Underrated actors

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2.
Jay Hernandez
Actor, Hostel
With talent, the requisite good looks, and plenty of on-screen charisma, Jay Hernandez was born in Montebello, California, to Isis (Maldonado), an accountant and secretary, and Javier Hernandez, Sr., a mechanic. He is of Mexican descent. Jay had a serendipitous experience that led to his career. While riding an elevator in a high-rise in his native Los Angeles...
 
3.
James Caan
A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York-born and bred. He was born in the Bronx, to Sophie (Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan...
 
5.
Vinnie Jones
Actor, Snatch
Vincent Peter Jones was born on January 5, 1965 in Watford, England. He first came to public notice as a professional footballer, playing in the English Football League. Noted as one of soccer's hard men, he leaped to fame when a photographer, at a match, snapped him "marking" Newcastle United's Paul Gascoigne...
 
6.
Bill Nunn
Actor, Spider-Man
Commanding performer Bill Nunn made his feature debut in fellow Morehouse College graduate Spike Lee's School Daze, but really etched himself into moviegoers' minds as a formidable screen presence in his second film with Lee, Do the Right Thing, playing Radio Raheem, whose ever-present boom box is at the center of a fight that leads to his death at the hands of an overzealous police officer...
 
7.
Giancarlo Esposito
Music Department, The Electric Company
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples and an opera-singing African-American mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was six, and that's where he grew up...
 
8.
Jean Reno
Jean Reno was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalucía) who moved to North Africa to seek work. His father was a linotypist. Reno settled in France at 17. He began studying drama and has credits in French television and theater as well as films. His first two marriages both ended in divorce...
 
9.
Mario Van Peebles
Actor, Ali
Mario Van Peebles is a highly regarded director, actor, producer and writer. His directorial skills can be seen in the retelling of the epic mini-series "Roots" starring Forest Whitaker and Matthew Goode. Van Pebbles has directed award-winning shows such as the recent hit "Empire" and "The Last Ship,"...
 
10.
Ray Winstone
Ray Winstone was born on February 19, 1957, in Hackney Hospital in London, England, to Margaret (Richardson) and Raymond J. Winstone. He moved to Enfield, at age seven, where his parents had a fruit and vegetable business. He started boxing at the age of twelve at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing Club...
 
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12.
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
 
13.
Robert Forster
Robert Forster was born Robert Wallace Foster, Jr. in Rochester, New York, to Grace Dorothy (Montanarella) and Robert Wallace Foster, Sr., who worked as an elephant trainer and baking supply company executive. He is of English, Irish, and Italian descent. Forster first become interested in acting while attending Rochester's Madison High School...
 
14.
Dennis Farina
Actor, Snatch
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...
 
15.
Michael Madsen
Michael Madsen's long career spans 25 years and more than 170 films in which he has played memorable characters in myriad box office hits, including: Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Sin City, Hell Ride, Die Another Day, Donnie Brasco, Species, The Getaway, Thelma & Louise...
 
16.
Ice-T
The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade. His aunt lived in the South Los Angeles district of Crenshaw...
 
17.
Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore rose in prominence throughout the 1990s, establishing himself as a memorable tough-guy actor, sought by the most respected directors in the business. Thomas Edward Sizemore, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Judith (Schannault), an ombudsman staff member, and Thomas Edward Sizemore...
 
18.
Barry Pepper
Barry Robert Pepper was born on April 4, 1970, in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, as the youngest of three sons. He has two older brothers named Alex and Doug Pepper. The Peppers didn't stick around Campbell River for too long. They had been building a ship in their backyard for years. When Barry was five years old...
 
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20.
Seymour Cassel
Actor, Rushmore
Seymour Cassel, the veteran character actor who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as the hippie swinger Chet in John Cassavetes' Faces, studied acting at the American Theatre Wing and at the Actors Studio. He made his movie debut in Cassavetes' first film, Shadows, on which he also served as associate producer...
 
21.
Chazz Palminteri
Bronx-born and raised Chazz Palminteri was a natural choice to continue the Italianate torch in film. In the tradition set forth in the 1970s by such icons as director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Cazale and Joe Pesci, Palminteri has brought grit, muscle and an evocative realism to the sidewalks of his New York neighborhood...
 
22.
Kevin Pollak
Kevin Pollak was born in San Francisco in 1957, to Elaine (Klein) and Robert Pollak. A stand-up comedy performer at age 10, he turned professional comedian a decade later and was puttering around from city to city when film roles beckoned. Pollak refocused thereafter on acting in what would be a wise and profitable career move...
 
23.
Eric Roberts
One of Hollywood's edgier, more intriguing characters running around and about for decades, Eric Anthony Roberts started life in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is the son of Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights. His siblings are actors Lisa Roberts Gillan and Julia Roberts...
 
24.
John Savage
This American film actor also multitasks as a producer, composer and production manager. He rose to fame in the 1970s, praised for his range and sensitivity. His blonde rugged looks helped viewers connect even more easily to his powerful performances. Born John Youngs in Old Bethpage, New York, Savage attended the American Academy of Performing Arts...
 
25.
Gabriel Byrne
Byrne was the first of six children, born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a cooper and his mother a hospital worker. He was raised Catholic and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers. He spent five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a Catholic priest. He later said, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation...
 
26.
Ving Rhames
Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied at the Juilliard School of Drama...
 
27.
Karl Malden
Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden didn't learn how to communicate a single word of English until he was in kindergarten. Raised in Gary, IN, a medium-sized steel town, Malden--like many other young men in Gary--got a job in a steel factory when he finished school...
 
28.
Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna is an American actor who has made over 200 film and TV appearances. He is also a producer, writer, and director, and is probably best known for his role as Joey Zasa in the Francis Ford Coppola epic The Godfather: Part III, in which he stars alongside Al Pacino and Andy Garcia. Joseph Anthony Mantegna...
 
29.
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...
 
30.
Burt Young
Actor, Rocky
Burly, talented character actor who has remained consistently busy playing "rough at the edge" type characters, often on the wrong side of the law. Young was born on April 30 1940 in New York City, the son of a high school shop teacher. He is of Italian descent. Young received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio...