The most underrated actors ever.

by surajsnair162 | created - 12 Nov 2012 | updated - 12 Nov 2012 | Public

Underrated actors are not the typical lead actor in films; many are cast in supporting roles, but have a true presence on screen and often overshadow the lead.They might not be the most popular but some of the most memorable moments in cinema were delivered by these artists.But left out of the limelight.

1. John Cazale

Actor | Dog Day Afternoon

John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way (...

memorable movies: The godfather and part 2, Dog Day Afternoon, The Conversation, and The Deer Hunter.

2. Bruno Ganz

Actor | Der Untergang

Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with ...

downfall, wings of desire.

3. Michael Shannon

Actor | Take Shelter

Michael Corbett Shannon was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Geraldine Hine, a lawyer, and Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University. His grandfather was entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon.

Shannon began his professional stage career in Chicago. His ...

take shelter, bug, revolutionary road.

4. Sergi López

Actor | El laberinto del fauno

Sergi López is a Spanish actor, whose specialty is villains of all types but whose range also includes dramatizing romantic and comedic roles with equal mastery. He was born outside of Barcelona in the seaside town of Villanova i la Geltrú on December 22nd, 1965. As a youth he was inclined towards ...

5. Laura Linney

Actress | The Big C

Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her ...

the truman show.

6. Catherine Keener

Actress | Capote

Catherine Keener is an American actress, Oscar-nominated for her roles in the independent films Being John Malkovich (1999) and Capote (2005). Acclaimed in her community for her quirky roles in independent film and mainstream such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Keener got her start as a casting ...

7. Don Cheadle

Actor | Crash

Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...

crash, hotel rwanda.

8. J.K. Simmons

Actor | Whiplash

J.K. Simmons is an American actor.

He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music).

He had ...

9. William Hurt

Actor | A History of Violence

William McChord Hurt was born in Washington, D.C., to Claire Isabel (McGill) and Alfred McChord Hurt, who worked at the State Department. He was trained at Tufts University and The Juilliard School and has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including the most recent nomination for his ...

10. John Hawkes

Actor | Winter's Bone

John Hawkes was born John Marvin Perkins in Alexandria, Minnesota, to Patricia Jeanne (Olson) and Peter John Perkins, a farmer. He is of Scandinavian and British Isles descent. John moved to Austin, Texas to begin his career as an actor and musician. He co-founded the Big State Productions Theatre ...

11. Martina Gedeck

Actress | Das Leben der Anderen

Martina Gedeck was born in Munich. After spending a year in the US, she studied drama at the prestigious Max-Reinhardt-Seminar at the Berlin University of the Arts. Martinas film career began while she was still at drama school. Her filmography covers practically all genres of film.

Gedeck has won a...

12. Peter Mullan

Actor | Tyrannosaur

He was interested in directing films at the age of 19 and he made several shorts. As he wasn't admitted to the National Film School, he decided to dedicate himself to acting, and made his debut in the theatre in 1988 before moving to cinema and television. Fame came with the parts he played in such...

13. Tilda Swinton

Actress | We Need to Talk About Kevin

The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented actress Tilda Swinton have been appreciated by a more international audience of late.

She was born Katherine Mathilda Swinton on November 5, 1960, in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was ...

14. Sally Hawkins

Actress | Happy-Go-Lucky

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 ...

15. Michael Sheen

Actor | Masters of Sex

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...

16. Jackie Earle Haley

Actor | Watchmen

Jackie Earle Haley was born on July 14, 1961 in Northridge, California, USA as Jack Earle Haley. He is an actor and director, known for Watchmen (2009), Little Children (2006) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). He has been married to Amelia Cruz since August 6, 2004. He was previously married to...

17. Gena Rowlands

Actress | The Notebook

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes ...

18. 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 (2003), Sideways (2004), and Barney's Version (2010) (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella ...

19. Pete Postlethwaite

Actor | The Usual Suspects

Classically-trained actor Pete Postlethwaite was born Peter William Postlethwaite in 1946 and was a distinguished character actor on stage, TV and film. Growing up in Warrington, Lancashire amid middle-class surroundings, he went to college and while completing his studies developed an interest in ...

