The Commendables

This list is a supplement to my Underrated Actors "Great Character Actors" List that has become quite popular here on the IMDb. This list will comprise some of my favorite actors who are too notable/recognizable to be listed on the aforementioned list. I didn't feel comfortable adding these well-known names to the "underrated" list because of their names being so well known to audiences in the States and abroad. These actors can truly be referred to as "Commendables."
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Rutger Hauer
Blonde, blue-eyed, tall and handsome Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. Hauer was born in Breukelen, a town in the province of Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is the son of Teunke (Mellema) and Arend Hauer...
“ This Dutch actor is well known to American and European audiences, and has starred in too many good roles to list here. Arguably his most famous role is that of Roy Batty in "Blade Runner" (1982. ” - aladdinsane85
“ This terrific actor was once #10 on my Greatest Character Actors List which has proved to be quite popular here on the Imdb. I have decided to move Mr. Macy to this list as I've deemed him to be too notable for the aforementioned one.....the man still deserves an Oscar at some point down the line.....hopefully he'll get that one role that trumps Jerry Lundegaard in "Fargo". ” - aladdinsane85
Paul Giamatti
Actor, Sideways
Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor, Sideways, and Barney's Version (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, and San Andreas...
“ Like William H. Macy before him, Giamatti was once ranked high on my "Underrated Actors (Great Character Actors) List", but I've deemed him to be notable enough to warrant inclusion on this list. This man has been nominated for an Oscar once, and gave a sterling performance as John Adams in the miniseries of the same name.....I also can say that his best role thus far has been that of the late Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor". ” - aladdinsane85
John Turturro
Highly talented, lightly built American actor who always looks unsettled and jumpy has become a favourite of cult/arthouse film aficionados with his compelling performances in a broad range of cinematic vehicles. Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian-American parents, Katherine, a jazz singer...
“ Terrific leading and supporting player who won a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his role in "Barton Fink." ” - aladdinsane85
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actor, Capote
Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ancestry...
“ Adept at both serious drama and comedy films (ala the Big Lebowski and Patch Adams) This man deservedly won a best actor Oscar for his role in "Capote." ” - aladdinsane85
Steve Buscemi
Actor, Fargo
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
“ Probably everyone knows this face. A versatile actor comfortable with both comedy and drama. ” - aladdinsane85
Brian Cox
Actor, Troy
Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline Cox, maiden surname McCann, a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish descent...
“ This busy actor has become a familiar face to American audiences by making appearances in the Minus Man (1999), Super Troopers (2001), The Bourne Identity (2002), X2 (2003), Zodiac (2007) and Red (2010). He also is listed on my "Favorite British Actors" List", here on Imdb. ” - aladdinsane85
David Strathairn
David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and one sixteenth Chinese (the latter three from his paternal grandmother)...
“ The great actor has appeared in such films such as "the Bourne Ultimatum", "Dolores Claiborne", and "Matewan". He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in 2005 for his impressive portrayl of journalist Edward R. Murrow in "Good Night and Good Luck." ” - aladdinsane85
“ Sort of the "American Everyman" actor, Nelson starred in the excellent horror film Poltergeist" in 1982 and later starred in the hit T.V. series "Coach". In 2004 he provided a voice for "The Incredibles." ” - aladdinsane85
Carl Weathers
Actor, Predator
Carl Weathers was born on January 14, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana. A famous and successful football star at San Diego State, he played with the Oakland Raiders and retired from the sport in 1974, in order to give full attention to his goal: to be a real actor. Weathers first played small parts in two blaxploitation flicks...
“ Two words: Apollo Creed! I also enjoyed his performance in the underrated film "Death Hunt", opposite Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and the great Ed Lauter. ” - aladdinsane85
“ Great in his role on Law and Order, and has had a stellar film career as well, including such films as "The Killing Fields" and "Rancho Deluxe." ” - aladdinsane85
William Forsythe
Actor, The Rock
Dynamically entertaining heavyset US actor with piercing eyes, William Forsythe has a superb talent for playing some truly unlikeable and downright nasty characters that dominate the films in which he appears! If you're cast as the "hero" against Forsythe's "villain", then you have your work cut out for you...
“ For his role in the "Devil's Rejects", Forsythe (who, like the great Michael Rooker, is kind of type cast as a heavy/criminal) created an indelible villain that will be remembered for quite some time. ” - aladdinsane85
Bill Paxton
Actor, Titanic
Bill Paxton was born on May 17, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Mary Lou (Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman and actor (as John Paxton). Bill moved to Los Angeles, California at age eighteen, where he found work in the film industry as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures...
“ Another great leading and supporting player who has starred in such films as "Aliens", "Twister" and "Apollo 13". ” - aladdinsane85
Stacy Keach
When Stacy Keach burst into the public consciousness in John Huston's Fat City in 1972, it appeared that a great actor had been discovered. He was not unknown: Keach had earlier appeared on-screen in The The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, End of the Road and the revisionist Western 'Doc' and had established a reputation off-Broadway as one of America's best stage actors...
