As I add to the list, I'm sure I'll surprise myself at the number of more modern actors I include. :p
John Garfield was born Jacob Julius Garfinkle on the Lower East Side of New York City, to Hannah Basia (Margolis) and David Garfinkle, who were Jewish immigrants from Zhytomyr (now in Ukraine). Jules was raised by his father, a clothes presser and part-time cantor, after his mother's death in 1920, when he was 7...
“ Great natural actor. Exudes confidence. ” - ripplinbuckethead
American leading man of the 1940s and 1950s, Dana Andrews, was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farm by Collins, Covington County, Mississippi. He was the son of Annis (Speed) and Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister. He was one of thirteen children, including actor Steve Forrest
. Andrews studied business administration at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Texas...
“ Likeable, level-headed actor in most roles I've seen him in. ” - ripplinbuckethead
As a youth Peter Lorre ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for several years and acting in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, until Fritz Lang
cast him as the psychopathic child killer in M
“ Often known mostly for creepy roles, he actually performed in a nice variety of roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Legendary actor Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada, to Hannah Wood (Mitchell) and Newton Ford, a railroad executive. His family moved to Santa Monica, California when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school, followed by acting in West Coast, a traveling theater company...
“ Was great at both the loving husband/father and the tough-as-nails types. Nice variety in his roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
James Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition for The Philadelphia Story (1940) and receiving an Academy Lifetime Achievement award. Stewart was named the third greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age Hollywood by the American Film Institute. He was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star...
“ Proved time and again that he wasn't just an "aw, shucks" country boy-type. He could be as tough as anyone. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a train accident when he was two...
“ One of the more suave tough guys and was great at creepy roles, too. (but not so creepy that it wasn't a 'love to hate him' character) ” - ripplinbuckethead
was born on July 1, 1899 in Yorkshire, England. He was the son of Robert Laughton, a Yorkshire hotel keeper. His mother was a devout Roman Catholic of Irish ancestry. Laughton briefly attended Scarborough College, a local boys' school in his area before attending Stonyhurst College, an English Jesult school...
“ Really played a wide variety of roles. Added a real sense of humor to many characters. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Not just a country sheriff, as evidenced by such movies as "A Face in the Crowd" and "Hearts of the West." ” - ripplinbuckethead
Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish. Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater troupe directed by Dorothy Brando...
“ Always likeable, brought a lot of heart to his roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Richard Widmark established himself as an icon of American cinema with his debut in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death
in which he won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination as the killer "Tommy Udo". Kiss of Death
and other noir thrillers established Widmark as part of a new generation of American movie actors who became stars in the post-World War II era...
“ Small in stature, but huge in presence! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Born on October 1, 1921, in White Plains, New York, gruff veteran character actor James Whitmore earned early and widespread respect with his award-winning dramatic capabilities on Broadway and in films. He would later conquer TV with the same trophy-winning results. The son of James Allen Whitmore and Florence Crane...
“ Class act who helped raise some movies/shows from what may normally have been mediocre to something much more. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Sir Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England, to Gladys (Barrowclough), a textile worker and weaver, and Alfred Stewart, who was in the army. He was a member of various local drama groups from about age 12. He left school at age 15 to work as a junior reporter on a local paper; he quit when his editor told him he was spending too much time at the theatre and not enough working...
“ Really goes at things with gusto, whether in serious roles or doing something quite goofy! :) ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Still haven't seen him in a lot, but he was an incredible scene stealer in "Brute Force" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice." ” - ripplinbuckethead
Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson arrived in the United States at age ten, and his family moved into New York's Lower East Side. He took up acting while attending City College, abandoning plans to become a rabbi or lawyer. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts awarded him a scholarship, and he began work in stock...
“ Was able to escape the gangster image...somewhat. (that picture doesn't help) Always nice to see him in roles other than what made him famous. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color
but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
, Dumb & Dumber
and The Mask
established him as a bankable comedy actor...
“ *see Tony Randall* ” - ripplinbuckethead
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges
and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges
(née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges
. Both boys popped up, without billing...
“ Often plays laid back types, but has very good range. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent. Wilder caught his first big break playing...
