Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Who's that guy? I love him! What's his name?

Janet has asked another Tuesday question (where DOES she come up with this stuff?) at her blog The Art of Getting By (

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 Dogma

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 Mussolini

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

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 Con Air

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.


Reel Fanatic said...

Colm Meaney is definitely one of my favorites .. have you seen "The Commitments" and "The Snapper," two Irish movies based on Roddy Doyle novels? He's great as the pater familias of an Irish family, and the movies are hilarious

Sayre said...

No, I haven't seen those. Must add to my list of movies to rent...

factor 10 said...

OOOh, definitely rent the Commitments!! I was just talking about it with a co-worker...Wasn't MOrse also on Hill Street Blues, or was that someone else?

I heart Oliver Platt. a lot.

Sharon GR said...

Loved 12 Monkeys. Loved David Morse in 12 Monkeys. Love David Morse in practically everything he does.

Colm Meany is a great choice too. (I love the Committments, but every time I watch it I miss the first ten minutes- it takes me that long to get used to the strong accents, so I miss the dialogue at the beginning.)

Apricoco said...

I agree with you on David Morse. And Colm Meany. BTW, I like you even though your English, I just got back from Ireland and I know what those people did to mine! LOL.

Sayre said...

Oooo... Oliver Platt! Love that guy. I think most people know who he is now, though. Adored him in Simon Birch and Lake Placid.

Okay - I've got several recommendations for The Commitments, so that will definitely be my next rental!

nikki said...

wow, is it sad that i have no good reccomendations?!?!? i must be a loser that way!

Jeff said...

Colm - short for Malcolm?

Sayre said...

Hmm... I don't know. He's always just been Colm to my knowledge.

Jeff said...

I think we could all go on (and on and on) if we really delve deeply enough.

Rickman simply did not make my list as with the Harry Potter films, I personally felt he was too well known. Silly me. Add Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (for the latter I felt he was one of two bright spots for the otherwise weak film).

Janet said...

Oh David Morse is a good choice. I am sorry I wasnt here in awhile and didnt get to read about the diabetes scare. My boyfriend just went through the same thing and it sounds like the same results. The good news is my site seems to be working again so hopefully I wont be MIA anymore!:)

Sayre said...

Yay! I had to wait a while for it to load, but I could always get to your site. I wonder what was up with that?