Top 40 'B' list actors that could of been 'A' List

by mmatusow | created - 09 Mar 2016 | updated - 10 Mar 2016 | Public

A list of real quality actors that have mainly had to settle for minor supporting roles or have not received the recognition they deserve for their work. This list is based purely on my opinion only from the movies that I have seen and enjoyed.

1. 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 ...

Superb British actor who was once described by Steven Spielberg as the greatest actor in the world. His great performances include 'In the name of the Father' for which he received an academy award nomination, 'The lost world: Jurassic Park', 'The Usual Suspects' and 'Inception'.

2. Lance Henriksen

Actor | Hard Target

An intense, versatile actor as adept at playing clean-cut FBI agents as he is psychotic motorcycle-gang leaders, who can go from portraying soulless, murderous vampires to burned-out, world-weary homicide detectives, Lance Henriksen has starred in a variety of films that have allowed him to stretch...

3. Brent Spiner

Actor | Star Trek: First Contact

Brent Spiner, whose primary claim to fame is his portrayal of the beloved android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His parents, Sylvia (Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, owned and operated a furniture store, and were both from ...

4. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

5. Charles Dance

Actor | Gosford Park

Charles Dance is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains. Some of his most high-profile roles are Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones (2011), Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986),...

6. Ted Levine

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Born in May 1957 in Bellaire, Ohio, he was among the last graduating class of the Windsor Mountain School in Lennox, Massachusetts. Attended Marlboro College in Vermont. Performed in summer stock and regional theatres in Vermont, Michigan and West Virginia before settling in Chicago and joining The...

7. Rutger Hauer

Actor | Blade Runner

Blond, blue-eyed, tall and handsome Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. Hauer was born in Breukelen, a town in the province of Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is the son of Teunke (Mellema) and Arend...

8. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Actor | Mortal Kombat

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa got his first big break as an actor when he was cast in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). A US Army brat, he was born in Tokyo and lived in various cities while growing up. His father was in the army, stationed at Ft. Bragg (NC), Ft. Polk (LA) and Ft. Hood (TX). His...

9. Michelle Rodriguez

Actress | Furious Seven

Known for tough-chick roles, Michelle Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez on July 12, 1978, in San Antonio, Texas, to Carmen Milady Pared Espinal, from the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodríguez Santiago, who served in the U.S. ...

10. Brian Glover

Actor | Alien³

Brian Glover was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and used to be a professional wrestler going by the name of "Leon Arras the Man From Paris". He also provides one of the voices for the animated "Tetley Tea" TV adverts. His stage work included seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal ...

11. Gary Busey

Actor | The Buddy Holly Story

A blond-haired, fair-complexioned actor with a toothy grin and capable of an unsettling glint in his eyes, Gary Busey was born in Goose Creek, Texas, and was raised in Oklahoma. He is the son of Sadie Virginia (Arnett), a homemaker, and Delmar Lloyd Busey, a construction design manager. He has ...

12. David Warner

Actor | Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

David Hattersley Warner was born July 29, 1941 in Manchester, England, to Ada Doreen (Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner. He was born out of wedlock and often accepted to be raised by each of his parents, eventually settling with his father and stepmother. His father changed jobs often and moved ...

13. Jonathan Pryce

Actor | Tomorrow Never Dies

From Holywell to Hollywood, Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a critically acclaimed and award winning actor from North Wales, internationally regarded as one of the greatest on both stage and screen. Renowned for his immense versatility and powerful presence he has transcended the industry, effortlessly ...

14. Famke Janssen

Actress | X-Men: The Last Stand

Famke was born in the Netherlands, where she began her professional career as a model. She later moved to the United States, where she has made her home since 1984. Initially settling in New York, she majored in writing and literature at Columbia University and studied acting with Harold Guskin. ...

15. Linden Ashby

Actor | Mortal Kombat

After graduating from Bolles High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Ashby took a degree in psychology and business administration at Fort Lewis College in Durango in the state of Colorado, and then moved to New York where he took drama classes in the Neighborhood Playhouse. Early in his career he ...

16. Bill Paxton

Actor | Aliens

Bill Paxton was born on May 17, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Mary Lou (Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman and actor (as John Paxton). Bill moved to Los Angeles, California at age eighteen, where he found work in the film industry as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World ...

17. Christopher Lee

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...

18. Michael Biehn

Actor | Aliens

Michael Connell Biehn was born on July 31, 1956 in Anniston, Alabama, to Marcia (Connell) and Don Biehn, a lawyer. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and at age 14 moved with his family to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where he won a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona. He left prematurely two ...

19. Vincent Schiavelli

Actor | Tomorrow Never Dies

Vincent Schiavelli, selected in 1997 by Vanity Fair as one of the best character actors in America, had made over 120 film and television appearances. He studied acting at NYU's Theatre Program. Aside from his acting career, Vincent was the author of three cookbooks, and has written numerous ...

20. Robbie Coltrane

Actor | Cracker

Robbie Coltrane, one of Britain's most popular comedians who was head of debating society at school and won prizes for his art, is now a film star who played in two James Bond films and in the "Harry Potter" franchise.

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a ...

