In Appreciation of Character Actors (A-F)

(NOTE: The Full List is the only list being continually updated.)

This is one of the most exciting parts of watching movies. You’re watching a film, and someone comes on screen, and makes you go, “I KNOW that guy!” Or gal. “I know them!” Then — “Wait, but from where?”

And then what happens (especially if you’re with people), someone says, “Oh, they’re from (this).” And everyone’s like, “Ohhh!”, and then everyone remembers, “And they were in (this) too! And (that)!” It’s a lot of fun.

What I’m getting at is — we love character actors. Their job is to be memorable in just about any role they take. They’re rarely the stars, but they accrue enough random roles that they build up in your mind and become the people who, while you don’t necessarily go to the movies for them, they’re the people who pop up in movies and make you go, “I didn’t know he/she was in this this! That’s awesome!”

Unfortunately, they’re also the people who most people can never remember. It’s the nature of the beast. You know them as the characters they’ve played rather than as who they are. (Most people.) Of course, you can look it up, but, even so, character actors are really the people who do some of the strongest and most diverse work, and get little to no credit for it.

So I decided to create this list. A giant list of all those actors we remember from all those minor and semi-major roles that we can just read be like, “Oh I love those people!” And maybe you’ll remember a bunch of films a certain actor was in that you never knew or hadn’t remembered, or discover someone you never knew you knew. But mostly, this is about being able to, in one place, have a certain group of people where it’s just one after another after another, of, “Oh, I love that person!” (See how many you recognize and/or love. And savor it. They deserve it.)

So let’s all just take a minute (or 60) appreciate the backbone of cinema — the character actors.

Just a note before we begin: We’re assuming a basic film literacy here. I’m not going to include the really obvious ones. If you need an article that tells you Christopher Walken, John Malkovich, John Goodman and (sigh) Judi Dench are character actors, you’re on the wrong blog. This is more about those people you recognize by face, but don’t really know by name (mostly). Sure, some of them might seem really obvious on the level of those actors I mentioned (at least, that’s how some of them feel to me), but I do want to cover as many bases as possible. Since I’m at a point where I don’t really know where other people are at.To me, the names Maury Chaykin and John Carroll Lynch are as basic as Walken or Woods. But I’m not everyone.

I liken this article to the making of a film. There’s a certain struggle between how much intelligence you assume within the audience, how much information you spoon feed to them. To continue the metaphor, I’m trying to make this as accessible as possible, but also not treat my audience like a bunch of idiots looking for shit blowing up. So this won’t be a July film, nor will this be that December 31st Oscar-qualifying release that won Cannes. I’m trying to make this the classy October/November picture. The one that won’t win Best Picture, but also won’t make $100 million. Ya follow? We want classy, solid, and mostly accessible.

You’d be surprised at how many people just don’t know or recognize some of the people on this list that seem really obvious. (Also, I just want to point out, if you recognize these people from most of the films listed (presuming you saw them), you’re probably also one of those people who can immediately spot the celebrity voiceover on commercials, as I am. And if that’s the case, go us!)

F. Murray Abraham

It’s a tough call, saying a Best Actor winner is a character actor, but I think that’s what Abraham is. He’s someone who pops up in a lot of small roles in films that people will recognize, but isn’t someone a lot of people will know my name. For example:

Where you know him from:

Amadeus, as Salieri (I bet you know him as Salieri more than you know him as F. Murray Abraham.)

Scarface, as Omar Suarez (hanging from that helicopter)

Finding Forrester, as Professor Crawford (this is where I first recognized him. He was such a dick here)

Also look for him in: The Sunshine Boys, as a mechanic at the beginning, All the President’s Men, as an arresting officer (more of a bit part than anything), The Name of the Rose, as Bernardo Gui, The Bonfire of the Vanities, as D.A. Abe Weiss, Mobsters, as Arnold Rothstein, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1, as Harold Leacher, Last Action Hero, as John Practice, Mighty Aphrodite, as the leader of the Greek chorus, Mimic, as Dr. Gates, Star Trek: Insurrection, as Ad’har Ru’afo, and Thirteen Ghosts, as Cyrus Kriticos (I forgot about this one…).

Joey Lauren Adams

Where you know her from:

Chasing Amy, as Alyssa Jones

Mallrats, as Gwen

Big Daddy, as Layla Maloney

Also look for her in: Coneheads, as Christina, as Dazed and Confused, as Simone Kerr, Mallrats, as Gwen, Bio-Dome, as Monique, Jay and Silent bob Strike Back, as Alyssa Jones, The Break-Up, as Addie, United States of Tara, as Pammy.


Honestly, he’s not really a character actor, but he does fit the character actor profile, which is: do something memorable, then show up in something else and cause people to be like, “Oh shit, I know him!” So I put him on here.

Where you know him from:

Snatch., as Tyrone (“He’s a getaway driver. Ain’t you, Tyrone?”)

Also look for him in: Casino Royale, as Infante (dude at the card game. His one line is, “I’ll have one of those.”)

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Where you know him from:

The Bourne Identity, as Wombosi

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, as Hitu

The Mummy Returns, as Lock-Nah

Also look for him in: Congo, as Kahega, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, as Majestic, Lost, as Mr. Eko, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, as Heavy Duty, Faster, as The Evangelist, Killer Elite, as The Agent, The Thing (2011), as Derek Jameson.

Danny Aiello

Where you know him from:

Do the Right Thing, as Sal, owner of Sal’s Pizza.

Once Upon a Time in America, as Chief Vincent Aiello (the guy whose son they switch in the maternity ward)

Leon: The Professional, as Tony (owner of the restaurant who gives Leon all his jobs)

Moonstruck, as Johnny Cammareri (Cher’s superstitious fiancé)

Jacob’s Ladder, as Louis (Tim Robbin’s chiropractor friend)

Also look for him in: The Godfather Part II, as one of the Rosato brothers (his big line to Frank Pentangeli is “Michael Corleone says hello!” as he garrotes him), The Front, as Danny LaGattuta, The Purple Rose of Cairo, as Monk, Radio Days, as Rocco, Hudson Hawk, as Johnny Five-Tone, Prêt-à-Porter, as Major Hamilton, City Hall, as Frank Anselmo, 2 Days in the Valley, as Dosmo Pizzo, Dinner Rush, as Louis Cropa, and Lucky Number Slevin as Roth (the bookie who gets bumped off real early).

Eddie Albert

Where you know him from: Roman Holiday, as Irving Radovich The Longest Day, as Colonel Thompson The Heartbreak Kid, as Mr. Corcoran The Longest Yard, as Warden Hazen Also look for him in: Four Daughters, as Dr. Clinton Forest Jr., Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman, as Steve Nelson, Oklahoma!, as Ali Hakim, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, as Burt McGuire, Attack, as Capt. Erskine Cooney, The Teahouse of the August Moon, as Capt. McLean, The Sun Also Rises, as Bill Gorton, Captain Newman, M.D., as Col. Norval Algate Bliss, The Lorax, as Narrator, McQ, as Kosterman, Escape to Witch Mountain, as Jason O’Day.

Jack Albertson

Where you know him from: Willy Wonka and the Chocloate Factory, as Grandpa Joe I refuse to believe you know him from anywhere else. Also look for him in: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), as Post Office Mail Sorter Next to Lou, Man of a Thousand Faces, as Dr. J. Wilson Shields, Teacher’s Pet, as Guide, Period of Adjustment, as Desk Sergeant, Days of Wine and Roses, as Trayner, HOw to Murder Your Wife, as Dr. Bentley, The Subject was Roses, as John Cleary, The Poseidon Adventure, as Manny Rosen, The Fox and the Hound, as Amos Slade.

Alan Alda

Where you know him from:

M*A*S*H, as Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce The Aviator, as Senator Brewster Crimes and Misdemeanors, as Lester Also look for him in: Same Time, Next Year, as George Peters, California Suite, as Bill Warren,Manhattan Murder Mystery, as Ted, Everyone Says I Love You, as Bob Dandridge, Mad City, as Kevin Hollander, What Women Want, as Dan Wanamaker, Flash of Genius, as Gregory Lawson,Nothing But the Truth, as Alan Burnside (he’s awesome here), 30 Rock, as Milton Greene (who needs a kidney now).

Joan Allen

Where you know her from:

The Bourne Supremacy & The Bourne Ultimatum, as Pamela Landy

Pleasantville, as Betty Parker

Nixon, as Pat Nixon

Face/Off, as Eve Archer

Also look for her in: Manhunter, as Reba McClane, Peggy Sue Got Married, as Maddy Nagle, Searching for Bobby Fischer, as Bonnie Waitzkin, The Crucible, as Elizabeth Proctor, The Ice Storm, as Elena Hood, The Contender, as Laine Hanson, The Notebook, as Anne Hamilton, The Upside of Anger, as Terry Ann Wolfmeyer, Death Race, as Hennessey.

Bruce Altman

Where you know him from:

Matchstick Men, as Dr. Klein

Glengarry Glen Ross, as Larry Spannel

Rookie of the Year, as Jack Bradfield (I always like to include the first film I too notice of a person)

Also look for him in: Quiz Show, as Gene, Cop Land, as Counselor Burt Kandel, Girl, Interrupted, as Professor Gilcrest, Changing Lanes, as Terry Kaufman, Solitary Man, as Dr. Steinberg, It’s Complicated, as Ted.

John Amos

Where you know him from:

Coming to America, as Cleo McDowell, owner of McDowell’s (and the golden arcs) Die Hard 2, as Major Grant Man also does a lot of TV, most notably as John Sr. on Good Times and as Nia Long’s father on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. These four things alone are enough to put him on this list.

Alan Arkin

Here’s the case of a leading man who transitioned into character acting as he got older. And man, has he taken on some memorably diverse characters over his career. I feel a lot of people would know him now for the stuff he’s done recently, but I also want to point out all the great stuff he did in the 60s. That’s why he’s here.

Where you know him from:

Little Miss Sunshine (I assume this is where most people would know him from — won him an Oscar), as Grandpa

The In-Laws, as Sheldon Kornpett, D.D.S. (Peter Falk taught him how to “serpentine”)

Wait Until Dark as Roat (if you’ve seen it, you remember him and his scary ass. Attacking Audrey Hepburn when she’s blind…)

The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming, as Lt. Rozanov

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, as John Singer

Catch-22, as John Yossarian

Edward Scissorhands, as Bill (Winona’s father who takes him in. Yeah — that’s Arkin)

Glengarry Glen Ross, as George Aaronow

Also look for him in: Woman Times Seven (in “The Suicides” segment), Inspector Clouseau (he was Inspector Clouseau for christ’s sake! Sellers was busy at the time, that’s why), The Rocketeer, as Peevy, Grosse Point Blank, as Dr. Oatman, Gattaca, as Detective Hugo, Get Smart, as The Chief.

Edward Arnold

Where you know him from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, as Jim Taylor The Devil and Daniel Webster, as Daniel Webster You Can’t Take It With You, as Anthony P. Kirby Also look for him in: I’m No Angel, as Big Bill Barton, Come and Get It, as Barney Glasgow, Johnny Eager, as John Benson Farrell, Mrs. Parkington, as Amory Stilham, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, as Joe Lorgan, Annie Get Your Gun, as Pawnee Bill.

