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tv today's: Goldblum Raines in the bad guys.

As he has proved with several blockbusters over the decades, Jeff Goldblum is one of the most compelling actors of his generation.

He honed his craft in Seventies TV offerings such as Columbo and Starsky and Hutch, before achieving fame in hits such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Although Goldblum has dabbled in TV since then, he's spent much of his time earning big bucks in hits such as The Fly, the first two Jurassic Park movies and Independence Day.

However, when the script for Raines landed on his mat, he decided it was perfect for his talents.

It centres on Michael Raines (Goldblum), a cop haunted by visions of murder victims, who works with the deceased to catch the killers. Only when the case is closed do the visions end.

Okay, it may sound a little like the channel's equally compelling supernatural buy-in Pushing Daisies, but Goldblum ensures this is one crime show with rarely a dull moment.

In this week's offering, a decomposed body discovered in the Venice canals turns out to be the remains of an illegal immigrant with connections to an LA councillor.

Plus, Raines is told to see a psychiatrist when the Captain accuses him of acting bizarrely.

An apt description, because if you had to sum up Goldblum's appeal in two words, 'acting bizarrely' would fit the bill admirably.

Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum was born in Pennsylvania in 1952 and moved to New York at 17.

After appearing in eclectic offerings Death Wish, Nashville and Annie Hall, casting agents realised he had a certain something.

By 1978, a fresh-faced Jeff joined Phil Kaufman's remake of cult B-movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Again, his unique delivery captivated many.

However, it was several years before he really found a role worthy of his talents.

In the early 1980s he paid the rent with TV offering Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, but 1983 proved to be a golden year.

He reunited with Kaufman for Oscar-winning The Right Stuff, and joined the cast of Lawrence Kasdan's critically acclaimed hit, The Big Chill.

Both projects proved Goldblum was a great supporting actor, but it was David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of The Fly that put him on the map.

With Aids on everyone's minds, many saw the sci-fi chiller as a thinly veiled metaphor for the horrors of HIV.

Enduring up to five hours of make-up a day, Goldblum managed to shine through the prosthetics and created one of the big screen's most memorable monsters.

By 1993 he was at his swaggering best in Steven Spielberg's global smash Jurassic Park.

As great as the animated dinosaurs were, for some, watching Goldblum's wonderfully eccentric performance was more rewarding.

Jeff played another sexy boffin in 1996 hit Independence Day, and shone once more in Spielberg's darker dino sequel, The Lost World.

Now in his mid-fifties, the seasoned thesp still oozes more sex appeal than a Viagra factory, as he proved in recent British stage hit Speed the Plow.

Raines (ITV1, 11.45pm)

CAPTION(S):

ON THE CASE: Detective Michael Raines (Jeff Goldblum) investigates when a body is discovered in the Venice canals.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 23, 2008
Words:520
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