21. Paul Winfield

Actor | The Terminator

Signifying intelligence, eloquence, versatility and quiet intensity, one of the more important, critically acclaimed black actors to gain a Hollywood foothold in the 1970s was Paul Winfield. Born in 1939 in Los Angeles, he lived there in his early years before moving with his family to Los Angeles'...

22. Bob Gunton

Actor | The Shawshank Redemption

Bob Gunton was born on November 15, 1945 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Robert Patrick Gunton Jr. He is an actor, known for The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Daredevil (2015) and Mountain Top (2017). He has been married to Carey Pitts since August 26, 2006. He was previously married to Annie ...

23. Mads Mikkelsen

Actor | Hannibal

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 (1996), he slowly grew to ...

24. Bob Hoskins

Actor | The Long Good Friday

Bob Hoskins was described by the director John Mackenzie as "an actor from the British tradition but with an almost American approach, an instinctive approach to acting and knowing how to work with the camera". He was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, where his mother was ...

25. Anthony Zerbe

Actor | The Omega Man

Hailing from Long Beach, California, talented character actor Anthony Zerbe has kept busy in Hollywood and on stage since the late 1960s, often playing villainous or untrustworthy characters, with his narrow gaze and unsettling smirk. Zerbe was born May 20, 1936 in Long Beach, and served a stint in...

26. Craig T. Nelson

Actor | Coach

Craig T. Nelson was born on April 4, 1944 in Spokane, Washington, USA as Craig Theodore Nelson. He is an actor and producer, known for Coach (1989), The Incredibles (2004) and Poltergeist (1982). He has been married to Doria Cook-Nelson since 1987. He was previously married to Robin McCarthy.

27. John Amos

Actor | Coming to America

A native of New Jersey and son of a mechanic, African-American John Amos has relied on his imposing build, eruptive nature and strong, forceful looks to obtain acting jobs, and a serious desire for better roles to earn a satisfying place in the annals of film and TV. He has found it a constant ...

28. Doug Bradley

Actor | Hellraiser: Bloodline

Mr. Bradley was born on September 7th 1954 in Liverpool, England. Since his school days Bradley has been close friends with Clive Barker. In the seventies Bradley and Clive Barker founded the progressive theatre group "Dog Company". While Barker worked on writing with his friend Peter Atkins (...

29. Michael Byrne

Actor | Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Michael Byrne was born on November 7, 1943 in London, England. He is an actor, known for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and The Sum of All Fears (2002).

30. Bob Peck

Actor | Jurassic Park

British actor Bob Peck was born in Leeds in north England on August 23, 1945. He attended Leeds Modern School and then graduated from Leeds College of Art before starting professional stage acting. Peck acted for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He also starred in more than ...

31. Malcolm McDowell

Actor | A Clockwork Orange

Malcolm John Taylor was born on June 13, 1943 in Leeds, England, to working-class parents Edna (McDowell), a hotelier, and Charles Taylor, a publican. His father was an alcoholic. Malcolm hated his parents' ways. His father was keen to send his son to private school to give him a good start in life...

32. John Lithgow

Actor | 3rd Rock from the Sun

If "born to the theater" has meaning in determining a person's life path, then John Lithgow is a prime example of this truth. He was born in Rochester, New York, to Sarah Jane (Price), an actress, and Arthur Washington Lithgow III, who was both a theatrical producer and director. John's father was ...

33. Christopher Lambert

Actor | Highlander

Though born in Great Neck, Long Island, Christopher Lambert's family left the US when he was only two years old. His father was a United Nations diplomat assigned to Switzerland and, as a result, Chris was educated at private boarding schools in Geneva. Inspired through his having appeared in a ...

34. Michael Lonsdale

Actor | The Day of the Jackal

Michael Lonsdale was born on May 24, 1931 in Paris, France as Michael Edward Lonsdale-Crouch. He is an actor, known for The Day of the Jackal (1973), Moonraker (1979) and Ronin (1998).

35. Jeff Daniels

Actor | The Squid and the Whale

Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, but was raised in Chelsea, Michigan. He is the son of Marjorie J. (Ferguson) and Robert Lee Daniels, who owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also mayor of Chelsea. Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and ...

36. James Cromwell

Actor | The Green Mile

Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University, James Cromwell is the son of film director John Cromwell and actress Kay Johnson. He studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon, and went into the theatre (like his parents) doing everything from ...

37. Andreas Katsulas

Actor | Babylon 5

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Andreas from a working-class Greek-American family. Attracted from early childhood to being on stage when at 4 his mother took him to see a community theater performance, he took theatre as an extra-curricular activity in high school. He then majored in it at St. Louis ...

38. Jeroen Krabbé

Actor | The Fugitive

Jeroen Krabbé was born on December 5, 1944 in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands as Jeroen Aart Krabbé. He is an actor and director, known for The Fugitive (1993), The Living Daylights (1987) and The Punisher (1989). He has been married to Herma van Geemert since 1964. They have three children.

39. Michael Ironside

Actor | Starship Troopers

Michael Ironside has made a strong and indelible impression with his often incredibly intense and explosive portrayals of fearsome villains throughout the years. He was born as Frederick Reginald Ironside on February 12, 1950 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ironside was a successful arm wrestler in ...

40. Christopher Eccleston

Actor | Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in Let Him Have It (1991). However, it was a regular role in the television series Cracker (1993) that made him a recognizable figure in the United Kingdom. He appeared in the ...



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