Well-Manicured Man

The Well-Manicured Man (abbreviated to WMM) is a fictional character played by John Neville on the 1990s television series The X-Files.

WMM was featured on the show between 1995-1998. He is an English member of the Syndicate, a shadow organization within the United States government that exists to hide from the public the fact that extraterrestrials are planning to repopulate the Earth. He is an important member of the Syndicate, along with Cigarette Smoking Man and The Elder, and was friends with Bill Mulder when they were both young men.

The Well-Manicured Man prefers subtlety to brute force, and will attempt to manipulate those in his way before using physical violence. Although the Syndicate's goals are opposed to those of Mulder and Scully's, the WMM will, at times, aid them with clues or information, believing that letting out a certain amount of information would help to keep the two close, and consequently allow for them to be controlled.

As with most Syndicate members, The Well-Manicured Man's real name is never known: his description comes from the fact that he is so well-groomed, with a clean-shaven face and neatly-made hair.

The WMM openly despises the Cigarette Smoking Man, seeing him as too impulsive, violent, and as a generally unprofessional, incapable fool. The two maintain a bitter relationship within the Syndicate throughout the series. In season 5, Well-Manicured Man takes under his wing Alex Krycek, an MIB operative who previously worked for, then had a falling out with, the Cigarette Smoking Man.

In the 1998 feature film The X-Files: Fight the Future, when Scully is infected with the alien virus and taken to Antarctica as part of the above-mentioned repopulation program, it is WMM who, having grown disillusioned with the Syndicate, gives Mulder the coordinates needed to find her and a sample of the vaccine needed to cure Scully. Shortly after this meeting, during which he reminded Mulder to "Trust no one," he dies in an apparent self-inflicted car explosion, his last act being one of altruism.

His only known subordinate was Alex Krycek. He also owned a large estate in Somerset, England.


The Well-Manicured Man appears in the following episodes:

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5



  • The Well Manicured Man owned a large ranch with horse stables in Virginia. An exchange between him and Cigarette Smoking Man reveal that the ranch has no telephone or other means of communication, and is quite remote.
  • He had an extended family that appeared to live in England. In the feature film, he was shown with his family at a large estate in England. He has a grandson, but none of the other family members onscreen were specifically identified.
  • During the flashback to 1973, when the would-be members of the Syndicate, including Bill Mulder, Cigarette Smoking Man, The First Elder, Second Elder, and others, are shown surrendering the American Flag to the colonists, the WMM is absent, possibly implying that he did not join the group until later.
  • WMM was often portrayed as the member of the Syndicate who was most devoted to the goal of developing a vaccine and saving all humanity.

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