My second list of great character actors...aka the actors I forgot the first time around.

by santarosie | created - 14 May 2011 | updated - 24 May 2011 | Public

1. Milton Frome

Actor | Batman: The Movie

Milton Frome was born on February 24, 1909 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He was an actor, known for Batman: The Movie (1966), The Nutty Professor (1963) and Pies and Guys (1958). He was married to Marjorie Ann Widman. He died on March 21, 1989 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

2. John Vernon

Actor | Dirty Harry

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...

3. Clifton James

Actor | Live and Let Die

Blustery, stocky, loud although often genial character actor who has created a niche for himself playing often frustrated and fast talking Southern characters... most noticeably as Sheriff J.W. Pepper alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond adventures Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the ...

4. Will Geer

Actor | The Waltons

Will Geer was born William Aughe Ghere in Frankfort, Indiana, to Katherine (Aughe), a teacher, and Roy Aaron Ghere, a postal worker. Will admired his grandfather, a man who said hello to trees by their Latin names and who had used what he brought back to Indiana from the California gold rush to ...

5. Wilford Brimley

Actor | Cocoon

Wilford Brimley was born on September 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA as Anthony Wilford Brimley. He is known for his work on Cocoon (1985), The Thing (1982) and Hard Target (1993). He has been married to Beverly Berry since October 31, 2007. He was previously married to Lynne Brimley.

6. Herb Vigran

Actor | A Cry in the Night

A well known character actor, Vigran was originally a law school graduate. He later chose to pursue acting, and performed in hundreds of radio shows with the likes of Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Jimmy Durante. He appeared frequently as various villains on the TV Series Adventures of Superman (1952), ...

7. Elliott Reid

Actor | Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Elliott Reid was born on January 16, 1920 in New York City, New York, USA as Edgeworth Blair Reid. He was an actor and writer, known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Inherit the Wind (1960) and Vicki (1953). He died on June 21, 2013 in Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA.

8. Ed Wynn

Actor | Alice in Wonderland

An old-fashioned comedian, who, by recommendation by his son Keenan Wynn, became one of the world's most beloved clowns, and one of the best actors of his time. He was born on November 9, 1886. He performed in the Ziegfeld Follies, and later had a son Keenan in 1916. He later wrote his own shows, ...

9. Arthur Treacher

Actor | Mary Poppins

Born Arthur Veary Treacher in Brighton, East Sussex, England, he was the son of a lawyer. He established a stage career after returning from World War I, and by 1928, he had come to America as part of a musical-comedy revue called Great Temptations. When his film career began in the early 1930s, ...

10. James Gleason

Actor | The Night of the Hunter

James Gleason was born in New York City to William Gleason and Mina Crolius, who were both in the theatre. He was married to Lucile Gleason (born Lucile Webster), and had a son, Russell Gleason. As a young man James fought in the Spanish-American War. After the war he joined the stock company at ...

11. Monty Woolley

Actor | The Man Who Came to Dinner

Large and hearty Monty Woolley was born to privilege on August 17, 1888, the son of a hotel proprietor who owned the Marie Antoinette Hotel on Broadway. A part of Manhattan's elite social circle at a young age, he studied at both Yale (Master's degree) and Harvard and returned to Yale as an English...

12. Andrew Duggan

Actor | Seven Days in May

Actor. Born in Franklin, Indiana on December 28, 1923, he was raised in Texas and went to college at Indiana University. There, on a speech and drama scholarship, he began to act and perform however this was interrupted by being called into the service. In World War II where he saw action overseas,...

13. Rex Allen

Soundtrack | Tomorrowland

Rex Allen started out as a singer in vaudeville, and sang on numerous radio shows before hooking up with a traveling rodeo show. He signed with Republic Pictures and became a popular singing cowboy, and was often paired with sidekick Slim Pickens. He starred in his own western TV series, Frontier ...

14. Richard Bakalyan

Actor | Chinatown

Richard Bakalyan was born on January 29, 1931 in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Chinatown (1974), The Fox and the Hound (1981) and Von Ryan's Express (1965). He was married to Elizabeth Lena (Betty Lee) Baumann. He died on February 27, 2015 in Elmira, New York,...

15. John McIntire

Actor | Psycho

John McIntire possessed the requisite grit, craggy features and crusty, steely-eyed countenance to make for one of television and film's most durable supporting players of western settings. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1907 and the son of a lawyer, he grew up in Montana where he learned to raise ...

16. Dick O'Neill

Actor | The Jerk

Dick O'Neill was born on August 29, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Francis O'Neill. He was an actor, known for The Jerk (1979), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) and Wolfen (1981). He was married to Susan Jacqueline (Jackie) Shaw. He died on November 17, 1998 in Santa ...

17. Denver Pyle

Actor | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

A rather wanderlust fellow before he latched onto acting, Denver Pyle--who made a career of playing drawling, somewhat slow Southern types--was actually born in Colorado in 1920, to a farming family. He attended a university for a time but dropped out to become a drummer. When that didn't pan out ...

18. Edward Andrews

Actor | Sixteen Candles

The son of a Georgia minister, Edward Andrews debuted on stage in 1926 at age 12 and by 1935 had landed on Broadway. A solid character actor, his large physique and amiable demeanor made him a natural for the jovial, grandfatherly type or genial, small-town businessman which he often played, but ...

19. Cliff Osmond

Writer | The Streets of San Francisco

Cliff Osmond was born on February 26, 1937 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA as Clifford Osmond Ebrahim. He was an actor and writer, known for The Streets of San Francisco (1972), The Front Page (1974) and The Penitent (1988). He was married to Gretchen. He died on December 22, 2012 in Pacific ...

