Elite Underrated Actors

by crimson66 | created - 17 Nov 2011 | updated - 22 Aug 2012 | Public

List of actors whom in my opinion, do not receive the credit that is due. Many of these actors are characterized as 'character actors', which for many is a suitable role. However, there are some on this list that deserve to have shared the critical success of their 'hollywood' peers. But for whatever reason, their careers have halted or failed to thrive and have been left with the cliche of being a character actor. Afterall, that is the risk in being an actor, in that your career often is hanging on by a thread. In other words, just when you think you've 'made it', you've been replaced and left behind in mediocrity. You are welcome to suggest names of actors whom you think deserve consideration for this list. There are a few actors on this list that are currently deceased so their mention is a post-humous consideration. There are also some among this list who have recently achieved critical and/or mainstream success, however, when I selected them they were underrated or at least lesser known. Some have mentioned the fact that several of these names have either won or been nominated for academy awards. In some cases, winning the award does not change their level of obscurity.

1. Mark Margolis

Actor | Pi

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1939 and attended Temple University briefly before moving to New York where he studied drama with Stella Adler and at Actors Studio.

2. 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...

3. Tom Noonan

Actor | Synecdoche, New York

Offbeat character actor Tom Noonan started off his career in various theater troupes that utilized his skills as a guitarist and composer. A graduate from Yale's acting school, he founded the Paradise Theatre in 1983, which was instrumental later in his growth as an artist. Gravitating toward film ...

4. 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 ...

5. Zeljko Ivanek

Actor | Seven Psychopaths

Zeljko Ivanek was born on August 15, 1957 in Ljubljana, Slovenia as Zeljko Simic-Ivanek. He is an actor, known for Seven Psychopaths (2012), Argo (2012) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).

6. Tom Aldredge

Actor | Intolerable Cruelty

Tom Aldredge was born on February 28, 1928, in Dayton, Ohio. First appearing off-Broadway in 1957 in "Electra" and on Broadway in 1959 in "The Nervous Set," Aldredge has appeared in over 30 Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Others include "On Golden Pond," "The Litte Foxes" (opposite Elizabeth...

7. 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 1990. They have one child.

8. Michael Gaston

Actor | First Reformed

Gaston has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, as well as various productions on and off Broadway, including "Lucky Guy," with Tom Hanks, in 2013. He' has a B.A. In History from UC Davis and an M.F.A. From NYU.

He has two children and lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

9. 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 ...

10. Bob Odenkirk

Actor | Better Call Saul

Robert John Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, to Barbara (Baier) and Walter Odenkirk, who worked in printing. His ancestry includes German and Irish. He grew up in Naperville, IL, the second of seven children. He worked as a DJ for WIDB, his college radio station at Southern Illinois ...

11. Jeffrey Tambor

Actor | Transparent

An incisive talent when it comes to playing bent, off-the-wall characters, Jeffrey Tambor has been captivating audiences for nearly four decades.

Tambor was born and raised in San Francisco, to Eileen (Salzberg) and Michael Bernard Tambor, a flooring contractor. His family is Jewish (from Hungary ...

12. Walton Goggins

Actor | Justified

In the past few years, Walton Goggins has had pivotal roles in films by two of Hollywood's most important auteurs: Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg. His integral role as 'Chris Mannix,' a southern renegade who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock in Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT, marks ...

13. Dayton Callie

Actor | Volcano

Dayton Callie was born in 1946 in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. He is an actor and writer, known for Volcano (1997), Halloween II (2009) and The Last Days of Frankie the Fly (1996).

14. Titus Welliver

Actor | The Town

Titus Welliver was born on March 12, 1961 in New Haven, Connecticut. His father was a famous landscape painter, Neil Welliver. His mother was a fashion illustrator, Norma Cripps. He has three brothers, one was killed overseas. He was raised in Philadelphia and New York City, surrounded by poets and...

15. Adam Arkin

Actor | Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Adam Arkin was born on August 19, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Chicago Hope (1994) and Northern Exposure (1990). He has been married to Michelle Dunker since September 2, 2017. He was previously married ...

16. Stephen Root

Actor | Office Space

Stephen Root, one of today's most prolific character actors, can be seen in the critically acclaimed psychological-thriller Get Out (2017), written and directed by Jordan Peele. Root also starred alongside Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage and Walton Goggins in John Avnet's drama-film Three Christs (...

17. Gary Cole

Actor | Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

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 Office Space (1999). He has been married to Teddi Siddall since March 8, 1992. They have one child.

