Who are your Favorite Character Actors?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by rich_d, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    RicKer, those of us out there, like you and me, who watch Star Trek and other sci-fi series know there's a wealth of great character actors out there we can't name. Like when you hear an actors name and go, who? Then when you see them you go, oh yeah, I know him. Happens to the best of us.....I've been told[​IMG]
     
  2. Michael:M

    Michael:M Supporting Actor

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    David Strathairn
    Danny Trejo
    Patricia Clarkson (had a crush on her since Untouchables)
    Terry O'Quinn (He'll always be Howard Hughes to me)
    Alfre Woodward
    Ving Rhames
     
  3. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    I checked her credits. I really haven't seen many of the films she's been in. Good Night and Good Luck probably being the last.

    Her voice is kinda smoky, a bit like the actress Patricia Neal.
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    That's too bad Rich. Clarkson is not anly a fine actress, but she's in a lot of good movies. Check out Far from Heaven (which also has Celia Weston, another of my picks) The Station Agent and Pieces of April for starters.
     
  5. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Why the term "character actor" anyway? Don't all actors play characters?

    It's like saying "book novelist" or "food chef".
     
  6. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    I always thought character actors were those actors who always seem to be cast in a certain type of role. Kinda like type casting, but not quite. Even though they have a chameleon-like ability to play any type of character well.
     
  7. Joe_Pinney

    Joe_Pinney Stunt Coordinator

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    To me, a character actor is an actor who shows up in a number of films and tends to work pretty regularly, but whose name is not particularly well-known to the public. What A Character!

    Some of my favorite character actors include S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, Sig Ruman, Dennis Burkley, Regis Toomey, Jude Ciccolella, John Qualen, Paul Guilfoyle, Stephen Root, Nick Searcy, and Louis Jean Heydt.
     
  8. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    It's a term meant to distinguish actors who are more known for the type of role they usually play, from leading men/ladies. Some actors [Bruce Willis is a good example] fit neatly into both roles. Character actors are often now well-known outside of their dedicated fan base.

    John
     
  9. David (C)

    David (C) Stunt Coordinator

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    S Epatha Merkerson
    CCH Pounder
    Kimberly Scott
    Kathy Bates
    Anjelica Huston
    Judy Davis
     
  10. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    When I saw Pickup, I could hardly believe this was the same woman that was in Rear Window. Her portrayal was vivid and devastating.

    A few more not mentioned so far, but well known:

    Thomas Mitchell (our best friend)
    Campbell Scott (Patricia Clarkson and him are indie superstars)
    Miranda Richardson (outacts many of her famous co-stars, e.g., Kidman in The Hours)
    Donald Meek (too lovable)
    James Rebhorn (a great slimeball)
    William Sadler (everyday kind of guy, but see him twist that image in Kinsey)
     
  11. MandyHan

    MandyHan Stunt Coordinator

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    How about Will Ferrell? He plays basically the same character in every movie, but still makes me laugh every time.
     
  12. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    John,

    Thanks for that. I have not seen any of those three films.

    One character actor I'd like to mention is Leo McKern. He played a variety of roles but is perhaps best known for playing off-beat bad guys.

    My guess is he is best known as playing Number 2 on the ground-breaking and influential series The Prisoner or the head of a religious sect in The Beatles romp Help! McKern had a glass eye which (somehow) allowed him to look a touch menacing in dramatic roles and a bit goofy in comedic roles. He also had a great voice and did a lot of work in commercials and a lot of British TV.

    My favorite role of his was one of his earliest, in the lower budget film, TIME WITHOUT PITY. The role was both over-the-top and scary.
     

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