A list of my favorite "That Guy" actors, great thespians who are known by face rather than name. If you think of others, leave a comment!
Joel McKinnon Miller
A native of Minnesota, Joel McKinnon Miller had his first experiences as an actor in high school.He then went on to study opera and theatre at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After college, Joel was invited to join John Houseman's The Acting Company, a classical theatre touring company based in New York City...
One of modern TV and moviedom's most sturdy and reliable character actors, David Paymer dreamed of being an actor from early childhood. Although he came from a traditional middle-class Jewish family that urged him to become a doctor or lawyer, Paymer felt more at home in the world of the thespian. At 14...
American character actor and writer Wallace Shawn has one of those fun, mischievously homely faces just made to entertain. Though he got out of the starting gate rather slowly, he has since excelled on stage, television and film while managing to turn himself into a winner with his loser-type looks...
“ Inconceivable! ” - Bob_the_Hobo
John Carroll Lynch
John Carroll Lynch was born August 1st, 1963 in Boulder, Colorado. He was raised in Denver Colorado. 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...
James Robert Rebhorn (September 1, 1948 - March 21, 2014) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the current series White Collar and Homeland. An early performance was in Butterflies are Free at the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire in 1974...
was born on April 25, 1947 in Buffalo, New York. He studied in England at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, then returned to America and was a member of the National Shakespeare Company. He has starred in many theatre productions, both on and off Broadway, including "K2" (for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor), "Spoils of War" and "Comedians"...
Bruce McGill grew up in San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Adriel Rose (née Jacobs) is an artist, and his father, Woodrow Wilson McGill, is a real estate and insurance agent. He graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School San Antonio and from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in drama. His love for acting stems back to elementary school...
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
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...
On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee
's Malcolm X
is what first attracted attention to Lindo's considerable talents. Since then, his star has slowly been on the rise...
Philip Baker Hall
Philip Baker Hall was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Berdene (McDonald) and William Alexander Hall, a factory worker who was originally from Montgomery, Alabama. He did not start acting until he was 30 years old, and shot to cult fame when he turned in an electrifying performance as Sydney, the veteran gambler...
Keith David was born Keith David Williams in New York City's Harlem district, and was raised in East Elmhurst, in the Queens section of the city. He is the son of Dolores (Dickenson), a New York Telephone manager, and Lester Williams, a payroll operations director. As a child, he realized he wanted...
Udo Kier was born October 14, 1944 in Cologne, Germany, during World War II. His entrance was just as dramatic as some of his roles. On the evening of his birth Udo's mother requested extra time with her new baby. The nurses had gathered all of the other babies and returned them to the nursery when the hospital was bombed...
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1939 and attended Temple University briefly before moving to New York where he studied drama with Stella Adler and at Actors Studio.
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.
Actor Austin Pendleton was born March 27, 1940 in Warren, Ohio to Frances and Thorn Pendleton. He graduated from Yale University. He later became an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, and acted in several of the theater's productions. His first film appearance in Petulia
, a minor and uncredited role. Since, he has made over 100 appearances in television and film.
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
If you ever want a 6' 5", musclebound, broad-shouldered, shaved-head actor to play a terrifying bodyguard, a soldier of fortune or a fearsome gangster, then Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. is the man you want. This African-American basketball player turned actor first popped up in minor roles such as a prison guard in Runaway Train
The "boy next door, if that boy spent lots of time alone in the basement", is how Rich Cohen
described Kyle MacLachlan in a 1994 article for "Rolling Stone" magazine. That distinctly askew wholesomeness made MacLachlan a natural to become famous as the alter ego of twisted director David Lynch
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...
Dan Hedaya is a familiar face from his work in films and on TV, where he often plays a villain (although he had a good comic turn as the charmingly sleazy Nick Tortelli, Carla's ex-husband, in Cheers
and its short-lived spin-off The Tortellis
). He has also done much stage work, appearing...
“ Rest in Peace ” - Bob_the_Hobo
Duke Media Entertainment, led by actor, director, producer, writer and humanitarian, Bill Duke, is dedicated to bringing quality Edutainment to audiences around the globe. Formerly Yagya Productions, Duke Media has successfully produced critically acclaimed film and television content for more than 30 years...
“ A talented director as well as an actor ” - Bob_the_Hobo
Barry's full given name is Leonard Barrie Corbin, and he was born on October 16, 1940 in Lamesa, Texas, to Kilmer Blain Corbin, an attorney, and Alma Corbin, an elementary school teacher. Barry has a daughter named Shannon Ross, with whom he shares his 15-acre ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, when he isn't working. He says that he rides horses there every chance he gets.
Corbin Bernsen stars as Henry Spencer in the sixth season of the USA Network original series PSYCH, also starring James Roday and Dule Hill. Bernsen is also forging ahead as a prolific writer, producer and director, creating films for his Home Theater Films production and distribution banner. As an actor...
Raymond J. Barry
Before moving into film, Raymond J. Barry appeared in more than 75 stage productions, winning two Obie Awards for "Leaf People" and "Molly's Dream." Barry earned a degree in philosophy at Brown University before being accepted by the Yale School of Drama. After he moved to New York in the 1960s, his...
