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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)
Paul Giamatti is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti is an American actor. Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including The Truman Show, The Negotiator, and Man ...more
Tim Allen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Eli Wallach is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Michael Sheen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Charles Durning is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Brooke Vincent is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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, ...more
Paul Lynde is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Pete Postlethwaite is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Jim Broadbent is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
Jim Broadbent is an actor.
Clancy Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Fred Thompson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Charles Napier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Wallace Shawn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
John Carradine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Keenan Wynn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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
Michael Gough is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Dean Jagger is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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.
Richard Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Andy Devine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
Andrew Vabre "Andy" Devine was an American character actor and comic cowboy sidekick known for his distinctive, whiny voice.
Richard Dunn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more
Scarlett Alice Johnson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
Scarlett Alice Johnson is an English actress who came to national attention early as Vicki Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. She has more recently played the role of Laura Derbyshire in ...more
Timothy Spall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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. ...more
David Strathairn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Character Actors
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 ...more