Actors/actresses I admire

Based on personality demonstrated within interviews, characters they've portrayed or sadly, superficial goodness. :)
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1.
James McAvoy
McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary) after his parents divorced when James was 7. He went to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill...
 
2.
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Actress, 24
Mary Lynn Rajskub is an American actress, comedienne and singer who is best known as a co-star of Kiefer Sutherland on the popular television series 24. She was born on June 22, 1971, in Detroit, Michigan, into a family of Irish, Czech, and Polish ancestry. She was brought up in Trenton...
 
3.
Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Christina Plaza (born June 26, 1984) is an American actress and comedian known for her deadpan style. She portrayed April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation, and after appearing in supporting roles in several films, had her first leading role in the 2012 comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. Plaza began her career as an intern...
 
4.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, Inception
Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His parents worked for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM and his maternal grandfather...
 
5.
Donald Glover
Actor, Community
Donald McKinley Glover was born at the Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (Smith), ran a daycare center, and his father, Donald Glover, was a postal worker. He is, despite rumors, not related to actor Danny Glover. Donald graduated from New York University with a degree in Dramatic Writing in 2006...
 
6.
Jason Segel
Multi-talented Jason Jordan Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, where he was raised by his parents, Jillian (Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin Segel, a lawyer. His mother is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and his father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. He was educated at St. Matthew's Parish School in Pacific Palisades...
 
7.
Maya Rudolph
Actress, Bridesmaids
Maya Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida, on July 27th, 1972, to Dick Rudolph, a music producer, and soul singer Minnie Riperton. Her mother was African-American and her father is Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Lithuania, Russia, Germany, and Hungary). In 1973, Maya, her parents, and her older brother...
 
8.
Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean...
 
9.
America Ferrera
Actress, Ugly Betty
America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006-10). Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy...
 
10.
Amber Tamblyn
Actress, 127 Hours
Amber Rose Tamblyn was born May 14, 1983 in Santa Monica, California. Amber caught an agent's eye at the age of ten after a performance in "Pippi Longstocking". She has appeared in Live Nude Girls and Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard. In addition, her most popular role has been the role of "Emily Bowen-Quartermaine" of the popular soap General Hospital...
 
11.
Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming was born on January 27, 1965, in Aberfeldy, Scotland, to Mary (Darling), an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming. His family lived nearby in Dunkeld, where his father was a forester for Atholl Estate. The family (including his brother, Tom) moved to Fassfern near Fort William, before moving to the east coast of Scotland in 1969...
 
12.
Lauren Graham
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Donna Grant and Lawrence Graham, a candy industry lobbyist. Her father was from New York and her mother was from the American South, and Lauren has Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry. She grew up in Northern Virginia, USA (Fairfax, Arlington, and Great Falls...
 
13.
Mae Whitman
Mae was born in Los Angeles, California to Pat Musick, a voice artist, and Jeffrey Whitman, a personal manager and set construction coordinator. She began her career with a voice-over for a Tyson Chicken commercial. Whitman attended Ribét Academy, a private preparatory school in Los Angeles. She was later transferred to Whitefish Bay High School, where she graduated...
 
14.
Leonardo Nam
Leonardo Nam was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Korean parents, and moved to Sydney, Australia at the age of 8. He attended Sydney Technical High School, and went on to study for a Bachelor in Architecture at the University of New South Wales. He left Sydney to pursue an acting career in New York at the age of 19...
 
15.
Wesley Jonathan
Actor, City Guys
Born in Los Angeles, Jonathan spent four years living in Germany as a youth and still speaks some German. He first became interested in show business when his cousin Crystal brought him along on her acting auditions. At age nine, he asked his cousin to let him audition, and within six months got his first role...
 
17.
Edie Falco
Actress, The Sopranos
Edith Falco, called Edie, was born on July 5, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, English, and Cornish (mother) descent. Edie grew up on Long Island and attended SUNY Purchase, where she was trained in acting at the prestigious Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film...
 
18.
Merritt Wever
Merritt Wever grew up in downtown New York and has been acting since she was very young. She graduated from LaGuardia High School and then attended Sarah Lawrence College. She was raised by her mother to be politically progressive. When not acting or protesting, Merritt enjoys spending time with her cat Spooky or going to the theater with a friend...
 
