Strongest Character Actors....

by carmenargenziano | created - 29 Jun 2012 | updated - 19 Apr 2013 | Public

The Industry's strongest character actors.

1. Gary Oldman

Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman is a talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his "big" acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), Drexl in ...

2. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William ...

3. Jeff Bridges

Actor | The Big Lebowski

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 ...

4. Ralph Fiennes

Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus ...

5. Jean Dujardin

Actor | The Artist

In 1995 he began his first one man show, the same year he met Bruno Salomone, Eric Collado, Emmanuel Joucla and Eric Massot with whom he created the "Nous C nous". In 1999, he became "Loulou" in Un gars, une fille (1999). This part permitted him to show his talent to a larger public. Since the end ...

6. Klaus Maria Brandauer

Actor | Out of Africa

Gave his debut as an actor in 1962. Member of the 'Wiener Burgtheater' in Vienna since 1972. Played at the 'Salzburger Festspiele' since 1975. Directed plays since 1977. Debuted as a movie actor in 1972.

7. Robert Downey Jr.

Actor | Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business.

Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and ...

8. Johnny Depp

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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 ...

9. Moe Irvin

Actor | Grey's Anatomy

Moe Irvin is a Southern California native originally from Riverside, California. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and a founding member of The Whitmore Eclectic Theatre group; a company formed in honor of the late James Whitmore. He is also the writer, director and star of the award ...

10. John Turturro

Actor | Barton Fink

Highly talented, lightly built American actor who always looks unsettled and jumpy has become a favourite of cult/arthouse film aficionados with his compelling performances in a broad range of cinematic vehicles.

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian-American parents, Katherine (...

11. Sean Penn

Actor | Mystic River

Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints.

Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the ...

12. Sondra Currie

Actress | The Hangover Part II

Feisty, spirited and gutsy red headed actress Sondra Currie has amassed an impressive number of television, film and stage credits to her name - including "Linda Garner," Zach Galifianakis' doting mother, in one of the biggest all-time comedy franchises, "The Hangover" trilogy. "Would a cupcake ...

13. Bill Murray

Actor | Lost in Translation

Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. The fifth of nine children, he was born William James Murray in Wilmette, Illinois, to Lucille (Collins), a mailroom clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, who sold lumber. He is of Irish descent. Among his siblings are actors Brian Doyle-Murray, ...

14. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Tootsie

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, ...

15. Viola Davis

Actress | Fences

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), ...

16. Ernest Harden Jr.

Actor | Hollywood Homicide

Ernest Harden Jr. was born on November 25, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is an actor, known for Hollywood Homicide (2003), White Men Can't Jump (1992) and Three Days of the Condor (1975).

17. Martin Landau

Actor | Ed Wood

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 ...

18. Stephen Mendillo

Actor | Slap Shot

Stephen Mendillo was born on October 9, 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA as Stephen Wetmore Mendillo. He is known for his work on Slap Shot (1977), Lone Star (1996) and The Artist (2011). He has been married to Lisa Blake Richards since September 9, 2000. He was previously married to Caroline ...

19. Allan Miller

Actor | Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Allan Miller was born on February 14, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Brewster's Millions (1985) and Bad Words (2013). He has been married to Laura A. Zucker since January 25, 1976.

20. Kathy Bates

Actress | Misery

Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as...

21. Eileen Grubba

Actress | Sons of Anarchy

Eileen Grubba's memorable, edgy characters in shows like Sons of Anarchy (2008), NBC's Game of Silence (2016), and HBO's Hung (2009) have gained her a reputation for courageous character work. She is a lifetime member of the world renowned Actors Studio where she is known as a "force" on stage, and...

22. Willem Dafoe

Actor | Spider-Man

Having made over one hundred films in his legendary career, Willem Dafoe is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and dare to some of the most iconic films of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, large ...

23. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...

24. Frances Fisher

Actress | Titanic

Frances Fisher began by apprenticing at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. She spent 14 years based in New York City, playing leads in over 30 productions of plays by such noted writers as John Arden, Noël Coward, Emily Mann, Joe Orton, Sam Shepard, William Shakespeare, Jean Claude Van ...

25. Tom Skerritt

Actor | Alien

Lean, ruggedly handsome leading man and supporting actor whose "outdoor" looks have improved with age, Tom Skerritt attended Wayne State University and UCLA, and was first noticed in a UCLA production of "The Rainmaker" before making his movie debut in War Hunt (1962). However, he spent most of the...

26. Timothy V. Murphy

Actor | MacGruber

Timothy V Murphy was born in County Kerry, Ireland. Murphy began his career in Dublin where he trained in the Focus Theater.

Living in Los Angeles, California; Murphy is known for his roles as Galaan in the FX hit, Sons of Anarchy and Ian Doyle in Criminal Minds.

Murphy is known for the films; ...

27. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

28. Elayn J. Taylor

Actress | Dr. Dolittle 2

Elayn J. Taylor is an actress, known for Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Rules of Engagement (2000) and Something's Gotta Give (2003).

29. James DiStefano

Actor | Hard to Kill

James DiStefano is a respected professional actor and acting teacher with over 30 years of experience in the business. As a lifetime member and teacher in the prestigious Actor's Studio, James has studied with co-artistic director Mark Rydell (Oscar nominee for best director), Martin Landau (Oscar ...

30. Barbara Bain

Actress | Mission: Impossible

Barbara Bain was born in Chicago, graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. She then relocated to New York City where she gained work as a dancer and high-fashion model. Ms. Bain studied with Martha Graham, permanently cementing her love of dance; however, it...

31. Edward Norton

Actor | American History X

American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland.

His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer ...

32. Lennie James

Actor | The Walking Dead

Lennie James was born in Nottingham to Trinidadian parents, and grew up in South London. His mother, Phyllis Mary James, died when he was 12. Lennie and his older brother went into a council children's home. When he was 16 he was fostered with a social worker who had two older children, and they ...

33. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

34. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is English, Dutch, German, French and Irish. He was trained at...

35. Erik Passoja

Actor | Mind Like Water (Mushin)

Erik was born in Manchester, England, to American parents. His father is Dann Passoja, a physicist and artist. His mother is Dr. Margaret Lewin, an aeronautical engineer-turned-oncologist. He grew up in New York City, where he attended the Buckley School. He went on to graduate from Exeter in New ...

36. Peter O'Toole

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish metal plater, football player and racecourse bookmaker. Upon leaving school, he decided to become a ...

37. Robert Duvall

Actor | The Apostle

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 ...

38. Judi Dench

Actress | Skyfall

Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench 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 the ...

39. Casey Kramer

Actress | Mississippi Requiem

Casey Kramer is known for her work on Mississippi Requiem (2018), Owen (2016) and Behind the Candelabra (2013).

40. Jane Adams

Actress | Happiness

Jane Adams has performed theatre at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. The plays include "Love Diatribe", "The Nice and the Nasty", and "Greetings From Elsewhere Cabaret". She also performed in "Careless Love" at the Empty Space Theatre, "Candide/Len Jenkin" at the Pioneer Square Theatre", "Talking ...

41. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | The King's Speech

Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. ...

42. Ellen Dubin

Actress | Napoleon Dynamite

Born in Toronto, the Gemini Award-nominated Ellen Dubin has enjoyed a highly unique and diverse career as an actor. She began her career in ballet and then the theater doing a wide variety of characters - from Shakespeare to musicals to dramas to farce. Her penchant for landing bizarre and ...



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