Some are stars, some have famous faces but you might not know their names, some have famous names but you might not know their face, and others have made a career of appearing in small roles in big movies.
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett
, which eventually led to him performing in his high school play production of "Waiting for Godot"...
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow is a Swedish actor who became a French citizen in 2002. He has appeared in many films, in many languages, including Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Sydow is most know for films such as The Seventh Seal (1957), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)...
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 of course, himself...
Born in Denmark, Sven-Ole Thorsen has a remarkable sporting background as a champion bodybuilder, champion power-lifter, and karate black belt that made him an obvious choice for movies roles as "muscle for hire." The hulking 6' 5" actor first came to attention as one of Thulsa Doom's bodyguards... The hammer wielding Thorgrim...
Born in Sudan, Siddig was raised in Britain and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) where he studied acting and theater. Immediately after leaving LAMDA, Sid did a season of theater in Manchester, in addition to performing in various shows in pubs and small theaters. Later, Siddig worked as a director in a small theater in London...
Marton was born in Invercargill, Aotearoa, to Margaret Christine (Rayner), a nurse, and Márton Csókás, a mechanical engineer. His father is Hungarian and his mother is Australian (of English, Irish, and Danish origin). He inherited some of his talents from his father, a trained opera singer and at one time, a trapeze artist in the Hungarian Circus...
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...
Over more than thirty years, Michael Wincott has gained the reputation of a respected and uncompromising actor. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, he eventually moved to New York City where he graduated from Juilliard in 1986 and began a relationship with Joseph Papp's Public Theatre beginning with his creation of the role of Kent in Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio...
Boisterous British actor Brian Blessed is known for his hearty, king-sized portrayals on film and television. A giant of a man accompanied by an eloquent wit and booming, operatic voice, Brian was born in 1936 and grew up in the mining village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire. His father was a miner who wanted a better life for his son; Brian lost three uncles in the pit...
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...
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...
James Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He studied civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, but at some point along the way became interested in acting. He graduated from the University of Southern California and practiced for 1½ years as a road engineer with the County of Los Angeles...
Ian McShane was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, to parents Irene (Cowley) and Harry McShane, a soccer player for Manchester United. His father was Scottish and his mother was of English and Irish descent. Ian originally planned to follow in his father's 'footballer' steps, until his high school teacher encouraged him to be an actor...
Victor Garber has been in some of the most memorable projects of the past four decades. Victor is currently appearing in The Slap, The Flash, Motive and Web Therapy. He will soon star in Greg Berlanti's new Untitled DC Comics Superhero series for Warner Bros/CW. He has shared in two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast...
Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, she moved to London...
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...
Paul Bettany was born in Harlesden, London, England, into a theatre family. His father, Thane Bettany
, is still an actor, but his mother, Anne Kettle
, has retired from acting. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne
(her maiden and stage name), was a successful actress, while his maternal grandfather...
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...
Bill Nighy is an award-winning British character actor. He was born 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, he gained 'O'-levels in English Language and English Literature and enjoyed reading...
Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor and film producer who has performed in film, television, theatre and radio. The son of actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, he graduated from the University of Manchester and continued his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, obtaining a Master of Arts in Classical Acting...
Known as much for his rigorous career choices as for his talent and chiseled good looks, Billy Crudup has been straddling the line between serious actor and "it" leading man for several years. Crudup was born in 1968 in Manhasset, New York (a Long Island suburb), the middle child in a family of three boys...
Blue-eyed Vincent Cassel was born in Paris to a leading actor father, Jean-Pierre Cassel
, and a journalist mother, Sabine Litique. Often labeled as a tough guy because of his roles, eclectic choices and talent have made of him a star of European cinema. First in La Haine
, the young actor, actually coming from upper classes...
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...
Judi Dench was born in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre...
Popular British character actor Tom Wilkinson was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and comes from a long line of urban farmers. He is the son of Marjorie (Percival) and Thomas Wilkinson. Economic hardships forced his family to move to Canada for a few years when Wilkinson was a child; after he had returned to England...
Timothy James Curry was born on April 19, 1946 in Grappenhall, Cheshire, England. His mother, Maura Patricia (Langmead), was a school secretary, and his father, James Curry, was a Methodist Royal Navy chaplain. Curry studied Drama and English at Birmingham University, from which he graduated with Combined Honors...
Mads Mikkelsen is a synonym to the great success the Danish film industry has had since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker. Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher
, he slowly grew to become one of Denmark's biggest movie actors...
