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Why Paul From Clarice Looks So Familiar

Clarice Starling is back, and though the new iteration of the iconic Silence of the Lambs character is appearing without her psychopathic investigative partner on CBS' series Clarice, life has clearly gotten no less complicated for her (here played by Rebecca Breeds). For those who haven't been tracking the series, Clarice picks up roughly a year after the harrowing events of The Silence of the Lambs, and finds the titular character returning to field work even as she continues to struggle with the aftermath of her encounters with Dr. Hannibal Lecter and the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill, whom Lecter "helped" her profile and capture.

As we now know, Buffalo Bill (Simon Northwood) indeed has some part to play in the Clarice narrative, which is a good thing since the series is legally unable to use the name or likeness or Hannibal Lecter (CBS doesn't own the rights). One other character from the Hannibal lore that we will be seeing, however, is Paul Krendler. Fans of the new series no doubt recognize the actor who portrays Krendler on the show, as his face has been a regular fixture on film and TV in recent decades. 

Here's why Paul from Clarice looks so familiar.

Michael Cudlitz enjoyed guns and cigars on The Walking Dead

That actor's name is Michael Cudlitz, and if his beefy face looks at all familiar to you, it's almost certainly because you're a fan of AMC's long-running zombie fest The Walking Dead. Yes, that was Michael Cudlitz portraying the gun-loving, ginger-haired, handlebar-mustached Abraham Ford on the series. That cigar-chomping character was a serious fan favorite from the pages of the comic book series that inspired The Walking Dead, and it's almost universally agreed at this point that series' producers could not have cast the role better. Cudlitz made his series debut just past the midway point of season 4, and would go on to become a major player in the lives of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his wily band of survivors.

Michael Cudlitz appeared in 39 episodes of The Walking Dead between seasons 4 and 7, with his standout work ensuring the character was every bit as beloved on screen as he was in the pages of Robert Kirkman's books. The character's divisive exit from the series was also one of the most unforgettable endings from the show, as it came at the wrong end of Lucille, the barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat wielded by infamous baddie-turned-not-so-baddie Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). 

Even as sad and utterly brutal as that departure was, Abraham still gifted us one of The Walking Dead's all-time great final lines (though it's too crass to reprint here). For that, we thank him.

Grosse Pointe Blank features Michael Cudlitz hilariously spouting inane poetry

While Michael Cudlitz is almost certainly best known for his unforgettable work on The Walking Dead and other notable television roles (including a recent spot on Young Sheldon), the actor has also appeared in numerous big-screen productions over the course of his decades-long career. Though Cudlitz's fans no doubt remember his work in A River Runs Through It (opposite Brad Pitt), D3: The Mighty Ducks (with Joshua Jackson), and The Negotiator (alongside Samuel L. Jackson), it's safe to assume most cineastes still recognize him from his scene-stealing supporting turn as blowhard Bob Destepello in John Cusack's classic 1997 romantic comedy Grosse Pointe Blank.

That film finds Cusack's killer-for-hire returning to his hometown to "execute" a job — and also attend his ten-year high school reunion where he hopes to reconnect with his long-lost love Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver). Things more or less go according to plan, right up until they don't. Prior to the night going wildly off the rails, Cusack's Martin has another rather unexpected encounter with his old high school rival Bob. As mentioned, that encounter is beyond hilarious, with Cudlitz first flaunting the character's absurdly overblown drunken machismo, before turning into a blithering buffoon and reading Martin the worst poem in the history of bad poetry — which was naturally his own composition. 

Michael Cudlitz was a member of HBO's Band of Brothers

As is common in the acting game, Michael Cudlitz spent years claiming supporting roles on television before getting a legitimate break. Still, many of the actor's early roles came on notable programs like 21 Jump StreetGrowing PainsBeverly Hills 90210, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That "big break" came when Cudlitz was tapped by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg to appear in their ten-episode World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, which premiered on HBO in the fall of 2001 to universal acclaim.

True to that "universal acclaim" tag,  Band of Brothers became the small-screen event of 2001, and even a decade later is regarded by many as the greatest WWII narrative ever committed to film. That's largely because it's a true story of one battalion's harrowing wartime journey, as the series is indeed based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's beloved book of the same name, which was itself culled from first-hand accounts of the surviving members of Easy Company spanning their days of basic training to the sack of Hitler's famed Eagle's Nest hideaway in the mountains of Germany.

Cudlitz portrays Easy Company's cigar-loving Staff Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman, and even took the spotlight in the fourth episode of Band of Brothers, which was centered around his character's daring escape from a German-occupied village. If you do recognize Cudlitz from his steadfast work as "Bull" on Band of Brothers, you know it made him one of the strongest links in a series that simply doesn't feature a weak one.