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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. Fans will also enjoy Philip Seymour Hoffman's best performances in bad movies and greatest actors who never won an Oscar. 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 of popular male character actors include J. K. Simmons, Gary Oldman, and Paul Giamatti.

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?"

  • Photo: Fredrick Brown / Getty Images
    Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (; born June 6, 1967) is an American actor and producer. He first garnered attention for his breakout role in Private Parts (1997) as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, which led to him playing more supporting roles such as Sergeant Hill in Saving Private Ryan (1998), Bob Zmuda in Man on the Moon (1999), John Maxwell in Big Momma's House (2000) and Marty Wolf in Big Fat Liar (2002), and Johnson J. Johnson in Thunderpants (2002). Paul Giamatti considered the latter film to be the highest point in his career. He won acclaim for his leading roles as Harvey Pekar in American Splendor (2003), Miles Raymond in Sideways (2004) and Mike Flaherty in Win Win (2011) while...  more
    • Age: 54
    • Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

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  • Eli Herschel Wallach (; December 7, 1915 – June 24, 2014) 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", with over 90 film credits. On stage, he often co-starred with his wife, Anne Jackson, becoming one of the best-known acting couples in the American theater. As a stage and screen character actor, Wallach had one of the longest-ever careers in show business, spanning 62 years from his Broadway debut to his last two major Hollywood studio movies (which were released in the...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 98 (1915-2014)
    • Birthplace: Red Hook, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Alternative Name: Ely Wallach

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  • Gary Leonard Oldman (born 21 March 1958) is an English actor and filmmaker who has performed in theatre, film, and television. Known for his versatility and expressive acting style, Oldman is regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Among other accolades, he has won an Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, along with nominations for an Emmy Award and the Palme d'Or. In 2011, Empire readers voted him the recipient of the Empire Icon Award. Oldman began acting in theatre in 1979, and made his earliest screen appearances in Remembrance (1982) and Meantime (1983). He continued to lead a stage career,...  more
    • Age: 63
    • Birthplace: New Cross, London, England, London, United Kingdom
    • Alternative Name: Maurice Escargot, Gary von Oldman

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  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014) was an American actor, director, and producer. Best known for his distinctive supporting and character roles–typically lowlifes, eccentrics, bullies, and misfits—Hoffman acted in many films from the early 1990s until his death in 2014. Drawn to theater as a teenager, Hoffman studied acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He began his screen career in a 1991 episode of Law & Order and started to appear in films in 1992. He gained recognition for his supporting work, notably in Scent of a Woman (1992), Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), Patch Adams (1998), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 46 (1967-2014)
    • Birthplace: Fairport, New York, United States of America
    • Alternative Name: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Phil Hoffman, Philip Hoffman

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