Frank Langella was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Angelina and Frank A. Langella, a business executive. He is of Italian descent. A stage and screen actor of extreme versatility, Frank Langella won acclaim on the New York stage in "Seascape" and followed it up with the title role in the Edward Gorey
production of "Dracula"...
Stellan Skarsgård is a Swedish actor. He is known for his roles as Jan Nyman in Breaking the Waves (1996), Prof. Gerald Lambeau in Good Will Hunting (1997), Bootstrap Bill in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), Bill Anderson in Mamma Mia...
British character actor Richard Griffiths came from radio and the classical stage where he built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown, with larger-than-life portrayals of Henry VIII, Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Royal Shakespeare Company just a few of his standout credits...
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...
Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline (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 descent. Cox first came to attention in the early 1970s with performances in numerous television films...
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Tcheky Karyo grew up in Paris. He studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, where he played numerous classical roles. He next joined the National Theatre of Strasbourg, where he starred in contemporary theatre as well as in such classical works as "Tartuffe"...
Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and Nick Newton, a British father who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK. She then lived in Cornwall in the southwest of Britain until the age of 11...
Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier
, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature...
One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school...
Jeffrey Duncan Jones was born in Buffalo, New York. He is a very tall, fair-haired character actor who is recognized all over for his excellent work. He is a veteran stage actor having such plays as "The Elephant Man" and Neil Simon
's "London Suite" under his belt. His first film role was in The Revolutionary
F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham was born on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in El Paso, Texas. Primarily a stage actor, Abraham made his screen debut as an usher in the George C. Scott
comedy They Might Be Giants
. By the mid-1970s, Murray had steady employment as an actor, doing commercials and voice-over work...
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born Jonathan Michael Francis O'Keefe on July 27, 1977, in Dublin, Ireland, to Mary Geraldine (Meyers) and John O'Keeffe, a musician. He and his family moved to County Cork, Ireland, when the actor was nearly a year old, and then, at the age of 3, his father left the family, leaving his mother to care for Jonny and his 3 younger brothers alone...
Martin Freeman is an English actor, best known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office, Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock and Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama TV series Fargo...
Chiwetel Ejiofor is an English actor. He is known for his portrayal of Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), the Operative in Serenity (2005), Lola in Kinky Boots (2005), Luke in Children of Men (2006), Dr. Adrian Helmsley in 2012 (2009) and Dr. Vincent Kapoor in The Martian (2015). He played Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013)...
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was 13. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator
by Ridley Scott
by Steven Spielberg
Michael Parks is known as an actor's actor by his peers with a breadth of astonishing range that has allowed him to portray stunning contrasts - sometimes in the same film, like in 2014's "TUSK", starring in dual roles as an erudite serial killer opposite Justin Long, and as a feeble rube opposite Johnny Depp...
Born in the southern city Cheng Du of China, Bai Ling began her career at the age of 14. She enlisted In the Chinese People's Liberation Army where she spent three years in a performance troop entertaining soldiers stationed in Tibet. Bai Ling first gained the attention of audiences and critics alike when she won the coveted lead role opposite Richard Gere in Jon Avnet
's Red Corner
Tall, thin, wiry Sam Elliott is the classic picture of the American cowboy. Elliott began his acting career on the stage and his film debut was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
. Although his future wife, Katharine Ross
co-starred in the film, the two did not meet until they filmed The Legacy
Together. Over the years there would be few opportunities to act in feature westerns...
From small-town Oklahoma native to internationally acclaimed actor and musician, Wes Studi credits his passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Within a few years of his arrival in Hollywood, Studi caught the attention of the public in Dances with Wolves
Mary McDonnell is a two-time Oscar®-nominated actress, who is known for her character portrayals in both period and present-day screen roles. Mary Eileen McDonnell was born on April 28, 1952 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to Eileen (Mundy) and John McDonnell, a computer consultant, both of Irish descent...
Graduate of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts on an ITT International Fellowship in the Fulbright Competition, Tom is an accomplished country singer-songwriter (RCA album - "Porchlight on in Oregon" and the independently released "Still Waters - (A collection of Years)), a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio...
John Vernon was a prolific stage-trained Canadian character player who made a career out of convincingly playing crafty villains, morally-bankrupt officials and heartless authority figures in American films and television since the 1960s. Vernon has been directed by some stellar filmmakers including...
Rugged-looking James Gammon first broke into the entertainment industry not as an actor but as a TV cameraman. From there, his weatherbeaten features, somewhat menacing attitude and a tough-as-nails voice--the kind that used to be described in detective novels as "whiskey-soaked"--reminiscent of '40s...
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...
