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Character Bio: Detective Robert Goren

Vincent D'Onofrio
Vincent D'Onofrio was born on June 30 1959 in Brooklyn, New York to Sicilian/Italian parents. He has two older sisters, Toni, who owns a restaurant in Utah, and Elizabeth, who teaches acting in Florida.

D'Onofrio has a daughter, Leila George, born 1992, with actress Greta Scacchi, whom he lived with between 1991 and 1993. They also starred in several movies together, such as The Player and Salt on Our Skin. In 1997 D'Onofrio married Carin van der Donk. They have two sons together: Elias, born in 1999, and Luca, born in 2008. The family currently lives in New York.

D'Onofrio studied acting at the American Stanislavski Theatre in New York and also at the Actors Studio, and was accepted as a full member of the former in 1984. His first major film role was in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket from 1987, where he played Private "Gomer Pyle".

He is a method actor and is known for playing a wide variety of roles, ranging from the evil bug Edgar in Men In Black, to a time traveler from the future in Happy Accidents, to fellow actor Orson Welles in Ed Wood and Five Minutes, Mr. Welles. He has also both produced, executive produced and directed films.

Sources: www.imdb.com, www.wikipedia.org.


Detective Robert Goren
Robert O. Goren was born on August 20 1961; his social security number is 845-67-3906 (2.03 Anti-Thesis). He celebrates his birthday (off-screen) in at least one episode (5.01 Grow), this time his 44th, just days before they discover Nicole Wallace's involvement in the case.

Goren is left-handed and wears size 13 shoes (1.05 Jones). He seems to be allergic to cats, as he once took a homeopathic treatment for it when he had a girlfriend who was a cat person (2.19 Cherry Red).

Even though he claims to have quit smoking in 1995 (2.08 The Pilgrim), he is seen smoking in both episode 1.04 The Faithful (after first having made sure that no one is watching) and in episode 1.20 Badge, where he makes a disgusted face for Eames' benefit after he has put it out.

Early life and education
Goren's childhood was not ideal, and he once claims to know what it is like to have "your judgement, your sense of security undermined by your parents; because they were hiding a truth or denying it to themselves" (2.12 Suite Sorrow). As a result of growing up with a schizophrenic mother (4.01 Semi-Detached) he considers himself to have had lots of practice in talking with schizophrenics (1.04 The Faithful).

He was born a catholic, and was an altar boy, although he now considers himself a lapsed catholic (1.04 The Faithful, 5.05 Acts of Contrition).

He grew up in an apartment in Brooklyn (6.21 Endgame), possibly in Canarsie, as he claims that he used to ride all the way through that neighbourhood down to the beach on Sundays (4.03 Want).

Goren learned magic as a child and claims to have had an 11 foot double-bladed trick-guillotine (7.17 Vanishing Act). When he was a boy, his brother Frank had a toy gun called Johnny 7. He almost took Bobby's eye out with it. (4.12 The Collective).

He went to public school in New York City (4.12 The Collective). He played for his high school's junior varsity basketball team as a Power Forward before loosing his love for the game (3.11 Mad Hops). In his senior year in high school he, and all the other students, had to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a measurement of mental health. As a result he was sent to speak with the school counsellor and the school psychiatrist (2.02 Bright Boy). He had a Biology teacher called Mr. Dickson (2.01 Dead).

Goren took a few psychology classes in college (1.09 The Good Doctor). He also spent one summer working in a restaurant as a kid (4.15 Death Roe). When asked by Nicole Wallace why he knows Oxford so well, he claims to have spent a few weeks there chasing co-eds (2.03 Anti-Thesis).

Other cultures and languages
Goren speaks a number of languages, though not fluently. He speaks German on several occasions (1.02 Art and 6.21 Endgame), as well as Spanish (5.05 Acts of Contrition, 7.01 Amends) – this is not odd, however, as a large portion of NYC inhabitants are Hispanic. He also speaks Cantonese, although not very well (5.13 Proud Flesh). He knows the American Sign Language, but not enough to conduct an interview (6.18 Silencer). He can also identify written Arameic, and knows that it was the spoken language of Jesus, although he cannot read it (2.08 The Pilgrim).

