They Should Get Biggest Roles Ever

by lavendernovella | created - 16 Mar 2011 | updated - 17 Mar 2011 | Public

1. Dave Sheridan

Actor | Scary Movie

In addition to his film roles, Dave Sheridan is credited with introducing the reality series to the MTV audience with Buzzkill (1996), a show that featured three slacker buddies staging elaborate pranks and catching it all on video.

Sheridan began his career interning at Saturday Night Live (1975). ...

2. Cary Elwes

Actor | Saw

Cary Elwes was born in Westminster, London, England, the third son of interior designer/shipping heiress Tessa Georgina Kennedy and the late portrait painter Bede Evelyn Dominick Elwes. He is the brother of producer/agent Cassian Elwes and artist Damian Elwes. He was raised in London and attended ...

3. Shane West

Actor | A Walk to Remember

Shane West was born Shannon Bruce Snaith in 1978 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Leah (Launey), a lawyer, and Don Snaith, a drugstore owner. Shane began to pursue an acting career at the age of fifteen, gaining bit parts on various television shows, but it was not until 1999 when West ...

4. Henry Cavill

Actor | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands. His mother, Marianne (Dalgliesh), a housewife, was also born on Jersey, and is of Irish, Scottish and English ancestry. Henry's father, Colin Richard Cavill, a stockbroker, is of ...

5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Actor | Watchmen

Jeffrey Dean Morgan endeared himself to audiences with his recurring role on ABC's smash hit series, Grey's Anatomy (2005). His dramatic arc as heart patient "Denny Duquette", who wins the heart of intern "Izzie Stevens" (Katherine Heigl) in a star-crossed romance, made him a universal fan favorite...

6. Billy Crudup

Actor | Almost Famous

Known as much for his rigorous career choices as for his talent and chiseled good looks, Billy Crudup has been straddling the line between serious actor and "it" leading man for several years.

Crudup was born in 1968 in Manhasset, New York (a Long Island suburb), the middle child in a family of ...

7. Vincent D'Onofrio

Actor | Men in Black

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 ...

8. Cillian Murphy

Actor | 28 Days Later...

Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law ...

9. Timothy Olyphant

Actor | Justified

From Timothy Olyphant's first screen appearances, such as his two-minute bit in The First Wives Club (1996), to "Nicko", whose presence at times dwarfed the island in A Perfect Getaway (2009), he has been a force to be reckoned with.

Born in Hawaii, Timothy David Olyphant was raised in Modesto, ...

10. Jim Caviezel

Actor | The Passion of the Christ

James Patrick Caviezel was born on September 26, 1968 in Mount Vernon, Washington. He was one of five children born to Margaret (Lavery), a former stage actress, and James Caviezel, a chiropractor. The Caviezels are a closely knit Catholic family. He is of Irish (mother) and Swiss and ...

11. Viggo Mortensen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Since his screen debut as a young Amish Farmer in Peter Weir's Witness (1985), Viggo Mortensen's career has been marked by a steady string of well-rounded performances.

Mortensen was born in New York City, to Grace Gamble (Atkinson) and Viggo Peter Mortensen, Sr. His father was Danish, his mother was...

12. Mark Ruffalo

Actor | The Avengers

Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, ...

13. Edward Norton

Actor | American History X

American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland.

His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer ...

14. Gabrielle Anwar

Actress | Burn Notice

Her father is Tariq Anwar and her mother is Shireen Anwar. Anwar attended Laleham Church of England Primary and Middle School from 1975 to 1982. Trinian's sketch in the school concert of 1982 gave an early indication of her theatrical leanings. She studied at the London drama and dance school, "...

15. Josh Zuckerman

Actor | Sex Drive

Josh Zuckerman was born on April 1, 1985 in Stanford, California, USA as Joshua Ryan Zuckerman. He is an actor and writer, known for Sex Drive (2008), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and Feast (2005).

16. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American ...

17. William H. Macy

Actor | Fargo

William H. Macy was born on March 13, 1950 in Miami, Florida, USA as William Hall Macy Jr. He is an actor and writer, known for Fargo (1996), Magnolia (1999) and Shameless (2011). He has been married to Felicity Huffman since September 6, 1997. They have two children.

18. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | The King's Speech

Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. ...

19. Guy Pearce

Actor | Memento

Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Margaret Anne and Stuart Graham Pearce. His father was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to English and Scottish parents, while Guy's mother is English. Pearce and his family initially traveled to Australia for two years, ...

20. Hugh Laurie

Actor | House M.D.

Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959, to Patricia (Laidlaw) and William George Ranald Mundell "Ran" Laurie, a doctor, both of Scottish descent. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for ...

21. 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...

22. Giovanni Ribisi

Actor | Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Antonino Giovanni Ribisi is an American actor who was born in Los Angeles, California. His parents both have careers in the entertainment industry. His mother, Gay Ribisi (née Landrum), is a talent manager for actors and writers, and his father, Albert Anthony Ribisi, is a musician. He has a twin ...

23. Don Cheadle

Actor | Crash

Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...

24. Goran Visnjic

Actor | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Goran Visnjic is a Croatian American actor and producer, born in Sibenik, Croatia. He is married to Eva Visnjic (formerly Ivana Vrdoljak) with whom has three children. From an early age Visnjic started appearing in various theater plays. At the age of 16, he had his screen debut in the film Braca ...