20. Dianne Wiest

Actress | Hannah and Her Sisters

One of three children (she has two brothers, Greg and Don), Dianne Wiest was born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Her mother, Anne Stewart (Keddie), was a nurse from Auchtermuchty, Scotland, and her father, Bernard John Wiest, was a college dean and social worker who was born in Pennsylvania, of ...

21. 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 ...

22. Liev Schreiber

Actor | Spotlight

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 (1976). His mother is from a working-class Jewish family from Poland and ...

23. Samantha Morton

Actress | Minority Report

Samantha Morton has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation, winning Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and Jim Sheridan's In America (2002). She has the talent to become one of the major performers in the cinema of this young century.

...

24. Emily Mortimer

Actress | Lars and the Real Girl

English actress Emily Kathleen Anne Mortimer was born in Hammersmith, London, England, to writer and barrister Sir John Mortimer and his second wife, Penelope (née Gollop). She was educated at St Paul's Girls' School in West London, and it was whilst there she began acting. Mortimer moved on from ...

25. Mathieu Amalric

Actor | Le scaphandre et le papillon

Mathieu Amalric was born on October 25, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is an actor and director, known for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Munich (2005).

26. Paddy Considine

Actor | Dead Man's Shoes

Paddy (Patrick) Considine was born on September 5, 1974 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire in the U.K. As a teenager, Considine studied a drama course at Burton College where he met with now friend and director Shane Meadows, who cast Considine in his first role in a feature film as the disturbed ...

27. 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 ...

28. 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 ...

29. 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...

30. Alfred Molina

Actor | Spider-Man 2

Alfred Molina was born in 1953 in London, England. His mother, Giovanna (Bonelli), was an Italian-born cook and cleaner, and his father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish-born waiter and chauffeur. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. His stage work includes two major Royal ...

31. Damian Lewis

Actor | Band of Brothers

Damian Lewis was born on February 11, 1971, in St. John's Wood, London, England, to Charlotte Mary (Bowater), from an upper-class background, and J. Watcyn Lewis, a city broker whose own parents were Welsh. He was raised on Abbey Road in London until the age of 8 with his siblings Gareth, William, ...

32. Amy Ryan

Actress | Gone Baby Gone

Amy Ryan was born on May 3, 1969 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Amy Beth Dziewiontkowski. She is an actress, known for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Gone Baby Gone (2007) and Escape Plan (2013). She has been married to Eric Slovin since August 23, 2011. They ...

33. Alan Cumming

Actor | The Anniversary Party

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,...

34. Kevin Costner

Actor | The Postman

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 ...

35. Brian Cox

Actor | X2

Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline Cox, maiden surname McCann, a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish ...

36. Danny Huston

Actor | X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Danny Huston is an American actor and director who has worked with Academy award-nominated actors from the very start of his career. No surprise for a man who was born into a legendary Hollywood family whose most noted members included his half-sister, his father, his grandfather, his nephew, and ...

37. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg) and William Brooks Clift. His father made a lot of ...

38. Viggo Mortensen

Actor | Captain Fantastic

Since his screen debut as a young Amish Farmer in Peter Weir's Witness (1985), Viggo Mortensen's career has been marked by a steady string of well-rounded performances.

Mortensen was born in New York City, to Grace Gamble (Atkinson) and Viggo Peter Mortensen, Sr. His father was Danish, his mother was...

39. Tom Hardy

Actor | Inception

With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception (2010), English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. However, the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his ...

40. Michael Fassbender

Actor | Shame

Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. ...

41. 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, ...

42. Channing Tatum

Actor | 21 Jump Street

Channing Tatum was born in a small town, Cullman, Alabama, 50 miles north of Birmingham. He is the son of Kay (Faust), an airline worker, and Glenn Matthew Tatum, who worked in construction. Growing up, he was full of energy and somewhat troublesome, so his parents decided to enroll him in ...

43. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor | The Master

Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ...