Det. Robert Goren
played by Vincent D'Onofrio
  • Character bio
  • Actor bio

When Detective Robert Goren is at a crime scene, nothing is overlooked. With a broad intellect and cunning instinct that borders on brilliance, this modern-day Sherlock Holmes brings an unparalleled level of scrutiny to the job.

However, it's in the interrogation room that Goren truly displays his genius. By virtually entering the mind of the criminal, Goren examines every possible angle of the motive. Operating on just the thinnest shred of evidence, Goren can break down even the boldest criminal into an impassioned confession.

Goren served in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division when he was stationed in Germany and Korea. He then made detective in the NYPD's Narcotics Division, and after two highly successful sting operations, Goren was promoted to detective in the Major Case Squad.

With MCS, Goren and his partner Detective Alexandra Eames amassed an enviable record. However, Goren was never well liked in the department, and his seeming reliance on hunches rather than facts often brought him into conflict with his superiors.

In the last few years, a whirlwind of personal tragedy - his mother taken by lymphoma; his real father revealed to be a sadistic serial killer; the unhinged machinations of his one-time mentor leaving both his greatest nemesis and his brother dead - left Goren spiraling out of control. Increasingly insubordinate, his actions even began to drive a wedge between he and Eames.

The final straw came when Goren went rogue after the death of Captain Ross. Seen as a liability by the top brass, he was fired by Eames herself - right before she handed in her own badge and gun.

But now, Bobby is back, and the Major Case Squad is undoubtedly better for it. The question is, has Goren returned for the right reasons? And will he finally learn to let go of the past and find some peace in this world, or will his personal demons return to haunt him once more?

With a haunting portrayal of an unstable Vietnam War recruit in Stanley Kubrick's gritty "Full Metal Jacket" in 1987, D'Onofrio gained attention for his intense and compelling talent on the screen. His other early film appearances include "Mystic Pizza" and "Adventures in Babysitting.”

Most recently, D'Onofrio directed, produced and starred in a short film, "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles." He also executive-produced and portrayed 1960s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman in the film "Steal This Movie," opposite Janeane Garofalo, and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn in the science-fiction noir film "The Cell."

D'Onofrio has also starred in: "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" as an Irish priest, opposite Jodie Foster; "The Salton Sea," as a methamphetamine dealer opposite Val Kilmer; "Impostor," with Gary Sinise; "Chelsea Walls," directed by Ethan Hawke; and "Happy Accidents," co-starring Marisa Tomei.

D'Onofrio's other film credits include Robert Altman's "The Player," Joel Schumacher's "Dying Young," Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" (in which he played a young Orson Welles), Nancy Savoca's "Household Saints," Kathryn Bigalow's "Strange Days" (opposite Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett), Harold Ramis' "Stuart Saves His Family," Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black" (as an intergalactic villain opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones), "The Velocity of Gary" opposite Salma Hayek, "The Thirteenth Floor" opposite Craig Bierko, "The Whole Wide World" (which he produced and starred in opposite Renee Zellweger), and Oliver Stone's "JFK."

D'Onofrio received an Emmy Award nomination in 1998 for his riveting guest appearance in the "Homicide: Life on the Street" episode, "The Subway."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, D'Onofrio grew up in Hawaii, Colorado and Florida. He eventually returned to New York to study acting at the American Stanislavsky Theatre, with Sharon Catten of the Actors Studio. While honing his craft, he appeared in several films at New York University and worked as a bouncer at dance clubs in the city. In 1984, he became a full-fledged member of the American Stanislavsky Theatre, appearing in "The Petrified Forest," "Of Mice and Men," "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," and "The Indian Wants the Bronx." That same year, he made his Broadway debut in "Open Admissions."