Favorite "that guy" actor? Part 2by yrnej | created - 27 Oct 2014 | updated - 09 Nov 2014 | Public
You know their face but you may not know their name. They are the indispensable character actors who truly make a film great. Which of these contemporary journey-men actors do you most enjoy?
Vote on part 1 here
Discuss the list here
1. Dylan Baker
Actor | Happiness
Dylan Baker was born on October 7, 1959 in Syracuse, New York, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Happiness (1998), Revolutionary Road (2008) and Trick 'r Treat (2007). He has been married to Becky Ann Baker since 1987. They have one child.
Fun trivia: Frequently plays seemingly milquetoast, bland men who are actually concealing their dark, even evil true natures.
2. Gary Cole
Gary Cole was born on September 20, 1956 in Park Ridge, Illinois, USA as Gary Michael Cole. He is known for his work on Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), One Hour Photo (2002) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004). He was previously married to Teddi Siddall.
Fun trivia: Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas edged out Cole and Jimmy Smits for the roles of Crockett & Tubbs in Miami Vice (1984).
3. Chris Cooper
Actor | Adaptation.
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised.
Educated at the University of Missouri school of ...
Fun trivia: Studied ballet at Stephens College in Columbia.
4. Brian Cox
Actor | X2
Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline Cox, maiden surname McCann, a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish ...
Fun trivia: Was the first actor to portray Dr. Hannibal Lecter on film.
5. Keith David
Actor | The Princess and the Frog
Keith David was born Keith David Williams in New York City's Harlem district, and was raised in East Elmhurst, in the Queens section of the city. He is the son of Dolores (Dickenson), a New York Telephone manager, and Lester Williams, a payroll operations director. As a child, he realized he wanted...
Fun trivia: Portrayed Keith the Southwood Carpenter in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in the '80s.
Actor | X-Men
With his blond, clean-cut, Ivy League handsomeness and ready-whipped smile reminiscent of Kennedyesque times, actor Bruce Davison fits the prototype of today's more current crop of fresh-faced, likable blonds such as Brian Kerwin and Aaron Eckhart. While it proved difficult at times for the actor ...
Fun trivia: Director Robert Aldrich gave advice to Davison when he was starting out as an actor. "Be a character actor. Hero or villain, character actors always work."
7. 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, ...
Fun trivia: Many of his co-stars in the Lord of the Rings trilogy were under the impression that he was actually English because of the British accent he used as Grima Wormtongue throughout filming. As a method actor, he kept the accent even when he was not filming. They were shocked to hear him speak in an American accent after filming was complete. Bernard Hill believed Dourif was speaking in the worst American accent he "had ever heard in [his] life".
Actor | The Green Mile
Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...
Fun trivia: Supposedly gave $5.00 to anyone who recognized him on the street and knew what his full name was.
Actor | Get Shorty
Dennis Farina was one of Hollywood's busiest actors and a familiar face to moviegoers and television viewers alike. Recently, he appeared in the feature films, "The Grand," a comedy about a Vegas poker tournament with Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines and Ray Romano; "Bottle Shock," also starring Alan ...
Fun trivia: Did not start acting until he was 37 years old, after stints in the military and 18 years with the Chicago Police Department.
10. William Fichtner
Actor | Drive Angry
A small-town guy with a big heart, William Fichtner has been captivating the hearts of Western New Yorkers for decades. Bill was born in 1956 on Long Island, New York, to Patricia A. (Steitz) and William E. Fichtner. He is of German, Irish, and English descent.
Fichtner was raised in Cheektowaga, ...
Fun trivia: Is a talented racing driver - overall winner of the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race during the Grand Prix of Long Beach, finishing ahead of pro driver Ken Gushi.
11. Robert Forster
Actor | Jackie Brown
Robert Forster was born Robert Wallace Foster, Jr. in Rochester, New York, to Grace Dorothy (Montanarella) and Robert Wallace Foster, Sr., who worked as an elephant trainer and baking supply company executive. He is of English, Irish, and Italian descent. Forster first become interested in acting ...
Fun trivia: Once worked as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.
12. Brendan Gleeson
Actor | The Guard
Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high ...
Fun trivia: Is a fine fiddle player and can be seen playing it in Michael Collins (1996) and also in Cold Mountain (2003).
