List of Famous Character Actors People

List of Famous Character Actors

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List of famous character actors, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top character actors in the world? This includes the most prominent character actors, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable character actors is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic character actors were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned character actors.

This list contains people like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tim Allen.

From reputable, prominent, and well known character actors to the lesser known character actors of today, these are some of the best professionals in the character actor field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous character actors ever?" and "What are the names of famous character actors?" then you're in the right place. (183 items)

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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

    Jane Marie Lynch is an American actress, singer, and comedian. She gained fame in Christopher Guest's improv mockumentary pictures such as Best in Show. Lynch's television cameos include an appearance in the Nickelodeon situation comedy iCarly and the Showtime dark comedy series Weeds. Lynch had a ...more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: USA, Evergreen Park, Illinois
    • Profession: Comedian, Author, Actor, Voice acting, Singer
    • Credits: Glee, Two and a Half Men, The Fugitive, Wreck-It Ralph, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, + more
  4. 4

    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: Red Hook, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor
    • Credits: Good, Mystic River, The Godfather Part III, The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, + more
  5. 5

    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
  6. 6
    Michael Sheen
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    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
  7. 7
    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
  8. 8
    Brooke Vincent
    Photo: Freebase

    Brooke Levi Vincent is an English actress. She is known for her portrayal of Sophie Webster in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street from 12 May 2004, she took over the role from Emma Woodward, who previously played the role of Sophie.more

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    • Age: age 23
    • Birthplace: Audenshaw, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Character actor, Actor
    • Credits: Coronation Street, Coronation Street: Out of Africa
  9. 9
    Paul Lynde
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Paul Edward Lynde was an American comedian and actor. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye ...more

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    • Age: Died at 56 (1926-1982)
    • Birthplace: Mount Vernon, USA, Ohio
    • Profession: Character actor, Comedian, Actor
    • Credits: Bewitched, Charlotte's Web, Hollywood Squares, Bye Bye Birdie, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, + more
  10. 10
    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, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Dubbing, Actor, Teacher
    • Credits: Inception, The Usual Suspects, The Last of the Mohicans, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Romeo + Juliet, + more
  11. 11

    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
  12. 12

    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
  13. 13
    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: Sheffield, Alabama, USA
    • 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
  14. 14
    Charles Napier
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    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
  15. 15

    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
  16. 16
    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
  17. 17
    Keenan Wynn
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Keenan Wynn was an American character actor. His expressive face was his stock in trade, and though he rarely carried the lead role, he got prominent billing in most of his film and television parts.more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1916-1986)
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Character actor, Actor
    • Credits: Once Upon a Time in the West, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Touch of Evil, Nashville, The Last Unicorn, + more
  18. 18
    Michael Gough
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Francis Michael Gough was an English character actor who made over 150 film and television appearances. He is known for his roles in the Hammer Horror Films from 1958, and for his recurring role as Alfred Pennyworth in all four films of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman series.more

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    • Age: Died at 95 (1916-2011)
    • Birthplace: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    • Profession: Character actor, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Alice in Wonderland, Batman & Robin, + more
  19. 19
    Dean Jagger
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Dean Jeffries Jagger was an American film, stage and television actor who received an Academy Award for his role in Henry King's Twelve O'Clock High.more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1903-1991)
    • Birthplace: USA, Columbus Grove, Ohio
    • Profession: Character actor, Actor, Teacher
    • Credits: Alligator, Bad Day at Black Rock, White Christmas, Twelve O'Clock High, King Creole, + more
  20. 20
    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
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