18. Ray McKinnon

Writer | Rectify

Ray McKinnon is a writer, actor, director and producer. He served from 2012 through 2016 as creator, showrunner, writer and director of the Peabody Award winning, Sundance TV series, "Rectify."

As an actor, McKinnon has created a canon of unforgettable, offbeat and richly textured characters. In a ...

19. Jay Karnes

Actor | The Shield

Jay Karnes was born in Omaha, NE and attended the University of Kansas, where he studied theatre, history, and political science. He has performed extensively in the regional theater, including in The Tempest, Two Noble Kinsman, Richard II, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Love's Labor's Lost, and Tom ...

20. Jeffrey Jones

Actor | Amadeus

Jeffrey Duncan Jones was born in Buffalo, New York. He is a very tall, fair-haired character actor who is recognized all over for his excellent work. He is a veteran stage actor having such plays as "The Elephant Man" and Neil Simon's "London Suite" under his belt. His first film role was in The ...

21. Michael McKean

Actor | This Is Spinal Tap

Michael McKean was born on October 17, 1947 in New York City, New York, USA as Michael John McKean. He is an actor, known for This Is Spinal Tap (1984), Clue (1985) and A Mighty Wind (2003). He has been married to Annette O'Toole since March 20, 1999. He was previously married to Susan Russell.

22. Giancarlo Esposito

Actor | Breaking Bad

Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples and an opera-singing African-American mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was six, and that's ...

23. Jason Isaacs

Actor | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Jason Isaacs was born in Liverpool, the third of four children of Sheila (née Nathan) and Eric Isaacs. His parents were both from Jewish families (from Eastern Europe). He studied law at Bristol University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in law but decided to study acting. While at Bristol ...

24. Matt Walsh

Actor | Into the Storm

Matt Walsh was born on October 13, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Into the Storm (2014), Veep (2012) and Ted (2012). He has been married to Morgan Walsh since March 21, 2009. They have three children.

25. David Costabile

Actor | Lincoln

David Costabile is an actor, known for Lincoln (2012), Billions (2016) and Breaking Bad (2008). He has been married to Eliza Baldi since June 25, 2012. They have two children.

26. Tom Sizemore

Actor | Saving Private Ryan

Tom Sizemore rose in prominence throughout the 1990s, establishing himself as a memorable tough-guy actor, sought by the most respected directors in the business.

Thomas Edward Sizemore, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Judith (Schannault), an ombudsman staff member, and Thomas Edward Sizemore, ...

27. Albert Brooks

Actor | Drive

Albert Brooks was born on July 22, 1947 in Beverly Hills, California, USA as Albert Lawrence Einstein. He is an actor and writer, known for Drive (2011), Defending Your Life (1991) and Lost in America (1985). He has been married to Kimberly Shlain since March 15, 1997. They have two children.

28. 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 ...

29. Philip Baker Hall

Actor | Magnolia

Philip Baker Hall was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Berdene (McDonald) and William Alexander Hall, a factory worker who was originally from Montgomery, Alabama. He did not start acting until he was 30 years old, and shot to cult fame when he turned in an electrifying performance as Sydney, the veteran ...

30. Melora Walters

Actress | Magnolia

Melora Walters was born on October 21, 1960 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. She is an actress and director, known for Magnolia (1999), Boogie Nights (1997) and Dead Poets Society (1989). She has been married to Alex Vendler since June 21, 2008. She was previously married to Dylan Walsh and Christopher ...

31. Keith Carradine

Actor | Nashville

It seems the second generation of acting Carradines -- David, Keith and Robert -- are proudly continuing the family tradition and begetting a third generation of talent. The dynasty began with veteran Hollywood patriarch John Carradine, the son of a surgeon and a correspondent for the Associated ...

32. 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 ...

33. Clifton Collins Jr.

Actor | Star Trek

An acting chameleon who can easily lose himself in the life of his film and television characters, Clifton Collins Jr. is a native Angeleno who grew up destined to become a part of the Latino entertainment industry. His great-grandparents on his mother's side were a Mexican trumpet player and ...

34. John Carroll Lynch

Actor | The Founder

John Carroll Lynch was born August 1, 1963 in Boulder, Colorado, and was raised in Denver. It was there John found a passion for acting and became a Denver Broncos fan. He graduated in the mid-80s with a B.F.A. in theatre from the The Catholic University of America / Hartke Theatre Acting program. ...