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...
Ray Winstone was born on February 19, 1957, in Hackney Hospital in London, England, to Margaret (Richardson) and Raymond J. Winstone. He moved to Enfield, at age seven, where his parents had a fruit and vegetable business. He started boxing at the age of twelve at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing Club...
Bruce McGill grew up in San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Adriel Rose (née Jacobs) is an artist, and his father, Woodrow Wilson McGill, is a real estate and insurance agent. He graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School San Antonio and from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in drama. His love for acting stems back to elementary school...
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)...
In the past few years, Walton Goggins has had pivotal roles in films by two of Hollywood's most important auteurs: Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg. His integral role as 'Chris Mannix,' a southern renegade who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock in Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT, marks his second collaboration with the Academy Award-winning writer/director...
S. Epatha Merkerson
A native of Michigan, S. Epatha Merkerson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wayne State University. In 1978, she moved to New York City to apply her craft on stage. Although best known since 1993 as the smart and shrewd Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running TV crime drama Law & Order
John "Spud" McConnell has done lots of films, stand up comedy and other stuff. Spud has worked on the East coast (Off-Broadway), the West coast (network television), but prefers to live on the Gulf Coast. "Have talent, will travel to your project." But then, going home to New Orleans! Please visit spudmcconnell.com for more film clips and voice demos.
A likable, boyish-looking actor with thick eyebrows and a friendly smile, Justin Long is a native of Connecticut. He was born and raised in Fairfield, the second of three sons. His father, R. James Long, is a Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, and his mother, Wendy Lesniak
, is a former Broadway actress...
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...
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 1997 the Guillermo del Toro horror thriller film Mimic, where he played the character Jeremy...
Mary Steenburgen is an Academy Award-winning American actress. She was born February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas, USA. Her mother, Nellie May (Wall) Steenburgen, was a school-board secretary, and her father, Maurice H. Steenburgen, was a freight-train conductor. Her surname comes from distant Dutch ancestry, and her roots also include English, Scottish, and Welsh...
American character actress Anne Ramsey was quite busy in the 1980s despite being in her later years at the time. It wasn't until quite late in her life that Ramsey pursued an acting career in motion pictures. Ramsey was born Anne Mobley in Omaha, Nebraska, to Eleanor (Smith), a national treasurer of the Girl Scouts...
Lin attended the University of Michigan, where she was an Art History major, although acting in as many University productions as possible, including "Bye Bye Birdie" and "On The Town". After U of M, she attended Columbia University School of the Arts, and acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting...
Thomas Haden Church
Thomas Haden Church was born Thomas Richard McMillen in Yolo, California, to Maxine (Sanders) and Carlos Richard McMillen, who was a U.S. marine and surveyor. He was raised in Texas. Church began his show business career in front of a microphone instead of a camera, first as a radio deejay and then as a voice-over announcer...
James Brian Mark Purefoy was born and brought up in Taunton, Somerset, England, the son of Shirley (Taylor), who ran an employment agency, and Anthony Chetwynd Purefoy. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he took a succession of different jobs, including working on a pig farm and as a porter at Yeovil District Hospital...
Ciaran Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9, 1953. He was one of five children and the only son. His father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his decision to become an actor...
Xander's father was a painter and his mother a school teacher who sewed, providing him with costumes (his preference over toys). School plays and Community Theater were next. An experimental theater troupe in the area (which was an offshoot from Joseph Chaikin
's Open Theater in New York) took Xander under their wing when he was 16...
Edward Matthew Lauter II was born on October 30, 1938 in Long Beach, New York. In a film career that extended for over four decades, Lauter starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western Dirty Little Billy
. He portrayed an eclectic array of characters over the years...
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...
A small-town guy with a big heart, William Fichtner has been captivating the hearts of Western New Yorkers for decades. Bill was born in 1956 on Long Island, New York, to Patricia A. (Steitz) and William E. Fichtner. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. Fichtner was raised in Cheektowaga, and graduated from Maryvale High School in 1974...
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...
James Frain is one of Hollywood's most versatile and respected actors who has a reputation for bold, intelligent performances in a diverse body of work in which he's collaborated with some of the finest actors and directors working today. Recent film work includes Disney's TRON: Legacy opposite Jeff...
M. Emmet Walsh
Wonderfully talented, heavyset character actor (from New York, but regularly playing Southerners) M. Emmet Walsh has made a solid career of playing corrupt cops, deadly crooks, and zany comedic roles since the early 1970s. Michael Emmet Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, to Agnes Katharine (Sullivan) and Harry Maurice Walsh...