Carel Struycken (2,13 m) was born on 30 July 1948 in the Hague, Holland. When he was four years old, his parents moved to Curacao, an island in the Caribbean.
At 16, he returned to his country where he graduated from the directing program at the film school in Amsterdam. Following this he did a year at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He collaborated on a number of projects of writer/director Rene Daalder: “Population One”, a musical feature; “Centipede”, a TV drama about a TV talk show host and true electronics Pied Piper, who entices his audience into forming an electronically linked group mind, and “A Second Chance”, a short movie that explores the more whimsical possibilities of Nano-Technology.
He was “discovered” as an actor at the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles by a lady who had abandoned her car in the middle of the street, calling after him: “We need you for a movie!” and this movie was “Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
The turning point in his acting career however was ‘Ewoks II’, a George Lucas film. He played a lizard-like Tyrant (Marauder Terak, see above picture), who rants and raves in his castle about wanting “The Power”. His portrayal of Mr. Homm, the silent, vigilant companion of Lwaxana Troi, has endeared him to Star Trek fans the world over. “Twin Peaks”, “The Addams Family & Then Addams family Values” and Men in Black” are among his most known appearances but of all his roles, his appearance in Twin Peaks left him with the most lasting memory. “That was probably my favorite part. I got to be part of landmark television.”
Other features are “Oblivion I & II” in which he plays Gaunt, a clairvoyant mortician,who always arrives on the scene moments before someone dies , “Witches of Eastwick” and “I woke up early the day I died” (1998), a film based on script of a Ed Wood and apparently was one of Ed’s favorite screenplays.
Recently Carel is concentrating on the hardware and software development of Virtual Reality systems. Their first “product” was a VR system for physical therapy. In one of the exercise programs the patient has to avoid being sucked dry by a vampire bat, while the patient at the same time needs to score points by chasing and catching fireflies. In another exercise program the patient has to cross a floor of hot lava, jumping from disappearing tile to tile. There is also a Human pinball machine for two players; a game with deadly balls called “Ninja Ball”; and an interactive dance floor.
At the moment he is working on a proposal for a series of TV documentaries on Science and Science-Fiction.
In real life Carel Struycken is a practicing vegetarian who loves to grow medicinal herbs and to tend his garden. He is a quiet, thoughtful giant who enjoys his relative lack of celebrity.
Present at FACTS: 2000