Most Underrated Actors/Actresses

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1.
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 originally planned to be a singer and studied at the University of Montana to become a composer...
 
2.
Walton Goggins
In his second collaboration with Academy Award-winning Quentin Tarantino, Walton Goggins stars in the writer/director's THE HATEFUL EIGHT. He plays the integral role of 'Chris Mannix,' a southern renegade who claims to be the new sheriff. In the last few years Goggins has had pivotal roles in films by two of Hollywood's most important auteurs: Quentin Tarantino...
 
3.
Allison Janney
Actress, The West Wing
Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing. Entertainment Weekly magazine describes Janney's screen presence as "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive"...
 
4.
Martha Plimpton
Actress, Raising Hope
She has show biz in her blood. Martha Plimpton was born November 16, 1970, in New York City to two actors: Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton. Martha began her career at age 8, when her mom had a friend of hers, composer Elizabeth Swados, enroll her in an actors' workshop. At age 10, she got a small part in Rollover, and also made a series of Calvin Klein commercials...
 
5.
CCH Pounder
Actress, Avatar
CCH Pounder (the CCH standing for Carol Christine Hilaria, her birth name). As can be said of other similarly styled actresses such as Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson, most of Pounder's characters are enriched with these same positive attributes and it is a testament to this actress' abilities that she continues on such a high plane in a nearly three-decade career...
 
6.
Juliette Lewis
Juliette Lewis has been recognized as one of Hollywood's most talented and versatile actors of her generation since she first stunned audiences and critics alike with her Oscar-nominated performance as "Danielle Bowden" in Cape Fear. To date, she has worked with some of the most revered directors in the industry...
 
7.
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.
 
8.
Garret Dillahunt
Garret grew up in the state of Washington and attended the University of Washington where he studied journalism. He received his MFA from New York University's Graduate Acting Program. He has appeared on and off Broadway and in theaters around the country before he began pursuing film and television roles. He has two brothers: Brett, a teacher; and Eric, deceased.
 
9.
Stephen Root
One of the most prolific character actors working today, Stephen Root has worked alongside many of the biggest names in Hollywood. Born in Sarasota, Root majored in acting and broadcasting at the University of Florida and remains a die-hard Gator fan. After three years of touring the U.S. and Canada with the National Shakespeare Company...
 
10.
Tess Harper
Tess Harper attended Southwest Missouri State University, now known as Missouri State University, in Springfield, MO. During the late 1960s, she did "street" acting in the theme parks, Dogpatch, USA, in Jasper, AR, and Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. She was discovered while doing theater work in Dallas...
 
11.
Giancarlo Esposito
Music Department, The Electric Company
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples and an opera-singing African-American mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was six, and that's where he grew up...
 
12.
Mare Winningham
Actress, Philomena
Mary 'Mare' Megan Winningham is an actress and songwriter who has appeared in nearly 100 TV shows and feature films. She began her career in 1976 as a singer, and starred in numerous and diverse film roles before hitting it big as one of the original Brat Pack in Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire with Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy...
 
13.
Dean Winters
Actor, John Wick
Dean Winters starred as "Johnny Gavin," Tommy's younger brother and a NYPD police detective on Rescue Me, the critically acclaimed, one-hour drama from Sony Pictures Television, airing on FX. Dean is best know for playing the cunning "Ryan O'Reily" on Tom Fontana's hit HBO drama series Oz...
 
14.
Scott William Winters
Scott William Winters is the brother of actor Dean Winters and writer Brad Winters. His sister Blair is married to executive producer/writer Jorge Zamacona. Scott is married to Jennifer Logan Winters. They have 2 daughters, Grace and Faith. Scott is from New York and attended Northwestern University in Chicago...
 
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17.
Jennifer Coolidge
Actress, American Pie
Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler's mom in American Pie. She was born on August 28, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Gretchen (Knauff) and Paul Constant Coolidge, a plastics manufacturer. Young Coolidge was dreaming of becoming a singer...
 
18.
Daniel Roebuck
Having made his feature film debut starring in the teen comedy Cavegirl Daniel Roebuck quickly realized that there was only one direction to travel in his career. Up! Soon after Cavegirl, Roebuck established himself as one of the industry's youngest character actors with his haunting portrayal as the teenage killer, Samson in The River's Edge...
 
19.
Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee has established himself over the past decade as an actor of considerable talent and accomplishment. His diverse and eclectic resume ranges from hilarious roles in such comedies as Mallrats and Without a Paddle to hauntingly dramatic performances in intense features such as American History X...
 
20.
Bobby Cannavale
Actor, Ant-Man
In both career and in real life, Bobby Cannavale tends to choose the unconventional way of doing things. In the beginning, his decisions may have cost the dark, swarthily good-looking actor some acting roles and/or good-paying money but, in the end, his strong work ethic and sense of self, despite a lack of formal training...
 
21.
Donal Logue
Donal Logue's versatility and talent makes him one of the most well respected and beloved actors today. Born in Ottawa, Canada, Logue moved all over the United States, from the Boston area as an infant to various towns on the Mexican border. He returned to Boston to attend Harvard University, where he majored in Intellectual History and discovered his love for the performing arts...
 
22.
Kevin Corrigan
A native of the Bronx, New York, Kevin Corrigan has been acting and writing since the age of 15. He made his film debut in Lost Angels and around that time, when he was just 17, his original play "The Boiler Room" was produced by the Young Playwrights Festival of New York. He has gone on to star in countless independent films and has made quite an impression...
 
23.
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"...
 