Goren also knows something about Japanese social norms (4.04 Great Barrier). He also claims to have learnt Chinese Chess in China (1.15 Semi-Professional).

Goren often carries a switchblade (1.17 Seizure), which he keeps in his left trouser pocket (4.11 Gone). He always carries around a dark brown leather binder. In season seven he carried a Motorola cell phone (7.11 Untethered).

In episode 1.16 Phantom we see that Goren likes cooking. When at Sal's Restaurant in episode 2.23 A Person of Interest, he orders Veal Parmesan for the fifth night in a row, because he likes the way the waitress writes it down. Bobby's neighbourhood bar is possibly in the precinct where Quinn and Copa worked, as Copa is having his 10-13 benefit there (7.13 Purgatory). Bobby drinks beer in that episode but has also been seen ordering Glenlivet whisky (6.13 Albatross).

Goren knows how to do magic (1.12 Crazy and 7.17 Vanishing Act) and likes cars (2.19 Cherry Red). He also enjoys dancing (1.05 Jones), but claims to hate the beach (7.05 Depths).

Like all NYPD personnel, he was vaccinated for anthrax after the terror attacks on September 11 2001 (2.23 A Person of Interest).

It is hard not to notice that Goren is well-read. He considers his library card his most important investigative tool (2.01 DEAD). He also reads the Smithsonian more or less for fun. He once read the Qur'an to impress a Turkish woman he was attracted to, while he was stationed in Germany (2.08 The Pilgrim).

After his suspension in season 7, he goes to see Dr. Elizabeth Olivet. During their sessions his anger issues have come up (7.13 Purgatory)

The only part of Goren's apartment that we have seen is his kitchen (7.01 Amends and 7.22 Frame), but he once claims to have a treadmill (2.08 The Pilgrim).

Goren's view on abortion is that "life is full of uncertainty. People need to have options. Abortion has got to be one of those options" (1.11 The Third Horseman).

Family Info
Goren's mother was called Frances. She was born in 1938, and passed away in 2007. Her gravestone reads: Frances Goren, Beloved mother, 1938-2007 (7.22 Frame). According to information given in episode 2.13 See Me, Frances is 25 years older than Goren, but this is not consistent with the information from Frame, where she is only 23 years older than Goren.

Frances suffered from schizophrenia (hinted at in 1.17 Seizure, confirmed in e.g. 4.01 Semi-Detached). She was diagnosed when Goren was seven years old (2.03 Anti-Thesis and 4.01 Semi-Detached) and even though she has been slipping away his whole life, he still can't let go of her (4.01 Semi-Detached). Again, this information is not in accordance with episode 2.13 See Me, where Frances is said to have received her diagnosis when she was 32 years old, which would make Goren 9.

When Goren was a child, Frances used to work as a librarian (2.08 The Pilgrim). Goren and Frances used to watch Marty Chapman every Sunday night. Frances to take Butalbital for head pains (3.12 Unrequited).

Frances is an in-patient at the Carmel Ridge mental facility. He calls her every day and visits her once a week (2.03 Anti-Thesis). To be able to qualify for Medicaid, she had to spend down her assets to lower her wealth (3.20 D.A.W). One of Frances' doctors at Carmel Ridge is called Dr. Shimo. Judge Garrett sends an ex-cop up to Carmel Ridge to investigate Goren's personal live and subsequently causes Frances to have a psychotic break (5.07 In the Wee Small Hours pt. 2).

Frances is later diagnosed with Lymphoma, and the doctors estimates that she only has a few months left to live (6.03 Siren Call). She is moved to a hospice. Goren intends to spend Thanksgiving 2006 with her at Carmel Ridge, as it is possibly her last, but gets a case (6.08 The War At Home).

Frances undergoes chemo-therapy for her cancer, and is responding well, according to her doctor (6.15 Brother's Keeper). She demands to be moved back to her ordinary room at Carmel Ridge before she dies (6.21 Endgame).

Declan Gage, Captain Ross and Alex Eames attend Frances funeral with Goren, while his brother Frank does not (7.11 Untethered and 7.22 Frame)

Father (Mr. Goren)
Goren's legal father is possibly called William Goren. When Bobby goes undercover at Tates he uses the alias William Brady - Brady being one of his possible fathers. William could thus be his legal father's first name (7.11 Untethered).

Goren's father left him and his mother when Goren was 11, something which he initially blamed his sick mother for. Subsequently, Goren harbours disgust for men who abandon their wives and/or neglect their children (2.23 A Person of Interest). Even though Goren wasn't very close to his father, he was still the one who cleaned out the apartment after his father passed away (3.11 Mad Hops)

Goren's father gambled frequently on horses (6.21 Endgame) and was a serial adulterer - Goren admits to having been able to "smell them on him", something he was ashamed of as a child (2.18 Legion).

The basketball coach in episode 3.11 Mad Hops, explains Goren's problem with authority figures on the fact that he had an indifferent father, and predicts that it was his father's lack of interest in him that made Goren loose interest in basketball.

Goren's father's favourite poem was Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas (4.21 The Unblinking Eye).

Goren's brother is called Frank. He is three years older than Goren (6.21 Endgame), and is a gambling and drug addict (5.07 In The Wee Small Hours and 7.11 Untethered). Frank and Bobby aren't especially close, and only have sporadic contact with each other (5.07 In The Wee Small Hours and 6.15 Brother's Keeper). Frank has a son born 1988-89, named Donnie Carlson, with a woman called Evelyn. Donnie is bipolar, and even though he is in jail he is a good kid (7.11 Untethered).

It is quite apparent that Frances favours Frank. She describes him as a scientist and seems to believe that Frank would take better care of her than Bobby does (6.15 Brother's Keeper).

Frank promises on several occasions to visit Frances at Carmel Ridge, but never shows up in the end (6.08 The War at Home and 6.15 Brother's Keeper). He does eventually show up before her death (6.21 Endgame), but he is not at her funeral (7.11 Untethered).

In mid-season 6, Frank is homeless and depends on charity to get by. He claims that church charity has got him clean of drugs and has kept him alive (6.15 Brother's Keeper). By season 7, Frank has got an apartment (7.11 Untethered and 7.22 Frame).

Even though Frank keeps letting him down, Goren continuously tries his best to help his brother. He gives Frank money and his woollen coat, only to find out that Frank sells the coat, which then ends up on a body in Rodger's morgue (Brother's Keeper).

Frank is murdered almost 1 year to the day after Frances' death, by Nicole Wallace (spurred on by Goren's mentor Declan Gage). He is high at the time. (7.22 Frame). Before his death Goren tells Frank that he may never contact him again, and that if he hears that Frank is about to jump off a bridge, he will listen for the splash (7.11 Untethered).

Mark Ford Brady
Goren discovered that his mother had a relationship with serial killer Mark Ford Brady, starting sometime in the fifties and ending in 1965, when Goren was four years old. Frances met Brady when he was a life guard at Brighton Beach, where her father had his club. Both Brady and Frances confirm that Brady was on leave from the Army (he was stationed in Germany) around the time John F. Kennedy was elected, which is when Goren would have been conceived.

Frank remembers Brady as Uncle Mark who came and gave Bobby toys, but only when Mr. Goren was away. However, Brady stopped visiting after Frances allegedly got into a car accident in 1965 (it is probable that he raped and beat Frances).

Frances admits that she never knew who Bobby's father was, but that it is possible that it is Mark Ford Brady. Brady claims that Frances is the only woman he truly could have loved, which is probably why she survived. At the end of the episode both Mark Ford Brady and Frances die. (6.21 Endgame).

Goren has a paternity test done almost a year later, and it is confirmed that Mark Ford Brady is his biological father. M.E Elizabeth Rodgers and Declan Gage know of this fact, but previous to episode 7.22 Frame, Eames and Captain Ross do not. (7.22 Frame)

Goren has got friends in a variety of places:
- One who is still with the CID (6.08 The War at Home).
- One who is a children's rights attorney who specializes in custody cases (4.07 Magnificat).
- Lewis the car mechanic, who seems to be a close friend (1.08 The Pardoner's Tale).
- Several people in the FBI who can make people disappear and who owes him favours (1.08 The Pardoner's Tale).
- One called "Treehugger", who is seen gathering signatures for eco-projects. He knows things about transports of dangerous chemicals (1.07 Poison).
- Someone who is good at forging letters from famous people (1.03 Smothered).

