A closer examination of his body of work reveals a versatile actor with an admirable list of credits in film and television over the past two decades. In 1984 he was chosen to play Bob Cleary in the megahit miniseries The Thorn Birds, portraying his character from age 16 to 60 over three episodes. From 1986 to 1988 he appeared as Dan Fixx in the top-rated primetime soap opera Falcon Crest. His character was a truck driver who rolled into town one day claiming that he was the rightful heir to the Falcon Crest fortune. This led to numerous confrontations with Jane Wyman's matriarch, Angela Channing, and he more than held his own in these scenes with the Academy award-winning actress. After leaving Falcon Crest he signed on as Marshal Sam Cain in the youth oriented western The Young Riders appearing in 24 episodes during the first season, 1989 to 1990. Over the next eight years he worked continually in film and television, portraying a diverse group of characters in Diagnosis: Murder, Matlock, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, The Outer Limits, Ally McBeal, Suddenly Susan, and The Incredible Hulk. Film appearances during this time included Wyatt Earp(although he ended up on the cutting room floor), Apollo 13, and Something to Talk About. And roles in more than 10 made for television movies provided a full work schedule until 1998.
In 1998 the fledgling broadcast network UPN aired a series entitled Legacy, a family oriented show about a widowed father and his children who own a horse farm in the bluegrass of Kentucky in 1881. Brett Cullen played the lead role of Ned Logan, with a talented group of young actors and actresses supporting him as his family. Although it received critical acclaim, viewership was poor and the series was canceled after 18 episodes. Fans ran a campaign to save the show, but to no avail. Brett was very frustrated by its failure, especially since he had placed so much of himself into the creation of the character Ned Logan and had implicit faith in the quality and appeal of the series.
A new chapter in Brett's career began with the advent of the 21st century; he started making multi-episode guest appearances. Although he continued to appear in films such as The Replacements, Ghost Rider, and National Security, and became a stalwart of made for television movies, his multiple episode story arcs in a variety of series had noticeably increased. They included the West Wing, Friday Night Lights, Ugly Betty, Lost, and Damages.
"Damages" .... Wayne Sutry / ... (6 episodes, 2009)
- Look What He Dug Up This Time (2009) TV episode .... Wayne Sutry
- You Got Your Prom Date Pregnant (2009) TV episode .... Wayne Sutry
- Hey! Mr. Pibb! (2009) TV episode .... Wayne Sutry
- I Knew Your Pig (2009) TV episode .... Wayne Sutry
- Burn It, Shred It, I Don't Care. (2009) TV episode .... Wayne Sutry
"Lost" .... Goodwin Stanhope (4 episodes, 2005-2008)
- One of Us (2007) TV episode .... Goodwin Stanhope
- A Tale of Two Cities (2006) TV episode .... Goodwin Stanhope
- The Other 48 Days (2005) TV episode .... Goodwin Stanhope
"Friday Night Lights" .... Walt Riggins (4 episodes, 2007)
- I Think We Should Have Sex (2007) TV episode .... Walt Riggins
- Black Eyes and Broken Hearts (2007) TV episode (credit only) .... Walt Riggins
- Blinders (2007) TV episode (credit only) .... Walt Riggins
- Upping the Ante (2007) TV episode .... Walt Riggins
"Ugly Betty" .... Ted LeBeau (3 episodes, 2006-2007)
- Sofia's Choice (2007) TV episode .... Ted LeBea
- After Hours (2006) TV episode .... Ted LeBeau
"The West Wing" .... Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV (5 episodes, 2005-2006)
- The Cold (2006) TV episode .... Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV
- Running Mates (2006) TV episode .... Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV
- Message of the Week (2005) TV episode .... Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV
- In God We Trust (2005) TV episode .... Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV
And like the Energizer Bunny, he still keeps going, one project following another, keeping his fans happy to have him around, even if he has been "flying under the radar".
Photos courtesy of brettcullen.com