Ronald N. Perlman was born April 13, 1950 in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York. His mother, Dorothy (Rosen), is retired from the City Clerk's Office. His father, Bertram "Bert" Perlman, now deceased, was a repairman and a drummer. His parents were both from Jewish families (from Hungary, Germany and Poland).
With a career spanning over three decades, Perlman has worked alongside such diverse actors as Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Dominique Pinon, Brad Dourif, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jude Law, Christina Ricci, Federico Luppi, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott and Elijah Wood to name a few.
While he has never been a bankable star, Perlman has always had a large fan-base. He started out strong as Amoukar, one of the tribesmen in Jean-Jacques Annaud's Academy Award-winning film Quest for Fire, for which he earned a Genie Award nomination. Perlman teamed up with Annaud again, this time as a hunchback named Salvatore in The Name of the Rose. His first real breakthrough came later when he landed the role of the noble lion-man Vincent, opposite Linda Hamilton on the fantasy series Beauty and the Beast. His work in this role earned him not only a Golden Globe Award but an underground fan following. Sadly the series was canceled in its third season shortly after Hamilton's character's death.
After that, he spent time doing supporting work on television and independent films such as Guillermo del Toro's debut Cronos (where a lifelong friendship and collaboration between the director and Perlman would blossom) as Angel and his first lead role as One in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's surreal The City of Lost Children. His first real big role in a mainstream film came when Jeunet wanted him for the brutish Johner in his first Hollywood outing Alien: Resurrection. Perlman has also used his distinctive voice to his advantage, appearing in many animated films/series, commercials and he is a video game fan favorite because of his work on such games as the Fallout series.
It was not until much later he received worldwide fame when his good friend Guillermo del Toro helped him land the title role in the big-budget comic book movie Hellboy. Del Toro fought the studio for four years because they wanted a more secure name, but he stood his ground and in 2004, after almost 25 years in and out of obscurity, Perlman became a household name and a sought out actor. Perlman has had one of the most offbeat careers in film, playing everything from a prehistoric ape-man to an aging transsexual and will always be a rarity in Hollywood.
Other notable roles include the cunning Norman Arbuthnot in The Last Supper, sniper expert Koulikov in Enemy at the Gates, vampire leader Reinhardt in Blade II, his reprisal of Hellboy in Hellboy II: The Golden Army and biker chief Clarence Morrow on the popular series Sons of Anarchy.
He currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Opal, and their two children, Blake and Brandon.