My actor/performer/filmmaker inspirations

by emmalieblakemore | created - 13 Feb 2018 | updated - 7 months ago | Public

Directors & screenwriters, actors, and performance artists who have had an impact one me. I'll probably start sneaking in musicians.

1. John Waters

Writer | Pecker

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-'60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore ...

Been a fan since I was a kid and want to work with him badly. He and his work are another great example of an embodiment of my mind. A fair amount of his films were made in suburbs of Baltimore I recognize where my family lived and I spent my early childhood summers.

2. Klaus Kinski

Actor | Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht

Klaus Kinski was born as Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began...

One of the first actors I heavily studied and got acting tips/ideas from. I could totally play him in a film!

3. Jörg Buttgereit

Director | Schramm

Jörg Buttgereit was born on December 20, 1963 in Berlin, West Germany. He is a director and actor, known for Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer (1993), Lexx: The Dark Zone Stories (1996) and Captain Berlin versus Hitler (2009).

Been a huge fan since I was 13 and want to work with him and make mopey art horror films like his.

4. Crispin Glover

Actor | Back to the Future

While he's never been a typical leading man, Crispin Glover has distinguished himself as one of the most intriguing personalities in the movie business. His unusual characters and personal projects have inspired a cult-like following that has dubbed him both madman and genius.

The son of actress and...

Whenever I feel too eccentric, I just have to look over at Crispin Glover who far out exceeds me. I really want to work with him someday.

5. Lon Chaney

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in ...

He was in the first horror movie I ever saw (Phantom of the Opera) and was my ideal kind of makeup artist and actor. He's my idol of sfx makeup artistry and horror acting

6. Marilyn Manson

Soundtrack | Detroit Rock City

Marilyn Manson was born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969 in Canton, Ohio, to Barbara Jo (Wyer) and Hugh Angus Warner. He has German and English ancestry. During his childhood, one of his neighbors molested him several times until the young Brian broke down one day and told his mother what ...

One of my favorable artists in my teens. He just ain't the same anymore at all.

7. Vali Myers

Director | Vali

Vali Myers was born on August 2, 1930 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She was a director and writer, known for Vali (1967), Dope (1968) and The Tightrope Dancer (1990). She died on February 12, 2003 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

My newest inspiration and idol as an artist and person

8. Jan Svankmajer

Director | Otesánek

After studying at the Institute of Industrial Arts and the Marionette Faculty of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s, Jan Svankmajer started working as a theatre director, chiefly in association with the Theatre of Masks and the Black Theatre. He first experimented with film-making after ...

His films played a major staple in my artistic training as a child. I specifically want to do projects that involves combining stop motion with old objects and humans, like his films Little Otik and Alice.

9. Maila Nurmi

Actress | Vampira

The original glamour ghoul herself, "Vampira", of late night 1950s television, was actually born Maila Syrjäniemi (later changed to the easier surname Nurmi) on December 11, 1922 in Petsamo, Finland. Her uncle was the multiple Olympic medal runner Paavo Nurmi. Maila arrived in the United States ...

Both personal and horror hostess goals

10. Udo Kier

Actor | The Painted Bird

Udo Kier was born October 14, 1944 in Cologne, Germany, during World War II. His entrance was just as dramatic as some of his roles. On the evening of his birth Udo's mother requested extra time with her new baby. The nurses had gathered all of the other babies and returned them to the nursery when...

One of my all-time favorite actors who is very underrated. His performance in Blood for Dracula and his music single Der Adler ( which as the best videos used with it) are some of my most favorite things out there.

11. Divine

Actor | Pink Flamingos

Originally born Harris Glen Milstead just after the end of WWII, Baltimore's most outrageous resident eventually became the international icon of bad taste cinema, as the always shocking and highly entertaining transvestite performer, Divine.

Milstead met maverick film director & good friend, John ...

Specifically his (Glenn's) performance in Female Trouble

12. Tim Curry

Actor | Congo

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 ...

Tim Curry is a god of acting and singing! I was intrigued by first seeing him in Annie as a kid, then realized he voiced so many villains I liked and/or was scared by. I will forever love him most as the Lord of Darkness in Legend which I saw as a teenager and was blown away.

13. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the...

One of my major acting idols! There's a running joke in my family that he's my father from another dimension because of how I can act like him and some of his characters regularly.

14. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

Because every eccentric likes him and his work! Bonus points:Twin Peaks was made and based in my native PNW (even though It wasn't nearly my favorite of his)

15. 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 ...

Another major acting inspiration. One of the most badass people I know of who I really wanted to meet since I was a kid, and was upset when he died.

16. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

To be short, The surrealism, moody-ness, work will Neil Young, and depictions of people in his work is very much my kind of thing.

17. Unknown Hinson

Actor | Squidbillies

Unknown Hinson was born as Stuart Daniel Baker. He is an actor, known for Squidbillies (2005), Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week (2007) and Anime Talk Show (2004).

One of my favorite character actor personas and novelty rockabilly/country musicians.

18. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

His early work played a huge staple and inspiration on my childhood.

