Great Character Acting

by Micah-js22 | created - 2 months ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public

1. Martin Balsam

Actor | All the President's Men

Martin Henry Balsam was born on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, New York City, to Lillian (Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, a manufacturer of women's sportswear. He was the first-born child. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, and his mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. ...

12 Angry Men

2. Anne Bancroft

Actress | The Graduate

Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, the daughter of Michael Italiano (1905-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of...

The Graduate

3. Louis Cancelmi

Actor | The Looming Tower

Louis Cancelmi was born in Anchorage, Alaska, USA as Louis Guy Cancelmi. He is known for his work on The Looming Tower (2018), Billions (2016) and Boardwalk Empire (2010). He has been married to Elisabeth Waterston since October 21, 2006.

The Irishman

4. D'Arcy Carden

Actress | The Good Place

D'Arcy Carden was born on January 4, 1980 in Danville, California, USA as Darcy Beth Erokan. She is an actress and writer, known for The Good Place (2016), Barry (2018) and Broad City (2014). She has been married to Jason Carden since July 31, 2010.

The Good Place

5. Lee J. Cobb

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the...

12 Angry Men

6. Daniel Craig

Actor | Casino Royale

One of the British theatre's most famous faces, Daniel Craig, who waited tables as a struggling teenage actor with the National Youth Theatre, has gone on to star as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2020).

He was born ...

Knives Out

7. Ted Danson

Actor | Cheers

Ted Danson is well known for his role as Sam Malone in the television series Cheers (1982). During the show's 11-year run, he was nominated nine times for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and won twice, in 1990 and 1993. The role also earned him a Golden Globe Award for ...

The Good Place

8. Laura Dern

Actress | Jurassic Park

Laura Dern was born on February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Dern was exposed to movie sets and the movie industry from infancy, and obtained several bit parts as a child. Her parents divorced when Dern was two and Dern lost contact with her father for ...

Marriage Story

9. Chris Evans

Actor | The Avengers

Christopher Robert Evans began his acting career in typical fashion: performing in school productions and community theatre.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Lisa (Capuano), who worked at the Concord Youth Theatre, and G. Robert Evans III, a dentist. His uncle is congressman Mike ...

Knives Out

10. John Fiedler

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Typical of busy character actors, Fiedler made his face (and voice) recognizable to millions. Many know the bald-pated Fiedler as therapy patient "Mr. Peterson" on The Bob Newhart Show (1972); others might first recognize him for the 1968 movie, The Odd Couple (1968), and spin-off TV show, The Odd ...

12 Angry Men

11. Adam Goldberg

Actor | A Beautiful Mind

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 ...

Fargo

12. Whoopi Goldberg

Actress | Ghost

Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in...

Star Trek: The Next Generation

13. Stephen Graham

Actor | This Is England

Stephen Graham was born August 3, 1973, in the small town of Kirkby, Lancashire, to a pediatric nurse mother and a social worker father. His paternal grandfather was Jamaican, and one of his grandmothers was Swedish. After years of small parts, he finally got his big break in an unexpected way, ...

The Irishman

14. Russell Harvard

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Russell Harvard was born April 16, 1981 in Pasadena, Texas to Kay and Henry Harvard. Russell and his brother, Renny, were born deaf. When the boys were old enough to start school, the family moved to Austin, Texas so they could attend the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD). Russell attended TSD from ...

Fargo

15. Ray Liotta

Actor | Goodfellas

Intense is the word for Ray Liotta. He specializes in psychopathic characters who hide behind a cultivated charm. Even in his nice-guy roles in Field of Dreams (1989) and Operation Dumbo Drop (1995), you get the impression that something is smoldering inside of him. Liotta maintains a steady stream...

Marriage Story

16. Linda Manz

Actress | Days of Heaven

Linda Manz was born on August 20, 1961 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress, known for Days of Heaven (1978), The Wanderers (1979) and The Game (1997). She has been married to Robert L. Guthrie since 1985. They have three children.

Days of Heaven

17. 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, ...

The Royal Tenenbaums

18. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

Alfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi)...

The Irishman

19. Donald Pleasence

Actor | Halloween II

Balding, quietly-spoken, of slight build and possessed of piercing blue eyes -- often peering out from behind round, steel-rimmed glasses -- Donald Pleasence had the necessary physical attributes which make a great screen villain. In the course of his lengthy career, he relished playing the ...

Escape from New York

20. Joe Pesci

Actor | Goodfellas

Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids"....

The Irishman

21. Christopher Plummer

Actor | Beginners

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is the only child of Isabella Mary (Abbott), a secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University, and John Orme Plummer, who sold securities and stocks. He is a great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third Prime Minister...

Knives Out

22. Cliff Potts

Actor | The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang

Cliff Potts was born on January 5, 1942 in Glendale, California, USA as Clifton Vandyke Potts. He is an actor, known for The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang (1979), Silent Running (1972) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1971).

Star Trek: The Next Generation

23. Ray Romano

Actor | Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Romano grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He performed in the NYC comedy club circuit before landing a guest spot on The Letterman Show. It was here that he propelled his TV show Everybody Loves Raymond.

He was also the voice of the Mammoth in the extremely successful Ice Age Series Movies.

He is ...

The Irishman

24. Michael Shannon

Actor | The Shape of Water

Michael Corbett Shannon was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Geraldine Hine, a lawyer, and Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University. His grandfather was entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon.

Shannon began his professional stage career in Chicago. His ...

Knives Out

25. Ken Thorley

Actor | Men in Black

Ken Thorley is an actor, known for Men in Black (1997), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Ghost in the Machine (1993).

Star Trek: The Next Generation

26. Allison Tolman

Actress | Krampus

Born in Sugar Land, Texas, Allison Tolman earned a BFA in theatrical performance from Baylor University. After graduation, she moved to Dallas where she helped found and foster the independent ensemble based non-profit Second Thought Theatre while also learning that the whole being an adult thing ...

Fargo (2014)

27. George Voskovec

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Czech actor/producer/director/author George Voskovec was born Jirí Wachsmann on June 19, 1905, the son of Jirina Valentina Marie (nee Pinkasová) and Vilem Eduard Voskovec (Wachsmann). His ancestry was Czech, German, and French. Prior to George's birth, the spelling of the family name was Vaksman (...

12 Angry Men

28. Robert Webber

Actor | The Dirty Dozen

Over his 40-year career as one of Hollywood's veteran character actors, Robert Webber always marked his spot by playing all types of roles and was not stereotyped into playing just one kind of character. Sometimes he even got to play a leading role (see Hysteria (1965)). Webber first started out in...

12 Angry Men



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