William Atherton

One of the great douchebags in the history of film. I love this man.

Where you know him from:

Die Hard & Die Hard 2, as Richard Thornburg, douchiest newsman ever.

Ghostbusters, as Walter Peck, doucehbag EPA agent, and foil to Bill Murray.

Sugarland Express, as Clovis Michael Poplin

Real Genius, as Professor Hathaway

Bio-Dome, as Dr. Noah Faulkner (I’ll be honest, this is where I first knew him from)

Also look for him in: The Day of the Locust, as Tod Hackett, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, as James,Oscar, as Overton, The Pelican Brief, as Bob Gminski, Mad City, as Dohlen, The Last Samurai, as the Winchester rep at the beginning.

Rene Auberjonois

Where you know him from:

The Little Mermaid, as Chef Louis

The Patriot, as Reverend Oliver

Archer, as Mannfred, the 50-something German assassin with the 19-year old girlfriend.

Also look for him in: McCabe & Mrs. Miller, as Sheehan, Pete ‘n’ Tillie, as Jimmy Twitchell, King Kong (1976), as Roy Bagley, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, as Tony, The Ballad of Little Jo (at least five people who took that westerns class with me just reacted very strongly to that title), as Streight Hollander, Batman Forever, as Dr. Burton.

Erick Avari

The Mummy, Dr. Terrence Bey

Daredevil, as Nikolas Natchios (He got fucking knifed by Colin Farrell…)

Mr. Deeds as Cecil Anderson (the nice guy among the group of asshole executives)

A lot of television. Chances are you saw him in an episode of Fresh Prince, Cheers, Seinfeld (the pilot, even), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Roseanne, Heroes, Party Down, or something where you were like, “I know that guy…”

Also look for him in: Stargate (the film and the series), as Kasuf, Independence Day, as SETI chief, McHale’s Navy, as European leader, The 13th Warrior, as Caravan leader, The Glass House, as Ted Ross, Home Alone 4, as Prescott, Charlie Wilson’s War, as Ari Goldman, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, as Vijay. (If you recognize him from that last one and not the rest, you’re dead to me.)

James Avery

Where you know him from:

Uncle Phil. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We’re done here.

(He was also the voice of Shredder on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. That makes him doubly awesome.)

Also look for him in: The voice of the Junkyard Dog on Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, the voice of Turbo on the Rambo animated series, The voice of War Machine on the Iron Man animated series, The Blues Brothers, as the dude dancing outside Ray Charle’s music shop, Fletch, as Detective #2, and Doctor Dolittle 2, as Eldon. (Also, Who’s Your Caddy?, but I guess that goes without saying, as Caddy Mack.)

Hank Azaria

Where you know him from: The Simpsons (and, of course, The Simpsons Movie), as Moe Szysklak, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Comic Book Guy, Professor Frink, Bumblebee Man, Carl, Superintendent Chalmers, Duffman, Luigi (the Italian chef), Dr. Nick, Snake, Cletus, Squeaky-Voiced Teen, Drederick Tatum, Johnny Tightlips, Kirk Van Houten. (And of course, a bunch of other random characters, like Frank Grimes, etc.) The Birdcage, as Agador Mystery Men, as The Blue Raja (had to shout out this one) Also look for him in: Pretty Woman, as Detective, Quiz Show, as Albert Freedman, Now and Then, as Bud Kent, Heat, as Alan Marciano, Grosse Point Blank, as Steven Lardner, Anastasia, as Bartok,Great Expectations, as Walter Plane, Godzilla, as Victor “Animal” Palotti, Celebrity, as David, Cradle Will Rock, as Marc Blitzstein, Mystery, Alaska, as Charles Danner, America’s Sweethearts, as Hector Gorgonzolas, Shattered Glass, as Michael Kelly, Along Came Polly, as Claude, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Young Patches O’Houlihan, Night at the Museum & Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, as Kahmunra/The Thinker/Abraham Lincoln, Year One, as Abraham, Love and Other Drugs, as Dr. Stan Knight, The Smurfs, as Gargamel.

Obba Babatundé

Where you know him from:

How High, as Dean Cain Black Dynamite, as Osiris (head pimp of the pimp counsel Life, as Willie Long

The Silence of the Lambs, as a TV anchorman. He’s very recognizable in the film.

Also look for him in: Philadelphia, as Jerome Green, Multiplicity, as Paul, Carpool, as Jeffrey, That Thing You Do!, as Lamarr, John Q, as Sgt. Moody, The Manchurian Candidate, as Senator Wells.

Kevin Bacon

It’s a Six Degrees thing. That’s why he’s on here. Where you know him from: Footloose, as Ren McCormack Apollo 13, as Jack Swigert Tremors, as Valentine McKee A Few Good Men, as Cap. Jack Ross Also look for him in: Animal House, as Chip Diller, Starting Over, as Husband – Young Couple, Friday the 13th, as Jack Burrel, Only When I Laugh, as Don, Diner, as Timothy Fenwick Jr., Quicksilver, as Jack Casey, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, as Taxi Racer, She’s Having a Baby, as Jack Briggs,Flatliners, as David Labraccio, JFK, as Willie O’Keefe, The Air Up There, as Jimmy Dolan, The River Wild, as Wade, Murder in the First, as Henri Young, Balto, as Balto, Sleepers, as Sean Nokes, Wild Things, as Ray Duquette, Stir of Echoes, as Tom Witzky, My Dog Skip, as Jack Morris, Hollow Man, as Sebastian Caine, Mystic River, as Sean Devine, The Woodsman, as Walter, Where the Truth Lies, as Lanny, Death Sentence, as Nick Hume, Frost/Nixon, as Jack Brennan, Super, as Jacques, X-Men: First Class, as Sebastian Shaw, Crazy, Stupid, Love., as David Lindhagen.

Michael Badalucco

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, as George Nelson (He hates cows.)

Summer of Sam, as Son of Sam

The Man Who Wasn’t There, as Frank (Billy Bob’s barber brother)

Leon: The Professional, as Mathilda’s father

Also look for him in: Raging Bull, as Soda Fountain Clerk, Broadway Danny Rose, as Money Ripper, Suddenly Seeking Susan, as Guy from Brooklyn, Miller’s Crossing, as Caspar’s Driver, Jungle Fever, as Frankie Botz, Juice, as Detective Kelly, Sleepless in Seattle, as New York Taxi Dispenser, One Fine Day, as Lt. Bonomo, You’ve Got Mail, as Charlie, and The Practice, as Jimmy Berluti.

Fay Bainter

Where you know her from:

Woman of the Year, as Ellen Whitcomb

Jezebel, as Aunt Belle

White Banners, as Hannah

The Children’s Hour, as Mrs. Amelia Tilford

Also look for her in: Make Way for Tomorrow, as Anita Cooper, Our Town, as Mrs. Gibbs, The Human Comedy, as Mrs. Macauley, State Fair (1945), as Melissa Frake.

Dylan Baker

Where you know him from: 

Spider-Man 2 & 3, as Dr. Curt Connors

Road to Perdition, as Alexander Rance (the accountant)

Head of State (probably), as Martin Geller

Also look for him in: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, as Owen, The Last of the Mohicans, as Capt. De Bougainville, Love Potion No. 9, as Prince Geoffrey, Happiness, as Bill Maplewood, Random Hearts, as Richard Judd, Requiem for a Dream, as Southern Doctor, Thirteen Days, as Robert McNamara, Along Came a Spider, as Ollie McArthur, Changing Lanes, as Finch, Kinsey, as Alan Gregg, Across the Universe, as Lucy’s father, Revolutionary Road, as Jack Ordway, Secretariat, as Hollis Chenery.

Joe Don Baker

Where you know him from:

The Living Daylights, as Brad Whitaker

Goldeneye/Tomorrow Never Dies, as Jack Wade (He’s one of the few actors to play a Bond villain and a good guy in separate films.)

Walking Tall (1973), as Buford Pusser

Fletch, as Chief Karlin

Also look for him in: Charley Varrick, as Molly, The Natural, as The Whammer, Cape Fear, as Claude Kersek, The Distinguished Gentleman, as Olaf Andersen, Congo, as R.B. Travis, Mars Attacks!, as Richie (Jack Black)’s dad, Joe Dirt, as Brandy’s father.

Kathy Baker

Where you know her from:

Edward Scissorhands, as Joyce

The Right Stuff, as Louise Shepard

Street Smart, as Punchy

Picket Fences, as Dr. Jill Brock

Also look for her in: Clean and Sober, as Charlie Standers, Jacknife, as Martha Flannigan, Mad Dog and Glory, as Lee, Inventing the Abbotts, as Helen Holt, The Cider House Rules, as Nurse Angela, The Glass House, as Nancy Ryan, Cold Mountain, as Sally Swagger, 13 Going on 30, as Bev Rink, All the King’s Men, as Mrs. Burden, Last Chance Harvey, as Jean.

Scott Bakula

Where you know him from:

Most people know him from Quantum Leap or Star Trek: Enterprise. I know him from:

Necessary Roughness, as Paul Blake. (I fucking love this movie.)

Major League: Back to the Minors, as Gus Cantrell

The Informant!, as Brian Shepard

Also look for him in:  American Beauty, as Jim Olmeyer, Life as a House, as Kurt Walker

Bob Balaban

Interesting piece of trivia about him — his uncles were the founders of the famous Balaban and Katz theater chain. If you know you’re film history, you know how big that is.

Where you know him from: 

Seinfeld, as Russell Dalrymple (head of NBC, whose name George can spell correctly)

Waiting for Guffman, as Lloyd Miller

Best in Show, as Dr. Theodore Millbank, III

A Mighty Wind, as Jonathan Steinbloom

The Mexican, as Bernie Nayman

Also look for him in: Midnight Cowboy, as The Young Student, Catch-22, as Captain Orr, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as David Laughlin, Altered States, as Arthur Rosenberg, Prince of the City, as Santimassino, Absence of Malice, as Rosen, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, as Dr. Chandra, Bob Roberts, as Michael Janes, Amos & Andrew, as Dr. Fink, Deconstructing Harry, as Richard, Cradle will Rock, as Harry Hopkins, Ghost World, as Enid’s Dad, Gosford Park, as Morris Weissman, Capote, as William Shawn, For Your Consideration, as Philip Koontz.

Martin Balsam

Where you know him from: 

12 Angry Men, as Juror #1

Psycho, as Det. Milton Arbogast

Cape Fear, as Chief Dutton

Tora! Tora! Tora!, as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel

Little Big Man, as Mr. Merriweather

The Taking of Pelham 123, as Green

Also look for him in: On the Waterfront, as Gillette, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as O.J. Berman, Seven Days in May, as Paul Girard, A Thousand Clowns, as Arnold, After the Fox, as Harry, Catch-22, as Colonel Cathcart, The Anderson Tapes, as Haskins, Murder on the Orient Express, as Bianchi, All the President’s Men, as Howard Simons, St. Elmo’s Fire, as Mr. Beamish, Death Wish 3, as Bennett, The Delta Force, as Ben Kaplan, Cape Fear, as Judge.

