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POPULAR 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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Paul Lynde is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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 ...more

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Age: Died at 56 (1926-1982)

Birthplace: Mount Vernon, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Character actor, Comedian, Actor

Credits: Bewitched, Charlotte's Web, Hollywood Squares, Bye Bye Birdie The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, + more

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Pete Postlethwaite is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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, ...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 Lost World: Jurassic Park, Romeo + Juliet

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Jim Broadbent is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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Jim Broadbent is an actor. ...more

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Age: 66

Birthplace: Holton cum Beckering, United Kingdom

Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting

Credits: Gangs of New York, Moulin Rouge!, Cloud Atlas, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Also Ranked

#42 on The Best English Actors of All Time

#30 on The Best Living English Actors

#46 on The Greatest British Actors of All Time

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Clancy Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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: 58

Birthplace: Urbana, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Businessperson, Actor, Voice acting

Credits: The Shawshank Redemption, Starship Troopers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Highlander

Also Ranked

#45 on The All-Time Best Voice Actors

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Fred Thompson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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: 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

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Charles Napier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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 ...more

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Age: Died at 75 (1936-2011)

Birthplace: Kentucky, United States of America

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

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Wallace Shawn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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 ...more

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Age: 73

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Screenwriter, Essayist, Actor, Voice acting Stand-up comedian, + more

Credits: Toy Story, Toy Story 3, The Princess Bride, Toy Story 2

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John Carradine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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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, ...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

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