Love interests
Goren once had a girlfriend named Lola who was a cat person. (2.19 Cherry Red). He has also spent at least one evening with the Chief of Detectives' assistant Denise, which causes Alex to whoop and call him "you dog!" (1.20 Badge).
Goren once dated a girl named Irene, but some way or another blew his chance. She is a stockbroker at B&C Brokers and addresses him as "Goren". He alludes to the fact that they may have played poker together (1.10 Enemy Within).
He brought someone named Helen (Ellen?) Brady to his father's funeral. One of his father's old friends mistakes Eames for her (2.20 Blink).

Alex Eames
Even though Goren and Eames have been partners since some time around 2000 (7.13 Purgatory), Goren rarely refers to her by her given name. He calls her Alex several times while undercover (in episode 1.21 Faith and 4.12 The Collective) and refers to her as Alex in episode 2.11 Baggage. He does call her Alex in episode 7.01 Amends, when she has just found out that the man thought to have murdered her husband, is in fact innocent.

Eames holds a higher rank than Goren; she is the senior partner. (1.11 The Third Horseman). She claims to arrive to 1PP about 30 min after Goren on any given day (7.11 Untethered). He considers himself and Eames to have complimentary skills (4.01 Semi-Detached).

Frances and Frank are under the impression that Eames is Goren’s girlfriend, even though Goren tries to explain to his brother that they are not that kind of partners. Frances demands to meet her. It is not clear whether this happens before Frances dies (6.21 Endgame).

When Eames decided to become a surrogate mom for her sister's baby Goren is happy for her, but worries about getting a new, albeit temporary, partner (3.01 Undaunted Mettle). He struggles to get along with her temporary replacement, and seems to be missing Eames when she is on maternity leave. After Eames has given birth, Goren goes to see her (3.10 F.P.S).

He once takes a Polaroid picture of himself and Eames at Café Brasilia during a case. He then puts the photo in his inner jacket pocket (2.12 Suite Sorrow).

Goren is familiar with the information that Kevin Quinn was Eames' dead husband Joe's old partner (7.01 Amends).

Declan Gage
Goren met criminal profiler Declan Gage while he was with the CID. Gage was leant to the CID from the FBI, and Goren was sent to South Korea to assist Gage on solving a case with a Korean serial killer. Gage became a mentor for Goren, to the point where both Gage and his daughter Jo considered Goren to be like a son to Declan. Goren and Gage worked together both before and after Declan's breakdown. When they meet in episode 6.01 Blind Spot, it is obvious that they haven't seen each other for a while.

Gage once told his daughter Jo that Bobby could just as well have ended up a serial killer, considering his background. (6.01 Blind Spot)

Professional Info
The Army/CID
Goren served in the CID division of the US Army (6.08 The War at Home). He was stationed in Germany for most of this time (2.08 The Pilgrim), but did a six month tour in South Korea (2.20) where he assisted Declan Gage on the case of a Korean serial killer (6.01 Blind Spot).

Goren is a Detective First Grade (1.01 One). His NYPD badge number is shown to be 4376 (2.15 Monster and 2.18 Legion, for example). Together with Alex Eames, he makes up unit 229 (2.12 Unrequited). His gun holds ten bullets (3.20 D.A.W). His gun locker is seen to be the second from the top in several episodes (2.11 Baggage and 7.11 Untethered, for example).

Goren says that his academy photo ran in a newsletter in 1992 (12 years before 2004). This ought to mean that he had graduated before then (4.01 Semi-Detached). He spent four years in the Narcotics division of NYPD, where he led three sting operations, which resulted in 27 arrests and 27 convictions. All of the convicted were serious criminals. (1.13 The Insider and 7.13 Purgatory). He wasn't especially well-liked in Narcotics either (7.13 Purgatory).

While Eames was on maternity leave Goren was temporarily partnered with Detective Lynn G. Bishop (seven episodes between 3.05 Pravda to 3.11 Mad Hops).