Christine Baranski

Where you know her from:

The Birdcage, as Katherine Archer

How the Grinch Stole Chrsitmas, as Martha May Hoover

Chicago, as Mary Sunshine

Also look for her in: Nine 1/2 Weeks, as Thea, Addams Family Values, as Becky Martin-Granger, The Ref, as Connie Chasseur, Bulworth, as Constance Bulworth, Cruel Intentions, as Bunny Caldwell, Bowfinger, as Carol, Welcome to Mooseport, as Charlotte Cole, Mamma Mia!, as Tanya, The Bounty Hunter, as Kitty Hurley.

Lionel Barrymore

Where you know him from:

It’s a Wonderful Life, as Mr. Potter

You Can’t Take It With You, as MArtin Vanderhof

Key Largo, as James Temple

Also look for him in: Sadie Thompson, as Alfred Davidson, A Free Soul, as Stephen Ashe, Grand Hotel, as Otto Kringelein, Dinner at Eight, as Oliver Jordan, David Copperfield, as Dan Peggotty, The Gorgeous Hussy, as Andrew Jackson, Camille, as Monsieur Duval, Test Pilot, as Drake, a bunch of Dr. Kildare films as Dr. Gillespie, Since You Went Away, as Clergyman, Dragon Seed, as Narrator, The Valley of Decision, as Pat Rafferty, Duel in the Sun, as Sen. Jackson McCanles.

Elya Baskin

Where you know him from:  Spider-Man 2 & 3, as Mr. Ditkovich (Peter Parker’s landlord) Air Force One, as Andrei Kolchak (the hijackers’ pilot) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, as General Borschevsky Spy Hard, as Professor Ukrinsky Also look for him in: Being There, as Karpatov, Moscow on the Hudson, as Anatoly, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, as Maxim Brajlovsky, October Sky, as Ike Bykovsky, Thirteen Days, as Anotoly Dobrinyn, Angels & Demons, as Cardinal Petrov, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, as Cosmonaut Dimitri.

Ned Beatty

Where you know him from:  Deliverance, as Bobby Network, as Arthur Jensen Superman & Superman II, as Otis Back to School, as Dean Martin Toy Story 3, as Lotso Also look for him in: The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, as Tector Crites, Nashville, as Delbert Reese, All the President’s Men, as Dardis, Silver Streak, as Sweet, 1941, as Ward Douglas, Stroker Ace, as Clyde Torkle, Rudy, as Daniel Ruettiger, Roseanne, as Dan Connor’s father, Radioland Murders, as General Walt Whalen, Life, as Dexter Wilkins, Charlie Wilson’s War, as Doc Long.

Ed Begley Jr.

Where you know him from: 

This is Spinal Tap, as John “Stumpy” Pepys

St. Elsewhere, as Dr. Victor Ehrlich

Pineapple Express, as Robert (Rogen’s girlfriend’s father)

Also look for him in: The In-Laws, as Barry Lutz, CIA Intelligence Officer at Embassy, The Accidental Tourist, as Charles Leary, She-Devil, as Bob, Renaissance Man, as Jack Markin, The Pagemaster, as Alan Tyler, Batman Forever, as Fred Stickley, Santa with Muscles, as Ebner Frost, Best in Show, as Hotel Manager, Get Over It, as Frank Landers, Auto Focus, as Mel Rosen,  A Mighty Wind, as Lars Olfen, Arrested Development, as Stan Sitwell, For Your Consideration, as Sandy Lane, Whatever Works, as John.

Ralph Bellamy

Where you know him from:  His Girl Friday, as Bruce Baldwin The Awful Truth, as Dan Leeson Rosemary’s Baby, as Dr. Sapirstein Trading Places, as Randolph Duke (and also briefly in Coming to America) Also look for him in: The Wolf Man, as Colonel Montford, Sunrise at Campobello, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Professionals, as Joe Grant, Oh, God!, as Sam Raven, Pretty Woman, as James Morse.

William Bendix

Where you know him from:

Lifeboat, as Gus Smith

The Life of Riley, as Chester A. Riley

Also look for him in: Woman of the Year, as Pinkie Peters, Wake Island, as Smacksie, Detective Story, as Det. Lou Brady.

Tom Berenger

I’m not sure just how much I consider him a character actor, but I sure do love him, so I’m putting him on here anyway, so people who don’t necessarily know all the awesome stuff he’s done get some more exposure to the awesomeness that is Berenger.

Where you know him from:

Platoon, as Sgt.Barnes

Major League & Major League II, as Jake Taylor

Inception, as Peter Browning (sadly, this is how most people only know him nowadays. Which makes me sad.)

Also look for him in: Looking for Mr. Goodbar, as Gary (great performance), The Big Chill, as Sam Weber, Eddie and the Cruisers (YES!), as Frank Ridgeway, Born on the Fourth of July, as Recruiting Gunnery Sgt. Hayes, The Field, as Peter, the American, Sniper (and 2 & 3), as Thomas Beckett, Gettysburg, as Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, Training Day, as Stan Gursky, Faster, as Warden.

This man needs more work. Christopher Nolan is awesome for casting him. I was so happy when I saw that. The world needs more Berenger.

Corbin Bernsen

Where you know him from:

Major League, Major League II & Major League: Back to the Minors, as Roger Dorn

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as Harlan Dexter

Psych, as Harry Spencer

Also look for him in: Radioland Murders, as Dexter Morris, The Great White Hype, as Peter Prince, Seinfeld, as himself (It was memorable. At least for me, which, I guess means I should also say) L.A. Law, as Arnie Becker.

Charles Bickford

Where you know him from: 

Johnny Belinda, as Black MacDonald

Days of Wine and Roses, as Ellis Arnesen

A Star is Born, as Oliver Niles

Also look for him in: Anna Christie, as Matt Burke, Little Miss Marker, as Big Steve Holloway, The Song of Bernadette, as Father Peyramale, Duel in the Sun, as Sam Pierce, The Farmer’s Daughter, as Joseph Clancy, The Big Country, as Maj. Henry Terrill, The Unforgiven, as Zeb Rawlins.

Michael Biehn

Where you know him from: The Terminator, as Kyle Reese Aliens, as Capt. Dwayne Hicks Tombstone, as Johnny Ringo Also look for him in: The Abyss, as Lt. Hiram Coffey, Navy Seals, as Lt. James Curran, The Rock, as Commander Charles Anderson, Grindhouse, Planet Terror, as Sheriff Hague.

Mike Binder

Where you know him from:

Minority Report, as Leo Crow

The Contender, as Lewis Hollis

Reign Over Me, as Bryan Sugarman

Also look for him in: Blankman, as Dr. Victor Norris, The Upside of Anger, as Adam “Shep” Goodman, The Amateurs, as Andy’s Boss, Man About Town, as Morty, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, as Sam Shapiro.

He’s also a writer/director. He also directed: Blankman, The Sex Monster, The Upside of Anger, Man About Town and Reign Over Me. I put him on this list because I really remembered him after Minority Report and started noticing him popping up in all these other things. And that counts.

Ward Bond

Where you know him from: If you’ve watched John Ford movies, you know Ward Bond. This man was, outside of John Wayne, Ford’s favorite actor. The three of them were drinking buddies. There’s a great story where Bond and Wayne are shitfaced drunk, and Bond bets Wayne that they could stand on opposite ends of a newspaper and Wayne wouldn’t be able to hit him. So Wayne accepts, and Bond puts the newspaper down in a doorway and they stand on either side of it. And Bond slams the door in Wayne’s face and goes, “Try and hit me now, you son of a bitch!” And Wayne just punches through the door and knocks Bond on his ass. Gone With the Wind, as Tom, a Yankee Captain (the dude who tries to arrest Leslie Howard for the raid on the shantytown) The Searchers, as Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton My Darling Clementine, as Morgan Earp The Quiet Man, as Father Lonergan Dodge City, as Bud Taylor Rio Bravo, as Pat Wheeler Also look for him in: Young Mr. Lincoln, as John Palmer Cass, The Grapes of Wrath, as Policeman, The Long Voyage Home, as Yank, Sergeant York, as Ike Botkin, The Maltese Falcon, as Detective Tom Polhaus, It’s a Wonderful Life, as Bert, Fort Apache, as Sgt. Maj. O’Rourke, Joan of Arc, as La Hire, 3 Godfathers, as Buck Sweet, Wagon Master, as Elder Riggs, Hondo, as Buffalo Baker, Mister Roberts, as Chief Petty Officer Dowdy He also had a lot of uncredited parts in a lot of 30s films (including It Happened One Night, You Can’t Take It With You and Bringing Up Baby). Too many to list. This man made a lot of films (and thank god for that).

Beulah Bondi

Where you know her from: It’s a Wonderful Life, as Ma Bailey Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, as Ma Smith Make Way for Tomorrow, as Lucy Cooper Also look for her in: The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, as Melissa, The Gorgeous Hussy, as Rachel Jackson, Of Human Hearts, as Mary Wilkins, Our Town, as Mrs. Webb, Penny Serenade, as Miss Oliver, Watch on the Rhine, as Anise, The Southerner, as Granny Tucker, The Snake Pit, as Mrs. Greer, The Baron of Arizona, as Loma Morales.

Mark Boone Junior

Where you know him from: Batman Begins, as Detective Flass Memento, as Burt Sons of Anarchy, as Bobby Munson Also look for him in: New York Stories, as Hank (Scorsese’s segment), Die Hard 2, as Shockley, The Quick and the Dead, as Scars, Se7en, as Greasy FBI Man, Trees Lounge, as Mike, The Game, as Shady Private Investigator, Vampires, as Catlin, Armageddon, as New York Guy, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, as Pawn Shop Owner, The Thin Red Line, as Pvt. Peale, The General’s Daughter, as Dalbert Elkins, Animal Factory, as Paul Adams, Get Carter, as Jim Davis, 2 Fast 2 Furious, as Detective Whitworth, Wristcutters: A Love Story, as Mike, 30 Days of Night, as Beau Brower, Frozen River, as Jacques Bruno, Halloween II, as Floyd.

Julie Bowen

Normally I’m against people who are primarily TV stars being on here, but I looked and noticed she did have a memorable movie role, so I’m counting it. Where you know her from: Happy Gilmore, as Virginia Venit Ed, as Carol Vessey Modern Family, as Claire Dunphy Also look for her in: Multiplicity, as Robin, Joe Somebody, as Meg Harper, Weeds, as Lisa, Boston Legal, as Denise Bauer, Horrible Bosses, as Rhonda Harken.

