Michael John Berryman (born September 4, 1948)[1] is an American character actor.[2] Berryman was born with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a rare condition characterized by the absence of sweat glands, hair, and fingernails; his unusual physical appearance has allowed Berryman to make a career out of portraying characters in a number of cult films, horror films and B movies. He first came to prominence for his roles in Miloš Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (1977). He has appeared in a wide range of feature films and television series, including Star Trek, The X-Files, and Highway to Heaven, in which he portrayed Satan.

Michael Berryman
Berryman on November 18, 2007
Michael John Berryman

(1948-09-04) September 4, 1948 (age 75)
Years active1975–present

Early life edit

Michael John Berryman was born September 4, 1948, in Los Angeles, California, the second of two children of Sloan and Barbara Berryman.[1] He has one elder sister, Virginia.[3] Berryman is of partial German descent;[4] his German great-grandfather was a doctor who worked in Vienna.[5] Berryman's mother was a nurse, and his father was a U.S. Navy neurosurgeon[1] who was deployed to the Hiroshima fallout zone in the wake of the atomic bombing.[6]

Berryman was born with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a rare genetic condition that affects the development of sweat glands, skin, hair, and fingernails.[7] The condition also led Berryman to develop cranial synostosis, requiring him to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery as a child.[3]

He was raised Roman Catholic and attended Saint Monica Preparatory in Santa Monica.[8] Berryman became an avid surfer from a young age.[4] After completing high school, Berryman attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he studied botany and zoology.[9] Prior to becoming an actor, he worked as a florist.[7]

Career edit

Berryman played Pluto in Wes Craven's 1977 horror film The Hills Have Eyes[2] and the 1985 sequel The Hills Have Eyes Part II.[2] He has also made appearances in the science fiction and fantasy movies My Science Project (1985), Weird Science (1985), Armed Response (1986), Evil Spirits (1990), The Guyver (1991), and Brutal (2007). He appeared in the 1975 Academy Award-winning drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[2] His time on set for The Hills Have Eyes proved difficult for him, since, during the 4-month shoot, temperatures in the desert routinely surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and, without sweat glands, he had to take special precautions to avoid suffering heatstroke.

He had a role in The Crow (1994) as "The Skull Cowboy", Eric Draven's guide to the land of the living. Berryman's scenes were cut from the original theatrical release, but can be found on some DVD releases under "Deleted Scenes".

He has appeared in Star Trek and some episodes of The X-Files.[2] He appeared in the 1985 Mötley Crüe video for "Smokin' In the Boys Room", as well as the introduction to the band's song "Home Sweet Home". He also portrayed the devil in two episodes of Highway to Heaven: "The Devil and Jonathan Smith" (1985) and "I Was a Middle-Aged Werewolf" (1987).

Berryman is a popular draw at genre conventions, such as the 2002 Horrorfind convention in Baltimore, Maryland, and the 2007 Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania. He also appeared in 2001 and 2002 at the Horrorfind convention in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 7 and 8 attending as a guest of "The Milwaukee County Massacre", a horror film convention and music festival. Berryman appeared at the "Scarefest" convention in Lexington, Kentucky, and at the Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, Florida, on October 17–19, 2008. He appeared in Roseville, Minnesota, at Crypticon 2008 for "A November to Dismember" on November 14–16, 2008 for the show's third year.

Berryman starred in the British-Canadian horror film Below Zero (2012), directed by Justin Thomas Orstensen.[10] He was also a special guest at the third annual San Antonio Horrific Film Fest in August 2010,[11] the Cinema Wasteland convention in April 2011 and the Contamination Convention in Missouri in June 2012. From 2014 to 2018 he played the founder of Zona in Z Nation. In 2024, he starred in a horror film, They Turned Us Into Killers with Taryn Manning, Scout Taylor-Compton and Kane Hodder.[12]

Personal life edit

Berryman is a strong advocate for environmental protection and lived on a wolf sanctuary for ten years.[13]

Awards edit

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Nominated Saturn Award Best Actor – Horror for The Hills Have Eyes
2007 Won EyeGore Award Career Contribution in Horror Genre

Filmography edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Berryman, Michael 1948–". Encyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on April 24, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Michael Berryman". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2016. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Berryman 2023, pp. 1–6.
  4. ^ a b Hanley, Ken H. (July 24, 2013). "Calgary Horror Con: Michael Berryman". Diabolique Magazine. Archived from the original on April 24, 2023.
  5. ^ Berryman 2023, p. 26.
  6. ^ Berryman, Michael. "Interview with Michael Berryman of Hills Have Eyes & Devil's Rejects at Frightmare in the Falls 2019". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Michael Berryman Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
  8. ^ Berryman 2023, pp. 13–20, 46.
  9. ^ Berryman 2023, pp. 57–58.
  10. ^ Miska, Brad (3 March 2010). "Michael Berryman Deep Frozen in 'Below Zero 3D'!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Johnson, Scott A. (July 7, 2010). "San Antonio Horrific Film Festival Wants Your Films!". Dread Central. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Squires, John (2023-12-14). "'They Turned Us into Killers' Exclusive Trailer – Scout Taylor-Compton Gets Bloody Revenge This January". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  13. ^ "A Conversation With Michael Berryman". go.Jimmy.go. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2015.

Bibliography edit

External links edit