19.
Emma Caulfield
Born and raised in San Diego, Emma Caulfield began studying drama in at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre where she won the distinguished honor of "Excellence in Theatre Arts." She picked up her drama studies once again at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in London, all before finishing high school...
 
21.
Rutina Wesley
Actress, True Blood
Rutina Wesley is known for the character Tara Thorton, on the gritty Southern vampire drama, True Blood. She was born in the city most renowned for glitz and glamour, Las Vegas, Nevada and was exposed to the arts at a very early age; in fact entertainment runs through her veins. Her father, Ivery Wheeler...
 
22.
Amber Riley
Actress, Glee
 
23.
Jim Parrack
Actor, Fury
Jim Parrack, born February 8, 1981, is an American actor. He had a starring role as "Hoyt Fortenberry" in the HBO series, True Blood, and appeared in the film, Battle Los Angeles, which was released in March 2011. He currently stars in the Broadway production of John Steinbeck's novel, "Of Mice and Men"...
 
24.
Amy Poehler
Actress, Inside Out
Amy Meredith Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to high school teachers Eileen Frances (Milmore) and William Grinstead Poehler. Her brother is comedian Greg Poehler. She is of Irish (from her mother) and English, German, and Portuguese (from her father) descent. Amy was first involved with sketch comedy when she joined the group My Mother's Flea Bag when she was attending Boston College...
 
25.
Nelsan Ellis
Actor, True Blood
Nelsan Ellis (born c. 1978) is an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright, perhaps best known as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's True Blood. Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois. Following his parents' divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama. He moved back to Illinois as a teenager...
 
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28.
James Marsters
James graduated from Davis High School and attended Juilliard, the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, and the American Conservatory Theatre. After spending ten years doing stage work he finally moved to L.A. to pursue a career in film and television. After appearing in several guest roles he finally got his big break as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
 
29.
Anthony Head
Anthony Stewart Head was born on February 20, 1954 in Camden Town, north London, England. He grew up in Hampton, near Richmond upon Thames in London. He's the youngest son of his parents, Seafield Head (a documentary filmmaker) and Helen Shingler (an actress). He is the younger brother of musical...
 
30.
Gabrielle Union
Actress, Bad Boys II
Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. At the age of 8, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school...
 
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32.
Persia White
Actress, Girlfriends
In one word, Persia White is prolific. An actress, musician, producer and animal rights activist, she is best known for her lead in the popular CW series "Girlfriends." Driven by her passion to change the world, Persia co-produced the award winning documentary film "Earthlings" narrated by Joaquin Phoenix...
 
33.
Melissa McCarthy
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, a farmer. Her recent ancestors were from County Cork, Ireland. McCarthy began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked...
 
35.
Yasiin Bey
Regarded as one of hip-hop's most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. Taking a cue from the Afrocentric stylings of the Native Tongues crew, which included De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Andres Titus...
 
36.
Matthew Gray Gubler
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 Zissou. For the past eleven years Gubler has starred as the lovable genius Dr...
 
37.
Kirsten Vangsness
While Kirsten is best known as the bespectacled-brainiac-tech-kitten Penelope Garcia on the CBS hit drama Criminal Minds(and its spin-off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior), she has had a long and varied career prior to joining the cast of the hit CBS series. Stage appearances include Perfuct, The Book...
 
38.
Rich Sommer
Actor, Mad Men
Sommer returned to Cleveland in 2008 to teach a master class at the Case Western Reserve University / Cleveland Play House graduate program. He earned an MFA in the program in 2004. Sommer planned his future in improv comedy during his Play House days. He has performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupe, but the bulk of his career has been in television and film...
 
40.
Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich is an Ukrainian-born actress, supermodel, fashion designer, singer and public figure, who was on the cover of more than a hundred magazines, and starred in such films as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and the Resident Evil franchise. Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich was born on December 17...
 
41.
Vincent Cassel
Actor, Black Swan
Blue-eyed Vincent Cassel was born in Paris to a leading actor father, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and a journalist mother, Sabine Litique. Often labeled as a tough guy because of his roles, eclectic choices and talent have made of him a star of European cinema. First in La Haine, the young actor, actually coming from upper classes...
 