Peter Boyle

Where you know him from: Young Frankenstein, as The Monster Everybody Loves Raymond, as Frank Barone Taxi Driver, as Wizard Also look for him in: Medium Cool, as Gun Clinic Manager, Joe, as Joe Curran, Diary of a Mad Housewife, as Man in Group Therapy Session, The Candidate, as Marvin Lucas, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, as Dillon, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, as Frank Mazzetti, Where the Buffalo Roam, as Lazlo, Johnny Dangerously, as Jocko Dundee, Red Heat, as Comdr. Lou Donnelly, The Dream Team, as Jack McDermott, Honeymoon in Vegas, as Chief Orman, Malcolm X, as Captain Green, The Santa Clause, as Mr. Whittle, While You Were Sleeping, as Ox Callaghan, Doctor Dolittle, as Calloway, Monster’s Ball, as Buck Grotowski, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, as Rowland.

Alice Brady

Where you know her from: My Man Godfrey, as Angelica Bullock In Old Chicago, as Molly O’Leary Also look for her in: The Gay Divorcee, as Aunt Hortense, Gold Diggers of 1935, as Mrs. Prentiss,Three Smart Girls, as Mrs. Lyons, One Hundred Men and a Girl, as Mrs. Frost, Young Mr. Lincoln, as Abigail Clay.

Eileen Brennan

Where you know her from:  The Sting, as Billie Clue, as Mrs. Peacock Murder by Death, as Tess Skeffington (Hilarious, because the entire plot of Clue, was taken direct from this movie) Also look for her in: Divorce, American Style, as Eunice Tase, The Last Picture Show, as Genevieve,Scarecrow, as Darlene, The Cheap Detective, as Betty DeBoop, Private Benjamin, as Capt. Doreen Lewis, Jeepers Creepers, as The Cat Lady, The Amateurs, as Mrs. Cherkiss, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, as Carol Fields.

Walter Brennan

Where you know him from: 

To Have and Have Not, as Eddie. “Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?”

My Darling Clementine, as the elder Clanton. “When you pull a gun, kill a man.”

Rio Bravo, as Stumpy. “Hey, Dude! How do ya like them apples?”

Also look for him in: Red River, as Groot. The Westerner, as Judge Roy Bean. Sergeant York, as Pastor Pile. Meet John Doe, as The Colonel. The Pride of the Yankees, as Sam Blake.

Brennan has one of the most distinct voices in film history. If you heard him, you’ll know if you’ve seen him before.

Wilford Brimley

Where you know him from:

Those Liberty Medical commercials, talking about his Diabeetus.

The Natural, as Pop Fisher

The Thing, as Dr. Blair

Cocoon, as Ben Luckett

Seinfeld, as the Postmaster General

In & Out, as Frank Brackett

Also look for him in: The China Syndrome, as Ted Spindler, The Electric Horseman, as Farmer, Absence of Malice, as Wells, Tender Mercies, as Harry, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, as Harold Smith, The Firm, as William Devasher, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, as Earl Granger.

Jim Broadbent

Where you know him from: Moulin Rouge!, as Harold Zidler Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince & Deathly Hallows, as Professor Slughorn Gangs of New York, as Boss Tweed Also look for him in: Time Bandits, as Compere, The Hit, as Barrister, Brazil, as Dr. Jaffe, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, as Jean Pierre Dubois, Enchanted April, as Frederick Arbuthnot, The Crying Game, as Col, Bullets over Broadway, as Warner Purcell, Richard III (1995), as Duke of Buckingham, Topsy-Turvy, as W.S. Gilbert, Bridget Jones’s Diary, as Bridget’s Dad, Iris, as John Bayley, Nicholas Nickleby, as Mr. Wackford Squeers, Vanity Fair, as Mr. Osborne, Vera Drake, as Judge, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, as Professor Kirke, Hot Fuzz, as Inspector Frank Butterman, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Dean Charles Stanforth, The Young Victoria, as King William, Another Year, as Tom.

Clancy Brown

Where you know him from:

The Shawshank Redemption, as Captain Hadley

Spongebob Squarepants, as Mr. Krabs

Highlander, as Victor Kruger/The Kurgan

Also look for him in: Bad Boys (1983), as Viking Lofgren, Moonwalker (YES!), as Police Officer (“Speed Demon” segment), Dead Man Walking, as State Trooper, The Hurricane, as Lt. Jimmy Williams, The Guardian, as Capt. Hadley (subtle, no?), Pathfinder, as Gunnar, The Informant!, as Aubrey Daniel, A Nightmare on Elm Street, as Alan Smith, Green Lantern, as the voice of Parralax, Cowboys and Aliens, as Meacham. And as the voice of Lex Luthor on  Superman/Justice League/The Batman — pretty much all the animated shows.

Jim Brown

Where you know him from:

The Dirty Dozen, as Robert Jefferson

Mars Attacks!, as Byron Williams

Any Given Sunday, as Montezuma Monroe

Also look for him in: Rio Concho, as Sgt. Franklin, 100 Rifles, as Lyedecker, …tick…tick…tick, as Jimmy Price, Three the Hard Way, as Jimmy Lait, Take a Hard Ride, as Pike, The Running Man, as Fireball, I’m Gonna Git you Sucka, as Slammer, He Got Game, as Spivey, Small Soldiers, as Butch Meathook.

Billie Burke

Where you know her from:

The Wizard of Oz, as Glinda

I’m not gonna pretend like people know how from anywhere other than as Glinda. But she did have a lot of supporting roles in the 30s and 40s.

Also look for her in: A Bill of Divorcement, as Meg Fairchild, Dinner at Eight, as Millicent Jordan, Becky Sharp, as Lady Bareacres, Topper, as Mrs. Topper, Merrily We Live, as Mrs. Emily Kilbourne, The Man Who Came to Dinner, as Mrs. Ernest Stanley, Father of the Bride, as Doris Dunston.

Simon Callow

Where you know him from:

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, as Vincent Cadby. (At least, that’s where I know him from.)

Postcards from the Edge, as Simon Asquith

 Four Weddings and a Funeral, as Gareth

Also look for him in: Amadeus, as Emanuel Schikaneder/Papageno in “The Magic Flute,” A Room with a View, as Reverend Beebe, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, as Dr. Alex Sauer, Street Fighter, as A.N. Official, Shakespeare in Love, as Tilney, Master of the Revels.

John Carradine

Where you know him from:

The Grapes of Wrath, as Casy (the former preacher)

Stagecoach, as Hatfield

Jesse James, as Bob Ford (as well as the film’s sequel, The Return of Frank James)

The Ten Commandments, as Aaron

Also look for him in: Captains Courageous, as Long Jack, Of Human Hearts, as Abe Lincoln, Drums Along the Mohawk, as Caldwell, Bluebeard, as Gaston Morrell, Johnny Guitar, as Old Tom, Around the World in 80 Days, as Colonel Proctor, Cheyenne Autumn, as Jeff Blair, Boxcar Bertha as H. Buckram Sartoris, The Shootist, as Beckum, The Last Tycoon, as a tour guide, The Secret of NIMH,as Great Owl, and Peggy Sue Got Married, as Leo.

Seymour Cassel

Where you know him from: 

Rushmore, as Bert Fisher, Max’s dad

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, as Esteban

The Royal Tenenbaums, as Dusty

Also look for him in: The Killers, as Postal Clerk, Faces, as Chet, Coogan’s Bluff, as Young Hood, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, as Mort Weil, The Last Tycoon, as Seal Trainer, Tin Men, as Cheese.

Richard S. Castellano

Where you know him from:

The Godfather, as Clemenza

Lovers and Other Strangers, as Frank Vecchio

He also did two TV shows, The Super and Joe and Sons. But purely off the strength of his Clemenza performance, I think he can go on this list.

John Cazale

Oh you know he was gonna be on here. The dude made five films in his life, and all five of them were nominated for Best Picture, three of them won, and two were up against each other.

Where you know him from:

The Godfather & The Godfather Part II, as Fredo

Dog Day Afternoon, as Sal

The Deer Hunter, as Stan

The Conversation, as Stan

I’d call that a memorable career, no?

Lon Chaney Sr.

The only primarily silent era actor on this list, and the reason for that is — it’s “the man of 1000 faces.” This is a dude that invented character acting on screen.

Where you know him from:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925), as Erik/The Phantom

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), as Quasimodo

He Who Gets Slapped, as Paul Beaumont/HE

The Unholy Three, as Professor Echo/Granny O’Grady

The Unknown, as Alonzo the Armless

Also look for him in: Flesh and Blood, as David Webster, Oliver Twist (1922), as Fagin, A Blind Bargain, as Dr. Lamb/The Ape Man, While Paris Sleeps, as Henri Santodos, The Shock, as Wilse Dilling, The Monster, as Dr. Ziska, The Blackbird, as The Blackbird/The Bishop, London after Midnight, as Professor Edward C. Burke.

Lon Chaney Jr.

Where you know him from: 

The Wolf Man, as the Wolf Man

Of Mice and Men (1939), as Lenny

The Ghost of Frankenstein, as the Monster

The Mummy’s Tomb, as Kharis, the Mummy

Son of Dracula, as Dracula

He made many, many monster films in the 40s, always reprising his roles.

Also look for him in: High Noon, as Martin Howe (retired former sheriff Will Kane goes to for advice), The Defiant Ones, as Big Sam (guy who helps the two, who is more sympathetic to their plight than they might think).

Cyd Charisse

Words cannot express just how much I love this woman. There are actresses you like, and then actresses you like. She’s one of the few actresses who actually stir feelings inside of me. (You know, like, feelings.)

Where you know her from:

Singin’ in the Rain, as Dancer (from the big sequence in the middle of the film, shown above)

The Band Wagon, as Gabrielle Gerard

Also look for her in: Brigadoon, as Fiona Campbell, Silk Stockings, as Ninotchka Yoschenko, It’s Always Fair Weather, as Jackie Leighton, Two Weeks in Another Town, as Carlotta.

She’s one of the few ladies to ever have the privilege of dancing with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. And — the Girl Hunt ballet in The Band Wagon — oh my god. I love this woman.

Maury Chaykin

Where you know him from:

My Cousin Vinny, as Sam Tipton (he can cook his grits in five minutes)

Entourage, as Harvey Weinngard (least subtle facsimile ever)

Also look for him in: WarGames, as Jim Sting, Twins, as Burt Klane, Dances with Wolves, as Major Fambrough, Hero, as Winston, Cutthroat Island, as John Reed, The Sweet Hereafter, as Wendell, The Mask of Zorro, as Prison Warden, Entrapment, as Conrad Greene, Bleacher Bums (great TV movie), as Scorekeeper Billy, Being Julia, as Walter Gibbs, Casino Jack, as Big Tony.

Thomas Hayden Church

Where you know him from:

Sideways, as Jack

Spider-Man 3, as Sandman/Flint Marko

Wings, as Lowell Mather

Also look for him in: Tombstone, as Billy Clanton, 3000 Miles to Graceland, as Quigley, Spanglish, as Mike the Realtor, Idiocracy, as Brawndo CEO, Smart People, as Chuck Wetherhold, Imagine That, as Johnny Whitefeather, All About Steve, as Hartman Hughes, Easy A, as Mr. Griffith.

