Most Underrated Actors

A bunch of actors and actresses who deserve more recognition (in no particular order).
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1.
David Thewlis
Actor, Naked
David Thewlis was born David Wheeler in 1963 in Blackpool, Lancashire, to Maureen (Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler, and lived with his parents above their combination wallpaper and toy shop during his childhood. Originally, he came to London with his band Door 66, however he changed his plans and entered Guildhall School of Drama...
 
2.
Steve Buscemi
Actor, Fargo
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
 
3.
Andrew Scott
Actor, Spectre
Andrew Scott grew up in Dublin, Ireland with an older and a younger sister, Sarah and Hannah. His father, Jim, worked in the Fas government employment agency, and his mother, Nora, taught art at a secondary school. Andrew attended Gonzaga, a Jesuit school for boys on the south side of Dublin. From the age of 8 he took drama classes for children on Saturdays at the Anne Kavanagh school...
 
4.
Jonny Lee Miller
Jonny Lee Miller (sometimes credited with an H) was born on November 15, 1972, in Kingston, England, UK, to actors Anna Lee and Alan Miller, and the grandson of actor Bernard Lee. After appearing in many high school plays at his selective state grammar school, Johnny dropped out at 17, to pursue acting full time...
 
5.
Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman is a talented British born movie actor who played Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, Drexl in True Romance, and George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the remake of RoboCop. He is also an English filmmaker, musician and author. Renowned for his "big" acting style...
“ Well, everybody knows he's the greatest actor of his generation, but he never won an Academy Award or got the right merit for his talent. ” - martynk-4
 
6.
Giovanni Ribisi
Antonino Giovanni Ribisi is an American actor who was born in Los Angeles, California. His parents both have careers in the entertainment industry. His mother, Gay Ribisi (née Landrum), is a talent manager for actors and writers, and his father, Albert Anthony Ribisi, is a musician. He has a twin sister...
 
7.
Alison Pill
Alison is a Canadian born TV, film and theater actress. She was born in Toronto, Ontario. Her father, who is Estonian, is a financier. She attended Vaughan Road Academy, and decided she wanted to be an actor when she was age 10. She was a member of the Toronto Children's Chorus and was chosen to narrate one of their performances. From there, she gained a job narrating children's audio books...
 
8.
Tim Roth
Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Simon Timothy Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to "Roth"; Ernie was in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry...
 
9.
Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans was born and raised in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, the son of teacher parents, Beti Wyn (Davies) and Eirwyn Evans. He was educated in two Welsh language schools - Ysgol Pentrecelyn, where his mother taught, and Ysgol Maes Garmon. During his childhood, Ifans showed an interest in performing and attended youth acting school...
 
10.
Casey Affleck
An accomplished and striking performer, Academy Award® nominee Casey Affleck has established himself as a powerful leading man with performances in multiple upcoming projects. Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher...
 
11.
Kelly Macdonald
Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was born and raised in Glasgow. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, a sales executive in the garment industry. She has one brother, David. As a hobby, she acted in an amateur theatrical club, which she enjoyed a great deal. Macdonald was working as a barmaid...
 
12.
Rupert Graves
Born in a seaside resort town, Britain's Rupert Graves was born a rebel, resisting authority and breaking rules at an early age. In his teens he became a punk rocker and even found work as a circus clown and in traveling comedy troupes. In 1983 he made his professional stage debut in "The Killing of Mr...
 
13.
Oscar Isaac
Actor, Ex Machina
Oscar Isaac was born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada in Guatemala, to a Guatemalan mother, Maria, and a Cuban father, Oscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, a pulmonologist. His maternal grandfather was of French origin. Oscar was raised in Miami, Florida. Before he became an actor, he played lead guitar and sang vocals in his band the Blinking Underdogs. He graduated from the Juilliard School in 2005...
 
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16.
Peter Capaldi
Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Nancy (Soutar) and Gerald John Capaldi. His parents owned an ice cream business. He is of Italian (from his paternal grandfather), Scottish, and Irish descent. Capaldi attended drama classes and was accepted into the Glasgow School of Art. After graduating he secured his breakthrough role in Local Hero...
 
17.
Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy is an award-winning British character actor. He was born William Francis Nighy on December 12, 1949 in Caterham, Surrey, England, to Catherine Josephine (Whittaker), a psychiatric nurse from Glasgow, and Alfred Martin Nighy, who was English-born and managed a garage in Croydon. At school...
 
19.
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
 
20.
Matthew Goode
Matthew William Goode (born 3 April 1978) is an English actor. His films include Chasing Liberty (2004), Match Point (2005), Imagine Me and You (2006), Brideshead Revisited (2008), Watchmen (2009), A Single Man (2009), Leap Year (2010), Stoker (2013) and The Imitation Game (2014). Goode also starred...
 
21.
Ben Whishaw
Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (father) and English (mother) descent...
 
22.
Hayley Atwell
Born in London, England, Hayley Elizabeth Atwell has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States. An only child, Hayley was named after actress Hayley Mills. Her parents, Alison (Cain) and Grant Atwell, both motivational speakers, met at a London workshop of Dale Carnegie's self-help bible "How to Win Friends and Influence People"...
 
23.
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...
 
24.
Norman Reedus
Norman Reedus was born in Hollywood, Florida, to Marianne (Yarber), a teacher, and Norman Reedus. He is of Italian (from his paternal grandmother), English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Norman's first film was in Guillermo del Toro's 1997 horror thriller Mimic, where he played the character Jeremy...
 
25.
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 not, despite rumors, related to actor Danny Glover. Donald graduated from New York University with a degree in Dramatic Writing in 2006...
 
26.
Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany is an English actor. He first came to the attention of mainstream audiences when he appeared in the British film Gangster No. 1, and director Brian Helgeland's film A Knight's Tale. He has gone on to appear in a wide variety of films, including A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Dogville...
 
27.
Naomie Harris
Actress, Skyfall
British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla. Her father is from Jamaica and her mother is from Trinidad. She showed an interest in acting from an early age and attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theatre School. From here, Harris won roles in various projects...
 
28.
Jewel Staite
Actress, Serenity
Born in White Rock, BC, Canada. Spent first three years of life in Maui. Started out modeling, was recommened to act at age 6. Won best actor in "Meeting Dad", a Vancouver Film School short.
 
29.
Maribel Verdú
Maribel Verdú was born on October 2, 1970 in Madrid, Spain as María Isabel Verdú Rollán. She is an actress, known for Snow White, Pan's Labyrinth and Y Tu Mamá También. She is the older sister of twins Marina and Carlota and she has been married to Pedro Larrañaga since September 1999.
 
30.
Romola Garai
Actress, Amazing Grace
Born in Hong Kong to father Adrian (banker) and mother Janet (journalist), Romola Garai's unusual name is the female version of Romolo, an Italian name for boys (from Latin Romulus, the founder of Rome). She grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong until she was eight when her family returned to lay roots in Wiltshire...
 
31.
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...
 
32.
Saoirse Ronan
Actress, Atonement
Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan (née Brennan) and Paul Ronan, an actor. When Saoirse was three, the family moved to Ireland, and Saoirse grew up in its County Carlow. Saoirse made her first TV appearance with a small role in a few episodes of the TV series...
 
34.
Anna Popplewell
Anna Popplewell was born on December 16, 1988 in London, England as Anna Katherine Popplewell. She is an actress, known for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. She is also known for her role as "Lola" on the popular CW show, Reign.
 
35.
Sally Hawkins
Sally Hawkins was born in 1976 in Lewisham hospital, London, England, to Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, authors and illustrators of children's books. She is of English and Irish descent. Hawkins was brought up in Greenwich, in southeast London. She attended James Allen's Girls' School in Dulwich. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1998...
 
36.
Mark Strong
British actor Mark Strong, who played Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is often cast as cold, calculating villains. But before he became a famous actor, he intended to pursue a career in law. Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in London, England, to an Austrian mother and an Italian father...
 
37.
Tom Hardy
With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception, English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. But the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his television debut in the miniseries Band of Brothers...
 
38.
Jared Harris
Jared Francis Harris was born in London, England. He is the son of Irish actor Richard Harris and Welsh actress Elizabeth Harris (Elizabeth Rees), and brother of Damian Harris and Jamie Harris. Despite his lineage, Jared showed little interest in becoming an actor, until he was cast in a college production while attending North Carolina's Duke University (USA)...
 
