Schultz might not command the kind of crowds he used to, and he might not be getting big roles in movies; he still has plenty of work. He’s been giving his voice to lots of different video games and animated projects and has had several small roles in TV and movies.
Still, he has an even bigger fandom to rely on as he hits the convention circuit – he played Lieutenant Reginald Barclay on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Voyager,” as well as a few of the Star Trek movies. Yes, that’s right – the meek and neurotic Barclay and the wild, a mentally unstable pilot from “The A-Team,” are played by the same person.
Getting His Big Break as a Madman
Schultz had almost no acting credits to his name when he got the role of Howlin' Mad Murdock. He had a few bit parts in TV and a role in the TV movie "When Your Lover Leaves," but then he exploded – almost literally – on the scene thanks to "The A-Team."
In 1985 the actor spoke with the "Los Angeles Times" about the role. Upon getting the original script, he loved the part and how funny it was. He realized he could adapt it to his talents and be versatile.
I'm Not Really Mad
In the same 1985 interview, the actor said that he hated the idea of being typecast. Schultz said: “No matter how versatile you are, you're only seen as being versatile in a very limited format. Casting directors ask, 'Can he be real?' They see me as only being capable of doing off-the-wall humor, of making funny sounds, of doing Jonathon Winters's [a famous comedian] voices.”
Thankfully, the versatility Schultz portrayed while on "The A-Team" helped him get lots of other roles – it's likely that you've seen him act elsewhere and might not have even known it was the wild child of "The A-Team."
Don't I Know That Voice From Somewhere?
If you've picked up a controller or turned on a cartoon in the last twenty years, there's a pretty good chance you've heard Dwight Schultz. Even as late as 2019, he's been lending his voice as Mad Hatter in "Young Justice: Outsiders." He was a big part of "Ben 10" as a trio of characters and voiced Dr. Animo in all the versions of the show.
He's a regular voice in the English translations of "Final Fantasy" games, starting with "Final Fantasy X," and he voices several characters from the "Mass Effect" series. You can even hear him snarl in the orc language in "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor" and "Middle-earth: Shadow of War."
A Last-Minute Swap
The final member of the main cast is Dirk Benedict, who played Templeton “Faceman” Peck, often called just “Face.” Different pieces of media sometimes state that his nickname is actually “The Faceman,” including the pilot episode, but most places, it appears, drop the “the.”
As it turns out, Benedict wasn't the first actor to play this character – in the pilot episode, an actor named Tim Dunigan played the A-Team's charmer. But after the pilot episode was filmed, the producers, and Dunigan himself, agreed that Dunigan was too young to accurately play a Vietnam war veteran. The role went to Benedict instead.