Patricia Clarkson

Where you know her from: 

The Untouchables, as Catherine Ness (Eliot’s wife)

Easy A, as Rosemary (Emma Stone’s mother)

Friends with Benefits, as Lorna (Mila Kunis’s mother)

Shutter Island, as Rachel 2

Also look for her in: The Dead Pool, as Samantha Walker, Jumanji, as Carol Parrish, The Green Mile, as Melinda Moores, The Pledge, as Margaret Larson, Far from Heaven, as Eleanor Fine, Pieces of April, as Joy Burns, The Station Agent, as Olivia Harris, Dogville, as Vera, Miracle, as Patti Brooks, Good Night, and Good Luck, as Shirley Wershba, All the King’s Men, as Sadie Burke, Lars and the Real Girl, as Dagmar, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, as Judy, Whatever Works, as Marietta.

Lee J. Cobb

Where you know him from:

On the Waterfront, as Johnny Friendly

12 Angry Men, as Juror #3

The Exorcist, as Lt. William Kinderman

Also look for him in: The Song of Bernadette, as Dr. Dozous, Anna and the King of Siam, as Kralahome, Boomerang!, as Chief Harold F. “Robbie” Robinson, The Luck of the Irish, as David C. Augur, The Three Faces of Eve, as Dr. Curtis Luther, The Brothers Karamazov, as Father Karamazov, Green Mansions, as Nuflo, Exodus, as Barak Ben Canaan, How the West Was Won, as Marshal Lou Ramsey, Our Man Flint & In Like Flint, as Cramden, Coogan’s Bluff, as Lt. McElroy, Mackenna’s Gold, as The Editor, The Liberation of L.B. Jones, as Oman Hedgepath.

Bill Cobbs

Where you know him from: The Hudsucker Proxy, as Moses The Bodyguard, as Devaney Night at the Museum, as Reginald Also look for him in: The Cotton Club, as Big Joe Ison, The Color of Money, as Orvis, Bird, as Dr. Caulfield, The People Under the Stairs, as Grandpa Booker, Demolition Man, as Zachary Lamb (aged), Things to Do in Denver when You’re Dead, as Malt, Ed, as Tipton, That Thing You Do!, as Del Paxton, Ghosts of Mississippi, as Charlie Evers, Air Bud, as Arthur Chaney, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, as Estes, Random Hearts, as Marvin, Get Low, as Reverend Charlie Jackson.

Charles Coburn

Where you know him from:

The Lady Eve, as “Colonel” Harrington

The More the Merrier, as Benjamin Dingle

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as Sir Francis “Piggy” Beekman

Also look for him in: Of Human Hearts, as Dr. Shingle, Road to Singapore, as Joshua Mallon IV, The Devil and Miss Jones, as John P. Merrick, Kings Row, as Dr. Gordon, Heaven Can Wait, as Hugo Van Cleve, The Green Years, as Alexander Gow, The Paradine Case, as Sir Simon Flaquer, Monkey Business, as Oliver Oxley, Trouble Along the Way, as Father Burke, Around the World in 80 Days, as Steamship Company Clerk.

James Coburn

Where you know him from:

The Magnificent Seven, as Britt

Charade, as Tex Panthollow

Duck, You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite) as John Mallory

Payback, as Mr. Fairfax

Monsters, Inc. as Henry J. Waternoose

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as Pat Garrett

Affliction, as Glen Whitehouse

Also look for him in: The Americanization of Emily, as Lt. Comdr. Paul ‘Bus’ Cummings, Our Man Flint/In Like Flint, as Derek Flint, Hard Times, as Speed, Midway, as Captain Vinton Maddox, Cross of Iron, as Rolf Steiner, Young Guns II, as John Simpson Chisum, Hudson Hawk, as George Kaplan, Deadfall, as Mike Donan/Lou Donan, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, as Mr. Crisp, Maverick, as Commodore Duvall, Eraser, as WitSex Chief Beller, The Nutty Professor (1996), as Harlan Hartley

Gary Cole

Where you know him from:

Office Space, as Bill Lumbergh

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Cotton McKnight

Pineapple Express, as Ted Jones

Also look for him in: The Brady Bunch Movie/A Very Brady Sequel, as Mike Brady, A Simple Plan, as Baxter, One Hour Photo, as Bill Owens, Talladega Ngihts: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, as Reese Bobby, Breach, as Rich Garces, Entourage, as Andrew Klein. He was also the voice of Harvey Birdman.

Dabney Coleman

Where you know him from: 

WarGames, as McKittrick

Tootsie, as Ron Carlisle

Boardwalk Empire, as Commodore Louis Kaestner

Also look for him in: Cinderella Liberty, as Executive Officer, Midway, as Captain Murray Arnold, North Dallas Forty, as Emmett Hunter, Melvin and Howard, as Judge Keith Hayes, On Golden Pond, as Bill Ray, Amos & Andrew, as Chief of Police Cecil Tolliver, You’ve Got Mail, as Nelson Fox, Inspector Gadget, as Chief Quimby, Stuart Little, as Dr. Beechwood, Recess, as Principal Prickley, Domino, as Drake Bishop.

Clifton Collins, Jr.

Where you know him from:

Capote, as Perry Smith

The Rules of Attraction, as Rupert (the crazy drug dealer)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, as Vegan Police

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (fuck yeah, video game!), as Cesar Vialpando

Also look for him in: Tigerland, as Pvt. Miter, Traffic, as Francisco Flores, The Last Castle, as Cpl. Ramon Aguilar, Babel, as Officer at Border Crossing, Sunshine Cleaning, as Winston, Star Trek, as Ayel, Crank: High Voltage, as El Huron, Brothers, as Major Cavazos.

Jennifer Coolidge

Where you know her from:

American Pie, American Pie II & American Wedding, as Stifler’s Mom

Also look for her in: A Night at the Roxbury, as Hottie Cop, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, as Woman at the Football Game, Best in Show, as Sherri Ann Cabot, Down to Earth, as Mrs. Wellington, Legally Blonde & Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, as Paulette, Pootie Tang, as Ireenie, A Mighty Wind, as Amber Cole, Date Movie, as Roz Funkyerdoder, Click, as Janine, For Your Consideration, as Whitney Taylor Brown, Epic Movie, as White Bitch, Soul Men, as Rosalee, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, as Genevieve, Gentlemen Broncos, as Judith.

Chris Cooper

Where you know him from:

American Beauty, as Colonel Frank Fitts, USMC

The Bourne Identity, as Conklin

Adaptation., as John Laroche

Breach, as Robert Hanssen

Where the Wild Things Are, as Douglas

Also look for him in: Matewan, as Joe Kenehan, Lonesome Dove, as July Johnson, This Boy’s Life, as Roy, Lone Star, as Sam, A Time to Kill as Deputy Dwayne Looney, Great Expectations (1998), as Joe, The Horse Whisperer, as Frank Booker, October Sky, as John Hickam, Me, Myself and Irene, as Lieutenant Gerke, The Patriot, as Colonel Harry Burwell, Interstate 60, as Bob Cody, Seabiscuit, as Tom Smith, Capote, as Alan Dewey, Jarhead, as Lt. Col. Kazinski, Syriana, as Jimmy Pope, The Kingdom, as Grant Sykes, The Company Men, as Phil Woodward, The Town, as Stephen MacRay.

Robert Costanzo

Where you know him from: Die Hard 2, as Sgt.Vito Lorenzo Total Recall, as Harry City Slickers, as Sal Also look for him in: Dog Day Afternoon, as New York Policeman, The Goodbye Girl, as Liquor Store Salesman, Saturday Night Fever, as Paint Store Customer, Shoot the Moon, as Leo Spinelli,Dick Tracy, as Lips’ Bodyguard, Honeymoon in Vegas, as Sidney Tomashefsky, Flyboys, as Carmine.

Allen Covert

Where you know him from: All the Adam Sandler movies. But he always manages to be memorable in them. Happy Gilmore, as Otto (his homeless caddy) The Wedding Singer, as Sammy The Waterboy, as Walter Big Daddy, as Phil D’Amato Also look for him in: Going Overboard, as Bartender, Airheads, as Cop, Heavy Weights, as Kenny, Bulletproof, as Detective Jones, Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, as Vic, Little Nicky, as Todd, Mr. Deeds, as Marty, Anger Management, as Andrew, 50 First Dates, as Ten Second Tom, The Longest Yard, as Referee, Grandma’s Boy, as Alex, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, as Steve, Bedtime Stories, as Ferrari Guy, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, as Jerky Security Guy, Just Go With It, as Soul Patch.

Brian Cox

Where you know him from: (I feel like most people know Brian Cox, but I’m doing it anyway.)

The Bourne Identity & The Bourne Supremacy, as Ward Abbott

Adaptation., as Robert McKee

25th Hour, as James Brogan

X2: X-Men United, as William Styker

Troy, as Agamemnon

Red, as Ivan Simanov

Manhunter, as Hannibal Lecktor

Also look for him in: Rob Roy, as Killearn, Braveheart (big Scottish period for him), as Argyle Wallace, The Long Kiss Goodnight, as Dr. Nathan Waldman, The Boxer, as Joe Hamill, Rushmore, as Dr. Nelson Guggenheim, Super Troopers, as Captain O’Hagan, Manhunt (great video game), as the Director, Match Point, as Alec Hewitt, Red Eye, as Joe Reisert, The Ringer, as Gary Barker, Zodiac, as Melvin Belli, Fantastic Mr. Fox, as Action 12 Reporter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as John Landon.

Matt Craven

Where you know him from:

A Few Good Men, as Lt. Dave Spradling

Crimson Tide, as Lt. Roy Zimmer, Communications Officer

Bleacher Bums, as Greg

Also look for him in: Tin Men, as Looney, Jacob’s Ladder, as Michael, The Life of David Gale, as Dusty Wright, The Clearing, as Agent Ray Fuller, Assault on Precinct 1(2004), as Officer Kevin Capra, Deja Vu, as Agent Larry Minuti, Disturbia, as Daniel Brecht, Public Enemies, as Geryr Campbell, Devil, as Lustig, X-Men: First Class, as CIA Director McCone.

James Cromwell

Where you know him from:

L.A. Confidential, as Dudley Smith

Babe and Babe: Pig in the City, as Farmer Hoggett

W., as George H. W. Bush

Also look for him in: Murder by Death, as Marcel, The Cheap Detective, as Schnell, Revenge of the Nerds I & II, as Mr. Skolnick, Eraser, as William Donohue, The People vs. Larry Flynt, as Charles Keating, Star Trek: First Contact, as Dr. Zefram Cochrane, Deep Impact, as Alan Rittenhouse, The General’s Daughter, as Lt. Gen. Joseph Campbell, RKO 281, as William Randolph Hearst, Space Cowboys, as Bob Gershon, The Sum of All Fears, as President Fowler, I, Robot, as Dr. Alfred Lanning, The Longest Yard, as Warden Hazen, The Queen, as Prince Philip, Spider-Man 3, as Captain Stacy, Secretariat, as Ogden Phipps.

