Ramon Novarro -- best known for Ben Hur, among other roles
Claude fucking Rains? Are you kidding? Casablanca? Now,Vovager?
R3, Claude Rains may be known to film watchers like ourselves of old movies, but he is a name lost to the general public and everyday discourse.
Perhaps I should specify in more detail what I meant by my thread title - I am referring to actors who did not make a sufficient enough impact to be remembered today in the way in which Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable or Laurence Olivier did. Actors who did not become a part of popular culture like Marlon Brando or who did not have a legendary role that is still remembered today.
Those same people think Transformers is a good movie. Their opinions don't matter...
and believe it or not some in the 15-24 demographic don't know who Paul Newman is
John Payne, Dennis Morgan. Neither were Gable status even during their careers, but were solid, dependable leading men. And Dennis was cute. Cornell Wilde, too. He was quite a hunk of beef.
Edward Everett Horton
I agree with you that the name is largely forgotten, although people might recognize him somewhat from "Miracle on 34th Street" since it is on every Christmas.
Terrific Oscar winning actor, Fredric March. Not nearly as remembered as his peers, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, et. al.
Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo.
Are there any young movie goers today who can say they know the legend of Garbo?
Mary Miles Minter
You can't really include silent film actors because most of their films were melted down for the silver. You can't replay films that no longer exists.
A lot of silent film actors never made it to talkies because their voice did not match what the audience "heard." John Gilbert and Clara Bow are two fine examples. Only classic movie fans and film historians know their names.
R4 if that is your criteria then those names don't qualify either. Unless their names are Marilyn and maybe James Dean, almost all are lost now.
R15 Poor choices for examples. Studio politics forced those 2 particular actors out of the sound era, not their voices. Only classic movie fans and film historians know their names and the reasons for the demise of their careers.
r18 that's a subjective statement. Many of them just didn't translate very well to talkies. Sound was new and the studios didn't know how to transition them. Garbo was one of the lucky few who easily transitioned into sound.
OP that makes for a very long and kind of pointless list.
If you don't know Claude Rains then you don't know Humphrey Bogart of Rita Hayworth or Laurence Olivier or Ingrid Bergman or Bette Grable or Lesley Howard or Edward G. Robinson except by name.
Never mind the truly lesser knowns. Either you watch old films or you don't. My pretty old mother won't watch black and white movies, simple as that.
I realize that John Wayne and Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart are known in some way by most everyone, but like I said the rest of the list is too long and arbitrary.
Do you really mean popular culture or just DL culture ? They are not the same thing.
But I will still play.
R19 It's been well documented that LB Mayer sabotaged Gilbert's talkie career after an altercation.
Bow's career problems (from Wiki):
"The quality of Bow's voice, her Brooklyn accent, was not an issue to Bow, her fans or Paramount."
"But the pressures of fame, public scandals, overwork and a damaging court trial with her secretary, Daisy DeVoe, took their toll on Bow's fragile emotional health. As she slipped closer to a major breakdown, her manager B.P. Schulberg began referring to her as "Crisis-a-day-Clara". In April Bow was brought to a sanatorium, and at her request, Paramount released her from her final undertaking: City Streets."
r19, Gilbert and Bow are not the only 2 silent film stars that did not transition into well into talkies. I gave those 2 as examples and you're making hay over it. Yes. Gilbert had many, many issues. Low self-esteem, alcoholism. LBJ did not like Gilbert. However, Gilbert's nasal voice portraying Romeo had the audience laughing. A romantic lead whose crucial scene was a mockery. His daughter Leatrice Fountain documented it all in her book.
When I saw Queen Christina, I thought Gilbert looked ridiculous. So out of place in that beautiful film. It wasn't the hair or the costume. It was the way he delivered his lines.
So many silent film stars just "disappeared" when sound came. Lon Chaney. Mae Murray. Lillian Gish didn't have much of a career after sound came. Not all of it was studio sabotage.
Robert Taylor was PERFECTION...love his gorgeous,distinctive arched eyebrows.
farley granger was perfection itself.....watch hitchcocks strangers on a train or rope.....such a gorgeous guy !
graham northampton england
Van Heflin, Farley Granger, John Garfield,Clifton Webb,Cornell Wilde,Stewart Granger,Glenn Ford,Dana Andrews,Alan Ladd and Charles Boyer for the boys.
Jeanne Crain,Gene Tierney,Yvonne DeCarlo,Larainne Day,Loretta Young,Greer Garson,Ann Sheridan,Myrna Loy,Joan Fontiane,Olivia De Havilland,Betty Hutton and Merle Oberon are some of the ladies.
Dumb thread idea for the oldsters to pull out their film esoterica.
Then maybe r30 you could think of some more recent examples to wrest the thread from the desiccated claws of the eldergays.
Or you could bitch about it.
Michelle Pfeiffer sp?