13. Luis Guzmán
Actor | Traffic
Actor of Puerto Rican descent who gained fame making many memorable films in the 1980s and 1990s due to his villainous physical appearance. Guzmán born in August 28, 1956 in Cayey, Puerto Rico, but he raised in New York City's Greenwich Village, as well as the surrounding Lower East Side ...
Fun trivia: He was a social worker, working especially with young people. He also was very involved with his community, arranging events, before becoming an actor.
14. John Hawkes
Actor | The Sessions
John Hawkes was born John Marvin Perkins in Alexandria, Minnesota, to Patricia Jeanne (Olson) and Peter John Perkins, a farmer. He is of Scandinavian and British Isles descent. John moved to Austin, Texas to begin his career as an actor and musician. He co-founded the Big State Productions Theatre ...
Fun trivia: Turned down the role of The Governor in the television series The Walking Dead.
15. 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...
Fun trivia: Was illiterate until the age of thirty, when he learned to read by studying movie scripts.
16. Richard Jenkins
Actor | The Shape of Water
Richard Jenkins was born on May 4, 1947 in DeKalb, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for The Shape of Water (2017), The Visitor (2007) and Step Brothers (2008). He has been married to Sharon R. Friedrick since August 23, 1969. They have two children.
Fun trivia: Shares the same birth name as Richard Burton.
17. Elias Koteas
Actor | The Thin Red Line
Elias Koteas was born on March 11, 1961, in Montreal, Canada. Both his parents are of Greek descent. Elias attended Vanier College in Montreal before leaving to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981, of which he is a graduate. He also attended the Actors Studio in ...
Fun trivia: His parents are both of Greek descent, from the Mani Peninsula and he is a fluent Greek and French speaker.
18. Stephen Lang
Actor | Avatar
A stage actor of great recognition, Stephen Lang has shaped a formidable career on and off the various stages of the United States and abroad. Though he is arguably most well-known for his acclaimed performance in James Cameron's Avatar (2009), Lang began his career in theater. Broadway roles ...
Fun trivia: Runs the famed Actors Studio in New York along with Lee Grant, Al Pacino and others.
19. Frank Langella
Actor | Frost/Nixon
Frank Langella was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Angelina and Frank A. Langella, a business executive. He is of Italian descent.
A stage and screen actor of extreme versatility, Frank Langella won acclaim on the New York stage in "Seascape" and followed it up with the title role in the Edward Gorey...
Fun trivia: Lived with actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg (separated in March 2001).
20. David Morse
Actor | The Green Mile
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, has become established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead.
He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on ...
Fun trivia: Broke several fingers during a fight scene in Disturbia (2007) but remained in character and finished the take.
21. Denis O'Hare
Actor | Dallas Buyers Club
Denis O'Hare was born on January 17, 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA as Denis Patrick Seamus O'Hare. He is an actor, known for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Garden State (2004) and The Proposal (2009). He has been married to Hugo Redwood since July 28, 2011. They have one child.
Fun trivia: He has been married to Hugo Redwood since July 28, 2011; they have one child.
22. Chazz Palminteri
Actor | The Usual Suspects
Bronx-born and raised Chazz Palminteri was a natural choice to continue the Italianate torch in film. In the tradition set forth in the 1970s by such icons as director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Cazale and Joe Pesci, Palminteri has brought grit, muscle and an ...
Fun trivia: Began as a long-haired lead singer for a band called "Razzamachazz."
23. David Paymer
Actor | State and Main
One of modern TV and moviedom's most sturdy and reliable character actors, David Paymer dreamed of being an actor from early childhood. Although he came from a traditional middle-class Jewish family that urged him to become a doctor or lawyer, Paymer felt more at home in the world of the thespian. ...
Fun trivia: After filming the original pilot for St. Elsewhere (1982), he was replaced in the role of Dr. Wayne Fiscus by Howie Mandel.
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 ...
Fun trivia: At the beginning of one hit wonder "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba, it's his voice that says these words from the movie Brassed Off (1996): "Truth is I thought it mattered, I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks! Not compared to how people matter".
25. Stephen Root
Actor | Office Space
Stephen Root, one of today's most prolific character actors, is currently starring in the HBO hit series Barry. The show has been nominated for multiple Emmy's and Golden Globes, earning a total of 32 nominations in its first season. Season two airs March 31st on HBO. In 2018, Stephen played a ...
