Famous Male Character Actors People

Famous Male Character Actors

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List of famous male character actors, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest male character actors list contains the most prominent and top males known for being character actors. There are thousand of males working as character actors in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic character actors have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a male aspiring to be a character actor then the people below should give you inspiration.

Examples include Lorenzo Branchetti and John Quade.

While this isn't a list of all male character actors, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous male character actors?" and "Who are the best male character actors?"

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  1. 1

    Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti is an American actor. Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including Private Parts, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, and Man on the Moon, before earning lead roles in several projects in the 2000s ...more

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    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: USA, Connecticut, New Haven
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Saving Private Ryan, Planet of the Apes, Downton Abbey, The Truman Show, 12 Years a Slave, + more
  2. 2

    Timothy Alan Dick, known professionally as Tim Allen, is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement. He is also known for his starring roles in several popular films, including the Toy Story film series, The Santa Clause film series, and the science fiction ...more

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    • Age: age 62
    • Birthplace: USA, Denver, Colorado
    • Profession: Television director, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 2, Cars, Galaxy Quest, + more
  3. 3

    Eli Herschel Wallach was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s. Trained in stage acting, which he enjoyed doing most, he became "one of the greatest 'character actors' ever to appear on stage and screen," states TCM, with ...more

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    • Age: Died at 99 (1915-2014)
    • Birthplace: New York City, Red Hook, USA, New York
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor
    • Credits: Good, Mystic River, The Godfather Part III, The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, + more
  4. 4

    Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, director, and producer of film and theater. Best known for his supporting and character roles – typically lowlifes, bullies, and misfits – Hoffman was a regular presence in films from the early 1990s until his death at age 46. Drawn to theater as a teenager, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 47 (1967-2014)
    • Birthplace: USA, Fairport, New York
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, The Big Lebowski, Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, + more
  5. 5
    Michael Sheen
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Michael Christopher Sheen, OBE is a Welsh actor and director. After training at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he made his professional debut in 1991, starring in When She Danced at the Gielgud Theatre. He worked mainly in theatre throughout the 1990s and made notable stage appearances in Romeo ...more

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: Newport, Wales, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Television producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Gladiator, Alice in Wonderland, Underworld, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, + more
  6. 6
    Charles Durning
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Charles Edward Durning was an American actor, with appearances in over 200 movies, television shows and plays. Durning's memorable roles included the Oscar-winning The Sting and Dog Day Afternoon, along with the comedies Tootsie, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be or Not to Be.more

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    • Age: Died at 89 (1923-2012)
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Highland Falls
    • Profession: Soldier, Actor, Voice acting, Dancer, Teacher
    • Credits: Scarface, The Sting, Tootsie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, + more
  7. 7
    Pete Postlethwaite
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Peter William "Pete" Postlethwaite OBE was an English actor. After minor television appearances, including in The Professionals, his first success came with the 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives. He played a mysterious lawyer, Mr. Kobayashi, in The Usual Suspects, and appeared in Alien 3, Amistad, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 65 (1946-2011)
    • Birthplace: Warrington, England
    • Profession: Dubbing, Actor, Teacher
    • Credits: Inception, The Usual Suspects, The Last of the Mohicans, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Romeo + Juliet, + more
  8. 8

    Jim Broadbent is an actor.more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: Holton cum Beckering, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Gangs of New York, Brazil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hot Fuzz, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, + more
  9. 9

    Clarence J. "Clancy" Brown III is an American film, television and voice actor. He is known for his live-action roles as Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption; The Kurgan in Highlander; Brother Justin Crowe in Carnivàle and Career Sergeant Zim in Starship Troopers. Brown is also known for ...more

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    • Age: age 56
    • Birthplace: USA, Urbana, Ohio
    • Profession: Businessperson, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Shawshank Redemption, SpongeBob SquarePants, Starship Troopers, Green Lantern, John Dies at the End, + more
  10. 10
    Fred Thompson
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Freddie Dalton "Fred" Thompson is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. Thompson, a Republican, served in the United States Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003. Thompson served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United ...more

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    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: USA, Alabama, Sheffield
    • Profession: Public speaker, Politician, Journalist, Lobbyist, Radio personality, + more
    • Credits: Cape Fear, Die Hard 2, Law & Order, The Hunt for Red October, Days of Thunder, + more
  11. 11