“ Reliable lead and character actor who has starred in plenty of good roles during his career, including Tully in "Fat City", Col. Kane in "The Ninth Configuration" and as Cameron, the elder statesman of hate in "American History X." ” - aladdinsane85
Tony Todd
Perhaps best known for his chilling performance as "Candyman", the charismatic 6' 5" actor Tony Todd has consistently turned in compelling performances since his debut in the fantasy film Sleepwalk. Born in Washington, D.C., Todd spent two years on a scholarship at the University of Connecticut...
“ This actor has starred in supporting roles in "Platoon" and "The Crow," and has had lead roles in the "Candyman" film series, as well as the 1990 Tom Savini remake of "The Night of the Living Dead." ” - aladdinsane85
“ Supporting player who appeared in numerous T.V. shows and films (Die Hard 2, The Hunt for Red October among them.) He experienced a change in career when he was elected to the United States Senate, where he served one term. ” - aladdinsane85
Sid Haig
Tall, bald and nearly always bearded, Sid Haig has provided hulking menace to many a low-budget exploitation film and high-priced action film. Sid Haig was born Sidney Eddie Mosesian on July 14, 1939 in Fresno, California, a screaming ball of hair. His parents, Roxy (Mooradian) and Haig Mosesian, an electrician...
“ He played the heavy in countless 70s exploitation films, and experienced a titanic career resurgence for his roles in Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects." ” - aladdinsane85
Powers Boothe
Actor, Sin City
Incisive, gravelly-voiced screen tough guy Powers Boothe was born on June 1, 1948 in Snyder, Texas, a sharecropper's son. Used to hard physical work "chopping cotton" as a youngster, he went on to become the first member of his family to attend university. He then proceeded to study acting via a fellowship with Southern Methodist University...
“ Actor who in a 30+ year career has starred in a variety of lead and supporting roles, including "Southern Comfort", "Frailty" and "Sin City". ” - aladdinsane85
Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook is an Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsman of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance as Mark Twain, for which he won a Tony and the first of his ten Emmy Award nominations. Aside from the stage, Holbrook made his reputation primarily on television...
“ This man has been in many classic films over the past fifty years, including: "All the Presidents Men" (1976), "The Star Chamber" (1983), "Midway" (1983) and 1973's "Magnum Force". ” - aladdinsane85
Armand Assante
Actor, Gotti
Armand Assante is a coarsely handsome American actor who has successfully portrayed a wide range of intriguing characters from numerous ethnic backgrounds, both on screen and in the theater. Armand Anthony Assante, Jr. was born on October 4, 1949 in New York City, to Katherine (Healey), a music teacher and poet...
“ Another actor with a variety of lead and supporting roles to his credit, I first saw Assante in the sadly underrated film "Paradise Alley", and he has appeared in a wide variety of films since, including "Striptease" and "Judge Dredd." ” - aladdinsane85
Christopher McDonald
Christopher McDonald was born and raised in New York City, New York, to Patricia, a real estate agent, and James R. McDonald, an educator. His breakout role was in Ridley Scott's Thelma and Louise (1991), followed shortly by playing Jack Barry in Robert Redford's Quiz show (1994). Other notable performances...
“ McDonald always seems to play smarmy villains, corrupt businessmen and all around douche bags in any film/t.v. show he's in. Terrific actor, but I'd like to see him play a good guy role for once. ” - aladdinsane85
Paul Sorvino
Actor, Goodfellas
Tall, dark and imposing American actor Paul Sorvino has made a solid career of portraying authority figures. He was born in Brooklyn, New York City. His mother, Angela (Renzi), was a piano teacher, of Italian descent. His father, Ford Sorvino, was an Italian immigrant who worked in a robe factory as a foreman...
“ Heavyset actor who lent his talents to such films as GoodFellas ( as "Paulie"), That Championship Season, and as Det. Phil Carretta on "Law and Order", opposite Jerry Orbach. ” - aladdinsane85
Bruce Dern
Actor, Nebraska
Bruce Dern was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Jean (MacLeish) and John Dern, an attorney and utility chief. His paternal grandfather, George Henry Dern, served as Governor of Utah (1925-1933) and then U.S. Secretary of War (1933-1936). His ancestry includes German, English, Scottish, and Dutch. Bruce Dern had established himself as the movies' premier heavy...
“ Support actor who has often been typecast as lecherous criminal or a psychotic. He has broken this trend on a few occasions, such as the films "Silent Running", "The Laughing Policeman" and "Smile". ” - aladdinsane85
Tom Skerritt
Actor, Alien
Lean, ruggedly handsome leading man and supporting actor whose "outdoor" looks have improved with age, Tom Skerritt attended Wayne State University and UCLA, and was first noticed in a UCLA production of "The Rainmaker" before making his movie debut in War Hunt. However, he spent most of the next decade in television...
“ An actor in both lead and support roles whose career has extended nearly 5 decades. Audiences will remember him best for his roles in Alien as "Dallas", MASH as "Duke Forrest", and as the Reverend McLean in "A River Runs Through It." ” - aladdinsane85