My "Must Watch" list of actors &/or Directors

Actors, directors or writers who, by simply being in a film, will cause me to immediately make arrangements to see it (and I'll then hunt up all their old films as well.) So far they've not steered me wrong. They are all excellent actors in addition to being good looking.
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Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch CMG...
“ First noticed him in Sherlock, and wish I'd noticed him earlier. Since then I've seen "Third Star" (so good but be prepared to cry), "Hawking" (how on earth did he make me forget he was *acting* when he genuinely appeared to have neurological problems??), War Horse (best part of the film for me, not too into animal films really), and of course "Sherlock Season 2" (which was even better than the first season which seemed impossible.) I cannot imagine what this man can do with a little experience behind him... he will be one of the greatest actors of our time, no doubt. ” - magialuna-1
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs was born in Liverpool, the third of four children of Sheila (née Nathan) and Eric Isaacs. His parents were both from Jewish families (from Eastern Europe). He studied law at Bristol University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in law but decided to study acting. While at Bristol University...
“ When I started rooting for the bad guy to win in "The Patriot" I realized maybe there was something really to watch about this "Jason Isaacs" character... and he's been excellent in everything I've seen of his. Lucius Malfoy was definitely my favourite character in the Potter films, he was outstanding on "Brotherhood" and so far "Awake" just keeps getting better every episode. ” - magialuna-1
Felicia Day
Felicia Day was born on June 28, 1979 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA as Kathryn Felicia Day. She is an actress and producer, known for her work on TV and the web video world. She has appeared in mainstream television shows and films, including "Supernatural", and a two-season arc on the SyFy series "Eureka"...
“ Felicia Day is so incredibly talented that I can't help but urge others to watch anything she's created. "The Guild" is a web based series that is well acted, funny and well produced despite being done on a shoestring budget. She now has a channel on Youtube of fun web series, "Geek and Sundry" which is very worth watching. And supposedly this summer they will be filming a "Doctor Horrible 2!" Cannot wait. ” - magialuna-1
David Tennant
David Tennant was born David John McDonald in West Lothian, Scotland, to Essdale Helen (McLeod) and Sandy McDonald, who was a Presbyterian minister. He is of Scottish and Ulster-Scots descent. When he was about 3 or 4 years old, he decided to become an actor, inspired by his love of Doctor Who...
“ He wasn't just outstanding as the Doctor. David Tennant was *the* best part of "Fright Night", and thank goodness he's gotten cast in a new spy mini-series for the BBC... I can't wait. If you want to have something lovely to help you sleep, search for "CBeebies Bedtime Story" on Youtube and listen to David read stories for kids in his lovely Scottish accent... so engaged and sweet, even when just filming a children's storytime. ” - magialuna-1
Tom Hiddleston
Thomas William Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London, to English-born Diana Patricia (Servaes) and Scottish-born James Norman Hiddleston. His mother is a former stage manager, and his father, a scientist, was the managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He started off at the preparatory school...
“ Simply incredibly as Loki in "Thor" and "The Avengers", and very funny in interviews. His charisma caused me to start to search other projects he'd been in-- and he is SO talented. Most of note is an audiobook he read called, "The Red Necklace." I was quite shocked by how much emotion he portrayed for each character and how like a radio play the book was--despite it all being ONE actor reading it. He did unique voices for all the characters. So talented. ” - magialuna-1
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business. Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford)...
“ So happy he pulled himself together... his past troubles give his acting a gravitas that really makes him believable, and he's very comedically gifted. There are few films he's in I've not really enjoyed. (Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes being favourites.) I've begun to believe that he thinks he is Tony Stark though. Will be interested to see how long it takes until the studio has to pay him with a flying bulletproof suit! ” - magialuna-1
“ I adore Doctor Who and Sherlock. Mr. Moffat's writing is wonderful and snappy, and the shows he is involved with have all been very intelligent and fun. He portrays his characters carefully, in a well rounded manner and with a lot of class. (And I cannot figure out how he had time to help write "Adventures of Tin Tin!") ” - magialuna-1
Mark Gatiss
Actor, Sherlock
Mark Gatiss is an accomplished author, actor and playwright. Originally from Sedgefield, he graduated from Bretton Hall Drama College with a BA (honors) in Theatre Arts. He was one-quarter of the award-winning comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and became heavily involved in the post-television Doctor Who scene...
“ Very funny in classy in interviews with the other "Sherlock" folks, or for "Doctor Who" his scripts have been wonderful to watch and he's also such a talented actor. (I'm jealous of the parts he gets to play! It looks like so much fun...) Loved him on "Being Human" this season! ” - magialuna-1
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, 1973. His parents, Sheila Gail (Scott) and Ronald Gene Harris, were lawyers and ran a restaurant. He grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a small town 120 miles south of Albuquerque, where he first took up acting in the fourth grade. While tagging along with his older brother of 3 years...
“ There seems to be very little this man cannot do-- and still look classy and /or funny (or both) while doing it. I loved "Doogie Howser" and am so happy to see that he's an even better actor as time goes on and he's also so talented at singing, comedy and dancing... I'll even watch the Tonys just to see him host it. ” - magialuna-1
Andrew Scott
Actor, Spectre
Andrew Scott was born in Dublin, Ireland, the middle child with two sisters, in a financially comfortable home which allowed his parents, Jim and Nora, to send him to a private Catholic school for boys. He started acting as a child when he was in commercials on Irish TV, then was chosen from his acting school at 17 to star in his first professional role in the 1994 Irish film...