“ Mostly known for comedy, often of the zany variety, but that's ok. ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley
and John Farley
. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette University...
“ Loud, but in a good way. Would've been interesting to see if he could've/would've branched out a bit as the years went by. I think he certainly had the ability. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955, and went to Santa Monica City College...
“ He can do it all, and has. :) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born in January 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned a successful sporting goods store...
“ Cool guy, plus he digs cars! Heh. ” - ripplinbuckethead
He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular culture...
“ Like Newman, cool guy and dug cars. What's not to like? ” - ripplinbuckethead
Paul Muni was born Sept. 22, 1895, in Lemberg, Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Salli and Phillip Weisenfreund, who were both professionals. His family was Jewish, and spoke Yiddish. Paul was educated in New York and Cleveland public schools. He was described as 5 feet 10 inches, with black hair and eyes...
“ Still haven't seen him a lot, but he was so good in "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" that I HAD to include him. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Kirk Douglas is an American actor, producer, director, and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s...
“ Played in a nice variety of roles, including the amazing reporter in "Ace in the Hole." ” - ripplinbuckethead
Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien
and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the end of the war...
“ So diverse in his roles, often as the put-upon man who brings order to things. Very confident. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born to a well-off English acting family in 1925. His mother and father worked in an acting company run by his grandmother. As a child, Sellers was spoiled, as his parents' first child had died at birth. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force and served during World War II...
“ People who only know him as Inspector Clouseau really need to see him in more roles! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and worked there until he was injured...
“ Could be one of the toughest tough guys or the nicest nice guys. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier
in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949...
“ Fun fact: his sister Jocelyn acted too. (in other words, need I say more?) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, to Dorothy (Nidelman), a radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an actor turned advertising executive. His father was of Irish and German ancestry, while his maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus...
“ Works his natural cynicism into his roles, with good results. Heh. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Born to George & Frances Simonson Walter, and named Sterling Relyea Walter. Father died in 1925. Adopted by stepfather 'James Hayden' renamed Sterling Walter Hayden. Grew up in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Maine. Though very poor, attended prep school at Wassookeag School in Dexter...
“ Likeable tough guy? Sure! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Anthony Perkins was born April 4, 1932 in New York City to Janet Esselstyn (Rane) and Osgood Perkins
, an actor of both stage and film. His paternal great-grandfather was noted engraver Andrew Varick Stout Anthony. Perkins attended the Brooks School, the Browne & Nichols School, Columbia University and Rollins College...
“ Often played the nerbous type, but the confidence shone through. Lots of fun roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
was born on February 8, 1925 in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He initially acted on TV before moving to Hollywood for the big screen, cultivating a career that would span decades. An eight time Academy Award nominee, with two wins, Lemmon starred in over 60 films including Some Like It Hot
“ Mostly known for comedy, but was very good at dramatic acting as well. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A...
“ Definitely could've made it solely as an actor. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at age 16 and joined the Navy...
“ Could be a bit hammy, but that's ok. I liked his style. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
“ Pretty much a genius. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ I'm slowly getting into his work. Quite impressed so far! ” - ripplinbuckethead
The son of an insurance underwriter, who represented Lloyd's of London in Ceylon, Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith was born in Margate, Kent. He spent his early childhood globetrotting with his mother, frequently left in the care of strangers. After attending private school, he subsequently trained at RADA (due to his mother's insistence)...
“ Haven't seen him in a lot so far, but have been impressed with things like "Mutiny on the Bounty" (better than Laughton?) and "Run for the Sun." ” - ripplinbuckethead
Ray Milland became one of Paramount's most bankable and durable stars, under contract from 1934 to 1948, yet little in his early life suggested a career as a motion picture actor. Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones in the Welsh town of Neath, Glamorgan, to Elizabeth Annie (Truscott) and Alfred Jones...
“ A shame he sort of got typecast later in his career, but we know he was always a leading man. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only person who ever had his back was himself...
