Top 40 Most Profoundly Underrated Actors

by adm-hnrx | created - 04 Sep 2012 | updated - 10 Oct 2012 | Public

Male & Female

1. Joe Pantoliano

Actor | Memento

With more than 100 film, television and stage credits to his name, Joseph Peter Pantoliano is a prolific American character actor who has played many diverse and memorable roles, from Guido in Risky Business (1983) to Eddie Moscone in Midnight Run (1988), Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive (1993), Cypher...

2. Joe Pesci

Actor | Goodfellas

Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids"....

Well known name yes. Although doesn't It feel like gangster films lately have been missing one little angry something.

3. Frank Vincent

Actor | Goodfellas

"Go home and get your shine box....", so said ill-fated Billy Batts in Goodfellas (1990). However, Billy Batts is better known to a legion of crime-film fans as the talented actor, musician, and comedian Frank Vincent. Multi-talented Vincent was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, but was raised in...

4. Brad Dourif

Actor | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Gaunt character actor Brad Dourif was born Bradford Claude Dourif on March 18, 1950 in Huntington, West Virginia. He is the son of Joan Mavis Felton (Bradford) and Jean Henri Dourif, a French-born art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. His father died when Dourif was three years old, ...

Has the great ability to grab and hold on to the audience's intrigue.

5. Ted Levine

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

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 ...

6. Michael Kenneth Williams

Actor | The Wire

Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn, to an African-American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau. He was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School....

7. 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, ...

8. Peter Stormare

Actor | Fargo

Peter Stormare was born in Arbrå, Gävleborgs län, Sweden, to Gunhild (Holm) and Karl Ingvar Storm. He began his acting career at the Royal National Theatre of Sweden, performing for eleven years. In 1990 he became the Associate Artistic Director at the Tokyo Globe Theatre and directed productions ...

9. Gabriel Byrne

Actor | The Usual Suspects

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 ...

10. Mark Margolis

Actor | Pi

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.

11. Luis Guzmán

Actor | Traffic

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.

12. Stephen Curry

Actor | Hounds of Love

Stephen Curry was born in 1976 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is an actor and writer, known for Hounds of Love (2016), Rogue (2007) and The Castle (1997).

Naturally funny Australian actor

13. John Jarratt

Actor | Wolf Creek

John Jarratt was born on August 5, 1951 in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. He is an actor, known for Wolf Creek (2005), Wolf Creek 2 (2013) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

14. John Hurt

Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four

This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and ...

15. Anson Mount

Actor | Crossroads

Anson is an American actor, born in Mount Prospect, IL and grew up in White Bluff, Tennessee. His mother is Nancy Smith, a former professional golfer. His father Anson Adams Mount II was one of the original contributing editors to Playboy magazine. Anson has an older brother Anson Adams III and a ...

16. Kevin Pollak

Actor | The Usual Suspects

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 ...

17. Adam Goldberg

Actor | Saving Private Ryan

An actor with a talent for mining the neuroses of his characters for both comedic and dramatic effect and a filmmaker adept at exploring the philosophical questions at the heart of the human experience, Adam Goldberg has solidified his position as a versatile and unique talent.

Goldberg was born in ...

18. John Heard

Actor | Home Alone

John Heard was a very talented actor who established himself as a respected thespian in the late 1970s and early '80s, though he is perhaps better known for his turns as Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin')s father in the Home Alone (1990) movies.

John was born in Washington, D.C., to Helen (...

19. Mike Starr

Actor | Ed Wood

Mike Starr was born on July 29, 1950 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for Ed Wood (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994) and Uncle Buck (1989). He has been married to Joanne since 1975. They have three children.

20. Andy Whitfield

Actor | Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Andy Whitfield was born on October 17, 1971 in Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales. He was an actor, known for Spartacus: War of the Damned (2010), Gabriel (2007) and The Clinic (2010). He was married to Vashti Whitfield. He died on September 11, 2011 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


21. Tom Noonan

Actor | Synecdoche, New York

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 ...

22. Ewen Bremner

Actor | Trainspotting

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Ewen Bremner has worked with many of the most respected directors in world cinema, including Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh, Ridley Scott, Joon-Ho Bong, Werner Herzog and Woody Allen. Ewen has established himself by creating unique characters in critically acclaimed films, as ...

23. David Morse

Actor | The Green Mile

David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, became established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead.

He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on October...

24. Robert Carlyle

Actor | The Full Monty

Robert Carlyle was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth, a bus company employee, and Joseph Carlyle, a painter and decorator. He was raised by his father after his mother left him when he was four. At the age of 21, after reading Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," he enrolled in acting ...

Always brilliant, especially entertaining during the opening sequence of 28 Weeks Later

25. Chevy Chase

Actor | National Lampoon's Vacation

Chevy Chase was born Cornelius Crane Chase in Lower Manhattan, New York, to Cathalene Parker (Browning), a concert pianist and librettist, and Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, an editor and writer. His parents both came from prominent families, and his grandfathers were artist and illustrator Edward ...

Although Chase is well known to most audiences. I class him as underrated by critics. He is a naturally funny comedian and should be utilised more in film.

26. Joel Edgerton

Actor | The Gift

Joel Edgerton was born on June 23, 1974 in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia, to Marianne and Michael Edgerton, who is a solicitor and property developer. His brother is filmmaker Nash Edgerton. He went to Hills Grammar School in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and after leaving, he attended ...

27. Kirk Acevedo

Actor | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Born and raised in the Bronx, and spent most of his formative years hanging out in New York City, Kirk Acevedo, who is of Puerto Rican descent, received his BFA from SUNY Purchase and founded a theater company called The Rorschach Group. After guest-starring on several television shows like New ...

28. Kristen Wiig

Actress | Bridesmaids

Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York, to Laurie J. (Johnston), an artist, and Jon J. Wiig, a lake marina manager. She is of Norwegian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before ...

29. Tom Sizemore

Actor | Saving Private Ryan

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, ...

30. Joe Morton

Actor | Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Joe Morton was born on October 18, 1947 in New York, New York, USA. He is a television, film, and theater actor, best known for The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Terminator 2 (1991), Eureka (2006), and Scandal (2012). He also writes and directs, and is a singer/songwriter.

31. James Rebhorn

Actor | Independence Day

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 ...

32. Noah Emmerich

Actor | The Americans

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...

33. Keith David

Actor | The Princess and the Frog

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...

34. Nick Chinlund

Actor | Training Day

Nick Chinlund was born and raised in New York City. He left the city to play basketball at Brown University, but his hoops career was cut short when he suffered an injury during his freshman year. He stayed at Brown and took up acting classes, and realized it was his true calling. He graduated from...

35. Robert Englund

Actor | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Veteran character actor Robert Englund was born in Glendale, California, to Janis (MacDonald) and John Kent Englund, an aeronautics engineer. Since 1973, Robert has appeared in over 75 feature films and starred in four TV series. He has starred alongside Oscar-winners Henry Fonda, Susan Sarandon ...

36. Delroy Lindo

Actor | Get Shorty

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 (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's ...

37. Stephen Tobolowsky

Actor | Spaceballs

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 ...

38. Richard Riehle

Actor | The Man from Earth

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 ...

39. David Paymer

Actor | State and Main

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. ...

40. Rosie O'Donnell

Actress | Sleepless in Seattle

Rosie O'Donnell was born into an Irish-American family in Commack, Long Island. She is the middle of 5 children, and is the daughter of Roseann Teresa (Murtha) and Edward Joseph O'Donnell, an electrical engineer for the defense industry. Her mother died when she was ten. She said that she watched ...

Funnier and a better actor than she gets credit for.