43.
Ashley Fink
Actress, You Again
Ashley Fink was born in Houston, Texas and began acting at a very early age. By the time she reached the age of 2, she was putting on full productions for her parents: she was no dummy, though - she charged them admission. As luck would have it, her family ended up moving to Los Angeles where Ashley began attending a performing arts high school...
 
44.
Scoot McNairy
Actor, Argo
During the early 2000s, actor Scoot McNairy quickly came to specialize in portrayals of colorful and individualistic young men with a slightly rebellious edge. McNairy began during the early to mid-2000s, with bit parts in films including Wonderland (2003), Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), and Art School Confidential (2006)...
 
46.
Chris Marquette
Christopher Marquette was born in Stuart, Florida, on October 3, 1984. He began modeling at the age of four in Dallas, Texas. He landed his screen acting debut at the age of eight, starring as the son of Mira Sorvino in Sweet Nothing. He played a lead in The Tic Code with the legendary Gregory Hines and on Broadway as Tiny Tim...
 
47.
John Cusack
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 family...
 
48.
Jay Chou
Jay Chou (born 18 January 1979) is a Taiwanese musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor and director. Chou was born in Taipei, Taiwan, to schoolteacher parents, Yeh Hui-Mei, who taught fine arts, and Chou Yao-Chung, a biomedical researcher. In 2000, Chou released his first album, titled Jay (2000)...
 
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51.
Jonathan Jackson
Jonathan Jackson was born in Orlando, Florida, to Jeanine (Sharp), an officer manager, and Dr. Rick Lee Jackson, a family doctor and country musician. He is the younger brother of actor/singer Richard Lee Jackson and Candice E. Jackson. His ancestry includes English, German, Finnish, Scottish, and Scandinavian (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish)...
 
54.
Will Forte
Forte was age 32 before he came to the public's attention on Saturday Night Live, but had been working in comedy since 1997. Forte is the son of artist Patricia (Stivers) and financial broker Orville Willis Forte III (divorced), and has one older sister, Michelle. A creative and artistic child, he was an athlete (football and swimming) in high school and voted Best Personality at Acalanes High School...
 
55.
Michael Angarano
Angarano was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Doreen and Michael P. Angarano. He is of Italian descent. His family owns and operates three successful dance studios; two in New York (Brooklyn and Staten Island) and one in California (Los Angeles) called Reflections in Dance. His mother is the owner and director of all three...
 
56.
Zoe Saldana
Actress, Avatar
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next seven years. While living in the Dominican Republic...
 
57.
Gina Torres
Actress, Serenity
Gina was born in New York City and is youngest of three children in a close-knit Cuban American family. Attended New York City's High School of Music and Art She is a gifted mezzo soprano and was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir.
 
58.
Constance Zimmer
Actress, Entourage
Constance Zimmer decided to pursue a career in acting after she fell in love with the craft as a high school student. Once out of high school, Zimmer was accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, and began appearing in local theater. She was the recipient of a "Best Actress" Dramalogue Award, for one of her first stage appearances in "Catholic School Girls"...
 
59.
Vanessa Marano
Vanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She began her professional career with several national commercials. Marano is most recognized for her roles as "April Nardini", the daughter of "Luke", in the highly popular show...
 
60.
Patricia Clarkson
This remarkable, one-of-a-kind actress has, since the early 1990s, intrigued film and TV audiences with her glowing, yet careworn eccentricity and old world-styled glamour. Very much in demand these days as a character player, Patricia Clarkson nevertheless continues to avoid the temptation of money-making mainstream filming while reaping kudos and acting awards in out-of-the-way projects...
 
61.
Carrie Preston
Actress, True Blood
Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, where her mother was an artist and art therapist while her dad was a geo-technical engineer, a young Carrie Preston discovered her true calling in life lay in performing arts. At the age of 12, she became the impresario of her own front-yard theater company as producer...
 
62.
Chris O'Dowd
Actor, Calvary
Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd born 9 October 1979 is an Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. O'Dowd created and is starring in the Sky 1 television series Moone Boy. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in the television series Family Tree...
 
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Martha Plimpton
Actress, Raising Hope
She has show biz in her blood. Martha Plimpton was born November 16, 1970, in New York City to two actors: Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton. Martha began her career at age 8, when her mom had a friend of hers, composer Elizabeth Swados, enroll her in an actors' workshop. At age 10, she got a small part in Rollover, and also made a series of Calvin Klein commercials...