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Actors and Actors Whose Dramatic Talents Were Underrated or Unrecognised

This is meant to be a counter to "What Very Famous Stage or Screen Actor Do You Think is Hideously Overrated" thread.

Mind, not underrated only because of their beauty (that's another thread), but overlooked for A-list stardom whose work that showed they had real talent.

I'll start: Geraldine Fitzgerald

by Anonymousreply 7606/05/2020

Tara Reid.

by Anonymousreply 105/21/2020

Gina Lollobrigida was really good in comedy especially. Check out "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell" and some of her other comedies. Her comic timing is excellent.

by Anonymousreply 205/21/2020

Doris Day was actually a quite talented dramatic actress but was overused in light comedies.

Virginia Mayo - another really decent actress but who ended up in too many B-list films as a cheap blonde floozy.

by Anonymousreply 305/21/2020

Mayo was really good in "The Best Years of Our Lives", a Best Picture winner, playing, well, a kind of good-time girl floozy who sours on Dana Andrews when he's having a hard time adjusting after having been a hero bomber pilot during the war. Actually Dana Andrews is pretty terrific in that film, too and should have been nominated for Best Actor alongside its winner, Fredric March.

by Anonymousreply 405/21/2020

R4 - I thought Andrews way more moving in that film than March, although March was good. I think Andrews was generally underrated. That film has 3-4 deeply moving core scenes, and Andrews is in most of them.

by Anonymousreply 505/21/2020

Elizabeth Montgomery

Corinne Marchand

Garry Shandling

Joel McCrea

by Anonymousreply 605/21/2020

Dick Powell

by Anonymousreply 705/22/2020

Gloria Grahame

by Anonymousreply 805/24/2020

Jill Haworth.

by Anonymousreply 905/24/2020

Based on another thread, Barbara Stanwyck was a great actress but was never really given the best roles or movies.

by Anonymousreply 1005/24/2020

Stanwyck had plenty of great roles. She just wasn't recognized at the Oscars until the end of her life when she got her life achievement Oscar.

Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity, Stella Dallas, The Lady Eve, Meet John Doe, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers... and everything in between.

by Anonymousreply 1105/24/2020

I'll echo Elizabeth Montgomery.

Also Jean Simmons, Joan Fontaine, Mary Kay Place.

by Anonymousreply 1205/24/2020

R11, the best line from "Ball of Fire" is when Sugarpuss is trying to convince the professors that she's too sick to leave the house by saying that her throat is "as red as the 'Daily Worker' and just as sore." Priceless.

by Anonymousreply 1305/24/2020

Honor Blackman.

by Anonymousreply 1405/24/2020

Ginger Rogers

by Anonymousreply 1505/24/2020

Terri Garr.

by Anonymousreply 1605/24/2020

John Cusak - who deserved to lose because he's such a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 1705/24/2020

R17 I'm confused. I thought OP was looking for actors who were underrated. I don't understand your comment about John Cusack...?

by Anonymousreply 1805/24/2020

R12 Jean Simmons was so good in The Happy Ending. Fine, she was nominated for Best Actress, but it's a completely forgotten film.

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by Anonymousreply 1905/24/2020

Elizabeth Montgomery was great as Lizzie Borden.

by Anonymousreply 2005/24/2020

Don't you wish Elizabeth Montgomery had gotten to play Rosalind? Or Millemant? Or any of the the women in Importance of Being Earnest? She had such a great ability to turn a line so that you saw what the character wanted to be understood while also showing what the characters wanted to remain hidden.

by Anonymousreply 2105/24/2020

R18, John Cusak is a very good actor. He is also a cunt.

Maybe he more properly belongs in one of our "Actors Who Destroyed Their Careers" thread.

Cusak was recognized for a while but has been crushed under the weight of his own cuntiness and people don't think of him anymore.

by Anonymousreply 2205/24/2020

I wish Danny Markel had gotten to continue playing Sam Fowler on Another World.

by Anonymousreply 2305/24/2020

I will get creamed but I stand by this: Justine Bateman.

by Anonymousreply 2405/24/2020

Jack Carson

He could do any kid of role and play it well.

by Anonymousreply 2505/24/2020

Robin Williams

by Anonymousreply 2605/24/2020

Ashley Judd

by Anonymousreply 2705/24/2020

Mandy Patinkin. Seriously—he’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 2805/24/2020

Joan van Ark

You look at that work she did when Val lost her babies and she became Verna Ellers.