39.
Charlie Cox
Actor, Daredevil
Charlie Thomas Cox was born in London, England, to Patricia C. A. (Harley) and Andrew Frederick Seaforth Cox, a publisher. He has English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and descends from several prominent forebears (Baronets of Agnew and Carnegie, an Earl of Findlater, and a Colonial Governor of New York, Andrew Elliot)...
 
41.
Richard Ayoade
Writer, Submarine
Richard Ellef Ayoade was born in Hammersmith, and grew up in Suffolk, in England, the son of a Norwegian mother, Dagny Amalie (Baassuik), and a Nigerian father, Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade. He studied Law at Cambridge university, and followed in the footsteps of British Comedy legends like Monty Python's Eric Idle...
 
42.
Dominic Cooper
Dominic Edward Cooper was born and raised in Greenwich, London, England. His mother, Julie (Heron), is a nursery school teacher and a keen theater-goer. His father, Brian Cooper, is an auctioneer. They divorced when Dominic was age 5. His maternal great-grandfather was film enthusiast E.T. Heron, who published The Kinematograph Weekly...
 
43.
Michael Sheen
Even though he had burned up the London stage for nearly a decade--and appeared in several films--Michael Sheen was not really "discovered" by American audiences until his critically-acclaimed turn as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1999 Broadway revival of "Amadeus". Sheen was born in Newport, Wales, the only son of Irene (Thomas) and Meyrick Sheen...
 
44.
Emile Hirsch
Emile Davenport Hirsch was born in Palms, California, to Margaret Esther (Davenport), a teacher and visual artist, and David M. Hirsch, an entrepreneur and producer. He grew up in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and having been introduced to acting while still at school, he got his first acting job on TV at the age of 11 in an episode of Kindred: The Embraced...
 
45.
Anton Yelchin
Actor, Star Trek
Anton Yelchin was an American actor, known for playing Bobby in Hearts in Atlantis, Chekov in the Star Trek reboot, Charlie Brewster in the Fright Night remake, and Jacob in Like Crazy. He was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR, to a Jewish family. His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin...
 
46.
Sam Rockwell
Actor, Moon
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco...
“ Probably the most underrated of them all. ” - martynk-4
 
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49.
Craig Parkinson
Actor, Control
Born March 11 1976 Craig Parkinson was brought up in his native Blackpool and attended Blackpool and Fylde College before, at age 17, moving to London to study at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. After several years in bit parts on TV, he came to notice as impresario Tony Wilson in the 2007 film 'Control' about the Joy Division singer Ian Curtis...
 
50.
Rufus Sewell
Actor, Dark City
Rufus Sewell was born on the 29th of October 1967 in Twickenham, England. His mother, Jo, was Welsh, and was an artist and painter. His father, Bill, was an Australian animator who died when Rufus was 10. He has one brother, Caspar. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama and left in June of 1989 after completing three years of training...
 
51.
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...
 
53.
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...
 
54.
Daniel Brühl
Daniel Brühl was born in Barcelona, Spain. His father was German TV director Hanno Brühl (1937-2010), who was born in São Paulo, Brazil. His Spanish mother was a teacher. He also has a brother and a sister, Oliver and Miriam. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Cologne, Germany, where he grew up and attended the Dreikönigsgymnasium...
 
55.
Greg Kinnear
Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport, Indiana, USA to Edward Kinnear, a career diplomat with the US State Department, and Suzanne (Buck) Kinnear, a homemaker. Greg has two brothers--James, vice president-investments at Wachovia Securities in Arizona who was born in 1957, and Steve, a business manager with the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina who was born in 1959...
 
56.
Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia...
 
57.
Idris Elba
Actor, Prometheus
An only child, Idris Elba was born and raised in Hackney, London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at a Ford motor factory. His mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He gained a place in the National Youth Music Theatre - thanks to a £1,500 Prince's Trust grant...
 
58.
Paul Giamatti
Actor, Sideways
Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor, Sideways, and Barney's Version (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, and San Andreas...
 
59.
Eva Green
Actress, Casino Royale
French actress and model Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar. Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time...
 
60.
Liev Schreiber
Liev (pronounced Lee-ev) Schreiber was born in San Francisco. His mother, Heather (Milgram), is a painter, and his father, Tell Schreiber (Tell Carroll Schreiber III), is a theatrical actor who had a small role in The Keeper. His mother is from a working-class Jewish family from Poland and Russia...