You poor dear you don't know how to NOT click on threads that don't interest you....
Did anyone say Sterling Hayden? He reminded me of Ken Ryker...
My point was that they are mostly all forgotten to most and who thinks that anyone could name a film of Laurence Olivier, but not Claude Rains ?
I said Karen Black.
I ain't gonna type this crap for days...have fun.
Biggest names in Hollywood at the beginning of the sound era, all but forgotten a decade later:
Lee Remick. Best scorned woman/drunken housewife ever.
[quote]Did anyone say Sterling Hayden? He reminded me of Ken Ryker...
God, Hayden as a young actor was fucking hot.
How about these two:
Vilma Banky (who lived to the ripe ol' age of 90!)
Charles Boyer. Irene Dunn.
She's so forgotten, that R42 couldn't remember the correct spelling of Irene Dunne's surname.
My group watches the BluRay remaster of "Lawrence of Arabia" this past weekend, I had forgotten what wonderfully under acted intelligence came with the on screen presence of Claude Rains . . .
I'm in my late 40s and teach at a small university. It doesn't surprise me anymore that 18-24 year olds do not know who film actors or actresses from the 30s, 40, or 50s are. My generation grew up watching movies from those decades on television which was limited to non-cable for most. Marx Brothers' films and silents featuring Buster Keaton were a regular staple of Spirit Days or whatnot in high school. This is no longer the case. Technology changed it. The Internet is a great tool to allow famous and not so famous actors and actresses to be remembered. But the volume of the content and the plethora of choices on the net and on cable TV guarantees too that they may be lost in the shuffle.
18-24 year olds also do not watch TV, as my generation did. I remember watching Superman, Batman, Lost in Space, Star Trek, the 4:30 Movie, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, Godzilla movies, and cartoons in the afternoon after school and sports, or on Saturday mornings and afternoons. The 18-24 yr olds did not grow up watching TV like this.
More and more, too, have never seen "I Love Lucy," except for an episode or two on YouTube.
Thank God people have forgotten Robert Taylor. He was a bad actor, a closet case, a momma's boy, and named names to the House committee looking into Commies in Hollywood. He ruin Howard De Silva's career. He was a true asshole. Spent his honeymoon night with his mother and not his bride. Some people deserve to be forgotten. May Mark Walhberg suffer the same fate.
Played the title role in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in 1945 opposite the Oscar-nominated Angela Lansbury. Only Angela is remembered from that film today, though. Even George Sanders is unknown to today's generation, despite being a big star at the time.
Louis Calhern was in some of my all time favorite movies, The Asphalt Jungle, High Society and Notorious. I remember him well.
Baby Jane Hudson
Jo Stafford was a singer.
Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.
David Huffman, very cute character actor who was everywhere in the 70s and early 80s. Baby-faced, all-American, Ryan O'Neal type; I had a huge crush on him.
The poor guy was murdered after chasing a teenaged purse-snatcher into a woodsy area of Balboa Park; he was stabbed twice in the chest with a screwdriver. I remember the news reports actually showed very disturbing footage of his dead body--during the afternoon broadcast. Very sad. David's widow, Phyllis Huffman, was a respected casting director; she died in 2006.
Steven Keats, who held his own opposite Robert Mitchum in "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" and was Carol Kane's leading man in "Hester Street". He died of an apparent suicide in 1994. Worked steadily until his death, but his later roles never lived up to his early promise.
I knew him best as Eleanor's father in Franklin and Eleanor, but r56 is correct in that he was all over the screen in solid supporting roles through the 70s and 80s.
I think he saw the kid breaking into the RV of some European tourists, gave chase into the trees, where the illegal alien kid stabbed him.
In those days, illegal aliens were called illegal aliens, especially when they added to their initial crime of intruding over our borders by killing one of our most respected character actors and a patron of the Globe Theatre in the park.
I was going to say Michael Sarrazin and Keir Dullea, both of which have already been listed.
What about Chris Sarandon?
John Cazale would easily fall into the "forgotten" category if not for the fact that all five of his feature films were instant, Oscar-nominated/winning classics.
By the way, Cazale lived with Meryl Streep for several years prior to his death from cancer in 1978. She credits him with teaching her everything she knows about acting.
She worked constantly in the late '70s and early '80s and had a string of critical successes including "Stardust Memories," "My Favorite Year," "Inserts" and "Pennies From Heaven."
Plus she was in two big cult movies -- "Phantom of the Paradise" and "Shock Treatment" (where she played the second Janet Majors).
Then she was gone. Now she has a homemaking website called "The Crabby Cook."
I would beg to differ about Lon Chaney being a casualty of talkies. He knew he was ill by the time he remade his silent THE UNHOLY THREE for sound. Before his illness he was poised to enter a new phase of his career.
[quote]God, Hayden as a young actor was fucking hot.