It's a soap but that doesn't mean that the acting's not great.

by Anonymousreply 2905/24/2020

Meredith Baxter - she was absolutely terrific in "The Betty Broderick Story"

by Anonymousreply 3005/25/2020

One of the most beautiful Best Song nominations of all time, though, R19.

by Anonymousreply 3105/25/2020

R26 I think his dramatic work was plenty celebrated, lol. I didn’t always care for his dramatic work either — he chose way too baity projects a lot of the time.

by Anonymousreply 3205/25/2020

I should honestly start watching more movies before I participate in these kinds of threads r32 :) everyone corrects me after, I think my sample size must be too small. I thought he was incredible when he played a psycho in that one movie.

by Anonymousreply 3305/25/2020

R33 One Hour Photo? Yeah. Patch Adams, not so much. He had a tendency toward the maudlin which grew tiresome.

My favorite role of his was The Birdcage, which was of course a comedy but it was reactive comedic acting, not typical manic Robin Williams shtick. He was wonderful in that.

by Anonymousreply 3405/25/2020

Another vote for Doris Day. Her talent far exceeded what the audiences loved her in. Still, she brought in so much cash... That's what the studios wanted.

Elizabeth Montgomery had talent and charisma/likeability galore, she should have been remembered for many more roles than just one hit TV series. Legendary, no matter. And there's that Twilight Zone episode.

by Anonymousreply 3505/25/2020

Annette O'Toole

by Anonymousreply 3605/25/2020

r34, that's exactly what I meant. I saw One hour Photo, but I never saw the other two lol. my new goal is to google before posting in these ones.

by Anonymousreply 3705/25/2020

Robin Williams gave an amazing performance on an episode of Homicide as a tourist who watched with his children as his mother was killed on the street. It was really an amazing performance. (Jake Gyllenhaal played one of William's children.)

by Anonymousreply 3805/25/2020

Janis Paige should have been given better material on screen. She started as conventional leading lady in films, had a big hit on Broadway in "Pajama Game" and later on in supporting performances is vibrant as hell in a comedic musical performance in "Silk Stockings" with Fred Astaire and hilarious in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" with Doris Day and David Niven.

by Anonymousreply 3905/25/2020

Mia Farrow, (please don't kill me). Yeah, I think in real life there's a good chance she's a sociopath, but off the top of my head I can think of a bunch of performances that were wonderful, Oscar worthy, but she never was nominated:

Rosemary's Baby, See No Evil, Zelig, Alice, Purple Rose of Cairo, and for me especially, Broadway Danny Rose. She absolutely should have been nominated for that. She was also pretty good in the first movie she made after splitting with Woody, Widow's Peak.

I suspect even Dory Previn would have agreed with me. (hee, hee)

by Anonymousreply 4005/25/2020

Robin Williams could be a great comedic actor when he wasn't maudlin, which was rare, but he was an even better dramatic actor.

by Anonymousreply 4105/25/2020

Beverlee McKinsey in so many scenes, but notably Alex taking down Roger at the Country Club on the 4th of July 1991.

"You're fired, Roger. Fired from the company. From the marriage. From this club. From the entire town if I can manage it. I'm sure everyone would find the air a little sweeter without the stench of your presence." (Takes a swig of champagne, plops the glass down and without looking at him says as she's walking away) "Goodbye Rog."

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by Anonymousreply 4205/25/2020

Coleen Gray and Ida Lupino are two of the finest actresses from the Golden Age of Movies.

Lupino gets some recognition for how talented he was, although never enough for me, because she was overshadowed at Warners by Bette Davis. But she's every bit as good as Davis (maybe even better) in her best films, particularly The Hard Way and Road House.

Coleen Gray mostly did Westerns and (especially) noir, but she stands out in almost everything she did, particularly Nightmare Alley, Kiss of Death, red River, Kansas City Confidential, and The Killing. Pauline Kael once said Gray's performances always seemed "freshly thought out," which is pretty accurate--she never seemed as over-rehearsed, as so many Hollywood actors did before The Method. She didn't make a lot of movies, but she's worth seeing in everything she did.

by Anonymousreply 4305/25/2020

Funny, some of my least favorite Robin Williams performances are the ones he got nominated for: Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poet's Atrocity, and yeah, Good Will Hunting. My favorites were Popeye, Moscow on the Hudson, Insomnia, and the little seen World's Greatest Dad. He did WGD as a favor to his buddy, Bobcat Goldthwait, but check it out. It's a little gem!!

