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Fantastic, unique character actors and actresses

The death of Eileen Brennan had me thinking.....

I know it's probably the "elder" bit in me peeking out that says "oh, we don't have any unique performers now vs then."

But it really does seem like many of the younger teen and twentysomething actors and actresses are picked solely on appearance and not on any sort of quirky, notable talent.

Who are your favorite character actors/actresses? Am I missing anyone under 40 who you think fits that description?

by Anonymousreply 3707/31/2013

Thelma Ritter. She wasn't unique, but she was real.

by Anonymousreply 107/31/2013

Not familiar with her work, but what about Greta Gerwig? Or Chloe Sevigny who she looks like. Parker Posey as well maybe? But then they all knowingly go for quirky offbeat roles.

by Anonymousreply 207/31/2013

I can't help but find Frank Morgan outrageously funny in everything. Wizard of Oz, Boom Town, The Great Zigfield...he just has a blustery mannerism that elevates the character.

by Anonymousreply 307/31/2013

R2 Yes to those names.

But I think that's the point of confusion - all of those people have been presented to us as "leads" vs being true character actors.

I'd say Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg on the guys side (two actors basically playing the same schtick) but again, we the audience are being told these two are leading men.

by Anonymousreply 407/31/2013

As a brit I have always loved Julie Walters and Timothy Spall in all their TV and movie work. Both can do comedy and drama and everything else in between. Also love Alison Janney, if she is considered character actress?

by Anonymousreply 507/31/2013

Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, Mary Wicks, Gene Hackman

by Anonymousreply 607/31/2013

Harriet Sansom Harris , who played Bebe Glazer on Frasier always makes me laugh.

by Anonymousreply 707/31/2013

Ann Dowd. Incredible in Compliance.

by Anonymousreply 807/31/2013

Lily Rabe's 'Lily Rabe-ing' is highly indicative of a character actress more so than a leading lady and she is only about 30 years of age or so.

Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine, and Kathy Bates are my most favorite character actresses.

by Anonymousreply 907/31/2013

Over 40 but Steve Buscemi is a great contemporary character actor. Philip Seymore Hoffman is a great one as well.

I've been watching a lot of 60s anthology stuff lately and there tons of them back then under the old studio system especially among Universal shows like Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, Thriller etc. You might not have known their names but their faces were always memorable.

by Anonymousreply 1007/31/2013

Linda Hunt

by Anonymousreply 1107/31/2013

Not too many under-40's listed here, people?

How about DJ Qualls?

To some extent, fame, $$ and parts notwithstanding: Emma Stone

As above: Anna Kendrick

Most heavier black actresses??

On "heavy": Melissa McCarthy? (not JUST because she's heavy [I myself am, btw) but can do different, memorable characters

Any NUMBER of guest stars/recurring characters who have been on Mad Men: Patrick Fischel as that comedian - can't remember name, sorry - about 5 seasons ago...

(Yes, I watch WAY too much TV

by Anonymousreply 1207/31/2013

Wendy Hillier

Joan Hickson

Margaret Tyzack

by Anonymousreply 1307/31/2013

Jack Weston and Charles Durning

by Anonymousreply 1407/31/2013

Elias Koteas is Canada's most versatile and hardworking character actor, and he often exhibits a substantial mound in the front of his pants.

by Anonymousreply 1507/31/2013

Lin Shaye Judith Ivey Wendie Jo Sperber (just kidding)

by Anonymousreply 1607/31/2013

[quote] Elias Koteas is Canada's most versatile and hardworking character actor, and he often exhibits a substantial mound in the front of his pants.

Don't forget, R15, a MUSKY mound.

by Anonymousreply 1707/31/2013

Lauren Ambrose

by Anonymousreply 1807/31/2013

Melissa McCarthy.

by Anonymousreply 1907/31/2013

Kelly Bishop Ted Levine

by Anonymousreply 2007/31/2013

As an elder who loved Eileen Brennan, I see many great "character actors" today, OP.

Toni Collette for instance is like Brennan a gifted comedienne, singer and dramatic actress who can play just about anything in every medium. Likewise Nina Arianda.

by Anonymousreply 2107/31/2013

Michael Fassbender

by Anonymousreply 2207/31/2013

Sally Kellerman

by Anonymousreply 2307/31/2013

Denis O'Hare 51, but one of the best

by Anonymousreply 2407/31/2013

Joan Cusack, Marcia Gay Harden.

I can't really name anyone under 40 because all the US actors and actresses in this group all look and sound alike to me and are all named Ryan, Jennifer, Jessica and Tylor or Taylor. I get them all mixed up.

Oh wait-- the girl who played Heather in Big Love. But if she gets plastic surgery to look glam, she'll be just another face.

by Anonymousreply 2507/31/2013

Egads. Every one of these could crack a mirror at 50 feet.

by Anonymousreply 2607/31/2013

Jeffrey Wright is fantastic, unbelievably versatile, and 47 years old.

by Anonymousreply 2707/31/2013

I love you Sharon! I can't wait for us to celebrate our 33rd birthdays together!

by Anonymousreply 2807/31/2013

Kisses, love. We have 10 years to plan!

by Anonymousreply 2907/31/2013

Under 40, Rebel Wilson. Over 40, Laurie Metcalf. I just caught Making Mr. Right on cable and she stills the show.

by Anonymousreply 3007/31/2013

r30 Lauria Melcalfe is so dykey.

by Anonymousreply 3107/31/2013

I miss performers like this. They were always dependable and stole the show. They also worked forever. Most starlets and hunks can't transition into mature work after their 40's, cause they never learned how to act and skated by on their looks.

by Anonymousreply 3207/31/2013

Anne Ramsey. Loved her as Lisa on MAY.

by Anonymousreply 3307/31/2013

Jeffrey Wright is the biggest bag of wind since the invention of the hot air balloon. Truly insufferable.

by Anonymousreply 3407/31/2013

There's also Alia Shawkat.

by Anonymousreply 3507/31/2013

That Donna Pescow was such a spunky little pepper-pot!

by Anonymousreply 3607/31/2013

R36 - You got spunk. I hate spunk.

by Anonymousreply 3707/31/2013
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