20. Kenneth Mars

Actor | Young Frankenstein

Kenneth Mars was born on April 4, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was an actor, known for Young Frankenstein (1974), The Producers (1967) and The Little Mermaid (1989). He was married to Barbara Newborn. He died on February 12, 2011 in Granada Hills, California, USA.

21. Jack Weston

Actor | Dirty Dancing

In a 40-year career that spanned Broadway, television and movies, the versatile actor played everyone from sleazy villains to terrifying killers to clumsy comics. His bad-guy roles included a stalker who, along with Alan Arkin terrorized a blind Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 cult classic Wait Until ...

22. Jack Kruschen

Actor | The War of the Worlds

Canadian-born Jack Kruschen entered films after years on the stage, and became a dependable character actor both in movies and on television. Often cast as ethnic comedy relief, Kruschen occasionally landed a role as a villain, but was more often the volatile, emotional Italian or Jewish neighbor ...

23. Hans Conried

Actor | Peter Pan

Hans Conried was born in Baltimore and raised both there and in New York City. He studied acting at Columbia University, and played many major classical roles onstage. After having been a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre Company, he was heard as Prof. Kropotkin on the radio show "My Friend ...

24. Vito Scotti

Actor | The Godfather

With his dark features and having spent much of his early years in Naples, Italy, Vito Scotti was understandably typecast as Italian waiters, government functionaries, policemen, maitre d's and barbers. When Vito was seven, the Scottis moved back to the U.S. where his mother became a diva in the ...

25. Nehemiah Persoff

Actor | An American Tail

Born in 1919 (some sources say 1920) in Jerusalem, Nehemiah Persoff immigrated with his family to America in 1929.

Following schooling at the Hebrew Technical Institute of New York, he found a job as a subway electrician doing signal maintenance until an interest in the theater altered the direction...

26. John Dehner

Actor | The Right Stuff

Unlike many actors, John Dehner's career didn't begin on the stage or on radio. He started out as an animator for Walt Disney Studios, then worked as a disc jockey and a professional pianist. He made his film debut in the 1940s, and has appeared in dozens of films. A tall and distinguished looking ...

27. Warren Berlinger

Actor | The Cannonball Run

Warren Berlinger was born on August 31, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for The Cannonball Run (1981), Thunder Alley (1967) and Hero (1992). He was previously married to Betty Lou Keim.

28. Joe Flynn

Actor | The Rescuers

Born on November 8, 1924, in Youngstown, Ohio and after attending Northwestern University, Flynn began his entertainment career as a ventriloquist and as a radio performer. During World War II, he served in the Army's Special Services Branch (formerly the Morale Branch) entertaining the troops in ...

29. Victor French

Actor | Rio Lobo

Victor French was the son of a stuntman. His debut was a small role in Lassie (1954), uncredited. He had his first real acting experiences in western-films, where he usually played the "bad guy" due to his rather gruff look. This changed with Little House on the Prairie (1974), (as Isaiah Edwards)....

30. Mills Watson

Actor | Cujo

Mills Watson was born on July 10, 1940 in Oakland, California, USA as William Oscar Watson. He is an actor, known for Cujo (1983), The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) and Papillon (1973). He was previously married to Caroline Mary Mason.

31. Dabbs Greer

Actor | The Green Mile

Dabbs Greer was a very familiar face in films and especially on TV. He was a sort of "everyman" in his roles and played merchants, preachers, businessmen, and other "pillars of the community" types as well as assorted villains. With his plain looking face, wavy hair and mellow, distinctive voice he...

32. Sterling Holloway

Actor | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Popular American character actor of amusing appearance and voice whose long career led from dozens of highly enjoyable onscreen performances to world-wide familiarity as the voice of numerous Walt Disney animated films. Born in the American Deep South to grocer Sterling P. Holloway Sr. and Rebecca ...

33. Jack Carson

Actor | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

When Jack Carson arrived in Hollywood in 1937, he found work at RKO as an extra. His first major acting role came alongside Humphrey Bogart in the romantic comedy Stand-In (1937). After a few years, he developed into a popular character actor who would be seen in a large number of comedies, ...

34. Cecil Kellaway

Actor | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Though a native of South Africa, Cecil Kellaway spent many years as an actor, author and director in the Australian film industry until he tried his luck in Hollywood in the 1930s. Finding he could get only gangster bit parts, he got discouraged and returned to Australia. Then William Wyler called ...

35. William Schallert

Actor | Innerspace

The son of Edwin Schallert, drama editor of the "Los Angeles Times" and the dean of West Coast critics, William Schallert became interested in an acting career while at UCLA in 1942. After graduation, he became involved with the Circle Theater (eventually becoming one of its owners) and made his ...

36. Gene Evans

Actor | The Steel Helmet

Gene Evans was born in Holbrook, Arizona, on July 11, 1922, and was raised in Colton, California. He served in the Army during World War II as a combat engineer, and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for bravery in action. He began his acting career there, performing in a theatrical ...

37. Robert Emhardt

Actor | 3:10 to Yuma

Robert Emhardt looked and sounded as if he had intentionally been created by some perverse god to play villains. Though rotund, he had hooded, lizard like eyes and a drawling whine in his voice. The real Robert Emhardt, however, was a well-educated, cultured, generous man, not at all like the ...

38. Royal Dano

Actor | Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Royal Dano was undoubtedly one of the best, most quirky and striking character actors to ever grace the big and small screen alike in a lengthy and impressive career which spanned 42 years.

Royal Edward Dano was born on November 16, 1922 in New York City, to Mary Josephine (O'Connor) and Caleb ...



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