“ Did a great job in a variety of roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Anthony Quinn was a Mexican-born American actor, painter and writer. He starred in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including La Strada, The Guns of Navarone, Zorba the Greek, Guns for San Sebastian, Lawrence of Arabia, The Message and Lion of the Desert. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor twice: for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Lust for Life in 1956...
“ Often played the heavy, but broke away from small roles to become a bigtime actor. Nice that he wasn't as typecasted as easily could've happened. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Gregory Peck first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949)...
“ Some of the best movies I've ever seen just happen to feature him. ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough and Cambridge, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following work in stock companies, he joined the Old Vic under the guidance of Sir Tyrone Guthrie
and of Alexander Korda
“ Really played things to the hilt. Brought a sense of urgency to his roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His father had English, and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family...
“ I have enjoyed every single thing I've seen him in. Can't say that about a lot of actors. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Alan Arkin is an Academy Award-winning American actor who is also an acclaimed director, producer, author, singer and composer. He was born Alan Wolf Arkin on March 26, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. In 1946 the Arkins moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles...
“ Nice that he has never really lost momemtum and can play in such a wide variety of movies. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Jack Palance exemplified evil incarnate on film -- portraying some of the most intensely despised villains witnessed in 50s westerns and melodrama. He received two Best Supporting Actor nominations early in his career, but it would take a grizzled, eccentric comic performance 40 years later for him to finally grab the coveted statuette...
“ Like Anthony Quinn, was able to break away from possible heavy stereotype. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...
“ So intense in any role, but can really dial it back when he needs to. Really makes you feel for his characters. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
“ Can, and has, done it all. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Born in Hong Kong, Sammo Hung's acting career began while he was training in acrobatics, martial arts and dance as a child at the China Drama Academy, and he received acclaim for his performance with a troupe called "The Seven Little Fortunes." He made his feature film debut as an actor at the age of 12...
“ Amazing fight choreographer, but that's only scratching the surface. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Yuen Biao is regarded as one of the most acrobatic martial artists ever. Unfortunately, he is still underrated and not as popular as other contemporaries such as Jackie Chan
, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
, and Jet Li
even though he is the most critically acclaimed out of all of them and the most talented as well...
“ Such a shame that he never got to the same level as his "brothers," because he really deserves it! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Veteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a two-year hitch in the army after graduating in 1953...
“ Excellent range. ” - ripplinbuckethead
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with his brother...
“ Call him Mister Poitier! ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and went on to study at University College, London, where he gained a degree in Philosophy...
“ Can be quite convincing with the drama when he wants to be. ” - ripplinbuckethead
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...
“ Very fun to watch, no matter the character type. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Often played frustrated, crotchety types, but that's part of the fun with him. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ A genius in his own way. ” - ripplinbuckethead
In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays...
“ The ultimate buddy. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Suave and handsome Australian actor who came to Hollywood in the 1950s, and built himself up from a supporting actor into taking the lead in several well-remembered movies. Arguably his most fondly remembered role was that as George (Herbert George Wells), the inventor, in George Pal
's spectacular The Time Machine
“ Likeable actor who could also be one of the best tough guys around. (see "Dark of the Sun") ” - ripplinbuckethead
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series...
“ Good diversity and intensity. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon"...
“ The wise and loveable curmudgeon. :) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After several moves...
“ Could play super serious or lighthearted too. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Karl Malden resumed his film acting career in the 1950s, starting with The Gunfighter (1950) and Halls of Montezuma (1950). The following year, he was in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), playing Mitch, Stanley Kowalski's best friend who starts a romance with Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh). For this role...
“ Likeable, even when playing a rough type. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century. His first stint as an entertainer was as a ventriloquist...
“ Always supremely enjoyable. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Comedian, actor, composer and conductor, educated in New York public schools. He was a master of ceremonies in amateur shows, a carnival barker, daredevil driver and a disc jockey., and later a comedian in night clubs. By the mid-1950s he had turned to writing original music and recording a series of popular and best-selling albums with his orchestra for Capitol Records...