35. Peter Mullan

Actor | Tyrannosaur

He was interested in directing films at the age of 19 and he made several shorts. As he wasn't admitted to the National Film School, he decided to dedicate himself to acting, and made his debut in the theatre in 1988 before moving to cinema and television. Fame came with the parts he played in such...

36. Michael Shannon

Actor | Take Shelter

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 ...

37. Shea Whigham

Actor | Wristcutters: A Love Story

Born in Florida, educated at Purchase, and coming from the NYC based theatre scene, Shea Whigham's big break came when director Joel Schumacher cast him opposite Colin Farrell in Tigerland (2000). Since then he has racked up impressive credits working with such legendary Hollywood directors as ...

38. Luis Guzmán

Actor | Traffic

Actor of Puerto Rican descent who made many memorable films in the 1980s due to his villainous persona. Presently resides with his wife and many kids in Vermont.

39. 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 ...

40. Stephen McHattie

Actor | Pontypool

Stephen McHattie was born on February 3, 1947 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada as Stephen McHattie Smith. He is an actor and director, known for Pontypool (2008), The Fountain (2006) and Watchmen (2009). He is married to Lisa Houle. They have three children. He was previously married to Meg Foster...

41. Anthony Mackie

Actor | The Hurt Locker

Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, ...

42. Armin Mueller-Stahl

Actor | Eastern Promises

Armin Mueller-Stahl was born on December 17, 1930 in Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany. He is an actor and director, known for Eastern Promises (2007), Shine (1996) and The International (2009). He has been married to Gabriele Scholz since 1973. They have one child. He was previously married to Monika ...

43. Michael Kenneth Williams

Actor | The Wire

Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn, to an African-American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau. He was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School....

44. Michael Stuhlbarg

Actor | A Serious Man

Michael Stewart Stuhlbarg was born in Long Beach, California. He attended UCLA, and then The Juilliard School in New York City, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. His other studies included time at the Vilnius Conservatory in Lithuania, the British American Drama Academy at Baliol and...

45. David Thewlis

Actor | Naked

David Thewlis was born David Wheeler in 1963 in Blackpool, Lancashire, to Maureen (Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler, and lived with his parents above their combination wallpaper and toy shop during his childhood. Originally, he came to London with his band Door 66, however he changed his plans and...

46. William Fichtner

Actor | Crash

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, ...

47. Jackie Earle Haley

Actor | Watchmen

Jackie Earle Haley was born on July 14, 1961 in Northridge, California, USA as Jack Earle Haley. He is an actor and director, known for Watchmen (2009), Little Children (2006) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). He has been married to Amelia Cruz since August 6, 2004. He was previously married to...

48. Patrick Wilson

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Patrick Joseph Wilson was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, the son of Mary Kathryn (Burton), a voice teacher and professional singer, and John Franklin Wilson, a news anchor.

Wilson has a B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie-Mellon University. His theater work has produced ...

49. Alan Arkin

Actor | Argo

Alan Arkin is an Academy Award-winning American actor who is also an acclaimed director, producer, author, singer and composer.

He was born Alan Wolf Arkin on March 26, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. In 1946 the Arkins moved from Brooklyn to ...

50. Mark Boone Junior

Actor | Memento

Mark Boone Junior was born on March 17, 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as Mark Heidrich. He is an actor and producer, known for Memento (2000), Batman Begins (2005) and 30 Days of Night (2007).

51. David Koechner

Actor | Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Actor, writer and producer David Michael Koechner was born in Tipton, Missouri, to Margaret Ann (Downey) and Cecil Stephen Koechner, who ran a turkey coop manufacturing business. He is of German, Irish, and English ancestry. An alumnus of Chicago's Second City Theater, Koechner got his first break ...

52. Sam Riley

Actor | Control

Sam Riley was born on January 8, 1980 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. He is an actor, known for Control (2007), Maleficent (2014) and On the Road (2012). He has been married to Alexandra Maria Lara since August 2009. They have one child.

53. 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 ...

54. Ray Stevenson

Actor | Thor

Tall, dark, but somewhat gentle-looking actor Ray Stevenson was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland on 25 May 1964, on a British army base. His father was a British pilot in the Royal Air Force, and his mother is Irish. He moved with his family to Lemington, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England in 1972 at ...

55. Vincent D'Onofrio

Actor | Men in Black

Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and server, and Gene D'Onofrio, a theater production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent and has two older sisters. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American ...

