These actors rarely get their names in big letters on movie posters, TV shows, but I always enjoy watching them work. I think they bring a lot to the characters they play, even when it's a cameo. (this list is a work-in-progress, I will add more)
Feel free to add suggestions of new actors or material for actors already in the list.
NOTE: While I'm sure several of these actors could be considered famous in their part of the world, I shamelessly keep this list as French Canadian perspective.
Donal Logue's versatility and talent makes him one of the most well respected and beloved actors today. Born in Ottawa, Canada, Logue moved all over the United States, from the Boston area as an infant to various towns on the Mexican border. He returned to Boston to attend Harvard University, where he majored in Intellectual History and discovered his love for the performing arts...
A veteran of nearly 100 films, Jon Polito is most recognized for his work with The Coen brothers, as well as his many television appearances as a series regular and guest star. Notable Motion Picture roles are in Millers Crossing, Barton Fink, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Crow, Blankman, and The Freshman with Marlon Brando...
Born in Bellaire, Ohio, in May, 1957, he was among the last graduating class of the Windsor Mountain School in Lennox, Massachusetts. Attended Marlboro College in Vermont. Performed in summer stock and regional theatres in Vermont, Michigan and West Virginia before settling in Chicago and joining The Remains ensemble...
Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky was born on May 30, 1951 in Dallas, Texas. Over the past three decades, Tobolowsky has racked up a lengthy list of roles in movies and television across many different genres. While Tobolowsky initially attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with the intention of studying geology...
John Carroll Lynch
John Carroll Lynch was born August 1, 1963 in Boulder, Colorado, and was raised in Denver. It was there John found a passion for acting and became a Denver Broncos fan. He graduated in the mid-80s with a B.F.A. in theatre from the The Catholic University of America / Hartke Theatre Acting program. From then...
This beefy, genial-looking character actor was born Jon Kevin Fishburn in Los Angeles. Performing as a child from age 10, Tighe initially attended Pasadena City College. He later obtained a Master's Degree in Theater, then taught drama at USC. Living Bohemian-style out of a suitcase after he decided to pursue acting professionally...
Richard was the middle of three sons born to Edward, a real estate lawyer, and Charlotte, a cable TV and publishing executive. His parents divorced when he was 12. He dropped out of high school but obtained an equivalency diploma. He tried studying at the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1973, but had no interest...
Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing
. Entertainment Weekly magazine describes Janney's screen presence as "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive"...
J.K. Simmons is an American actor. He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music). He had originally planned to be a singer and studied at the University of Montana to become a composer...
David O'Hara was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Patrick and Martha O'Hara. After leaving school he was accepted for a Youth Opportunities Programme, at a community theatre based at the Glasgow Arts Centre. It toured local schools under the direction of Robin Peoples. David moved to London at age 17...
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted. An aspiring actress, she first came to fame as a model in London's swinging 1960s, where she was photographed by the greats...
Born in Montclair, New Jersey in 1965. He discovered acting in his mid 20s in New York, where he was trained at Lee Strasberg's studio. Then his deep voiced, tall and pale persona showed up on TV and films in 1990. His first leading roles were in Laws of Gravity (1992) and Clean, Shaven (1993), the latter of which got him noticed by Quentin Tarantino...
Photogenic American child actor of the 1940s, popular due in no small measure to his air of innocence and his beautiful, cherubic face with its dimples and his sparkling eyes, topped with a crown of curls. Still an actor in demand while well into his middle years, he is one of the few juvenile performers to succeed lifelong in films...
Embeth Davidtz was born on August 11, 1965 in Lafayette, Indiana. She is known for her role as Miss Honey in the film Matilda
. Her parents, Jean and John Davidtz, were South Africans, with Dutch, English, and French ancestry. The family moved to Trenton, New Jersey, before returning to her parents' native country...
Olivia Williams was born July 26, 1968 in Camden Town, London. She was educated at South Hampstead High School, an independent school for girls in Hampstead, North London, followed by Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. She graduated with a degree in English literature. She went on to study...
David Thewlis was born David Wheeler in 1963 in Blackpool, Lancashire, to Maureen (Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler, and lived with his parents above their combination wallpaper and toy shop during his childhood. Originally, he came to London with his band Door 66, however he changed his plans and entered Guildhall School of Drama...
Geraldine Somerville was born in Dublin. She lived in Co. Meath until she was six, when her parents moved to the Isle of Man. Geraldine went to dance classes from the age of 6 and, at the age of 8, she attended the Arts Educational School in Tring, Hertfordshire. There, she was taught ballet, music and drama...
One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school...
Young was raised in Washington DC, and attended Kenyon College in Ohio. In 1984, Young moved to New York where he was a core member of the Cucaracha Theatre Company. Damian Young has performed in numerous on and off-Broadway venues, as well as notable regional theaters including The Vineyard, Playwright Horizons...
Actor of Puerto Rican descent who made many memorable films in the 1980s due to his villainous persona. Presently resides with his wife and many kids in Vermont.