by Anonymousreply 4405/25/2020

Mary Astor. I know she was a star and was given great roles in some of the best films of the "golden years", but she was never accorded the level of status that went to Davis, Crawford, Stanwyck . . . she was never asked to carry a film, despite being a tremendous actress and, in my opinion, the core performance in "The Maltese Falcon" (not Bogart, who was doing Bogart just as everyone else was being "them").

by Anonymousreply 4505/26/2020

My bf sat me down to watch Mary Poppins for the first time & I was surprised how good Julie Andrews performance was. I thought she would be a fluffy happy clouds / cuddly grandma but she was firm & kinda aloof. So I wonder how Julie would be in a drama. Maybe she has performed in dramas - not up on her.

by Anonymousreply 4605/26/2020

R41 Robin was an excellent dramatic actor.

Also, I really liked him in Moscow on the Hudson.

by Anonymousreply 4705/26/2020


by Anonymousreply 4805/26/2020

R46 - Try "The Americanization of Emily" for a first-class performance from Andrews. She was also excellent in "The Tamarind Seed" and Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain".

The poster asking "WHO'S MARY ASTOR" has clearly not scene "The Maltese Falcon".

by Anonymousreply 4905/26/2020

There are five stages in the life of an actor: WHO'S MARY ASTOR? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor Type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who's Mary Astor?

by Anonymousreply 5005/26/2020

Betty White. She's well loved as a zany comic, but I've been very impressed by some of her more dramatic moments.

by Anonymousreply 5105/26/2020


by Anonymousreply 5205/26/2020

[quote] Tara Reid.

She did a great job as an alleged rape victim of Biden. And her father. And like 12 other women. Oh wait, that's the other Tara.

by Anonymousreply 5305/26/2020

I like Robin Williams as a dramatic actor. He had one of the best guest star appearances on SVU and he was genuinely creepy. I hate his style of comedy though, he's too manic for me.

by Anonymousreply 5405/26/2020

Rose was my favourite on GG. I think I even had a crush on her!

by Anonymousreply 5505/26/2020

Mary Astor apparently really didn't want to carry any film. She liked being supporting or leading lady if she had a strong leading man carrying the film. She was really beautiful and a fine actress, too. There's a documentary about her and her scandal involving her diaries involving her affair with George S. Kaufman that's been streaming, and it's very good.

by Anonymousreply 5605/26/2020

Must we nominate actors with substantial filmographies? My instinctive pick isn’t so much ‘The Academy Overlooked Him for Decades’ as ‘He Made Bad Decisions and Never Worked Again’...

Well, fuck it, here goes - Michael Mantenuto, whose main credit (one of three) was playing one of the leads in Kurt Russell’s Cold War sports biopic MIRACLE.

This guy had it all - empathy, presence, physicality, delivery, charisma, beauty (he was a casual model for A&F), that ‘It’ or ‘glow’ movie stars so often lack these days. Russell once said that Mike could hit a mark like nobody’s business yet he’d never taken an acting class before he shot MIRACLE (though he did take Theater as a College elective after wrap). He was a real-deal natural talent, in short. In one single supporting role he managed to steal an entire movie from under more established stars and at the same time pull the cart for a respected industry figure. Mary! me; still I wistfully dream of what he could have gone on to star in using those talents to similar effect.

Sadly, due to a nascent drug problem arising from domestic issues such as bereavement (his father had a stroke and his hockey Coach died right around 9/11) and being a low-income teenaged Dad, he couldn’t get hired after the success of MIRACLE (at least, not consistently enough to make the money he needed for alimony), so after just a couple years of jobbing in the industry he left L.A. to go back to Beantown and coach Peewee/Junior hockey before joining the Green Berets.

He was never to return and never to act again. Mantenuto shot himself with a Glock in his SUV on a Spring day in 2017. He was 35 years old and left behind two kids & a wife. It is since thought that he had insufficiently-treated Depression/PTSD comorbid with a recurrent substance abuse issue, and that he had been traumatised by an unnamed incident he had witnessed during his time serving as a Sergeant in a Special Forces secret Operation. By the time he was 30 he was a decorated soldier with medals of Valor, but tellingly he quickly left active duty as soon as he was permitted and tried to set up radical rehab & counselling for other soldiers instead - something of which his commanding officers disapproved.