One of the most prolific character actors working today, Stephen Root has worked alongside many of the biggest names in Hollywood. Born in Sarasota, Root majored in acting and broadcasting at the University of Florida and remains a die-hard Gator fan. After three years of touring the U.S. and Canada with the National Shakespeare Company...
Kyle Chandler was born in Buffalo, New York, to Sally Jeanette (Meyer), who bred dogs, and Edward Chandler, a farm owner. He is of German, English, and Irish descent. Kyle grew up in the small town of Social Circle, Georgia (population 4,500). On the family farm, the only TV station they got was Ted Turner
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...
Doug grew up in Detroit and Minneapolis, eventually moved to N.Y.C., and attended the Juilliard School for a brief stint. After studying two years with Sanford Meisner and working a plethora of odd-ball jobs (including dressed as a giant Citibank card handing out fliers in Times Square), the actor worked...
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...
John Terry, a native Floridian, discovered acting through a series of fortunate events while building custom log homes in North Carolina. After performing in a few local theater productions, he moved to Alaska where he helped start a river rafting company. On his 30th birthday, he moved to New York and tried full-time acting and stayed with that...
Born in Arizona, he is of British/American descent;living extensively in both the USA and the UK. He trained as an actor at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He spent the first eleven years of his professional career in the theatre in Britain. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1972 to 1975...
Nick was born in New York, New York, and during middle school moved upstate to Albany, New York where he became a basketball standout at Albany High School. Form there Nick attended Brown University and began his quest to reach his dream as an NBA player. During his freshman year he had a career ending injury and decided to take up acting...
A native of the Bronx, New York, Kevin Corrigan has been acting and writing since the age of 15. He made his film debut in Lost Angels
and around that time, when he was just 17, his original play "The Boiler Room" was produced by the Young Playwrights Festival of New York. He has gone on to star in countless independent films and has made quite an impression...
Canadian-born actor Matt Craven is among the most sought after character actors of film and television today, starring in such blockbuster critically acclaimed films as the Academy-Award-nominated "Crimson Tide" and "A Few Good Men" and SAG Award nominated "X-Men: First Class." Craven has starred opposite great Hollywood actors such as Denzel Washington...
M. Emmet Walsh
Wonderfully talented, heavyset character actor (from New York, but regularly playing Southerners) M. Emmet Walsh has made a solid career of playing corrupt cops, deadly crooks, and zany comedic roles since the early 1970s. Michael Emmet Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, to Agnes Katharine (Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh...
Actor Dennis Farina is unique among thespians in that he was one of the few to achieve success as a "late-bloomer." He did not start acting until he was 37 years old, after stints in the military and 18 years on the Chicago Police Department. He made his bones in show business as a character actor, often cast as a cop or gangster...
One chillingly infamous screen role for Scott Wilson in 1967 set the tone for an actor who went on to prove himself an invaluable character player for the past five decades. The Georgia-born native (Atlanta born and raised) was awarded a basketball scholarship following high school at Georgia's Southern Tech University to study architecture...
Combining acting with a distinguished career as a singer songwriter, Hugh Dillon earned notoriety as the lead singer in the multi-platinum punk rock band, the Headstones. It was early on in the band's success when Hugh caught the attention of legendary filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Roadkill)...
Jack Gilford was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Yankel Gellman. He began his career in the Amateur Nights of the 1930s moving on to nightclubs as an innovative comedian doing satire and pantomime. He was a regular at the Greenwich Village nightspot, Cafe Society and hosted shows featuring Zero Mostel
Noah Emmerich was born and raised in New York City, to Constance, a concert pianist, and André Emmerich, an art dealer and gallery owner. He attended Yale University, where he sang with the a capella group the Yale Spizzwinks. He attended NYU Film School where he wrote and directed an award winning...
Richard Libertini was born in E. Cambridge, Massachusetts, to parents who had come to America from southern Italy. Having grown up in a household where both Italian and English were spoken, he developed an ear for foreign accents. A facility he would later use to advantage on stage and in films. He graduated from Emerson College in Boston...
became internationally famous mainly for his supporting roles in Hollywood films in the 1990s. His film career has been long both in his home country and elsewhere. Serbedzija was born in the village of Bunic, located between Korenica and Licki Osik in Lika. In 1969, he graduated from...
“ "Stock Russian Character" and an awesome guy ” - Bob_the_Hobo
Offbeat character actor Tom Noonan started off his career in various theater troupes that utilized his skills as a guitarist and composer. A graduate from Yale's acting school, he founded the Paradise Theatre in 1983, which was instrumental later in his growth as an artist. Gravitating toward film and TV in the 80s...
John Spencer was born John Speshock, Jr. in New York City, the only son of Mildred (Benzeroski), a homemaker and occasional waitress, and John Speshock, a truck driver. He grew up near Paterson, New Jersey, and left at age 16 to attend the Professional Children's School. In 1963, he landed a recurring role on The Patty Duke Show
“ Rest in Peace ” - Bob_the_Hobo
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...
Nestor Serrano, a native New Yorker, started his acting career almost thirty years ago at Queens college, where he was studying computer science. Joining the drama club was his attempt to meet new people - what he found was a lifelong passion for the performing arts. Although Nestor has traveled all over the world...
Philip Michael Bosco was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Margaret Remunde Thek, a policewoman, and Philip Lupo Bosco, a carnival worker. He is of Italian and German descent. Bosco graduated from Saint Peter's Prep School, 1948, and from the Catholic University of America, A.B. 1957. He served as a private in the U.S...
Towering 7' 2" tall actor who has cornered the market on playing giants, intimidating henchman, bayou swamp monsters and steel toothed villains! Kiel worked in numerous jobs including as a night club bouncer and a cemetery plot salesman, before breaking into film & TV in several minor roles in the late 1950s / early 1960s...
Jesse Heiman was born in Boston on May 23, 1978 and lived in Boston until 1989. He lived in Austin, Texas from 1989 and attended West Ridge Middle School, Westlake High School, and Texas State University of San Marcos for education. Graduated college in May of 2000 with a BA in English. Moved to Los Angeles in September of 2000...
Kent Harper is an American Actor, Writer, Director, Producer with multiple award nominations and wins that grew up in Newport Beach, California. He started his journey in the film industry in 1994. He began to work on films in every position as he assisted in each department to further his knowledge in every aspect...
His mother is a homemaker and his step-father works in a technological laboratory. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts. After graduation, he spent seven years touring in regional theatre. French, by the way, is his real name. It's a family name that's been used for generations. He's French number four.
Henry Gibson was born on 21 September 1935 in Germantown, Pennsylvnia. Before appearing in films and television series, he was a child star on the stage during the 1940s and during the late 1950s he was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. His screen debut came in 1963 when he was cast in the Jerry Lewis
film The Nutty Professor
Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University, James Cromwell, the son of famous film director John Cromwell
, studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays...
“ One of the best actors EVER. So, so, so good in "Damages". ” - Bob_the_Hobo
Taylor Negron was born Brad Stephen Negron in Glendale, California, to Lucy (Rosario) and Conrad Negron, who was mayor of Indian Wells, CA. His parents were both of Puerto Rican descent. Negron attended UCLA, studied acting with Lee Strasberg
, and studied comedy at a private seminar taught by Lucille Ball
Daniel von Bargen
A character actor who seems to pop up everywhere as the stereotypical cop, military officer and/or tough guy, Von Bargen can turn in performances of stunning complexity when given the chance. Daniel von Bargen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 5, 1950, to Juanita (Bustle) and Donald L. von Bargen...
Cliff Curtis was born in Rotorua, New Zealand, on July 27, 1968. He is of New Zealand Maori descent (with Ngati Hauiti and Te Arawa tribal affiliations). He enrolled at the New Zealand Drama School, and then the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland. After returning to New Zealand from Europe, he was cast in The Piano
Clifton Collins Jr.
An acting chameleon who can easily lose himself in the life of his film and television characters, Clifton Collins Jr. is a native Angeleno who grew up destined to become a part of the Latino entertainment industry. His great-grandparents on his mother's side were a Mexican trumpet player and Spanish dancer who formed a traveling family act...
Talented and highly capable character actor Geoffrey Lewis, with rustic (sometimes sour-faced) looks, grew up in Rhode Island but was moved out to California at the age of ten. Lewis was very keen on the dramatic arts at high school, but often preferred to put on his own one-man shows rather than participate in larger school productions...
Jeff Kober, a native of Billings, Montana, was born on December 18, 1953. Kober moved to Los Angeles in his twenties. His first appearance on television was a non-billed role in the 1980s series V
. Kober was a regular in the highly-acclaimed Vietnam War drama, China Beach
. He also starred in the short-lived...
Drago is well-known for his villainous parts (leading or supporting), and he is renowned for his rugged yet scary looks and evil smile. He was born William Eugene Burrows in Hugoton, Kansas. He became interested in acting and took his mother's maiden name 'Drago' as a stage name. At first he worked as a stuntman in Kansas...
Kim's film career began in 1991 with The Last Boy Scout. Two Warner Brothers' hits followed: Innocent Blood and The Client. Since that time he has starred in over forty films, including Academy Award winners Black Hawk Down directed by Ridley Scott, and Pearl Harbor directed by Michael Bay. Other films include Waterworld and Open Range with Kevin Costner...
Richard Riehle was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to Mary Margaret (Walsh), a nurse, and Herbert John Riehle, an assistant postmaster. He is of German and Irish descent. Richard attended the University of Notre Dame, where he became heavily involved with the University Theatre. Appearing in such productions as "Luther"...
George Robert Wendt III was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to Loretta Mary (Howard) and George Robert Wendt, who was a realtor and navy officer. He attended a strict Jesuit prep school and then dropped out of Notre Dame University after a few uneventful years. He worked with the Windy City's famed Second City comedy troupe from 1974-1980...
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...