Janet has asked another Tuesday question (where DOES she come up with this stuff?) at her blog The Art of Getting By (www.theartofgettingby.com).
The acting world is full of household names. Harrison Ford. Tom Cruise. Meryl Streep. But today's post isn't about them. Today I want to hear about the actors who are your favorite little known gems. You know, the type that you love to see in a movie, but from time to time even you have to look up their names?
These people are the great character actors and actresses of our time and deserve credit where credit is due-- if only people knew who they were giving credit to.
I love ensemble movies and TV shows... some of the most marvelous actors and actresses show up, sometimes going on to greater glory, sometimes just being a name on the tip of the tongue.
Shows that include: Tales from the Crypt; Twilight Zone; Amazing Stories; and even the various incarnations of Star Trek!
Here are some of my tip-of-the-tongue favorites. Of course, thanks to JK Rowling, two of them will forever be etched in people's minds as professors at Hogwarts. It's good to see them busy!
ALAN RICKMAN Alan has ALWAYS been around. A serious stage actor before making the transition to movies, his bit parts were memorable enough to make him a star - that no one knew. I absolutely adored him as the Voice of God in Dogma, laughed out loud at his spoof on Mr. Spock in Galaxy Quest. He was also in Love Actually as a tired older man contemplating a fling with a much younger woman. But from now on, he will probably be most remembered as Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series of movies.
MAGGIE SMITH Dame Maggie Smith has been around a long, long time. She and Dame Judi Dench have paired up a few times, but it's always Dench people remember. While the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a secret guilty pleasure, it's not because it was such a terrific movie - it's Maggie Smith's character that makes it all worthwhile. Because she is also Professor McGonogill in the Harry Potter series, Maggie's gone mainstream. She also had parts in Sister Act and First Wives Club, but it was Tea with Mussolini that made me sit up and take note of her AND her name.
DAVID MORSE Who? you might ask. Ah, David has had parts large and small in tons of films and televison shows. It took me forever to even find out the guy's name. He's semi-famous now due to his show "Hack", but before he was the hack, he was in Crazy in Alabama, Hearts in Atlantis, The Green Mile, 12 Monkeys, and the Langoliers. A good, strong and silent type. If he's in it, I generally check it out.
COLM MEANY He may be Irish (I'm of English descent), but I love him anyway. He's also got a film-ography that's a mile long. Perfect for cops, priests, or security officers in space, Colm Meany took my heart with his red hair and freckles and oh-so-Irish way about him. Colm's credits include: Die Hard 2; Scarlett; Con Air; The Road to Wellville; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; The Last of the Mohicans; and both Star Treks Deep Space Nine and Next Generation.