“ Most know him as Ralph Kramden, but he was so much more. ” - ripplinbuckethead
American actor who began as a child in Our Gang comedies and reappeared as a powerful adult performer of leading and character roles. Born in New Jersey, the young Mickey Gubitosi won a role in MGM's Our Gang series at the age of 5. As one of the more prominent children in the Gang, he gained attention for his cute good looks and his lovable, if somewhat melancholy, personality...
“ Controversial man, but no controversy about his talent. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Son of character actor Robert Keith
and stage actress Helena Shipman. He grew up on the road with his parents while they toured in plays. First appeared at age 3 in film Pied Piper Malone
with his father. Began acting in radio programs and on stage before World War II. Joined the Marines and served as a machine gunner...
“ Always likeable, even in tougher roles. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover...
“ Bogey knew the score. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Salvatore (Sal) Mineo Jr. was born to Josephine and Sal Sr. (a casket maker), who emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily. His siblings were Michael, Victor and Sarina. Sal was thrown out of parochial school and, by age eight, was a member of a street gang in a tough Bronx neighborhood. His mother enrolled him in dancing school and...
“ Died so young, but did a lot in his acting career. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Ted de Corsia
A big, brawny villain of many 1940s and 1950s films, Ted de Corsia was an actor in touring companies and on radio before making a memorable film debut as the killer in The Lady from Shanghai
. Although he occasionally played such sympathetic roles as a judge or prison warden, de Corsia's imposing size, tough New York street demeanor...
“ Awesome tough guy. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ I love his brand of humor so much! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien was one of the most-respected character actors in American cinema, from his heyday of the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. Born on September 10, 1915, in the New York City borough of The Bronx, O'Brien learned the craft of performance as a magician, reportedly tutored by neighbor Harry Houdini
“ Consumate all-rounder, if you will. :) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s. James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman...
“ Impossible not to like him. ” - ripplinbuckethead
"Dad was a true Westerner, and I take after him", Gary Cooper told people who wanted to know more about his life before Hollywood. Dad was Charles Henry Cooper, who left his native England at 19, became a lawyer and later a Montana State Supreme Court justice. In 1906, when Gary was 5, his dad bought the Seven-Bar-Nine...
“ Nice variety in his work. ” - ripplinbuckethead
One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time (eclipsed, perhaps, only by "King" Clark Gable
and arguably by Gary Cooper
or Spencer Tracy
), and the cinema's quintessential "tough guy", James Cagney was also an accomplished--if rather stiff--hoofer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City...
“ Haven't seen enough of his work! (but like what I have) Need to get on that, pronto! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner Robert Bushnell Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mable Arbutus (Bushnell), a secretary, and Timothy Aloysius Ryan, whose wealthy family owned a real estate firm. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of English and Irish descent...
“ Tough guy with plenty of intensity, but still likeable no matter the role. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Oscar-winning character actor Martin Landau was born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. At age 17, he was hired by the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator. In his five years on the paper, he served as the illustrator for Billy Rose
's "Pitching Horseshoes" column. He also worked for cartoonist Gus Edson
on "The Gumps" comic strip...
“ Has done it all! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood. He was born John Christopher Depp II in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue (Wells), who worked as a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15...
“ Nice and versatile. I've enjoyed so much of his work. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Born Chow Sing-Chi in Hong Kong on June twenty-second, 1962, Stephen Chow spent his youth days with three sisters in Shanghai, China. He developed an interest in the martial arts after witnessing the talent of Bruce Lee, where he began training in the style of Wing Chun, which was one of Bruce Lee's specialties...
“ Mostly known for goofy stuff, but can do well with dramatic scenes as well. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ One of martial arts' very best. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Sacha Baron Cohen
British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, London. He is the son of Daniella (Weiser), a movement instructor, and Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner. His father, born in England and raised in Wales, was of Eastern European Jewish descent, while his mother was born in Israel...
“ Sure, he's not exactly the most serious of guys, but it's impressive how fully he gets into his characters. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Great character actor. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Referred to by some as a dadaistic comedian, Andy Kaufman took comedy and performance art to the edges of irrationality and blurred the dividing line between reality and imagination. Born in New York City on January 17, 1949, the first son of Stanley and Janice Kaufman, Andy grew up on New York in the town of Great Neck...