Fun trivia: With his part as the squirrelly "Milton Waddams" in the cult classic Office Space (1999), Root has developed a fan base; he has said that, from time to time, fans of the movie will either mail him or give him, in person, a red Swingline stapler.
26. J.K. Simmons
Actor | Whiplash
J.K. Simmons is an American actor.
He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music).
He had ...
Fun trivia: Has been the voice of the yellow peanut M&M on the commercials since the late 1990s, replacing John Goodman after the original 1995 commercials. In 2000, a video game was produced, M&M's: The Lost Formulas (2000), in which he portrayed Yellow Peanut.
Actor | Alien
Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco farmer. Lived in Lexington, Kentucky and graduated from Lafayette Senior High School with the class of 1944. Drafted into the Navy, he served as a cook in the U.S. Navy during ...
Fun trivia: Critic Roger Ebert so admired him that he created the "Stanton-Walsh Rule," which states that "no movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Ebert later admitted that Dream a Little Dream (1989), in which Stanton appeared, was a "clear violation" of this rule.
28. Peter Stormare
Actor | Fargo
Peter Stormare was born in Arbrå, Gävleborgs län, Sweden, to Gunhild (Holm) and Karl Ingvar Storm. He began his acting career at the Royal National Theatre of Sweden, performing for eleven years. In 1990 he became the Associate Artistic Director at the Tokyo Globe Theatre and directed productions ...
Fun trivia: He was accidentally hit by Mark Hamill during a fight scene in Commander Hamilton (1998). He has broken his nose four times, last time during the shooting of "Unknown". A nose surgery was done in 2008, to prevent him from going blind on the right eye.
29. David Strathairn
Actor | Good Night, and Good Luck.
David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and ...
Fun trivia: Father of Tay Strathairn, keyboard player for American folk-rock band Dawes.
Actor | Spaceballs
Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky was born on May 30, 1951 in Dallas, Texas. Over the past three decades, Tobolowsky has racked up a lengthy list of roles in movies and television across many different genres.
While Tobolowsky initially attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with ...
Fun trivia: Was the lead singer in the first band formed by guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. They went to school together in Dallas.
Actor | Identity
Vince first started to get noticed for his excellent performances at the start of his career in Shy People (1987) and Mississippi Burning (1988). In both these films he played something of a blathering redneck idiot, although there was a streak of pathos in both performances which made it ...
Fun trivia: Has a condition called Nystagmus, which causes his eyes to involuntarily move back and forth.
32. Frank Whaley
Actor | Pulp Fiction
Frank Whaley is a critically acclaimed actor/writer/director. He is best known for the films Pulp Fiction (1994) and Swimming with Sharks (1994), and has worked with Oliver Stone multiple times. His feature directorial debut, Joe the King (1999), earned him the Waldo Salt Screenwriting prize at the...
Fun trivia: Founded a theater company called Malaparte with Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, and Steve Zahn.
33. Bradley Whitford
Actor | Get Out
Bradley Whitford's credits in film, television and theater include work with some of the most noted writers, directors and playwrights in the arts, and constitute a career worthy of a Juilliard-trained actor -- which he is. But stardom is something else altogether, and it remained elusive, at least...
Fun trivia: Founded the charity "Clothes off our Back" with his former wife, Jane Kaczmarek, in 2002. Clothes off our Back runs on-line auctions after major awards shows where celebrities' gowns and tuxedos, and other articles of clothing, are auctioned off. The proceeds go to children's charities such as Cure Autism Now and The Children's Defense Fund.
34. Michael Wincott
Actor | Basquiat
Widely respected among peers for his fearless commitment, Michael Anthony Claudio Wincott was born to an English father and Italian mother in Scarborough, a working class suburb of Toronto. His career began fortuitously in 1976 at the CBC, cast by Deidre Bowen, Clare Walker and director Mike Newell...
Fun trivia: Younger brother of Jeff Wincott.
35. Ray Winstone
Actor | The Departed
Ray Winstone was born on February 19, 1957, in Hackney Hospital in London, England, to Margaret (Richardson) and Raymond J. Winstone. He moved to Enfield, at age seven, where his parents had a fruit and vegetable business. He started boxing at the age of twelve at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing ...
Fun trivia: Was offered the role of Jimmy McNulty in The Wire (2002), which he turned down because he didn't want to move to Baltimore, away from his family. The role instead went to Dominic West.