as poor results, was his appearance in the Harrison Ford dud "Firewall" (2006). Patrick also made a brief, uncredited - but nonetheless, moving - appearance in the football tear-jerker, "We Are Marshall" (2006).

It was a busy year for Patrick when he next joined the top-notch ensemble cast of "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006), a World War II epic directed by Clint Eastwood, focusing on the three surviving U.S. servicemen who raised the American flag during the brutal battle for Iwo Jima. From there Patrick moved on to roles in the critically praised fantasy adventure "Bridge to Terabithia" (2007), and the not-so-critically praised ping-pong comedy, "Balls of Fury" (2007). He had an odd cameo in the truly bizarre George Clooney comedy "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009), in addition to a part in yet another low-budget horror movie, "The Black Waters of Echo's Pond" (2010). However, in 2011 he was once again given a recurring role on an acclaimed cable series, this time playing Bud Maybury on the Mormon melodrama, "Big Love" (HBO, 2006-2011). Continuing to mix forgettable B-movies with major projects, Patrick turned up in the espionage thriller "Safe House" (2012), starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, and played a stoic veteran gunslinger in the period action movie "Gangster Squad" (2013). During this time, he also impressively juggled roles on the short-lived military drama "Last Resort" (ABC, 2012-13) and portrayed a grizzled werewolf patriarch on the fantastical series "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Curfew (1989)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute