Blog/Neal McDonough: Captain America Recruits a Super Soldier
Neal McDonough: Captain America Recruits a Super Soldier
5 min read

Neal McDonough: Captain America Recruits a Super Soldier

5 min read
neal-mcdonough-captain-america
Kyle McManusDec 19, 2021

How Neal McDonough Became Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Beloved Dum Dum Dugan

Neal McDonough has appeared in dozens of movies and TV series since his debut in Sam Raimi's Darkman. Some of his most notable projects include Star Trek: First Contact, Minority Report, Flags of Our Fathers, Boomtown, and Band of Brothers. But fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will recognise Neal McDonough as soldier Dum Dum Dugan.

McDonough first played Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger back in 2011, but has reprised the role several times since. What other Marvel movies and TV series has McDonough appeared in? And what are some of his other career highlights?

The many roles of Neal McDonough. Image credit: CBR.
The many roles of Neal McDonough. Image credit: CBR.

Join us as we look at key Neal McDonough movies and TV shows from across his incredible career, covering his early TV movie roles, his casting as one of Captain America's most trusted allies, and other recent work.

What Movies and TV Series Did Neal McDonough Appear In Before Captain America?

After playing a small role in 1990's Darkman, McDonough appeared in China Beach, Quantum Leap, and the 1991 TV movie Babe Ruth (in which he portrayed iconic baseball player Lou Gehrig). He also featured in two more TV movies, In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco and Blue River, before landing the role of Lieutenant Hawk in Star Trek: First Contact. McDonough is involved in one of Star Trek: First Contact's most impressive scenes, in which Hawk and other crew members perform an urgent, high-stakes spacewalk to release the ship's deflector dish.

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Neal McDonough followed this up with parts in various high-profile movies, such as Fire Down Below, Ravenous, Minority Report, and Timeline. He later played Jay Hamilton in Walking Tall, Captain Dave Severance in Flags of Our Fathers, and M. Bison in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. His casting as Jay Hamilton in Walking Tall saw McDonough perform alongside Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in one of the former wrestler's earliest leading roles.

Neal McDonough in Star Trek. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.
Neal McDonough in Star Trek. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.

He also played a police officer in 2007's The Hitcher, a remake of the classic horror movie, in which a serial killer pins his twisted murders on two college students who innocently refused to offer him a ride.

On television, Neal McDonough portrayed First Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton in Band of Brothers, LA Deputy District Attorney David McNorris in Boomtown, and Agent Robert Comer in the ninth season of The X-Files. He has played many other characters in dozens of shows throughout his career, before and after joining the MCU.

A salute to the soldier in Band of Brothers. Image credit: IMDb.
A salute to the soldier in Band of Brothers. Image credit: IMDb.

Becoming Dum Dum Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger

McDonough joined the MCU in its early days, before it became one of the top cinematic franchises of the twenty-first century and, for that matter, all time.

In Marvel comics, Dum Dum Dugan is a long-standing member of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D). He was introduced to the MCU in Captain America: The First Avenger, in which he fought alongside Steve Rogers in World War II. In the character's distinctive bowler hat and moustache, Neal McDonough vividly brought Dugan to life.

Neal McDonough: Captain America's iconic Dun Dun Dugan. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.
Neal McDonough: Captain America's iconic Dun Dun Dugan. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.

He later played Dum Dum Dugan in the video game based on the movie, Captain America: Super Soldier. But this wouldn't be the last time he returned to the role. Neal McDonough played Dugan again in the short film Agent Carter, an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Agent Carter episode "The Iron Ceiling".

The dream team: Dun Dun Dugan and Agent Carter. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.
The dream team: Dun Dun Dugan and Agent Carter. Image credit: Paramount Pictures.

He later reprised Dugan in 2021's Disney+ series What If…?, in the episode "What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?". McDonough told Comicbook that Dum Dum Dugan is the "closest character" to himself that he's played, and that being part of the "Marvel family" is "a wonderful experience".

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Unleashing Fury in The Incredible Hulk Series

Years before he debuted as Dum Dum Dugan, Neal McDonough had already played another beloved Marvel character: Bruce Banner, the Hulk's calmer alter ego. McDonough provided the voice for Banner in the animated series The Incredible Hulk, which ended after its second season, though he reprised the role in the 2005 video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.

Neal voiced the legendary Bruce Banner in the animated Hulk TV series. Image credit: UPN Studios.
Neal voiced the legendary Bruce Banner in the animated Hulk TV series. Image credit: UPN Studios.

He has also featured in DC Comics projects. He lent his voice to Batman: Assault on Arkham (as the voice of Deadshot), and portrayed the villain Damien Darhk in multiple shows. He played Darhk in the fourth season of Arrow, the first and fifth season of Legends of Tomorrow, and in the second and eighth seasons of The Flash. McDonough also voiced Green Arrow in the short film DC Showcase: Green Arrow in 2010.

What Other Recent Movies and TV Shows Has Neal McDonough Appeared In?

McDonough starred as the corrupt CIA agent Jack Horton in Red 2, another film inspired by a comic-book, joining Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich. The plot focused on a global quest to find a missing portable nuclear device and avert disaster. McDonough also appeared as General James Harding in the sci-fi TV series Project Blue Book, and played the lead character in Medical Investigation, Dr Stephen Connor.

McDonough portrayed Dave Williams in more than 20 episodes of the hit series Desperate Housewives, and played Robert Quarles in the third season of the hugely popular modern Western series Justified. McDonough and castmates were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for their work on Desperate Housewives.

McDonough turns bad in Red 2. Image credit: Di Bonaventura Pictures.
McDonough turns bad in Red 2. Image credit: Di Bonaventura Pictures.

In 2018, Neal McDonough featured in the action-comedy Game Over, Man!, in which three friends who hope to have their proposed video game financed become involved in a hostage situation. He appeared in another comedy in 2019, The Buddy Games, following an unlikely team of friends who set out to right past wrongs and win a huge sum of money by partaking in various challenges.

‘Arrow’ Casts Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. Image credit: Getty Images/DC Comics.
‘Arrow’ Casts Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. Image credit: Getty Images/DC Comics.

Fans have also seen Neal McDonough play Malcolm Beck in the second season of Yellowstone, and as Captain Bill Parker in Frank Darabont's noir series Mob City. He appeared in 1922, an adaptation of Stephen King's novella of the same name, following a simple yet proud farmer who plans to kill his wife in a grisly plot.

Fancy Meeting Neal McDonough?

McDonough continues to appear in films and TV shows, including American Horror Story: Double Feature and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. If you're a fan of the actor, for his portrayal of Dum Dum Dugan or any of his other roles, you can book a personalised video message from Neal McDonough at Thrillz today!

Kyle McManus
Kyle McManusCopywriter
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