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Dr. Charles Nichols is the main antagonist in the 1993 film adaptation of The Fugitive.
Nichols is a middle-aged man with grayish-brown hair. He wears a white lab coat, a light blue dress shirt with a striped necktie, gray trousers and brown dress shoes.
Charles Nichols worked at a pharmaceutical company, Devlin MacGregor and is a trusted friend and former colleague of Richard Kimble (the protagonist of the film).
One day, Kimble discovered that Devlin MacGregor's new drug Provasic was causing liver damage, which would've prevented it from being approved by the FDA. Not wanting to let Kimble to expose the truth that would end the project, Nichols sends one of his security guards Frederick Sykes, who has a prosthetic right arm, to Kimble's home to kill him after he borrowed his car and called Sykes with the phone in his car. However, Kimble's wife Helen was there, so Sykes ends up brutally beating and murdering Helen and disappears, leaving Kimble to take the fall for the murder and receive the death sentence for it. Nichols also frames his deceased colleague, Dr. Alec Lentz as the one who set up the murder. During the film, Nichols supports Kimble in the time that he is on the run and refuses to give Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard any information that would lead to Kimble's capture, hiding the fact that he's directly responsible for Helen's death and Kimble's framing to begin with.
A few days later, Nichols receives a phone call from Kimble, who claims he found the ones responsible for Helen's murder: Devlin MacGregor and Lentz. Nichols tells Kimble that Lentz died in a car crash. Later, Kimble does some research on the liver tissue sample with Dr. Kathy Wahlund, who tells Kimble that they've been tampered with, and they all came from the same healthy liver. Kimble asserts his theory that it was Lentz, but Dr. Wahlund notes that half of the samples that he approved of were done so on the day that he died. Thinking someone with access to Lentz may have been behind this, Kimble immediately realizes that this whole time it was Nichols himself, and goes to confront him.
After Kimble escapes a transit train after handcuffing Sykes to a pole there, he goes to the hotel where Nichols is giving his speech in regards to the approval and release of Provasic. Nichols attempts to usher Richard quietly into a small suite off to the side of the conference room, but Kimble vocally accuses Nichols regarding his motive: Dr. Nichols falsified his research, orchestrated Helen's murder, and most likely killed Lentz before framing him.
Once in the suite, Nichols attacks Kimble, and the two scuffle in the room, before it eventually spills out onto the hotel's rooftop. Gerard arrives but is told to stay out of the situation by the CPD. Gerard storms past the CPD and he eventually finds where Richard went. Gerard then makes his way to the rooftop and watches as Richard and Nichols fight, before plummeting through a skylight, and falling atop an elevator that then descends.
The chase eventually leads them to the hotel's laundry room on the fifth floor. Nichols, who landed in front of the doors, recovers from the fall first, but Kimble is soon behind him as are Gerard and his partner Cosmo Renfo, who make it to the fifth floor and clear out the staff. Gerard yells out to Kimble and tells him that he's not only trapped, but the CPD thinks that he killed an officer on the train and if he doesn't give himself up, he'll be shot on site. Gerard also says that he knows of Kimble's innocence, as well as what really happened on the night of the murder: Nichols had borrowed Kimble's car and he had the keys to his house, which was how Sykes got in without forced entry and he also telephoned Sykes from Kimble's car. Nichols manages to knock out Renfro with a hanging gurney and then takes his gun to shoot Gerard, but Kimble takes a steel pipe and knocks him out.
In the aftermath, Sykes and Nichols are taken into custody, and Gerard escorts Kimble out of the hotel in handcuffs. In the back of their car, Gerard removes the handcuffs, and gives Kimble a small bag of ice for his bruised hands. The car then pulls away as Kimble is being driven off to be exonerated while Nichols and Sykes are taken to face charges for their crimes and presumably receive the death sentence that was originally for Kimble.