Hume Cronyn

Where you know him from:

The most fascinating thing about Hume Cronyn is his marriage to Jessica Tandy. They were married from 1942 until her death in 1994. That’s 52 years. And, over that time, they often appeared in films together, often as husband and wife. That warms my heart so much. I think that’s one of the most beautiful stories in film history. Here’s a list of all the films they made together (I’ll list his character names. Hers will be on her list):

The Seventh Cross, as Paul Roeder Blonde Fever, as Diner at Inn The Green Years, as Papa Leckie The World According to Garp, as Mr. Fields Cocoon & Cocoon: The Return, as Joe Finley *batteries not included, as Frank Riley Camilla, as Ewald

Also look for him in: Shadow of a Doubt, as Herbie Hawkins, Lifeboat, as Stanley “Sparks” Garett, The Postman Always Rings Twice, as Arthur Keats, Sunrise at Campobello, as Louis Howe, Cleopatra, as Sosigenes, There Was a Crooked Man…, as Dudley Whinner, The Parallax View, as Bill Rintels, Brewster’s Millions, as Rupert Horn, The Pelican Brief, as Justice Rosenberg, Marvin’s Room, as Marvin.

David Cross

Where you know him from:

Arrested Development, as Tobias Fünke

Men in Black, as Newton the Morgue Attendant

Men in Black II, as Newton

Mr. Show with Bob and David

Also look for him in: The Cable Guy, as Sales Manager, Waiting for Guffman, as UFO expert, Small Soldiers, as Irwin Wayfair, Ghost World, as Gerrold, The Pushy Guy, Pootie Tang, as Pootie Tang imposter, Scary Movie 2, as Dwight, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as Rob, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as Zero, The Grand, as Larry Schwartzman, I’m Not There, as Allen Ginsberg, Alvin and the Chipmunks (The Squeakquel too), as Ian, Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2 as Crane, Year One, as Cain, Megamind, as Minion.

Scatman Crothers

Where you know him from:

The Shining, as Dick Hallorann

Hong Kong Phooey, as Hong Kong Phooey

The Aristocats, as Scat Cat

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as Turkle

Also look for him in: Lady Sings the Blues, as Big Ben, The Shootist, as Moses, Silver Streak, as Ralston, The Cheap Detective, as Tinker, Twilight Zone: The Movie, as Mr. Bloom (Segment #2), Transformers: The Movie (1986, and the TV series too), as Jazz.

Alan Cumming

Where you know him from:

Goldeneye, as Boris Grishenko (He is invincible!)

X2: X-Men United, as Nightcrawler

Josey and the Pussycats, as Wyatt Frame,

Also look for him in: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, as Sandy Frink, Spice World, as Piers, Eyes Wide Shut, as Hotel Desk Clerk, Titus, as Saturnicus, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, as Gazoo/Mick Jagged, Get Carter, as Jeremy Kinnear, Spy Kids & Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams & Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, as Fegan Floop, The Anniversary Party, as Joe Therrian, The Smurfs, as Gusty (awesome new addition. He’s a badass Scot).

Tim Curry

Where you know him from:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as Dr. Frank-N-Furter – A Scientist

Clue, as Wadsworth

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, as Mr. Hector

The Hunt for Red October, as Dr. Yevgeniy Petrov

The Wild Thornberrys, as Nigel Thornberry

Also look for him in: Annie (1982), as Rooster Hannigan, Oscar, as Thornton Poole, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, as Hexxus, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1, as Jigsaw, The Three Musketeers (1993), as Cardinal Richelieu, Congo, as Herkermer Homolka, Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad (anyone else remember this show?), as Kilokahn, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, as MAL, McHale’s Navy, as Maj. Vladikov, Charlie’s Angels, as Roger Corwin, Scary Movie 2, as Professor, Kinsey, as Thurman Rice.

Cliff Curtis

Where you know him from: 

Bringing Out the Dead, as Cy Coates

The Training Day, as Smiley

Sunshine, as Searle

The Fountain, as Captain Ariel

Also look for him in: The Piano, as Mana, Deep Rising, as Mamooli, Six Days Seven Nights, as Kip, Three Kings, as Amir Abdulah, The Insider, as Sheikh Fadlallah, Blow, as Pablo Escobar, The Majestic, as The Evil But Handsome Prince Khalid, Collateral Damage, as Claudio Perrini, Whale Rider, as Porourangi, Runaway Jury, as Frank Herrera, Fracture, as Detective Franklin, Live Free or Die Hard, as FBI Deputy Director Miguel Bowman, 10,000 BC, as Tic’Tic, Push, as Hook Waters, Trauma, as Reuben “Rabbit” Palchuk, The Last Airbender, as Fire Lord Ozai, Colombiana, as Emilio Restrepo.

Joan Cusack

Where you know her from:

In & Out, as Emily Montgomery

Grosse Point Blank, as Marcella

Toy Story 2 & Toy Story 3, as Jesse — Yodeling Cowgirl

The School of Rock, as Principal Rosalie Mullins

Also look for her in: Broadcast News, as Blair Litton, Married to the Mob, as Rose, Working Girl, as Cyn, Say Anything…, as Constance Dobler, My Blue Heaven, as Hannah Stubbs, Hero, as Evelyn, Nine Months, as Gail Dwyer, Arlington Road, as Cheryl Lang, Cradle Will Rock, as Hazel Huffman, Runaway Bride, as Peggy Fleming, High Fidelity, as Liz, Where the Heart is, as Ruth Meyers, Raising Helen, as Jenny Portman, War, Inc., as Marsha Dillon.

Charles Cyphers

Where you know him from:

Halloween & Halloween II, as Sheriff Leigh Brackett

Major League, as Charlie Donovan

Escape from New York, as Secretary of State

Also look for him in: Assault on Precinct 13, as Starker, MacArthur, as Brig. Gen. Forest Harding, Coming Home, as Pee Wee, The Fog, as Dan O’Bannon, Death Wish II, as Donald Kay, National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1, as Interrogator.

Jeff Daniels

Where you know him from: Dumb & Dumber, as Harry Dunne The Squid and the Whale, as Bernard Berkman Speed, as Det. Harry Temple Also look for him in: Terms of Endearment, as Flap Horton, The Purple Rose of Cairo, as Tom Baxter/Gil Shepherd, Heartburn, as Richard, Something Wild, as Charles Driggs, Radio Days, as Biff Baxter, Arachnophobia, as Dr. Ross Jennings, Gettysburg, as Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 2 Days in the Valley, as Alvin Strayer, 101 Dalmatians, as Roger, Pleasantville, as Bill Johnson,Blood Work, as Jasper “Buddy” Noone, The Hours, as Louis Waters, Gods and Generals, as Lr. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (did not know this was a sequel), Good Night, and Good Luck, as Sig Mickelson, RV, as Travis Gornicke, Infamous, as Alvin Dewey, Traitor, as Carter, The Answer Man, as Allen Faber, State of Play, as Rep. George Fergus, Away We Go, as Jerry Farlander, Paper Man, as Richard Dunn, Howl, as David Kirk.

William Daniels

Where you know him from:

Boy Meets World, as Mr. Feeny

1776, as John Adams

Also look for him in: A Thousand Clowns, as Albert, Two for the Road, as Howard Manchester, The Graduate, as Mr. Braddock, The Parallax View, as Austin Tucker, Reds, as Julius Gerber, Blind Date, as Judge Harold Bedford, Blades of Glory, as Commissioner Ebbers.

Paul Dano

Where you know him from:

There Will Be Blood, as Paul Sunday/Eli Sunday

Little Miss Sunshine, as Dwayne

Also look for him in: L.I.E., as Howie Blitzer, The Emperor’s Club, as Martin Blythe, The Girl Next Door, as Klitz, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, as Thadduius, Fast Food Nation, as Brian, Taking Woodstock, as VW Guy, Where the Wild Things Are, as Alexander, The Extra Man, as Louis Ives, Knight and Day, as Simon Feck, Meek’s Cutoff, as Thomas Gately, Cowboys & Aliens, as Percy Dolarhyde.

Jane Darwell

Where you know her from:

As ‘Ma’, in everything.

The Grapes of Wrath, as Ma Joad

The Ox-Bow Incident, as “Ma”

Jesse James, as ‘Ma’ Samuels, Jesse’s mother

Also look for her in: Gone With the Wind, as Mrs. Merriweather, The Devil and Daniel Webster, as Ma Stone, My Darling Clementine, as Kate Nelson, 3 Godfathers, as Miss Florie, Wagon Master, as Sister Ledeyard (don’t be fooled by ‘sister.’ They’re Mormons. It’s a ‘Ma’ role), Mary Poppins, as the Bird Woman. (She made hundreds of films. Chances are, you’ve seen her in something.)

Robert Davi

Where you know him from:

Die Hard, as FBI Special Agent Johnson

The Goonies, as Jake

Licence to Kill, as Franz Sanchez

Also look for him in: Raw Deal, as Max Keller, Action Jackson, as Tony Moretti, Predator 2, as Captain Phil Heinermann, Showgirls, as Al Torres, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez, Kill the Irishman, as Ray Ferritto.

Keith David

Where you know him from:

The Thing, as Childs

They Live, as Frank Armitage (combatant in the longest fistfight ever put to screen)

Pitch Black & Chronicles of Riddick, as Abu ‘Imam’ al-Walid

Also look for him in: Platoon, as King, Bird, as Buster Franklin, Road House, as Ernie Bass, Always, as Powerhouse, Men at Work, as Louis Fedders, Clockers, as André the Giant, Dead Presidents, as Kirby, Volcano, as Police Lieutenant Ed Fox, Hercules, as Apollo the Sun God, Armageddon, as General Kimsey, Requiem for a Dream, as Big Tim, The Replacements, as Lindell, Barbershop, as Leser Wallace, Head of State, as Bernard Cooper, Crash, as Lt. Dixon, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, as Father (Jolie’s boss), Transporter 2, as Stappleton, The Princess and the Frog, as Dr. Facilier.

Tommy Davidson

Where you know him from:

Black Dynamite, as Cream Corn

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, as The Tiny Warrior

Booty Call, as Rushon

Also look for him in: In Living Color, Bamboozled, as Womack/Sleep’n Eat, Juwanna Mann, as Puff Smokey Smoke.

Hope Davis

Where you know her from:

About Schmidt,as Jeannie Schmidt American Splendor, as Joyce Brabner The Weather Man, as Noreen Also look for her in: Flatliners, as Anne Coldren, Home Alone, as French Ticket Agent, Kiss of Death, as Junior’s Girlfriend, Arlington Road, as Brooke Wolfe, Joe Gould’s Secret,as Therese Mitchell,Hearts in Atlantis, as Liz Garfield, The Matador, as Carolyn “Bean” Wright, Proof, as Claire,Infamous, as Slim Keith, The Hoax, as Andrea Tate, The Nines, as Sarah/Susan/Sierra, Charlie Bartlett, as Marilyn Bartlett, Synecdoche, New York, as Madeline Gravis.

Bruce Davison

Where you know him from:

X-Men, as Senator Kelly

Willard (1971), as Willard

Also look for him in: Mother, Jugs and Speed, as Leroy, Longtime Companion, as David, Short Cuts, as Howard Finnigan, Six Degrees of Separation, as Larkin, The Crucible, as Reverend Parris, Crazy/Beautiful, as Tom Oakley, Summer Catch, as Reed Parrish, Runaway Jury, as Durwood Cable, Breach, as John O’Neill.

