Trace Beaulieu (pronounced “buh-LOO”) is best known for portraying Dr. Clayton Forrester on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 . He also provided the voice and puppetry for the golden, wise-cracking Crow T. Robot. He was on the show from seasons 0 (KTMA) - 7.

He was born on November 6, 1958 (Scorpio) in Hopkins, Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota for 1 year. After that he had varous jobs, including spending some time touring with a French ice show in Europe with a friend. Later on, he met a crazy group of talented people, including Josh Weinstein, at the Comedy Cabaret in Minneapolis, with whom he performed in an improv group.

Josh, Joel Hodgson, (an ex-performer at the Comedy Caberet who had “made it”), and Trace shared a dream. Well, mostly it was Joel’s dream, but the others quickly adapted to the idea. It was a dream of making fun of bad movies with robot puppets. Their combined skills - along with Jim Mallon and Kevin Murphy of UHF station KTMA - came together to make this dream a reality.

When Joel brought them to see the set for the first time the puppets were nothing but little piles of spray-painted plastic. Trace has said he was attracted to Crow because he “likes shiny things.” The voice he chose to do for Crow was originally taken from a voice he did while at trade shows running a remotely operated robot. This whiny voice of the early KTMA-era developed quickly into something much more versatile – a voice that fans came to love so much many wrote Best Brains nasty letters when he left the show at the end of the 7th season, though it was nothing close to the violent reactions when Joel Hodgson left the show or when Josh Weinstein stopped voicing Tom Servo.

This could be because they missed Dr. F. much more. The name Dr. Clayton Forrester was directly taken from Gene Barry’s character from The War of the Worlds. Trace's portrayal of the wild-haired, neon green labcoat and glasses-wearing Dr. Forrester is one of the most memorable parts of any MSTie’s experience. A combination of wacky inventions, brutal treatment of TV’s Frank, and utter madness (he is a Mad scientist, after all) make him a much-loved character.

Great acting talent aside, Trace was also much more. Best Brains' small staff size forced everyone to be great multitaskers, and Trace contributed greatly to the show during the years. He helped design and build the model of the Dog-boned shaped Satellite of Love pulling influence from Rob Cobb’s ALIEN design, and the ship from First Men in the Moon. He also took over the responsibility of making the Crow puppets from Joel and made several improvements to the design, including making Crow’s eyes fully moveable. He was a staff writer and even was an associate producer for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

The show ran for one season on KTMA, and was picked up by Comedy Central in 1988. The show ran there for seven seasons. Comedy Central, citing low-ratings (it was more about personal differences), dropped the show in 1996 – and although it was picked up by the Sci-Fi channel Trace decided he would not be a part of the show’s new incarnation.

On July 24, 1996 he sent this letter to the MST3k Fan Club:

To all my pals,

I will not be returning to the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the new season with the Science Fiction Channel. MST3K has been a wonderful part of my life, and I will miss working with all of the talented people at Best Brains. I will also miss the show and playing Dr. Forrester and Crow. This is not a decision I make lightly, however, after eight years, 150 shows and a movie, it is time for me to move on.

I am confident that Mystery Science will continue to be a success at its new home. As for me, it's time to comb my hair, put down the puppet and step out into the universe. So if you hear me talking in the back of a movie theater somewhere, quietly tell me to shut up. You see, I'm not just a critic of bad movies, I'm also a customer.

Trace Beaulieu

His final episode was the last show of the 7th season: experiment # 706 – Laserblast. Deep 13 was closed down due to funding – and Dr. Forrester disconnected the umbilicus to send the Satellite of Love crashing to its doom. It was instead flung to the Edge of the Universe. The last shots of Dr. Forrester are a parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and include Dr. F. eating alone and watching himself grow old. Not a monolith – but a giant videotape labeled “The Worst Movie Ever Made” appears. Dr. F. is transformed into a star baby. In the beginning of the 8th season Pearl Forrester, Clayton’s mother, says that she tried to raise the infant better this time – but was forced to kill him when he began his experiments again.

After leaving the show in 1996 Trace left the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles, as many other cast member did, prompting the name West Brains. He worked as a writer on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Coincidentally, Josh Weinstein also worked on the show at that time.

He also wrote a one-time comic book for Event Comics entitled “Here Come the Big People

IMDB Credits

Actor – filmography
Mr. B's Lost Shorts (2001) (V) .... Crow T. Robot
Assignment: Venezuela and Other Shorts (2000) (V) .... Crow T. Robot (segment "Assignment: Venezuela")
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 2 (1999) (V) .... Crow T. Robot
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 3 (1999) (V) .... Crow T. Robot
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts (1998) (V) .... Crow T. Robot
With or Without You (1998) .... Rich
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) .... Crow T. Robot/Dr. Clayton Forrester
... aka MST3K: The Movie (1996)
"Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988) TV Series .... Crow T. Robot (1988-1996)/Dr. Clayton Forrester (1988-1996)
... aka "MST3K" (1988) (USA: short title)

Writer – filmography
Mr. B's Lost Shorts (2001) (V)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 2 (1999) (V)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 3 (1999) (V)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996)
... aka MST3K: The Movie (1996)
MST3K Little Gold Statue Preview Special (1995) (TV)
"America's Funniest Home Videos" (1990) TV Series (writer)
... aka "AFHV" (1990) (USA: abbreviated title)
... aka "AFV" (1990) (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka "America's Funniest Videos" (1990) (USA: promotional title)
... aka "America's Funniest" (1990) (USA)
"Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988) TV Series
... aka "MST3K" (1988) (USA: short title)

Producer - filmography
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) (associate producer)
... aka MST3K: The Movie (1996)

Visual Effects - filmography
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) (model builder)
... aka MST3K: The Movie (1996)

Art Director – filmography
MST3K Little Gold Statue Preview Special (1995) (TV)

Art Department - filmography
MST3K Little Gold Statue Preview Special (1995) (TV) (set designer)

Miscellaneous Crew - filmography
This Is MST3K (1992) (TV) (special thanks)

Director – filmography
"Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988) TV Series
... aka "MST3K" (1988) (USA: short title)

Himself - filmography
MST3K Little Gold Statue Preview Special (1995) (TV) .... Crow T. Robot
This Is MST3K (1992) (TV) .... Himself (Writer, MST3K - 'Crow'/'Dr. Clayton Forrester')

Notable TV Guest Appearances
"West Wing, The" (1999) playing "Cal" (as Tracy Beaulieu) in episode: "Bad Moon Rising" (episode # 2.19) 25 April 2001
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "Noshing and Moshing" (episode # 1.15) 17 October 2000
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "Discos and Dragons" (episode # 1.18) 8 July 2000
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "The Little Things" (episode # 1.17) 8 July 2000
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "Smooching and Mooching" (episode # 1.16) 8 July 2000
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "Girlfriends and Boyfriends" (episode # 1.8) 17 January 2000
"Freaks and Geeks" (1999) playing "Hector Lacovara" in episode: "Carded and Discarded" (episode # 1.7) 10 January 2000

References:
The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com")
Satellite News (http://www.mst3kinfo.com)

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