Probably seems like a stretch to mention him here at all, but I believe that had he got successful help for depression and had he not succumbed to demons he could have either stayed in acting (avoiding the Army) or returned to it with great success. He was gorgeous, had all the goods and he had a Disney contract so there’s no reason he wouldn’t have been pushed to the moon. It’s too bad it all went to waste. Now no-one in film knows or cares who he ever was outside of sports movie buffs, Kurt Russell fans or Disney completists.

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by Anonymousreply 5706/03/2020

R19, "vodka and Seconal, marriage on the rocks"

by Anonymousreply 5806/03/2020

Cathy Moriarty.

by Anonymousreply 5906/03/2020

Nick Stahl. A real one who is never given his due outside of cult movie circles. He has a modest 60 acting credits to date but of those 60 many are beloved classics.

For that matter, his friend and former costar Clea Duvall is another one who deserves more accolades than she has.

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by Anonymousreply 6006/04/2020

It's hard to give an active addict his due.

by Anonymousreply 6106/04/2020

Eric Roberts - an astounding performance in Star 80, then about 300 imdb entries for direct to video/TV movies.

Mary Tyler Moore - people say she's so good in Ordinary People because she WAS Beth, but I'm not so sure. And the 70s had some of the best cinema - it's a pity she wasn't in more heavy hitting dramas.

by Anonymousreply 6206/04/2020

I don't know if we can call people who were Oscar nominated unrecognized, though. Maybe now, since years have passed, younger people, many of whom aren't interested in older films, may not be aware of the film or the performance. But at the time, Mary's performance was quite acclaimed.

by Anonymousreply 6306/04/2020

R61 Stahl has been clean for at least five years now, if not several. And unlike many other performers we could name, his sobriety or lack thereof never detracted from his usually-excellent work. When he was trolling Skid Row he didn’t have active projects at the time, so he wasn’t jeopardising anyone’s screen dream (he was neglecting and scaring his family, yes, but that isn’t what OP’s thread concerns).

Addicts current or former can still be talented artists and performers, and can sometimes be functional enough to work well. My point still stands.

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by Anonymousreply 6406/04/2020

[Quote] And unlike many other performers we could name, his sobriety or lack thereof never detracted from his usually-excellent work. When he was trolling Skid Row

Are you shading Zac Efron?

by Anonymousreply 6506/04/2020

R62, but he couldn't do soap

by Anonymousreply 6606/04/2020

Yes, Julie Andrews displayed her dramatic skills in "The Americanization of Emily," which was made in the same few years as "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music" were. In fact pretty much everyone in "The Americanization of Emily" is excellent.

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by Anonymousreply 6706/04/2020

Another vote for Eric Roberts, who had more charisma and more dramatic heft than his sister, but not much of her luck of being the right thing in the right place at the right time.

Loved his voice, too.

by Anonymousreply 6806/05/2020

Dennis Morgan - he's not as well-known today, but he was very handsome, had a beautiful singing voice and could do comedy, drama, whatever. He was teamed with Jack Carson in some musicals which tried in their own way to be a kind of Crosby-Hope "Road" buddy film, and they're fun, too. He's dreamy and so sincere as the hero sailor being feted in "Christmas in Connecticut" opposite Barbara Stanwyck, which has become a Christmas classic, and probably the funniest holiday picture as well.

by Anonymousreply 6906/05/2020

I was very taken aback by Julie Andrews during a production of the Sondheim musical revue Putting It Together where she sang Could I Leave You from Follies with so much anger and bitterness that I was pushed to the back of the theater. It was wonderful and couldn't stop thinking how great it would be to see her in some grittier roles. To this day, it's still one of the most effective versions of that song I've ever seen/heard.

by Anonymousreply 7006/05/2020

Julie has a great tantrum scene towards the beginning of "SOB" where she's pissed at her director husband played by Richard Mulligan, where she throws her Oscar at him in a fit of rage. I thought from that scene she actually might have been good playing Lilli Vanessi in "Kiss Me, Kate" who has to have major attitude.

Years ago, I saw Julie in concert and she did a terrific version of "Being Alive", one of the best I ever heard. I agree with the above poster that her "Could I Leave You" in "Putting It Together" was excellent, too.

by Anonymousreply 7106/05/2020

I'd love for Julie to make a movie where she plays some sort of psychotic granny. That'd be fun.

by Anonymousreply 7206/05/2020

Throw Julie From the Train.

by Anonymousreply 7306/05/2020

I think Julie was finding inspiration in her marriage to Blake when she sang that.

by Anonymousreply 7406/05/2020

Wasn't theirs a lavender marraige?

by Anonymousreply 7506/05/2020


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