25. Jeffrey Donovan

Actor | Burn Notice

Jeffrey Donovan was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, son to single mother Nancy Matthews. Nancy raised him and two of his brothers, while having trouble financially supporting herself and her family. They were reportedly living on welfare, had trouble paying electric bills, and often moved to a new...

26. Gary Oldman

Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman is a talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his "big" acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), Drexl in ...

27. Bill Nighy

Actor | Love Actually

Bill Nighy is an award-winning British character actor. He was born William Francis Nighy on December 12, 1949 in Caterham, Surrey, England, to Catherine Josephine (Whittaker), a psychiatric nurse from Glasgow, and Alfred Martin Nighy, who was English-born and managed a garage in Croydon.

At school,...

28. Bruno Ganz

Actor | Der Untergang

Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with ...

29. Ben Foster

Actor | Hell or High Water

Ben Foster was born October 29, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster, restaurant owners. His younger brother is actor Jon Foster. His paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families that immigrated to Massachusetts (his grandfather became a prominent judge in ...

30. Bruce Campbell

Actor | Army of Darkness

In 1979 with his Detroit friends, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell raised $350,000 for a low-budget film, The Evil Dead (1981), in which he starred and co-executive produced. Completed piecemeal over four years, the film first gained notoriety in England where it became the best-selling ...

31. Joaquin Phoenix

Actor | Walk the Line

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family in New York, while his ...

32. John Cusack

Actor | Grosse Pointe Blank

John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, he has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. John was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish-American ...

33. Naomi Watts

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and...

34. Debra Messing

Actress | Will & Grace

Messing was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the daughter of Jewish American parents, Sandra (née Simons), who has worked as a professional singer, banker, travel and real estate agent, and Brian Messing, a sales executive for a jewelry manufacturer. When Messing was three, she moved ...

35. Alicia Silverstone

Actress | Clueless

Alicia Silverstone was born on October 4, 1976 in San Francisco, California, the youngest of three children. She is the daughter of Didi (Radford), a former flight attendant, and Monty Silverstone, a real estate investor. Her English-born father is from a Jewish family, while her Scottish-born ...

36. Bridget Fonda

Actress | A Simple Plan

Bridget Jane Fonda was born in Los Angeles, California, to Susan Brewer and actor Peter Fonda. She is the granddaughter of Henry Fonda and niece of Jane Fonda, both famous actors. Bridget made her film debut at age five as an extra in Easy Rider (1969), but first became interested in acting after ...

37. Kristy Swanson

Actress | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Kristy Swanson was born on December 19, 1969 in Mission Viejo, California, USA as Kristen Noel Swanson. She is an actress and producer, known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Flowers in the Attic (1987). She has been married to Lloyd Eisler since February 7, ...

38. Madeleine Stowe

Actress | Twelve Monkeys

Madeleine Stowe was born in Los Angeles, California, to Mireya Maria (Mora Steinvorth) and Robert Alfred Stowe, a civil engineer. Her mother was a from a prominent political family in Costa Rica. Stowe grew up in Eagle Rock, a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles. At age ten she started ...

39. Gillian Anderson

Actress | The X Files

Gillian Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosemary Alyce (Lane), a computer analyst, and Homer Edward Anderson III, who owned a film post-production company. She has English, German, and Irish ancestry.

Gillian started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. ...

40. Michelle Yeoh

Actress | Wo hu cang long

Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, ...

41. Helena Bonham Carter

Actress | Les Misérables

Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful.

Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant ...

42. Christina Ricci

Actress | Casper

Precocious, outspoken child-teen starlet of the 1990s, Christina Ricci was born in 1980 in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children of Sarah (Murdoch), a realtor, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and therapist. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and Scots-Irish ...

43. Kristin Chenoweth

Actress | Pushing Daisies

Kristin Chenoweth is an American stage, screen and television actress, though, depending on who you ask, Cheno fans may disagree on what her most famous roles are. Since Chenoweth began her career, she has been credited with roles in musicals and plays on and off-Broadway, on various television ...

44. Mindy Kaling

Actress | The Office

Mindy Kaling was born on June 24, 1979 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA as Vera Mindy Chokalingam. She is an actress and producer, known for The Office (2005), Inside Out (2015) and Wreck-It Ralph (2012).

45. January Jones

Actress | X: First Class

January Jones was born on January 5, 1978 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is the daughter of Karen Sue (née Cox), a sporting goods store manager, and Marvin Roger Jones, a gym teacher and fitness director. She is of Czech, Danish, English, Welsh, and German ancestry. She was named after the ...

46. Alyson Hannigan

Actress | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress ...

47. Elizabeth Banks

Actress | The Hunger Games

Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as ...

48. Sean Bean

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Sean Bean's career since the eighties spans theater, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and ...

49. Matthew Gray Gubler

Actor | (500) Days of Summer

Matthew Gray Gubler is an Emmy award winning actor, director, producer, painter, and voice over actor from Las Vegas Nevada. While studying film directing at NYU he interned for Wes Anderson who gave him his first feature film role as Bill Murray's loyal intern "Nico" in The Life Aquatic with Steve...

50. Julia Stiles

Actress | 10 Things I Hate About You

Julia O'Hara Stiles was born on March 28, 1981 in New York City, the outgoing daughter of a Greenwich Village artist mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, and an elementary school teacher father, John O'Hara. She is the eldest of three children, and has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Encouraged to ...

51. Eric Bana

Actor | Munich

Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family ...