When his mother dies Goren is put on personal leave. When Eames calls him to the hospital after Kevin Quinn has been shot, he has another two weeks personal leave left (7.01 Amends).

The Chief of Detectives calls him a Whack-Job (7.01 Amends).

Tates Corrections
Goren goes undercover at Tates Corrections without permission when he finds out that the Warden and the prison guards may be torturing and killing mentally ill prisoners. His nephew Donnie Carlson is imprisoned at Tates, and he fears for him.

Eames is aware of his operation, and he keeps in contact with her to let her know what is happening, by calling every day at 1 pm. The first day we see him call is on the 27th of October, at 1.05 pm. She doesn't answer, but records his call as the first one in her note book.

On the 29th he calls at 1.10 and talks to her. He tells her that Donnie is in isolation.

He is locked in the isolation room called Heaven twice while he is undercover. The first time is on the 31st of October 2007 – for at least 5 hours. He is locked in shortly after lunch and is eventually let out at 6.39 pm. He is not able to make a call to Eames at 1 pm. When they finally take him out he is unable to count down from 10. Eames alerts Ross that something is wrong at 6.30 pm. On Nov 1st, at 3 am, Goren is in an isolation cell, and is then taken back to Heaven. However, he isn't strapped down until 7.16 am. He is then released once Eames and Ross arrive to get him out (7.11 Untethered).

As a result of his undercover operation Goren is suspended pending a departmental hearing and a psychological investigation (7.11 Untethered). The suspension lasts for six months without pay (7.13 Purgatory).

Grateful thanks to havers for the help.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
This is an excellent collection of facts. And an excellent idea
Feb. 11th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
Random fact: He calls Eames "Alex" in "Baggage," too. Episode 2.11.

And very nice job on this. :)
Feb. 12th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely right - he does. I'll add it as soon as I have time :)
Feb. 19th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
This is an astonishing piece of work and I just wanted to say thank you for doing it.

Is it right to say that Goren always carries a pocket handkerchief as well as a switchblade, or am I imagining it?
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
I thought he did too, but then there was one time when Eames (or possibly Deakins) handed him one. I get confused now, but I think it was when he cut his hand to prove someone couldn't have committed a murder because he couldn't stand blood. I remember thinking I was going to add it, but then there was some reason why I didn't.

I guess we could add, "often carries a handkerchief".
Feb. 19th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
This is really good, too. Further to what I said about Eames's citation bars - Goren has the World Trade Center Service Bar, the EPD (Excellent Police Duty) and a bar commemorating his involvement in Liberty Week 1986. That was the centennial of the Statue of Liberty. That suggests that Goren has been in the police force a long time, too ...
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks again!

1986, that's funny. I read somewhere (but could never find where to confirm it) that he was in Germany in 1987... Never trust canon, ey? :P
Sandra Pallatto
Nov. 1st, 2012 09:48 am (UTC)
detective robert goren
in one episode goren returns to work and tells eames that he visited family. he shows her a picture of his niece molly. how does he have a niece? his only brother, frank, only had one child, donny. who is this family and who are molly's mother and father. when goren returns home that evening, he gets his mail and there are pictures of molly and her family having dinner. at the beginning of the episode, she asks goren, at the dinner table with her family, if he would like some butter beans. can someone explain the relationship of these people to goren?
Dec. 3rd, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
Re: detective robert goren
Hi there! I'm not very active in this forum (or on LJ in general), so I'm sorry that this is a bit late.

As far as I know, they never explain the actual relationship between Goren and Molly and her family. Amongst fans (and in fanon) it's generally accepted that one of Molly's parents is Goren's cousin - probably on his mother's side. It is of course possible that it could be on either his stepdad's (Mr. Goren) or his biological dad's (Mark Ford Brady) side, but this is regarded by fans as less likely.

I hope that is at least somewhat helpful. I wish I could have cleared it up more for you.
Feb. 17th, 2013 12:08 pm (UTC)
Can we chat? Go Here welcomemyhomecat.blogspot.com
Dec. 5th, 2017 04:59 pm (UTC)
This is very helpful as I am currently working on some CI fan fiction. THANK YOU!!!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


season 8
What We'll Never Own

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