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Why Old Man Miller From Jupiter's Legacy Looks So Familiar

"Jupiter's Legacy" on Netflix follows in the rich tradition of superhero adaptations with ample violence and characters who feel the overwhelming responsibility of doing the right thing no matter the personal cost. However, the show also differentiates itself by having a running theme of economic turmoil throughout and how people need the hope inspired by heroes to get through difficult times. This is exemplified in the dual timelines — the first is set in the present day while the second occurs in the 1930s following the devastation caused by the Great Depression. 

The latter timeline is when we see a young Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel) follow mysterious visions to determine what his ultimate fate holds for him. As he's searching for clues, he stumbles upon a town clearly wrecked by the Depression when he meets a troubled old man. This man had similar visions to Sheldon, and it clearly took a toll on his fragile psyche. But even seeing what lay ahead for him, Sheldon persevered to find the island that holds his destiny. 

Old Man Miller may not be in much of the show, and even though he's caked with dirt, it's plain as day to see that he's played by legendary actor Kurtwood Smith. His career has spanned decades, and although he has many well-known performances to his name, here are some that remained in the zeitgeist for the longest. 

Most audiences probably saw Kurtwood Smith first in RoboCop

You may not think a film titled "RoboCop" would have all that much to say about society at large, but the original 1987 film directed by Paul Verhoeven remains a scathing piece of satire to this day. Themes criticizing capitalism, the military-industrial complex, and gun obsession still ring true, and even though the movie came out more than 30 years ago at this point, you can still recognize the unmistakable face and voice of Kurtwood Smith. 

He plays crime lord Clarence, who's in cahoots with primary antagonist Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) and ultimately the one responsible for transforming Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) into the titular law enforcement agent. RoboCop gets his revenge on Clarence in the film's finale, though, marking the end for a villain who was a lot of fun while he lasted. 

"RoboCop" has remained a central piece of Smith's filmography, and decades later, he spoke with The A.V. Club about working on the film and how he didn't necessarily have high hopes for it right off the bat. "When I first read that script, I thought it was a B-movie, and that was probably good, because it made it easy for me to go in and audition," he said. "I was like, 'I don't know who these guys are. Some guy named Paul with an unpronounceable name.'" Of course, his tune changed quickly once all the satire and humor came to light, and now, Smith is forever part of sci-fi's rich legacy. 

Smith was a different kind of threatening presence on That '70s Show

When most people look at Kurtwood Smith these days, the first line that probably comes to mind is, "Dumba**!" That was Red Forman's signature catchphrase on the hit sitcom, "That '70s Show" where he portrayed the patriarch of the Forman family for all eight seasons. The younger cast may have been the ones getting into all kinds of hijinks, but they had to do all of their shenanigans while the tough-as-nails Red wasn't around because he wasn't afraid to give them some hard truths. 

While he was mostly known for being hard on everyone he came into contact with, Red also provided some of the most heartfelt moments on the show, like the time he had to say goodbye to his son, Eric (Topher Grace), when he went off to Africa to become a teacher. Through it all, Red has easily become one of the most iconic dads in sitcom history. 

The character holds special significance for Smith. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, the actor reveals that his stepfather was an inspiration for the role "in terms of [Red's] attitude, his voice, the walk and the edge that he had." Sadly, his stepdad passed away shortly before "That '70s Show" aired, but his influence clearly lives on. 

He delved into superhero territory on Agent Carter

Kurtwood Smith is certainly no stranger to superhero properties. He's done voice work for a number of different animated series, including "Beware the Batman," "Green Lantern: The Animated Series," and "Batman Beyond." But in 2016, he finally got the chance to appear in live-action form for a property based on a comic book, and that came in the form of ABC's "Agent Carter."

He joined the cast in the show's second season as Vernon Masters, part of the secretive Council of Nine that helps shape U.S. politics. He makes a lot of enemies over the course of his run, most notably Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) herself but also with the villainous Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). Whitney even tried to absorb Vernon via Zero Matter, but the process was interrupted by Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin). 

It's unclear whether Vernon made it out of the mess alive and what his role would've been in the series moving forward, if at all. "Agent Carter" was canceled after just two seasons, but when your career is as illustrious as Smith's, it's not long until you're off to the next job.