One of Vancouver's top actors for 30 years, Christine has extensive experience in TV, stage and film. In 2008, she was nominated for a Leo award for her work as "Gladys the DMV Demon" in CW's hit comedy, Reaper
. She is internationally known as "Delores Herbig" in the Emmy-nominated TV series...
Michael Rooker was born in 1955 in Jasper, Alabama. When he was 13 his parents divorced and he went with his mother to live in Chicago. He caught the acting bug while attending college, and began appearing in local stage productions. On first breaking into film, his intensity and "don't-mess-with-me" good looks were highlighted to chilling effect as the title character in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
A tall, wavy-haired US actor with a deep, resonant voice, Clancy Brown has proved himself a versatile performer with first-class contributions to theater, feature films, television series and even animation. Clarence J. Brown III was born in 1959 in Urbana, Ohio, to Joyce Helen (Eldridge), a concert pianist...
Peter Hayden Dinklage was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Diane (Hayden), an elementary school teacher, and John Carl Dinklage, an insurance salesman. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. In 1991, he received a degree in drama from Bennington College and began his career. His exquisite theatre work that expresses brilliantly the unique range of his acting qualities...
Vincent Schiavelli, selected in 1997 by Vanity Fair as one of the best character actors in America, had made over 120 film and television appearances. He studied acting at NYU's Theatre Program. Aside from his acting career, Vincent was the author of three cookbooks, and has written numerous articles on food for magazines and newspapers. In 2001, he received the James Beard
Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and server, and Gene D'Onofrio, a theater production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent and has two older sisters. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American Stanislavski Theatre...
Robbie Coltrane, one of Britain's most popular comedians who was head of debating society at school and won prizes for his art, is now a film star who played in two James Bond films and in the "Harry Potter" franchise. Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a suburb of Glasgow...
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, became established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead. He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on October 11...
Jared Francis Harris was born in London, England. He is the son of Irish actor Richard Harris
and Welsh actress Elizabeth Harris (Elizabeth Rees
), and brother of Damian Harris
and Jamie Harris
. Despite his lineage, Jared showed little interest in becoming an actor, until he was cast in a college production while attending North Carolina's Duke University (USA)...
Ciaran Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9, 1953. He was one of five children and the only son. His father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his decision to become an actor...
Like a number of British actors of the same generation (John Hurt
and Alan Rickman
, to name two), Roger Rees originally trained for the visual arts. He was born on May 5 1944 in Aberystwyth, Wales, and acted in church and Boy Scouts stage productions while growing up in South London, but studied painting and lithography at the Slade School of Art...
Irish actor Liam Cunningham was an electrician in the mid 80's. He saw an ad for an acting school and he decided to give acting a try. His first film role was as a policeman in "Into the West." Since then, he has been involved in many films and theater productions on both sides of the Atlantic.
James Le Gros
It isn't hard to make James LeGros bust a gut laughing. Just call him Brad Pitt
. Okay, so he doesn't get $6 million a film or have his photo air-kissed by legions of swooning schoolgirls during recess. But if you've caught LeGros' quirky personality, you may wonder why he's still toiling away...
was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his parents were hard-working people, who instilled in him a sense of self-reliance and humility. As an amateur actor in the city's Karamu House Theater, he starred in the Ossie Davis
play "Purlie Victorious". Cobbs was an Air Force radar technician for eight years; he also worked in office products at IBM and sold cars in Cleveland...
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Ewen Bremner has worked with many of the most respected directors in world cinema, including Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh, Ridley Scott, Joon-Ho Bong, Werner Herzog and Woody Allen. Ewen has established himself by creating unique characters in critically acclaimed films, as well as going toe to toe with many of Hollywood's biggest stars...
"Amazing Grace" Zabriskie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She wrote her own original poetry, then performed at coffee shops and various artist hangouts in Atlanta. She was also a wonderful silk-screen printmaker. She moved to Hollywood and made her acting debut in Norma Rae
. She went on to appear in over 80 movies...
Jeffrey Duncan Jones was born in Buffalo, New York. He is a very tall, fair-haired character actor who is recognized all over for his excellent work. He is a veteran stage actor having such plays as "The Elephant Man" and Neil Simon
's "London Suite" under his belt. His first film role was in The Revolutionary
Elias Koteas was born on March 11, 1961, in Montreal, Canada. Both his parents are of Greek descent. Elias attended Vanier College in Montreal before leaving to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981, of which he is a graduate. He also attended the Actors Studio in New York City...
Stellan Skarsgård was born in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden, to Gudrun (Larsson) and Jan Skarsgård. He became a star in his teens through the title role in the TV-series Bombi Bitt och jag
. Between the years 1972-88 he was employed at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where he participated in "Vita rum" (1988)...
A small-town guy with a big heart, William Fichtner has been captivating the hearts of Western New Yorkers for decades. Bill was born in 1956 on Long Island, New York, to Patricia A. (Steitz) and William E. Fichtner. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. Fichtner was raised in Cheektowaga, and graduated from Maryvale High School in 1974...