According to some websites, Hayden Christensen is named after Sterling Hayden because Hayden's mother had a crush on him from watching his films.
[quote]Plus she was in two big cult movies -- "Phantom of the Paradise" and "Shock Treatment" (where she played the second Janet Majors).
[italic]Three[/italic] big cult movies: you've forgotten the one of hers with the biggest cult following of all, "Suspiria."
Yep, the only movie I've ever seen Jessica Harper in is Suspiria.
Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, best known for their roles in the Dueling Cavalier.
Greta Garbo is NOT a "forgotten actor." She's GARBO, for God's sake.
I was watching one of Loretta Young's films on TCM (they're doing a tribute to her) and saw a familiar character actor named Wallace Ford. He was good-looking in a very ordinary guy way and he was in a ton of movies; over 200 in a span from 1932 to 1935. He's probably best remembered for the cult film "Freaks." He aged quickly and got heavy and grey-haired, but still got roles. His last major role was Old Pa in "A Patch of Blue". He was quite good in it. It was his last film before his death in 1966. He's buried in an unmarked grave. Sad.
He really was a talented actor who did a lot of interesting work.
Once.... you won't remember...
When you said Hollywood, she was the face you'd think of!
Her face, on every billboard...
In just a single week, she'd get 10,000 letters!
Nobody is forgotten, how could you mention them, if they were really forgotten?
Of course, I use the word 'actor' very loosely. Yet, she did make a string of shitty movies, so I suppose that counts.
Apparently I was fucking forgotten today.
R6: '...believe it or not some in the 15-24 demographic don't know who Paul Newman is'
I have found it to be true as well.
It's interesting that everyone else just skipped over the post to write about many actors and actresses more obscure than Paul Newman.
In fact, the thread turned into a TCM thread, was that the OP's intent?
People who know about movies are very familiar with a lot of these "forgotten" actors. If you're interested in movies you know who Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Ramon Navarro, Eleanor Powell, Robert Tayler, Charles Boyer, Melvyn Douglas, Deanna Durbin (and many others) are. If you don't know about the big stars from bygone eras their names mean nothing.
Michael Sarrazin was in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", which is pretty memorable movie.
Keir Dullea was in "2001: A Space Odyssey", an unforgettable, classic film. I think he's remembered just for that.
Inger Stevens was in "The Hitchhiker" a classic Twilight Zone episode. It's a fan favorite. She'll always be remembered as the overwrought woman being followed by the gentle-faced hitchhiker through the Twilight Zone.
[quote]She'll always be remembered as the overwrought woman being followed by the gentle-faced hitchhiker through the Twilight Zone.
I think she'll be remembered for "The Farmer's Daughter" and for having an affair with Bing Crosby and then committing suicide.
Teresa Wright, first person nominated for Oscar in two categories the same year. I think.
Gene Hackman, sadly.
Lenny Baker, star of "Next Stop, Greenwich Village"; Tony Award winner (Best Featured Actor in a Musical) for "I Love My Wife"
Maria Falconetti, star of 1928's "The Passion of Joan of Arc". Her performance is considered by critics and historians to be the greatest ever captured on film, and it was completely silent. She didn't win any awards for this, because there were no film awards then. "Passion..." was her last film role.
Joan Crawford. Who watches her anymore?
I am 19. 28 inch waist, 9 inches, thick, and I shave. My favorite movies at "The Lord of the Rings" triology and "The Dark Knight." Anyone want to meet me?
She's so forgotten that people can't even get her name right. LANCHESTER, people.
The great Roland Young
R95 call me when your bush grows out and your hole is good and hairy
I know every name listed. I even know R95. Cums too fast. Kid needs to beat off at home before.
The late, great Sudie Bond
Susie Bond was a stage actress. Mostly off Broadway.
i miss moira kelly
This thread is inane
Dolph Lungren after it turns out that he really WAS straight.
 Bing Crosby seemed to have that effect on people.
Robert Williams, starred opposite Jean Harlow in Platinum Blonde, wonderful actor who died at 37, older than Harlow was when she died, but had fewer films to his credit, and is thus more completely forgotten.
I wonder if anybody remembers Pete Duel and Ben Murphy? Their high point was the series "Alias Smith and Jones" where they played Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-like characters who were trying to reform. The show make them into teen idols; they were both gorgeous and had a lot of chemistry onscreen. Duel was extremely talented but oh so fucked up; a manic depressive and an alcoholic. In a drunken stupor he killed himself with a bullet to the head. He was replaced on the show with Roger Davis but it didn't work and the show was soon cancelled. Murphy's career went nowhere after that. I haven't seen any photos of him lately, but he aged into quite a hot daddy.
R114 I adore Robert Williams. I got to see "Platinum Blonde" years ago at the Film Forum and he really is terrific on a big screen (he doesn't have the same presence on a tv screen). A real loss that he died so young.