Great actors who aren’t household names

by travistenny | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

1. Alfred Molina

Actor | Spider-Man 2

Alfred Molina was born in 1953 in London, England. His mother, Giovanna (Bonelli), was an Italian-born cook and cleaner, and his father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish-born waiter and chauffeur. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. His stage work includes two major Royal ...

2. Brian Cox

Actor | X2

Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline Cox, maiden surname McCann, a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish ...

3. Brendan Gleeson

Actor | The Guard

Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high ...

4. Sam Neill

Actor | Jurassic Park

Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities ...

5. Dylan Baker

Actor | Happiness

Dylan Baker was born on October 7, 1959 in Syracuse, New York, USA. He is an actor and director, known for Happiness (1998), Revolutionary Road (2008) and Trick 'r Treat (2007). He has been married to Becky Ann Baker since 1987. They have one child.

6. Bill Nunn

Actor | Regarding Henry

Commanding performer Bill Nunn made his feature debut in fellow Morehouse College graduate Spike Lee's School Daze (1988), but really etched himself into moviegoers' minds as a formidable screen presence in his second film with Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989), playing Radio Raheem, whose ...

7. Cillian Murphy

Actor | 28 Days Later...

Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law ...

8. Elya Baskin

Actor | Spider-Man 2

Elya Baskin is a Soviet Latvia-born American actor, best-known for his work on Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Name of the Rose (1986) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). He was born on August 11, 1950 in Riga, USSR [now Latvia] as Elya Zalmanovich Baskin to Zalman and Frieda Baskin, both of Russian Jewish descent. ...

9. Ted Raimi

Actor | Deadwax

Ted Raimi was born on December 14, 1965 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as Theodore R. Raimi. He is an actor and writer, known for Deadwax (2018), Ash vs Evil Dead (2015) and The Midnight Meat Train (2008).

10. Ron Perkins

Actor | The Prestige

Ron Perkins is an actor, known for The Prestige (2006), Spider-Man (2002) and Reindeer Games (2000).

11. Michael Papajohn

Actor | Jurassic World

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Michael graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1983.

The Texas Rangers drafted him in 1985, but he chose instead to attend Louisiana State University on a baseball scholarship. He was the starting center-fielder on the first LSU team to go to the College World ...

12. Ted Levine

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Born in May 1957 in Bellaire, Ohio, he was among the last graduating class of the Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts. Attended Marlboro College in Vermont. Performed in summer stock and regional theaters in Vermont, Michigan and West Virginia before settling in Chicago and joining The ...

13. Joe Manganiello

Actor | True Blood

Joe Manganiello is an American actor. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Susan (Brachanow) and Charles John Manganiello, and has a younger brother, Nicholas. His father is of Italian descent and his mother has German/Austrian/Croatian and Armenian ancestry. Joe was raised in Mount Lebanon ...

14. Daniel Gillies

Actor | The Originals

Daniel Gillies was born on 14 March 1976 in Winnipeg, Canada and moved to New Zealand at a young age. Though born into a family of strong medical background (his father is a pediatrician, his mother a nurse, and his great-great-great-grandfather is the renowned ENT/plastic surgery pioneer Sir ...

15. Scott Glenn

Actor | The Hunt for Red October

Scott Glenn was born January 26, 1939, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Hope Elizabeth and Theodore Glenn, a salesman. As he grew up in Appalachia, his health was poor; he was bedridden for a year and doctors predicted he would limp for the rest of his life. During long periods of illness, Glenn was...

16. Kevin Corrigan

Actor | True Romance

A native of the Bronx, New York, Kevin Corrigan has been acting and writing since the age of 15. He made his film debut in Lost Angels (1989) and around that time, when he was just 17, his original play "The Boiler Room" was produced by the Young Playwrights Festival of New York. He has gone on to ...

17. Gerry Becker

Actor | Spider-Man

Gerry Becker was born on April 11, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He is an actor, known for Spider-Man (2002), Happiness (1998) and The Game (1997).

18. John Michael Higgins

Actor | A Mighty Wind

John Michael Higgins was born on February 12, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He is an actor, known for A Mighty Wind (2003), Pitch Perfect (2012) and Best in Show (2000). He has been married to Margaret Welsh since February 1, 2003. They have two children.

19. Bruno Kirby

Actor | City Slickers

Native New Yorker and Italianate Bruno Kirby tended towards assertive, pushy, streetwise characters and was armed with a highly distinctive scratchy tenor voice that complemented his slim eyes and droopy puss and accentuated his deadpan comedic instincts on film and TV. The well-regarded character ...