Ossie Davis

I know this isn’t technically in alphabetical order, but husband and wife get to be next to one another. And I think that’s awesome.

Where you know him from:

Do the Right Thing, as Da Mayor

The Client, as Judge Harry Roosevelt

Also look for him in: The Cardinal, as Father Gillis, Shock Treatment, as Capshaw, The Hill, as Jacko King, The Scalphunters, as Joseph Lee Joe vs. the Volcano, as Marshall, Jungle Fever, as The Good Reverend Doctor Purify, Malcolm X, as Eulogy Performer, Grumpy Old Men, as Chuck, Doctor Dolittle, as Archer Dolittle, Bubba Ho-Tep, as Jack.

Ruby Dee

Where you know her from: 

Do the Right Thing, as Mother Sister

American Gangster, as Mama Lucas

Also look for her in: A Raisin in the Sun, as Ruth Younger, Buck and the Preacher, as Ruth, Jungle Fever, as Lucinda Purify, Baby Geniuses, as Margo.

William Demarest

Where you know him from:

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, as Constable Edmund Kockenlocker

The Jolson Story, as Steve Martin

The Lady Eve, as Muggsy

Sullivan’s Travels, as Mr. Jones

Also look for him in: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, as Carl Griffith, The Great McGinty, as Skeeters — The Politician, The Devil and Miss Jones, as First Detective, The Palm Beach Story, as First Member Ale and Quail Club, Hail the Conquering Hero, as Sgt. Heppelfinger, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, as Police Chief Aloysius, Viva Las Vegas, as Mr. Martin, My Three Sons, as Uncle Charley O’Casey.

Brian Dennehy

Where you know him from: 

First Blood, as Teasle

Cocoon, as Walter

Silverado, as Cobb

Tommy Boy, as Big Tom

Also look for him in: Looking for Mr. Goodbar, as Surgeon, Foul Play, as Fergie, Gorky Park, as William Kirwill, Twice in a Lifetime, as Nick, Romeo + Juliet, as Ted Montague, Assault on Precinct 13 (2004), as Sgt. Jasper O’Shea, Ratatouille, as Django.

Bruce Dern

Where you know him from:

The ‘Burbs, as Lt. Mark Rumsfield

Coming Home, as Capt. Bob Hyde

Big Love, as Frank Harlow

Also look for him in: Marnie, as Sailor, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, as John Mayhew, The War Wagon, as Hammond, Hang ‘Em High, as Miller, One of the 3 rustlers, and murderer, Support Your Local Sheriff, as Joe Danby, Castle Keep, as Ly. Billy Byron Bix, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, as James, The Great Gatsby, as Tom Buchanan, Posse, as Jack Strawhorn, Family Plot, as George Lumley, The Driver, as The Detective, Diggstown, as John Gillon, Last Man Standing, as Sheriff Ed Galt, Monster, as Thomas.

Andy Devine

Where you know him from: Stagecoach, as Buck (one of the drivers) — He has the honor of delivering the best line in the film. After Lucy Mallory has her baby, he walks in and is like, “Well why didn’t anybody tell me?!” (The joke being that films of the 30s and 40s couldn’t explicitly state (or show) that a woman was pregnant, especially without her husband present (and her storyline is that she’s meeting her husband because she’s about to give birth), so the whole films she’s “sick” and we don’t know why, and all of a sudden she gives birth out of nowhere despite not even seeming pregnant at all.) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as Link Appleyard. A Star is Born, as Danny McGuire, Janet Gaynor’s actor friend who lives in the boarding house with her. Also look for him in: Pete Kelly’s Blues, as George Tenell, Around the World in 80 Days, as the first mate of the “Henrietta,” How the West Was Won, as Corporal Peterson, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World as the Sheriff of Crockett County. Another one of the most famous voices in film. High-pitched and raspy — you’ve heard this man speak.

Brad Dourif

Where you know him from: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & The Return of the King, as Grima Wormtongue One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as Billy Bibbit Mississippi Burning, as Deputy Pell Child’s Play, as Charles Lee Ray/Chucky (as well as the rest of the Child’s Play/Chucky movies) Deadwood, as Doc Cochran Also look for him in: Heaven’s Gate, as Mr. Eggleston, Ragtime, as Younger Brother, Dune,as Peter De Vries, Blue Velvet, as Raymond, Jungle Fever, as Leslie, Amos & Andrew, as Officer Donnie Donaldson, Murder in the First, as Byron Stamphill, Alien: Resurrection, as Dr. Jonathan Gediman, Halloween & Halloween II (2007), as Sheriff Leigh Brackett, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, as Ned Schoenholtz (Cage’s bookie), My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, as Uncle Ted, Priest, as Salesman.

Rick Duccommun

Where you know him from:

Blank Check, as Henry (he’s got s-t-y-l-e. Style!)

The ‘burbs, as Art Weingartner

Groundhog Day, as Gus

And also — this one may be personal to me, but — George Carlin’s “Playin’ with Your Head” special (the one that had the bits about Sports, and all the ways we say hello and goodbye and tell people to “give him a hug and a kiss for me”) begins with this little mini-noir film, where Carlin is a private eye and “The Bad Guys” are chasing him. And Duccommun plays one of the bad guys. He’s very recognizable if you know him. I always loved that.

Also look for him in: Spaceballs, as Prison Guard (“Hey, those guys stole our uniforms!” “They beat the shit out of us too!”), Die Hard, as Walt, City Worker (the dude who tells them they need to shut the power grid down), The Hunt for Red October, as Navigator C-2A, The Last Boy Scout, as Pool Owner, Encino Man, as Mr. Brush, Loaded Weapon 1, as D.A., Last Action Hero, as Ripper’s Agent, Scary Movie, as Cindy’s Dad.

Bill Duke

Where you know him from: 

Predator, as Mac

Payback, as Det. Hicks

Exit Wounds, as Chief Hinges

X-Men: The Last Stand, as Trask

Also look for him in: Car Wash, as Duane – Abdullah, American Gigolo, as Leon, Commando, as Cooke, Action Jackson, as Capt. Earl Armbruster, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, as Mr. Johnson, Red Dragon, as Police Chief, National Security, as Lt. Washington.

He’s also a prodigious director. He directed: Deep Cover, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Hoodlum, and most recently, Not Easily Broken.

Kevin Dunn

Where you know him from:

Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen & Transformers: Dark of the Moon, as Ron Witwicky

I’m not even gonna pretend like you know him from anywhere else.

Also look for him in: Mississippi Burning, as Agent Bird, The Bonfire of the Vanities, as Tom Killian, Hot Shots!, as Lt. Comdr. James Block, Chaplin, as J. Edgar Hoover, Dave, as Alan Reed, Little Big League, as Arthur Goslin, Nixon, as Charles Colson, Godzilla, as Colonel Hicks, Small Soldiers, as Stuart Abernathy, Snake Eyes, as Lou Logan, I Heart Huckabees, as Marty, Lions for Lambs, as ANX Editor, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, as Mark, Unstoppable, as Galvin.

Nora Dunn

Where you know her from:

Three Kings, as Adriana Cruz

Entourage, as Ari and Mrs. Ari’s marriage counselor

Bruce Almighty, as Ally Loman

Also look for her in: Working Girl, as Ginny, Miami Blues, as Ellita Sanchez, Passion Fish, as Ti-Marie, Bulworth, as Missy Berliner, Reporter, What Planet Are You From?, as Madeline, Heartbreakers, as Miss Madress, What’s the Worst that Could Happen?, as Lutetia Fairbanks, the Hebrew Hammer, as Mrs. Carver, Runaway Jury, as Stella Hulic, Laws of Attraction, as Judge Abramovitz, Southland Tales, as Cyndi Pinziki, Pineapple Express, as Shannon, It’s Complicated, as Sally.

Charles Durning

Where you know him from:

The Sting, as Lt. Snyder

Dog Day Afternoon, as Det. Dgt. Eugene Moretti

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, as Pappy O’Daniel

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, as Governor

To Be or Not to Be, as Col. Erhardt

Also on Family Guy, as Peter’s father, and Rescue Me, as Tommy’s father

Also look for him in: The Front Page, as Murphy, The Muppet Movie, as Doc Hooper, North Dallas Forty, as Coach Johnson, When a Stranger Calls, as John Clifford, Sharky’s Machine, as Lr. Friscoe, Tootsie, as Les Nichols, Scarface, as the voice of the Immigration officer at the very beginning, Dick Tracy, as Chief Brandon, The Hudsucker Proxy, as Waring Hudsucker, Home for the Holidays, as Henry Larson, Spy Hard, as the Director, One Fine Day, as Lew.

Richard Edson

Where you know him from:

Do the Right Thing, as Vito

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as Garage Attendant

Super Mario Bros., as Spike

Also look for him in: Howard the Duck, as Ritchie, Platoon, as Sal, Good Morning, Vietnam, as Pvt. Abersold, Eight Men Out, as Billy Maharg, Let it Ride, as Johnny Casino, Starsky and Hutch, as Monix, Black Dynamite, as Dino.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Where you know him from: 

Children of Men, as Luke

Love Actually, as Peter

American Gangster, as Huey Lucas

Also look for him in: Amistad, as Ensign Convey, Dirty Pretty Things, as Okwe, Melinda and Melinda, as Ellis Moonsong, Four Brothers, as Victor Sweet, Serenity, as The Operative, Kinky Boots, as Lola, Talk to Me, as Dewey Hughes, Redbelt, as Mike Terry, 2012, as Adrian Helmsley, Salt, as Peabody.

Jack Elam

Where you know him from:

Once Upon a Time in the West, as Snaky (dude at the beginning who traps the fly in his gun barrel)

The Cannonball Run & Cannonball Run II, as Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing

Also look for him in: High Noon, as Charlie (the drunk in the jail), Vera Cruz, as Tex, Kiss Me Deadly, as Charlie Max, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, as Tom McLowery, Pocketful of Miracles, as Cheesecake, Rio Lobo, as Phillips, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as Alamosa Bill, The Villain, as Avery Simpson.

Idris Elba

Where you know him from: The Wire, as Stringer Bell RocknRolla, as Mumbles Thor, as Heimdall Also look for him in: Buffalo Soldiers, as Kimborough, 28 Weeks Later, as Stone, American Gangster, as Tango, Obsessed, as Derek Charles, The Office, as Charles Miner, The Losers, as Roque,Takers, as Gordon Cozier, Luther, as SCI John Luther.

Chris Elliott

Where you know him from:

Groundhog Day, as Larry

There’s Something About Mary, as Dom

Also look for him in: Manhunter, as Zeller, The Abyss, as Bendix, Kingpin, as The Gambler, Snow Day (how often do you get to drop this one into a conversation?), as Roger the Snowplowman, Scary Movie 2, as Hanson, Osmosis Jones, as Bob, Scary Movie 4, as Ezekiel (hooray, continuity!), How I Met Your Mother, as Lily’s father.