“ His whole life was largely an act! ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Carroll was born in Manhattan and raised in Forest Hills, a community of Queens, New York. After high school in 1942, he joined the Merchant Marines and worked on ships in the Atlantic. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Montana to study English. While there, he became interested in theater. During one of the amateur productions...
“ Even if people knew him solely as Archie Bunker, wow, what a role! ” - ripplinbuckethead
Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955 in Lynwood, California, the third child of Bill Costner
, a ditch digger and ultimately an electric line servicer for Southern California Edison, and Sharon Costner
(née Tedrick), a welfare worker. His older brother, Dan, was born in 1950. A middle brother died at birth in 1953...
“ The master of baseball movies. Haha. ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
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
“ He sure makes with the laughs! ” - ripplinbuckethead
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...
“ He and Ayoade were such a GREAT team on The IT Crowd! ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Have only seen him in comedic roles, but that's ok. ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet T. (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother is of Polish descent and his father is of Italian and German ancestry (Steve's grandfather had changed the surname from "Caroselli" to "Carrell")...
“ Funny man capable of drama too. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Born in Buchard, Nebraska, USA to Elizabeth Fraser and 'J. Darcie 'Foxy' Lloyd' who fought constantly and soon divorced (at the time a rare event), Harold Clayton Lloyd was nominally educated in Denver and San Diego high schools and received his stage training at the School of Dramatic Art (San Diego)...
“ One of the silent era geniuses. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ You absolutely must see Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, then Man to Man with Dean Learner. Holness is great! ” - ripplinbuckethead
English actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg was born Simon John Beckingham in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, to Gillian Rosemary (Smith), a civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician. His parents divorced when Pegg was seven. He later took his stepfather's surname, "Pegg". He was educated...
“ Mostly works for laughs, but can pull of drama to an extent as well. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Nick Frost is an English actor, screenwriter and comedian. He is known for his work in the series of British comedic genre films The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013). He also co-starred in Paul (2011), with frequent collaborator and friend Simon Pegg
“ Simon Pegg's very likeable frequent film and television partner. Great duo! ” - ripplinbuckethead
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...
“ Such an intense little guy. ;) ” - ripplinbuckethead
Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark. At the age of four Yen started taking up martial arts from his mother, who taught him wushu and tai chi until the age of eleven when his family emigrated to Boston, MA. From there he continued mastering wushi and tai chi...
“ He'll always be known as Ip Man from now on, but be sure and check out his other films. Iron Monkey is a blast! ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ [among other things] He was so awesome in Trail of the Screaming Forehead. ” - ripplinbuckethead
“ Have enjoyed much of his work, especially Nowhere Man. ” - ripplinbuckethead
George Raft was born and grew up in a poor family in Hell's Kitchen, at the time one of the roughest, meanest areas of New York City. He was born George Ranft, and was the son of Eva (Glockner) and Conrad Ranft, a department store deliveryman. His parents were both of German descent. In his youth, he showed a great interest in...
“ One of the least trained in the list, but he always did a good job with what he was given, even the so-so roles later in his career. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Millard Mitchell was born of American parents in Havana, Cuba. He was a popular stage and radio actor in the 1930s in New York. His first cinema appearances were in industrial short features, filmed in New York. His first Hollywood role was in Mr. and Mrs. North
. After World War II, Mitchell acted in a goodly number of movies...
“ With his size and that voice, it's hard not to cast him in tough roles, but he was likeable no matter what. ” - ripplinbuckethead
Although he came to be called "Hollywood's Irishman in Residence"--and, along with good friends James Cagney
, Allen Jenkins
, Frank McHugh
and a few others were called "The Irish Mafia"--and he often played Irish immigrants, Pat O'Brien was US-born and -bred. As a young boy the devoutly Roman Catholic O'Brien considered entering the seminary to study for the priesthood...
Barton MacLane graduated from Wesleyan University, where he displayed a notable aptitude for sports, in particular football and basketball. Not surprisingly, his physical prowess led to an early role in The Quarterback
with Richard Dix
. MacLane once commented that, as an actor, he needed to have the physical strength to tear the bad guys "from limb to limb"...