20. Al Lettieri

Actor | The Godfather

Menacing looking Italian American actor who developed into the quintessential on-screen hoodlum via several strong roles in key crime films of the early 1970s. Lettieri played the villain against some of Hollywood's biggest screen names including chasing Steve McQueen in The Getaway (1972), ...

21. Aasif Mandvi

Actor | Million Dollar Arm

Aasif Mandvi was born on March 5, 1966 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India as Aasif Mandviwala. He is an actor and producer, known for Million Dollar Arm (2014), Evil (2019) and The Proposal (2009). He has been married to Shaifali Puri since August 26, 2017.

22. Daniel Dae Kim

Actor | Insurgent

Daniel Dae Kim has made a career of creating multifaceted and stereotype-breaking roles as an actor, director and now, producer. Prior to his seven-season portrayal of Chin Ho Kelly on "Hawaii Five-0," Kim was best known for his role as Jin Soo Kwon on the hit TV series "Lost," for which he shared ...

23. Bruce Campbell

Actor | Bubba Ho-Tep

In 1979 with his Detroit friends, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell raised $350,000 for a low-budget film, The Evil Dead (1981), in which he starred and co-executive produced. Completed piecemeal over four years, the film first gained notoriety in England where it became the best-selling ...

24. Brent Briscoe

Actor | A Simple Plan

After graduating from the University of Missouri, Brent Briscoe began his career as an apprentice at The Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre in 1985. Thereafter, he spent several years on the road, starring in the theatrical productions "Greater Tuna" and "A Tuna Christmas." In 1994, he switched gears ...

25. Peter Boyle

Actor | Everybody Loves Raymond

A bold, blunt instrument of hatred and violence at the onset of his film career, Peter Boyle recoiled from that repugnant, politically incorrect "working class" image to eventually play gruff, gentler bears and even comedy monsters in a career that lasted four decades.

He was born on October 18, ...

26. David Thewlis

Actor | Naked

David Thewlis was born David Wheeler in 1963 in Blackpool, Lancashire, to Maureen (Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler, and lived with his parents above their combination wallpaper and toy shop during his childhood. Originally, he came to London with his band Door 66, however he changed his plans and...

27. Derek Jacobi

Actor | Gladiator

Preeminent British classical actor of the first post-Olivier generation, Derek Jacobi was knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre, and, in fact, is only the second to enjoy the honor of holding TWO knighthoods, Danish and English (Olivier was the other). Modest and unassuming in nature, ...

28. Vincent D'Onofrio

Actor | Men in Black

Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and server, and Gene D'Onofrio, a theatre production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent and has two older sisters. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American ...

29. David Oyelowo

Actor | Selma

David Oyelowo also known as 'David O', is a classically trained stage actor who has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.

David ...

30. Tim Roth

Actor | Rob Roy

Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to ...

31. Robert Patrick

Actor | Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Robert Hammond Patrick Jr. was born on November 5, 1958 in Marietta, Georgia, and raised in Columbus, Ohio, the eldest of five children. He attended the Bowling Green State University in Ohio, but dropped out after he took a drama course and became interested in acting. After leaving college, he ...

32. Michael Biehn

Actor | Aliens

Michael Connell Biehn was born on July 31, 1956 in Anniston, Alabama, to Marcia (Connell) and Don Biehn, a lawyer. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and at age 14 moved with his family to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where he won a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona. He left prematurely two ...

33. Wayne Knight

Actor | Jurassic Park

Actor Wayne Knight achieved television immortality assaying the role of the frenetic mailman "Newman", nemesis of the eponymous lead character in the classic TV series Seinfeld (1989). He also appeared in Jurassic Park (1993) as "Dennis Nedry" and in one of the most notorious scenes in American ...

34. Steven Bauer

Actor | Scarface

Steven Bauer was born on December 2, 1956 in Havana, Cuba as Esteban Ernesto Echevarria. He is an actor and producer, known for Scarface (1983), Traffic (2000) and Primal Fear (1996).

35. Omar Epps

Actor | House M.D.

Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection (2014).

Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's ...

36. Stanley Anderson

Actor | Armageddon

A Theatre Degree graduate of San Jose State College in the sixties, Stanley Anderson began his professional acting career in 1967. Prior to 1990 and his work in film and television, he had spent twenty-three years in over two hundred productions as a professional actor working at (among others) ...



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