19. Johnny Depp

Actor | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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 ...

My first favorite actor, from when I was 7. He can play almost anything! Bonus points that he's a rock guitarist. Sadly I feel that his acting has really lost it's charm in recent years though.

20. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 17, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

Sante Sangre specifically has been a loved film and filmmaking inspiration to me since I was maybe 14.

21. Sacha Baron Cohen

Actor | Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, London. He is the son of Daniella (Weiser), a movement instructor, and Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner. His father, born in England and raised in Wales, was of Eastern European Jewish descent, while his mother was born...

22. Bette Davis

Actress | All About Eve

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...

23. Theda Bara

Actress | A Fool There Was

Theda Bara was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Theodosia Goodman, on July 29, 1885. She was the daughter of a local tailor and his wife. As a teenager Theda was interested in the theatrical arts and once she finished high school, she dyed her blond hair black and went in pursuit of her dream. By 1908 ...

24. Glenn Close

Actress | Fatal Attraction

Seven time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Bettine (Moore) and William Taliaferro Close (William Close), a prominent doctor. Both of her parents were from upper-class northeastern families.

Glenn was often seen on ...

She's a good go to for inspirations with playing certain types of classy antagonists.

25. Brad Dourif

Actor | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Gaunt character actor Brad Dourif was born Bradford Claude Dourif on March 18, 1950 in Huntington, West Virginia. He is the son of Joan Mavis Felton (Bradford) and Jean Henri Dourif, a French-born art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. His father died when Dourif was three years old, ...

26. Ingrid Pitt

Actress | The Wicker Man

Best known as Hammer Films' most seductive female vampire of the early 1970s, the Polish-born Pitt possessed dark, alluring features and a sexy figure that made her just right for Gothic horror! Ingrid Pitt (born Ingoushka Petrov) survived World War II and became a well-known actress on the East ...

The glamour queen of 60's horror, that I want to be like (specifically to her portrayal of Bathory in Countess Dracula)

27. Jirí Barta

Director | Krysar

Jirí Barta was born on November 26, 1948 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He is a director and writer, known for The Pied Piper (1986), Diskzokej (1980) and The Last Theft (1987).

He helped bring out my fascination for vintage mannequins and increased my love of stop motion.

28. Werner Herzog

Director | Fitzcarraldo

Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...

29. Sheri Moon Zombie

Actress | The Devil's Rejects

Sheri Moon Zombie was born Sheri Lyn Skurkis. She is the daughter of Carol A. and William B. Skurkis, and has Lithuanian and Polish ancestry. She was raised in Torrington, Connecticut, from a young age. In her late teens, Sheri moved to California, but continued to spend a great deal of time in the...

I just wanna be a muse like her, but I can act a bit more than her in movies to be honest.

30. Tom Hiddleston

Actor | The Avengers

Thomas William Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London, to English-born Diana Patricia (Servaes) and Scottish-born James Norman Hiddleston. His mother is a former stage manager, and his father, a scientist, was the managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He started off at the preparatory ...

I like him as a classically trained actor and person. He seems to be one of the only traditional and classy young people I know of today. Lol, my mother keeps wanting me to marry him even though I'm not attracted to him.

31. David Bowie

Soundtrack | Labyrinth

David Bowie was one of the most influential and prolific writers and performers of popular music, but he was much more than that; he was also an accomplished actor, a mime and an intellectual, as well as an art lover whose appreciation and knowledge of it had led to him amassing one of the biggest ...

A fellow Chameleon and collector of characteristics and personas, and into the use of satire that people don't seem to get.

32. 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 ...

One of the first classically trained actors I studied and got me to want to go to the same acting school he and Patrick Stewart attended.

33. Richard Lynch

Actor | Halloween

Richard Hugh Lynch was born on February 12, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City, to Irish immigrant parents. He was one of seven children. Before starting a career as an actor, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1958. He served for four years where he made Corporal, and did a tour of the ...

Another actor I've studied who made an impact in Villain acting, which horror & cult film fans such as Rob Zombie have been impacted by.

34. John Hurt

Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four

This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and ...

35. Kathleen Turner

Actress | Romancing the Stone

Kathleen Turner was born June 19, 1954 in Springfield, Missouri, to Patsy (Magee) and Allen Richard Turner, a U.S. Foreign Service officer. She graduated from American School in London in 1972. After the death of her father, the Turner family moved back to the United States where Kathleen later ...

Primarily for her voice acting and Serial Mom.

36. Katharine Isabelle

Actress | Ginger Snaps

Katharine Isabelle was born Katharine Isobel Murray in Vancouver, British Columbia to Graeme Murray, an art director and production designer who has won two Emmy Awards for his special effects work on the television series The X-Files (1993) and Gail Murray, an amateur Vancouver writer and producer...

Mainly because of her as Ginger Fitzgerald which really impacted me, and American Mary.