56. William Sanderson

Actor | Blade Runner

Prolific and versatile character actor William Sanderson was born on January 10, 1944, in Memphis, Tennessee. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a landscape designer. William served two years in the US Army. Following his military service he attended Southern Methodist ...

57. Ian McShane

Actor | Deadwood

From a lawless, foul-mouthed saloon owner in "Deadwood" to a tough, no-nonsense British gangster in "Sexy Beast," Ian McShane has virtually cornered the market on playing rogues, villains, and all-around badasses.

A natural at portraying complex anti-heroes and charismatic heavies, the classically ...

58. 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, became 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 October...

59. Kim Dickens

Actress | Gone Girl

Kim Dickens was born on June 18, 1965 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA as Kimberly Jan Dickens. She is an actress, known for Gone Girl (2014), Hollow Man (2000) and Deadwood (2004).

60. Garret Dillahunt

Actor | 12 Years a Slave

Garret grew up in the state of Washington and attended the University of Washington where he studied journalism. He received his MFA from New York University's Graduate Acting Program. He appeared on and off Broadway and in theaters around the country before he began pursuing film and television ...

61. Ricky Jay

Actor | Magnolia

Ricky Jay was born in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Richard Jay Potash. He is known for his work on Magnolia (1999), Boogie Nights (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). He is married to Chrisann Verges.

62. Stephen Tobolowsky

Actor | Mississippi Burning

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 ...

63. 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 ...

64. John Cazale

Actor | Dog Day Afternoon

John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way (...

65. Jeffrey DeMunn

Actor | The Mist

Jeffrey DeMunn was born on April 25, 1947 in Buffalo, New York. He studied in England at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, then returned to America and was a member of the National Shakespeare Company. He has starred in many theatre productions, both on and off Broadway, including "K2" (for which...

66. Melissa Leo

Actress | The Fighter

Melissa Leo was born on September 14, 1960 in New York City, New York, USA as Melissa Chessington Leo. She is an actress and producer, known for The Fighter (2010), 21 Grams (2003) and Oblivion (2013).

67. John Hawkes

Actor | Winter's Bone

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 ...

68. Rhona Mitra

Actress | Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Mitra was born in Paddington, London, England, the daughter of Nora Downey and Anthony Mitra, a cosmetic surgeon. She has an older and a younger brother. Her father is of Bengali Indian and English descent, and her mother is Irish. In 1984, when Mitra was eight, her parents divorced, and she was ...

69. 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 ...

70. Ciarán Hinds

Actor | The Woman in Black

Ciaran Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9, 1953. He was one of five children and the only son. His father was a doctor who hoped to have Ciaran follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be. It was his mother Moya, an amateur actress, who was the real influence behind his ...

71. Olga Kurylenko

Actress | Oblivion

Olga Kurylenko, a Ukrainian-born actress and model, went from sharing a cramped flat with her aunt, uncle, grandparents and cousin to starring as a Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig.

She was born Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union. Her mother, ...

72. Bryan Cranston

Actor | Breaking Bad

Bryan Lee Cranston was born on March 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California, to Audrey Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joe Cranston, an actor and former amateur boxer. His maternal grandparents were German, and his father was of Irish, German, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. He was raised partly by his ...

73. 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 ...

74. Joseph Fiennes

Actor | Shakespeare in Love

Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is one of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Ralph Fiennes, an actor; Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes, a...

75. Winona Ryder

Actress | Little Women

Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and was named after a nearby town, Winona, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Cynthia (Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael Horowitz, a publisher and bookseller. Her father's family is Russian Jewish and Romanian ...

76. Joan Allen

Actress | Room

Joan Allen was born on August 20, 1956 in Rochelle, Illinois, the youngest of four children. She is the daughter of homemaker Dorothea Marie (Wirth) and gas station owner James Jefferson Allen. Her mother's family was German, and her father had English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. She ...

77. Annette Bening

Actress | American Beauty

Annette Carol Bening was born on May 29, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children of Shirley (Ashley), a soloist and church singer, and Arnett Grant Bening, an insurance salesman. She is of German and British Isles ancestry. Her family moved to California when she was young, and she ...

78. Jessica Chastain

Actress | Zero Dark Thirty

Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and ...

79. Brad Renfro

Actor | Apt Pupil

Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Angela Denise McCrory and Mark Renfro, a factory worker. He was discovered at age 10 by director Joel Schumacher and was cast in the motion picture The Client (1994), which starred Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Although this ...