Sam Elliott

Where you know him from:

The Big Lebowski, as The Stranger

Thank You for Smoking, as Lorne Lutch

Also look for him in: Road House, as Wade Garrett, Gettysburg, as Brig. Gen. John Buford, The Contender, as Kermit Newman, We Were Soldiers, as Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley, Hulk, as Ross, Ghost Rider, as Caretaker, The Golden Compass, as Lee Scoresby, Up in the Air, as Maynard Finch.

Noah Emmerich

Where you know him from:

The Truman Show, as Marlon

Frequency, as Gordo Hersch

Little Children, as Larry Hedges

Also look for him in: Last Action Hero, as Rookie, Cop Land, as Deputy Bill Geisler, Life, as Stan Blocker, Windtalkers, as Private Chick, Miracle, as Craig Patrick, Cellular, as Jack Tanner, Pride and Glory, as Francis Tierney, Jr., Fair Game, as Bill, Super 8, as Nelec.

R. Lee Ermey

Where you know him from:

Full Metal Jacket, as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Need I say more?)

Se7en, as Police Captain

Toy Story, as Army Sarge

Saving Silverman, as Coach

Also look for him in: Apocalypse Now, as Helicopter Pilot (during the “Ride of the Valkyries” sequence), Mississippi Burning, as Mayor Tilman, Fletch Lives, as Jimmy Lee Farnsworth, Leaving Las Vegas, as Conventioneer, Dead Man Walking, as Clyde Percy, Life, as Older Sheriff Pike, The Salton Sea, as Verne Plummer, Willard (2003), as Mr. Martin, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre & Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, as Sheriff Hoyt, X-Men: The Last Stand, as Sergeant, House, as House’s father.

Frankie Faison

Where you know him from:

The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal & Red Dragon, as Barney

Coming to America, the Landlord. (“Hey Stu, your rent’s due, motherfucker! And don’t pull that falling down the stairs shit on me, you hear?! Are you conscious?! Shit…”)

Down to Earth, as Whitney Daniels

The Wire, as Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell

Also look for him in: Cat People (1982), as Detective Brandt, The Money Pit, as James, Manhunter, as Lt. Fisk (which is just awesome, that he was in all the Lecter films), Mississippi Burning, as Eulogist, Do the Right Thing, as Coconut Sid, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), as Detective Paretti, Showtime, as Lr. Winship, White Chicks, as Chief Elliott Gordon, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, as Ticket Salesman, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, as Rhamus Twobellies.

Peter Falk

This one’s personal. Everyone should know Peter Falk. But I’m putting him on here anyway, just so we can all go, “Aww, Peter Falk!”

Where you know him from:

Columbo. He’s Columbo.

The Princess Bride, as The Grandfather/Narrator

The In-Laws, as Vincent J. Ricardo

Murder by Death, as Sam Diamond

A Woman Under the Influence, as Nick Longhetti

Also look for him in: Murder, Inc., as Reles, Pocketful of Miracles, as Joy Boy, The Great Race, as Maximilian Meen, The Cheap Detective, as Lou Peckinpaugh, Made, as Max, Corky Romano, as Francis A. Romano, Undisputed, as Mendy Ripstein, Shark Tale, as Don Feinberg, Next, as Irv.

Dennis Farina

Where you know him from:

Snatch, as Avi (“You know: fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… London!”)

Get Shorty, as Ray ‘Bones’ Barboni

Also look for him in: Thief, as Carl, Manhunter, as Jack Crawford, Midnight Run, as Jimmy Serrano, Another Stakeout, as Brian O’Hara, Striking Distance, as Capt. Nick Detillo, Little Big League, as George O’Farrell, Out of Sight, as Marshall Sisco, Saving Private Ryan, as Lt. Col. Anderson, Reindeer Games, as Jack Bangs, Big Trouble, as Harry Desalvo, Stealing Harvard, as Mr. Warner, Paparazzi, as Detective Burton, You Kill Me, as Edward O’Leary, The Grand, as LBJ ‘Deuce’ Fairbanks. Also, Law and Order, as Detective Joe Fontana.

Richard Farnsworth

Where you know him from:

The Straight Story, as Alvin

The Natural, as Red Blow

Also look for him in: Comes a Horseman, as Dodger, Rhinestone, as Noah, Jake’s Father, The Two Jakes, as Earl Rawley, Misery, as Buster, The Getaway (1994), as Slim.

Colm Feore

Where you know him from:

Face/Off, as Dr. Malcolm Walsh

The Chronicles of Riddick, as Lord Marshal

Changeling, as Chief James E. Davis

Also look for him in: City of Angels, as Jordan Ferris, The Insider, as Richard Scruggs, Titus, as Marcus Andronicus, Pearl Harbor, as Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, Chicago, as Harrison, Paycheck, as Wolfe, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, as Karl Gunderson, Thor, as King Laufey.

William Fichtner

One of the best character actors working today. I love this man. He delivers the goods in everything he does.

Where you know him from:

The Dark Knight, as Bank Manager

Armageddon, as Colonel Willie Sharp

Crash, as Flanagan

Drive Angry, as The Accountant (seriously, watch him in this. He’s fucking awesome.)

Also: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas, as Ken Rosenberg, the coked out lawyer.

Also look for him in: Quiz Show, as Stage Manager, Virtuosity, as Wallace, Strange Days, as Dwayne Engelman, Heat, as Roger Van Sant (the launderer they steal from), Contact, as Kent, Go, as Burke, The Perfect Storm, as David “Sully” Sullivan, Pearl Harbor, as Danny’s Father, Black Hawk Down, as Sanderson, Equilibirum, as Jurgen, The Amateurs, as Otis, The Longest Yard, as Captain Knauer, Blades of Glory, as Darren MacElroy, Prison Break, as Alex Mahone, Date Night, as DA Frank Crenshaw, Entourage, as Phil Yagoda.

Harvey Fierstein

You’ve heard this man’s voice. I will put money on it.

Where you know him from:

Mrs. Doubtfire, as Uncle Frank Hilliard

Independence Day, as Marty Gilbert

Mulan, as Yao

Death to Smoochy, as Merv Green (Nobody turns down the Parade of Hope.)

Also look for him in: Bullets over Broadway, as Sid Loomis, also that one episode of The Simpsons, as the gay guy who helps Homer better himself.

Laurence Fishburne

Here’s one where, I can be pretty sure people know him, but, they may not know all the great work he did before The Matrix. So that’s why he’s here. Dude’s done some great work in his career outside of Morpheus.

Where you know him from:

The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded & The Matrix Revolutions, as Morpheus

Boyz n the Hood, as Furious Styles

Apocalypse Now, as Mr. Clean

Pee-wee’s Playhouse, as Cowboy Curtis

Also look for him in: Rumble Fish, as Midget, The Cotton Club, as Bumpy Rhodes, The Color Purple, as Swan, Quicksilver, as Voodoo, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, as Max, School Daze, as Dap, Red Heat, as Lt. Charlie Stobbs, King of New York, Jimmy Jump, Deep Cover, as Russell Stevens Jr./John Hull, What’s Love Got to Do with It, as Ike Turner, Searching for Boby Fischer, as Vinnie, Higher Learning, as Prof. Maurice Phipps, Othello, as Othello, Event Horizon, as Captain Miller, Hoodlum, as Bumpy Johnson, Osmosis Jones, as Thrax, Biker Boyz, as Smoke, Mystic River, as Whitey Powers, Assault on Precinct 13, as Marion Bishop, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as Bear in Genaros Beer Commercials (“What do I know? I’m a bear! I suck the heads off fish!”), Akeelah and the Bee, as Dr. Larabee, Mission: Impossible III, as Theodore Brassel, Bobby, as Edward, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, as The Silver Surfer, 21, as Cole Williams, Armored, as Baines, Predators, as Noland, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as Dr. Raymond Langston, Contagion, as Dr. Ellis Cheever, Man of Steel, as Perry White.

Jo Van Fleet

Where you know her from: East of Eden, as Kate Cool Hand Luke, as Arletta Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, as Kate Fisher Also look for her in: The Rose Tattoo, as Bessie, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, as Katie Roth, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!, as Mother, The Tenant, as Madame Dioz.

Jason Flemyng

Here’s a dude you may know from like three things, but he’s actually done a nice amount of stuff over his career.

Where you know him from:

Snatch, as Darren (as Brad Pitt’s ‘pikey’ friend. Red hair — can’t miss him)

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, as Tom

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, as Thomas Button

X-Men: First Class, as Azazel

Also look for him in: Rob Roy, as Gregor, Spice World, as Brad, Deep Rising, as Mulligan, The Red Violin, as Frederick Pope, Rock Star, as Bobby Beers, Drom Hell, Netley, the Coachman, Below, as Stumbo, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as Dr. Jekyll  & Mr. Hyde, Layer Cake, as Crazy Larry, Transporter 2, as Dimitri, Stardust, as Primus, Kick-Ass, as Lobby Goon (the one Hit Girl fucks up with that silenced pistol), Clash of the Titans, as Calibos/Acrisius, Hanna, as Sebastian.

Frederic Forrest

Where you know him from:

Apocalypse Now, as Chef (Oh, he’ll go with you, but on the boat!)

The Rose, as Huston Dyer

One from the Heart, as Hank

Also look for him in: The Conversation, as Mark, The Missouri Breaks, as Cary, Valley Girl, as Steve Richman, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, as Eddie, The Two Jakes, as Chuck Newty, Falling Down, as Nick, the Nazi Surplus Store Owner, All the King’s Men (2006), as Willie’s Father.

William Forsythe

Where you know him from: The Rock, as Special Agent Paxton Once Upon a Time in America, as Cockeye Raising Arizona, as Evelle Snoats Also look for him in: Dick Tracy, as Flattop, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, as Franchise, Virtuosity, as William Cochran, Blue Streak, as Detective Hardcastle, Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, as Detective Fowler, City by the Sea, as Spyder, The Devil’s Rejects, as Sheriff Wydell,Freedomland, as Boyle, 88 Minutes, as Frank Parks, Halloween, as Ronnie White.

Paul Freeman

Where you know him from: Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Dr. René Belloq Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, as Ivan Ooze Also look for him in: The Long Good Friday, as Colin, Without a Clue, as Professor Moriarty, Double Team, as Goldsmythe, Hot Fuzz, as Rev. Shooter, Centurion, as Governor Agricola.

Kurt Fuller

Where you know him from:

Wayne’s World, as Russell Finley (the guy who teaches them how to count to five)

Scary Movie, as The Sheriff

The Pursuit of Happyness, as Walter Ribbon (the dude who gives him the Niners tickets)

Also look for him in: The Running Man, as Tony, Ghostbusters II, as Jack Hardemeyer, The Bonfire of the Vanities, as Pollard Browning, Pushing Tin, as Ed Clabes, The New Guy, as Mr. Undine, Auto Focus, as Werner Klemperer, Anger Management, as Frank Head, Ray, as Sam Clark, Superhero Movie, as Bank Loan Officer, Midnight in Paris, as John.

Read Part II Here: In Appreciation of Character Actors (G-L)

And Part III: In Appreciation of Character Actors (M-R)

And Part IV: In Appreciation of Character Actors (S-Z)

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