37. Caroline Munro

Actress | The Spy Who Loved Me

Leggy, brunette-maned pin-up actress Caroline Munro was born in Windsor, Berkshire, England, and lived in Rottingdean near Brighton where she attended a Roman Catholic convent school. By chance, her mother and a photographer entered her picture in a "Face of the Year" competition for the British ...

38. John Carpenter

Soundtrack | Escape from New York

John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...

39. Gus Van Sant

Director | Elephant

Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior. He is a director and producer, known for Elephant (2003), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).

He may not have been a native, but he lived in my hometown for some time and most of his work was filmed and/or based there which captured what city life was like there pre-2007. I think the Portland I knew and loved left when he did.

40. Jared Hess

Writer | Napoleon Dynamite

Jared Hess was born on July 18, 1979 in Glendale, Arizona, USA as Jared Lawrence Hess. He is a writer and director, known for Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Gentlemen Broncos (2009) and Nacho Libre (2006). He is married to Jerusha Hess. They have one child.

I will never tire of his movies, and have wanted to experiment with his style or work with him.

41. Clancy Brown

Actor | The Shawshank Redemption

A tall, wavy-haired US actor with a deep, resonant voice, Clancy Brown has proved himself a versatile performer with first-class contributions to theater, feature films, television series and even animation.

Clarence J. Brown III was born in 1959 in Urbana, Ohio, to Joyce Helen (Eldridge), a concert...

The latest actor I've been intrigued by and studying, having already liked his work for a while.

42. Rozz Williams

Composer | Pig

Rozz Williams was born on November 6, 1963 in Pomona, California, USA as Roger Alan Painter. He was married to Eva O. He died on April 1, 1998 in West Hollywood, California.

Longtime theatrical musician inspiration.

43. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...

Right next to Tim Burton in having been raised on his work since a very young age.

44. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

Probably more of just similar to me rather than really inspirational since I already have somewhat been really into the styles and have some of the same inspirations from 60's/70's pulp & exploitation art and nostalgia.

45. Tim Heidecker

Writer | Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories

Tim Heidecker was born on February 3, 1976 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories (2013), Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007) and The Comedy (2012). He has been married to Marilyn Porayko since June 2, 2007. They have two ...

Since I wasn't able to put down Tim and Eric together, or Absolutely productions.

46. John C. Reilly

Actor | Chicago

Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played an eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps.

The fifth of six ...

47. Johnny Knoxville

Writer | Bad Grandpa

Johnny Knoxville was born on March 11, 1971 in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA as Philip John Clapp. He is a writer and producer, known for Bad Grandpa (2013), The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) and The Ringer (2005). He has been married to Naomi Nelson since September 24, 2010. They have two children. He was ...

48. Isabelle Adjani

Actress | Possession

Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Emma Augusta "Gusti" (Schweinberger) and Mohammed Adjani. Her father was a Kabyle Algerian, from Iferhounène, and her mother was a Bavarian German. She grew up speaking German fluently. After winning a school ...

49. Rob Zombie

Director | The Devil's Rejects

Robert Bartleh Cummings, more famously known as Rob Zombie, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 12, 1965. He is the oldest son of Louise and Robert Cummings, and has a younger brother, Michael David (aka Spider One; b. 1968), who is the lead singer of Powerman 5000. Growing up, Zombie ...

50. Wendy O. Williams

Actress | Reform School Girls

Wendy O. Williams was born on May 28, 1949 in Rochester, New York, USA as Wendy Orleans Williams. She was an actress, known for Reform School Girls (1986), Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog (1989) and MacGyver (1985). She died on April 6, 1998 in Storrs, Connecticut, USA.

51. Tom Waits

Actor | Seven Psychopaths

Thomas Alan Waits was born in Pomona, California, to schoolteachers Alma Fern (Johnson) and Jesse Frank Waits. Described as one of the last beatniks of the contemporary music, Waits in fact has two separate careers. From 1973 (LP "Closing Time") to 1983 ("One From The Heart" soundtrack), he ...

52. 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 ...

53. Danny DeVito

Actor | Matilda

Danny DeVito has amassed a formidable and versatile body of work as an actor, producer and director that spans the stage, television and film.

Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey, to Italian-American parents. His mother, Julia (Moccello), was a homemaker. ...

54. Drew Barrymore

Producer | Never Been Kissed

Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation.

Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to ...

55. Mick Jagger

Soundtrack | Alfie

Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent on 26th July 1943. When he was 4 he met Keith Richards until they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realized that they had an interest in rock n roll combined ...

56. Keith Richards

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Keith Richards is an internationally recognized iconic figure in contemporary culture and popular music as a singer, guitar player, songwriter, film actor, and public figure. He was voted 10th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of ...

57. Lemmy

Soundtrack | Grosse Pointe Blank

Lemmy was born on December 24, 1945 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England as Ian Fraser Kilmister. He died on December 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

58. Jimmy Sangster

Writer | Dracula

One of the driving, creative forces behind the legendary Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster was born on December 2, 1927, in Kinmel Bay, North Wales. He began in the film industry as a production assistant at age 16 during WWII. After this gig, he worked as a gofer and assistant projectionist for ...



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