Top 40 Most Profoundly Underrated Actors

Male & Female
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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 to Eddie Moscone in Midnight Run, Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive, Cypher in The Matrix and Teddy in Memento...
 
2.
Joe Pesci
Actor, Goodfellas
Joe Pesci is an Italian-American actor, known for playing tough, volatile characters, in a variety of genres. He is best known for his roles in Martin Scorsese films Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995). Pesci has starred in a number of other high-profile films, including Easy Money (1983)...
“ Well known name yes. Although doesn't It feel like gangster films lately have been missing one little angry something. ” - adm-hnrx
 
3.
Frank Vincent
"Go home and get your shine box....", so said ill-fated Billy Batts in Goodfellas. 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 the Greenville section of Jersey City...
 
4.
Brad Dourif
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, after which his mother married Bill Campbell...
“ Has the great ability to grab and hold on to the audience's intrigue. ” - adm-hnrx
 
5.
Ted Levine
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...
 
6.
Michael Kenneth Williams
Born in Brooklyn, to an African American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau, Michael K. Williams was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. According to a DNA analysis, he is descended partly from the Mende people of Sierra Leone...
 
7.
Guy Pearce
Actor, Memento
Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Anne (Pickering) 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, after his father was offered the position of Chief test pilot for the Australian Government...
 
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 of many Shakespeare plays...
 
9.
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...
 
10.
Mark Margolis
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 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.
“ Naturally funny Australian actor ” - adm-hnrx
 
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14.
John Hurt
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 Arnould Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and mathematician...
 
15.
Anson Mount
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 sister Kristin from his father's first marriage...
 
16.
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...
 
17.
Adam Goldberg
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 Santa Monica...
 
18.
John Heard
Actor, Home Alone
John Heard is a very talented actor who established himself in the late 1970s and early '80s with roles in the movies Between the Lines, Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) (a.k.a. "Head Over Heels"), and Heart Beat (1981) (in which he played Jack Kerouac to Nick Nolte's Neal Cassady and Sissy Spacek's...
 
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“ R.I.P ” - adm-hnrx
 
21.
Tom Noonan
Actor, Heat
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...
 
23.
David Morse
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 11...
 
24.
Robert Carlyle
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 classes at the Glasgow Arts Centre...
“ Always brilliant, especially entertaining during the opening sequence of 28 Weeks Later ” - adm-hnrx
 
25.
Chevy Chase
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 Leigh Chase and admiral Miles Browning...
“ 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. ” - adm-hnrx
 
26.
Joel Edgerton
Actor, Warrior
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 Nepean Drama School in 1994...
 
27.
Kirk Acevedo
Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx, and spent most of his formative years hanging out in New York City, Kirk Acevedo, who is of Puerto Rican/Chinese 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 York Undercover and Law & Order...
 
28.
Kristen Wiig
Actress, The Martian
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 settling in Rochester...
 
29.
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...
 
30.
Joe Morton
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, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Eureka, and Scandal. He also writes and directs, and is a singer/songwriter.
 
31.
James Rebhorn
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...
 
32.
Noah Emmerich
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, Platoon
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, Con Air
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 Brown and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film career...
 
35.
Robert Englund
Veteran character actor Robert Englund was born in Glendale, California, to Janis (MacDonald) and John Kent Englund, an aeronautics engineer. He has Swedish, Danish, Scottish, and English ancestry. Since 1973, Englund has appeared in over 75 feature films and starred in four TV series. He has starred alongside Oscar-winners Henry Fonda...
 
36.
Delroy Lindo
Actor, Up
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...
 
37.
Stephen Tobolowsky
Actor, Memento
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...
 
38.
Richard Riehle
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"...
 
39.
David Paymer
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...
 
40.
Rosie O'Donnell
Self, The View
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 TV nearly 24 hours a day...
“ Funnier and a better actor than she gets credit for. ” - adm-hnrx