80. Patricia Clarkson

Actress | The Green Mile

This remarkable, one-of-a-kind actress has, since the early 1990s, intrigued film and TV audiences with her glowing, yet careworn eccentricity and old world-styled glamour. Very much in demand these days as a character player, Patricia Clarkson nevertheless continues to avoid the temptation of ...

81. Jeffrey Wright

Actor | Broken Flowers

Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation, Jeffrey Wright's undeniable talent and ability to successfully bring to life any role he undertakes is on a par with the most praised and revered A-list actors in the business. Born and raised in Washington DC,...

82. Jason Clarke

Actor | Zero Dark Thirty

Jason Clarke was born on July 17, 1969 in Winton, Queensland, Australia. He is an actor and producer, known for Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Everest (2015) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

83. Fionnula Flanagan

Actress | The Others

Fionnula Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. From an early age she grew up speaking both English and Irish on a daily basis. Her parents weren't native Irish speakers but wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the language. Her mother used to say, "A nation without a language ...

84. Ted Levine

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Born in Bellaire, Ohio, in May, 1957, 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 ...

85. Bruno Ganz

Actor | Der Untergang

Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with ...

86. Kathy Baker

Actress | Picket Fences

For someone who has made an award-winning impact in all three mediums (stage, film and TV), actress Kathy Baker has been strangely denied all-out stardom, yet continues to demonstrate her versatility in whatever material comes her way.

The comely blonde was born Katherine Whitton Baker in Midland, ...

87. Jack McGee

Actor | The Fighter

Jack McGee was born on February 2, 1949 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as John J. McGee. He is an actor, known for The Fighter (2010), Gangster Squad (2013) and Basic Instinct (1992). He has been married to Stephanie since August 19, 1996.

88. 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, ...

89. 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. ...

90. Tobin Bell

Actor | Saw

Tobin Bell is an American actor with a career in film, television and theater spanning three decades. He was born in Queens, New York and raised in Weymouth, Mass. His mother is the British actress Eileen Bell. He is perhaps best known for his role as the iconic villain "Jigsaw" in the Saw film ...

91. Donnie Wahlberg

Actor | Saw II

Donald Edmond Wahlberg, Jr. was born August 17, 1969 in Dorchester Massachusetts, into a family of Swedish (from his paternal grandfather), Irish, and more distant French-Canadian, English, and Scottish, descent. He is the eighth of nine children of Alma Elaine (Donnelly), a nurse's aide and clerk,...

92. Barbara Hershey

Actress | Black Swan

Barbara Hershey was born Barbara Lynn Herzstein in Hollywood, California, to Melrose (Moore) and Arnold Nathan Herzstein, a horse racing columnist. Her father, born in Manhattan, was from a Jewish family (from Hungary and Russia), and her mother, originally from Arkansas, had English and ...

93. Timothy Spall

Actor | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Timothy Leonard Spall was born in Battersea, London, to Sylvia R. (Leonard), a hairdresser, and Joseph L. Spall, a postal worker. He was raised in London. Spall auditioned and earned a spot with the National Youth Theatre and later showed great promise at RADA where he portrayed the title roles in ...

94. Christoph Waltz

Actor | Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he ...

95. Anjelica Huston

Actress | The Witches

Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, to prima ballerina Enrica "Ricki" (Soma) and director and actor John Huston. Her mother, who was from New York, was of Italian descent, and her father had English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Huston spent most of her ...

96. James Rebhorn

Actor | Independence Day

James Robert Rebhorn (September 1, 1948 - March 21, 2014) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the current series White Collar and Homeland.

An early performance was in Butterflies are Free at the ...

97. 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 ...

98. Ben Gazzara

Actor | Road House

Ben Gazzara's screen career began with two critically acclaimed roles as heavies in the late 1950s. He turned to television in the 1960s but made a big screen comeback with roles in three John Cassavetes films in the 1970s. The 1980s and 1990s saw Gazzara work more frequently than ever before in ...

99. Dominic Chianese

Actor | The Sopranos

A multi-talented performer--as well as being an actor, he is an accomplished singer. He released a new music CD in late 2000 on which he sings American and Italian standards.

100. Dean Winters

Actor | John Wick

Dean Winters is known for his role as Ryan O'Reily on HBO's award-winning series Oz (1997) and as Tina Fey's character's "Beeper King" boyfriend on the Emmy-winning comedy, 30 Rock (2006). His noteworthy comedic performance was recently included in Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" as well as ...