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Why Buddy Kelsey From Places In The Heart Looks So Familiar

In 1984, Robert Benton's "Places in the Heart" debuted in cinemas. A modest hit, earning $35 million against a $9 million budget (per Box Office Mojo), the film went on to become a critical sensation, earning numerous award nominations, including two Oscar wins for best actress and best screenplay. 

"Places in the Heart" tells the story of a widow trying to keep her family farm going in the wake of her husband's death. The film has numerous memorable characters, including several members of the Kelsey family who show up throughout the story. 

Buddy Kelsey may look familiar to some astute members of the audience. That is because the character is portrayed by veteran character actor Terry O'Quinn, a mainstay of the film and television world who has taken on numerous iconic roles over the course of his lengthy career. O'Quinn's time in Hollywood has seen him amass a lengthy resume totaling more than 120 roles, and the following are some of the most notable performances that fans may recognize him from throughout the years.

Terry O'Quinn played a serial killer in The Stepfather

One of the earliest roles that audiences may recognize Terry O'Quinn is his performance in the 1987 psychological horror thriller, "The Stepfather." In the film, O'Quinn portrays Jerry Blake, a seemingly ordinary man whose unassuming persona belies his dark secret life as a serial killer. At the beginning of the film, Blake murders his family and changes his identity — starting a new life and planning to repeat the same pattern with his new family. However, he is ultimately tracked down by the brother of the wife he recently murdered, leading to a cat and mouse game that threatens to unravel his evil scheme.

"The Stepfather" proved successful enough as a unique entry to the slasher genre to warrant a sequel. "The Stepfather II" debuted in cinemas two years after the original in 1989, with O'Quinn returning to the titular role. Following the release of the second installment in the series, a third installment was greenlit and hit theaters in 1992. However, O'Quinn did not return for the third "The Stepfather," and the role was ultimately recast with Robert Wightman stepping in to replace him in the role.

Terry O'Quinn played Alex McSween in Young Guns

Following the release of "Places in the Heart," Terry O'Quinn went on to appear in a wide range of well-known movies in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the most notable of the bunch is his performance as Alex McSween in "Young Guns." Based on a real-life historical figure of the same name, McSween is a lawyer associate of the film's central cast of heroes who assists them in their battle against Lawrence Murphy (Jack Palance) and his men. He is a main character in the ensemble but is ultimately killed by a Gatling gun during the climax of the film as he cheers for the protagonists to escape.

McSween was a core part of the "Young Guns" narrative. However, as he was killed during the climax of the movie, O'Quinn did not reprise the role for the 1990 sequel, "Young Guns II." O'Quinn is also not the only person to portray the role of Alex McSween in Hollywood, as actor Andrew Prine also played the role in the 1970 John Wayne film, "Chisum."

Terry O'Quinn was the mayor in Tombstone

Several years after his appearance as Alex McSween in "Young Gun," Terry O'Quinn went on to appear in yet another beloved western. Specifically, he portrayed Mayor John Clum in George R. Cosmatos' 1993 film, "Tombstone." The film follows a group of gunslingers led by Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer), who take up arms against a violent gang of cowboys terrorizing a town called Tombstone.

O'Quinn's role as John Clum in "Tombstone" is comparatively smaller than his role as Alex McSween in "Young Guns." That said, like his previous western performance, the part is once again based on a real-life historical figure who experienced the events depicted in the film. 

In the end, "Tombstone" was well-received by critics, earning a 74% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 94% audience rating. The movie has become well-regarded in the years since its release, particularly with regards to Kilmer's portrayal of Doc Holliday.

Terry O'Quinn played General Nicholas Alexander in The West Wing

As noted throughout this list, Terry O'Quinn has appeared in numerous prestigious projects throughout his career in Hollywood. That said, one of the most critically beloved shows that he ever appeared on was "The West Wing." The iconic Aaron Sorkin-penned series follows a group of White House advisers as they work to effect change under the guidance of President Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen). In the series, O'Quinn portrayed General Nicholas Alexander, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

O'Quinn had big shoes to fill when he showed up on "The West Wing." As General Alexander, his character was the replacement for Admiral Percy Fitzwallace (John Amos), a trusted advisor to Bartlett during his first term. During his tenure on "The West Wing," O'Quinn appeared in a grand total of seven episodes, all airing between 2003 and 2004. In his time on the show, Alexander grew to be a close friend of both Jed Bartlett and Leo McGarry (John Spencer).

He portrayed John Locke on Lost

Here we come to what could arguably be considered the most iconic and well-known role of Terry O'Quinn's career – which is saying something, considering the length of his filmography. In 2004, he arrived on ABC as John Locke in the beloved series "Lost." One of the survivors of the Flight 815 crash, Locke — who happens to share a name with a certain philosopher — is a man with paraplegia who regains the ability to walk upon arriving on the island. Locke goes on a spiritual journey throughout the series, which veers between light and dark, and has some particularly tragic plot twists.

O'Quinn quickly became an easy fan favorite among the "Lost" ensemble. He remained a fixture of the cast throughout the show's run, appearing in the series premiere in 2004 all the way through the series finale in 2010. 

For his role as Locke on "Lost," O'Quinn went on to win the Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series in 2007, along with two additional nominations in 2005 and 2010.

He recently appeared as Byron LaCroix in FBI: Most Wanted

In the years since Terry O'Quinn became a recognizable Hollywood actor, he has remained a consistent presence in the network television world. As already noted, he has appeared in some of the most well-regarded dramas of all time. One of the more recent network procedurals to feature him was "FBI: Most Wanted." In the series, he portrayed Byron LaCroix, the father to Julian McMahon's Jess LaCroix. Byron is a recovering gambling addict who was previously estranged from his son but returns to Jess' life in an attempt to put their rocky history behind them.

Just as Byron and Jess worked to mend their relationship over the course of the first three seasons of "FBI: Most Wanted," that reconciliation was ultimately cut short. In a shocking turn of events, Jess was ultimately killed off the show during a recent episode after being gunned down by a suspect. Julian McMahon had announced his intent to leave the "FBI" spin-off, but it was unclear exactly how he would depart until his character was killed. Now it is a matter of waiting to see if Byron will continue to have a presence on the CBS series.