    Wallace Michael "Wally" Shawn is an American stand-up comedian, actor, singer, dancer, playwright, essayist, and voice artist, best known for appearing in films, such as Wally Shawn in the Louis Malle-directed comedy-drama My Dinner with Andre, Vizzini in The Princess Bride, providing the voice of Rex ...more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Essayist, Actor, Voice acting, Stand-up comedian, + more
    • Credits: Toy Story, Toy Story 3, The Princess Bride, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, + more
  12. 12
    Charles Napier
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Charles Lewis Napier was a prolific American actor, who after his film debut mainly worked in supporting roles. Napier's strong voice, steely gaze and distinctive broad jutting chin made him immediately convincing as the cop or military officer he often played. After leaving his tiny Kentucky town to ...more

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    • Age: Died at 75 (1936-2011)
    • Birthplace: USA, Kentucky
    • Profession: Soldier, Author, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Silence of the Lambs, The Blues Brothers, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Philadelphia, + more
  13. 13
    John Carradine
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Carradine was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns as well as Shakespearean theatre. A member of Cecil B. DeMille's stock company and later John Ford's company, he was one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history. He was married four times, had ...more

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1906-1988)
    • Birthplace: Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Ten Commandments, The Grapes of Wrath, The Secret of NIMH, Stagecoach, Bride of Frankenstein, + more
  14. 14
    Richard Jenkins
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Richard Dale Jenkins is an American actor. Jenkins began his acting career in theatre at the Trinity Repertory Company and later made his film debut in 1974. He has appeared in supporting roles in many films produced during the 1980s and the 1990s. His breakthrough did not come until the early 2000s, in ...more

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    • Age: age 68
    • Birthplace: USA, DeKalb, Illinois
    • Profession: Actor
    • Credits: There's Something About Mary, The Cabin in the Woods, Six Feet Under, Step Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, + more
  15. 15

    Richard Dunn was an American character actor popularized by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Dunn was best known to audiences for his appearances on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, a sketch comedy television series. Dunn, who was known for his glasses, listed his physical features as 5-foot-10 ...more

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    • Age: Died at 74 (1936-2010)
    • Birthplace: USA, Urbana, Illinois
    • Profession: Character actor, Actor
    • Credits: The Wedding Singer, Road to Perdition, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Apt Pupil
  16. 16

    Timothy Leonard Spall, OBE is an English actor and occasional presenter. He became a household name in the UK after appearing in the 1983 ITV comedy-drama series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Subsequently, some of his notable supporting roles include Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter film series, Winston ...more

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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting, Presenter
    • Credits: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, + more
  17. 17
    David Strathairn
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    David Russell Strathairn is an American actor who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for portraying journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck. He is recognized for his role as CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen in the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum, a role he reprised in 2012's ...more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Francisco
    • Profession: Actor
    • Credits: A League of Their Own, The Bourne Ultimatum, Lincoln, L.A. Confidential, The Firm, + more
  18. 18
    M. Emmet Walsh
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    Michael Emmet Walsh is an American actor who has appeared in over 200 film and television productions.more

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    • Age: age 80
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Ogdensburg
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Blade Runner, Raising Arizona, The Iron Giant, Midnight Cowboy, Romeo + Juliet, + more
  19. 19

    Jonathan Kimble "J. K." Simmons is an American actor of film, television and stage. He is known for his roles as Dr. Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order, neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger on the HBO prison drama series Oz, Assistant Police Chief Will Pope on the TNT series The Closer, J. Jonah Jameson in ...more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Detroit
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting, Singer
    • Credits: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Juno, True Grit, + more
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    Harold V. Goldstein, PhD, best known by his stage name Harold Gould, was an American actor best known for playing Miles Webber on the 1985-1992 sitcom The Golden Girls and Martin Morgenstern in the 1974-1978 sitcom Rhoda. Gould acted in film and television for nearly 50 years, appearing in more than 300 ...more

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    • Age: Died at 87 (1923-2010)
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Schenectady
    • Profession: Actor
    • Credits: Gone with the Wind, The Sting, Freaky Friday, Brother Bear, Patch Adams, + more
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