25.
Loretta Devine
Actress, Crash
Loretta Devine was born August 21, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, who worked as a laborer. Loretta grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston and later enrolled at the University of Houston, where she earned a a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama...
 
26.
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...
 
27.
JoBeth Williams
Actress, Poltergeist
The product of a musical family, Margaret JoBeth Williams was born in Houston, Texas, to Frances Faye (Adams), a dietitian, and Fredric Roger Williams, a wire/cable company manager and opera singer. Her father encouraged her early interest in theater during high school. She made her professional debut at age 18 in a Houston-based musical production...
 
28.
Patricia Clarkson
This remarkable, one-of-a-kind actress has, since the early 1990s, intrigued film and TV audiences with her glowing, yet careworn eccentricity and old world-styled glamour. Very much in demand these days as a character player, Patricia Clarkson nevertheless continues to avoid the temptation of money-making mainstream filming while reaping kudos and acting awards in out-of-the-way projects...
 
29.
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.
 
30.
Margo Martindale
Margo Martindale was born July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville, Texas, to Margaret (Pruitt) and William Everett Martindale, a lumber company owner and dog handler. She is the youngest of three children, and the only daughter. Margo attended Lon Marris College, and later transferred to University of Michigan at Ann Arbor...
 
31.
Philip Baker Hall
Philip Baker Hall was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Berdene (McDonald) and William Alexander Hall, a factory worker who was originally from Montgomery, Alabama. He did not start acting until he was 30 years old, and shot to cult fame when he turned in an electrifying performance as Sydney, the veteran gambler...
 
32.
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...
 
33.
Raymond J. Barry
Raymond J. Barry was born in New York, and attended Brown University, where he was a star athlete in football, basketball, and track. While there, he earned his degree in Philosophy and as a senior, was cast in the stage production of "Picnic," where he played a football player. He then entered the Yale Drama School and after completing...
 
34.
Celia Weston
Actress, The Village
Direct from Spartanburg, South Carolina, this tall, blonde actress may not exude shimmering star potential, but she certainly has earned the respect of stage and film audiences alike for her many touching portrayals of matter-of-fact, down-to-earth Southern folk. For someone who first attracted attention...
 
37.
Regina King
Actress, Ray
Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227, followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood. She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character's wife in Jerry Maguire...
 
38.
Alfred Molina
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 National Theatre productions...
 
39.
Elizabeth Reaser
Elizabeth Ann Reaser was born June 15, 1975 in Bloomfield, Michigan, to Karen (Weidman) and John Reaser. As the middle child in a trio of sisters, she grew up in rural Milford, MI. Her mother, a homemaker, and her father, an attorney turned restaurateur turned substitute teacher, divorced, and her stepfather was businessman Bill Davidson...
 
40.
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
 
41.
Kurt Fuller
Kurt Fuller is best known for his work in the films Wayne's World with Mike Myers, Anger Management, with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, and most recently as part of the all star cast of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Kurt was born in San Francisco and raised in the agricultural heartland of California's San Joaquin Valley...
 
44.
Debra Jo Rupp
Debra Jo Rupp always wanted to be an actress, but her parents were firmly opposed to the idea. They sent her to the University of Rochester at least in part because it offered no theater classes. But the school added a Drama department in Rupp's freshman year, and after graduation, she moved to New York to begin her acting career...
 
46.
Alan Tudyk
Actor, I, Robot
Alan Tudyk was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Plano, where he attended Plano Sr. High. In 1990, he went on to study drama at Lon Morris Jr. College. While there, he was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for Drama. He was also named Most Likely to Succeed and Sophomore Beau. During this time, Alan was also an active member of the Delta Psi Omega fraternity...
 
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50.
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...
 
51.
Judy Greer
Actress, Ant-Man
Judy Greer was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, as Judith Therese Evans. She is the daughter of Mollie Ann (née Greer), a hospital administrator and former nun, and Richard Evans, a mechanical engineer. She has German, Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish ancestry. After training for nearly ten years in classical Russian ballet...
 
53.
Jeffrey Tambor
An incisive talent when it comes to playing bent, off-the-wall characters, Jeffrey Tambor has been captivating audiences for nearly four decades. Tambor was born and raised in San Francisco, to Eileen (Salzberg) and Michael Bernard Tambor, a flooring contractor. His family is Ashkenazi Jewish (from Hungary and Ukraine)...
 
54.
Christine Lahti
Actress, Chicago Hope
Christine Lahti was born April 4, 1950 in Birmingham, Michigan, to Elizabeth Margaret (Tabar), a painter and nurse, and Paul Theodore Lahti, a surgeon. She is of half Finnish and half Austro-Hungarian descent. She studied fine arts at Florida State University and received a bachelors degree in drama from the University of Michigan...
 
57.
Chris Diamantopoulos
Chris grew up splitting his time between Greece and Canada. At age 9, he started doing TV commercials and professional theater. He left home at 18 to perform in a series of US national tours after which, he landed on Broadway. Chris now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles acting in TV and Film...
 
58.
Rob Riggle
Rob Riggle, comedian, actor and United States Marine Corps Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, was born April 21, 1970 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Sandra Sue (Hargis) and Robert Allen Riggle, who worked in insurance. Riggle has amassed many notable television credits and has also earned roles in several feature films...
 
59.
Paul Scheer
Actor, The League
Scheer is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer. Scheer was born in Huntington, New York and graduated from New York University where he majored in Communication and Education. He stars on the FX series The League, the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, and Hulu comedy series The Hotwives of Orlando...
 
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