“ Frighteningly creepy in "Sherlock", he had the acting chops to keep up with, and not be upstaged by, Benedict Cumberbatch. He's not been in very much yet other than a little John Lennon biopic with Christopher Eccleston, but I really look forward to seeing what else this talented man can do. ” - magialuna-1
Tom Felton
Tom Felton was born in Epsom, Surrey, to Sharon and Peter Felton. He has been acting since he was 8 years old at the suggestion of an actress friend of his family who recognized Felton's theatrical qualities. Felton met with an agent, and two weeks later, after auditioning with over 400 other children, he landed an international commercial campaign and went abroad to work...
“ Draco Malfoy was one of the highlights of the Potter films and books for me. He's a much more interesting and conflicted character than Harry... and Tom Felton was definitely a good enough actor to pull off the emotions and conflict needed. He carried the Half Blood Prince-- if he'd not been believable it wouldn't have worked. And if he can carry himself with enough aplomb to remain interesting in a scene with Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes all acting their socks off-- he's a force to watch in the future. Since Potter he's done really good work and watchable films. I can't wait to see how his career progresses. ” - magialuna-1
Joss Whedon
Writer, The Avengers
Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon...
“ The man is a genius. If he's involved, I'll watch it. ” - magialuna-1
Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
“ This man... so classy and with such an incredible voice. He is so interesting to watch, whether he's playing a comedic role or a villain... I've not regretted ever watching anything he's done. Nobel Son is one of my favourite of his films--watch it if you like Rickman, I don't think you'll regret it. ” - magialuna-1
Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman is an English actor, best known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office, Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock and Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama TV series Fargo...
“ Mr. Freeman's portrayal of Dr. John H. Watson on BBC's Sherlock is the humanizing factor to Benedict Cumberbatch's odd genius. Their obvious chemistry is a basis, but Martin Freeman's acting skills are what make him the PTSD suffering, mild-mannered appearing, brave friend and sidekick to Sherlock. Really did a great job with the role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. ” - magialuna-1
David Bowie
Actor, Labyrinth
David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of popular music. Born David Jones, he changed his name to Bowie in the 1960s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of The Monkees). The 1960s were not a happy period for Bowie, who remained a struggling artist...
“ Jareth, the Goblin King in "Labyrinth" was so well done that I got drawn into watching the film when my kids had it on (and then re-watching it many times since by myself.) The Man Who Fell to Earth was also outstanding... Mr. Bowie is a very skilful actor who I really hope we'll see act again someday soon-- perhaps in one of his very talented son's films (Duncan Jones, the director.??) ” - magialuna-1
“ Loved her in "Case Histories" and "Being Human". She's also very prolific on Twitter and is very funny and human. I've really grown to admire her from following her on Twitter, she seems to have a great sense of humour about being famous and the wife of a famous actor (Martin Freeman), in addition to being really excellent in the roles she acts in. ” - magialuna-1
Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner, who catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), a retired teacher of English, and her father, William John Garner...
“ Beautiful, classy and an excellent actress. I've greatly enjoyed her films and from all interviews, she appears to be a dedicated mom and nice person. Definitely someone I feel like I can admire and support... ” - magialuna-1
“ I loved "Alias" and was excited to have a fun, exciting show to watch with my daughters that had a strong, caring, gutsy female lead. I really admire his work and look forward to watching whatever he does next. (Especially Star Trek 2--that cannot come soon enough.) ” - magialuna-1
Maggie Smith
One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor Robert Stephens and to playwright Beverley Cross...
“ From Harry Potter to Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith is an outstanding actress and a classy lady. I've not seen her in a bad film yet, and she always brings class, warmth and humanity to her parts. ” - magialuna-1
Duncan Jones
Director, Moon
“ I watched "Moon" because I was curious after seeing photos of David Bowie at his son's various premières when the film first came out. I watched "Source Code" because "Moon" was brilliant. (And Source Code was as well.) Very much looking forward to what Mr. Jones does next. ” - magialuna-1
“ Creator of "Moonlight" and author of "Angel of Vengeance". Very talented man who actually will correspond with fans from myspace or Twitter. Very nice in addition to being talented and clever. ” - magialuna-1
Rebecca Hall
Actress, The Prestige
Rebecca Hall was born in London, UK, the daughter of Peter Hall, a stage director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Maria Ewing, an opera singer. Her father is English. Her mother, who is American, is of Dutch, Scottish, Sioux, and African American origin. Her parents separated when she was still young...
“ So good in "Parade's End." I read the books and truly disliked her character. Somehow she completely played Syvia in character from the books--yet portrayed a vulnerability and sadness that I did not feel in the book. I found myself rooting for her to have her own happy ending of sorts as well. Definitely one of the most interesting portrayals I've seen in awhile. ” - magialuna-1
Anne Hathaway
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real...
“ Boy has she come a long way from "The Princess Diaries"! Was incredibly impressed with her in "The Dark Knight Rises" and her singing in "Les Miserables in unbelievable. I can't wait to actually see her in the role. ” - magialuna-1
Nathan Fillion
Actor, Castle
Nathan Fillion was born on 27 March 1971 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is the son of Cookie (Early) and Bob Fillion, both retired English teachers, and has an older brother, Jeff. In Canada, he attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Concordia University College of Alberta and University of Alberta...
“ Loved him in "Firefly" and he's also wonderful in "Doctor Horrible" and "Castle." Seems to honestly be a nice man who cares about his fans and other human beings. While his acting isn't the same style as Mr. Cumberbatch's that impresses me so much, Mr. Fillion has an easy presence and appears to just be "himself". Which is most likely completely not true-- it's that he makes it look effortless and natural that is so impressive. ” - magialuna-1