Live Poll: IMDb Users Favorite Character Actor

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  • Updated 1 month ago
  • (Edited)
who is your favorite character actor?

A character actor is a supporting actor who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters. The term, often contrasted with that of leading actor, is somewhat abstract and open to interpretation. In a literal sense, all actors can be considered character actors since they all play "characters", but in the usual sense it is an actor who plays a distinctive and important supporting role.

List: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls049610122/

Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/Cmb_gJgvwKo/
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riverotter

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Posted 5 months ago

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DIGGER

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Hi there, RIVEROTTER.  My name is Ryan Williams, but you may call me DIGGER.  I'm sort of getting myself reoriented with this site, as I've been away from it for a very long while, if you get my drift.  Anyways, in regards to this thread of yours, I'm hoping that what I'm including in this post of mine will help matters for you.  It's a web-link to a YOUTUBE video segment that shows some classic character actors, just like you were talking about here, and it includes Ward Bond like on your list, and it has many others that may give you ideas to include their names on your list as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqsjz0bnnFw
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Gitte Løyche

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JASON ROBARDS! Ultimately he became a leading actor, but for many years he was second man to the leading actor   
(Edited)
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riverotter

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added
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NarniaisAwesome

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I suggest Dub Taylor, if he counts.  He seems like a crazy character actor to me.  He's in a lot of cheesy movies, so when comes on screen I know I'm having fun.  But if he doesn't count, that's okay.  :)  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0852305/
(Edited)
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riverotter

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added
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NarniaisAwesome

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Thank you!
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rocky-o

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steven gilborn...michael ironside...walter abel...milo o'shea...stephen root...strother martin...eli wallach...phil leeds (truly a classic)...jack elam...burgess meredith...joe e. louis..bob balaban...etc...


hope these help...
(Edited)
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riverotter

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do you have one that stands out?
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rocky-o

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phil leeds....
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riverotter

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added
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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riverotter,

For your consideration:
Paxton Whitehead
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925717/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925717/bio


... Whitehead was the Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, the second-largest repertory theatre in North America. The Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake began as an amateur summer happening. It developed into a professional, international event, particularly under Paxton Whitehead, its dedicated artistic director from 1966 to 1977. ...
(Edited)
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riverotter

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added
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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riverotter,

Thanks.

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TheMovieSmith

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riverotter

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added
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TheMovieSmith

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Thanks
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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riverotter

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added
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Hoekkie

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Danny DeVito.
Do you see him as a character actor?
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riverotter

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added
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Hoekkie

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Can you correct my name into “Hoekkie”. And I think it’s good to mention a few titles with good supporting roles.
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riverotter

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done
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Hoekkie

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I think Danny DeVito don’t fit in the list. He played a lot of leading roles. Can you replace mine into Mario Brega?
I was thinking about Christoph Waltz, but maybe that one don’t fit either. What do you think?
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riverotter

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changed
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Would you mind much if I extrapolate on your idea riverotter?
Would like a poll about a most memorable single character as an actor. Like Slim above.
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls049631706/

(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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For reference, there are also...
I'm not aware of any older documentaries about this topic featuring character actors prominent in decades further back. I should like to bring up Harry Dean Stanton, but I'm not sure if he spent time as character actor. I remember thinking that he rarely starred in anything. Samuel L. Jackson had been something a character throughout the 1980s and perhaps earlier in the '70s as well.
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riverotter

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Jackson is a leading man.
 I added Stanton
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Jeorj Euler

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Just to note, I was referring to Jackson's pre-star past. He had been a background character or a supporting character many times (for several decades) before he starred in, say, Loaded Weapon (spoof of Lethal Weapon).
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urbanemovies

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I nominate 3 time Oscar winner for actors, Walter Brennan

Academy Awards, USA
1942
Nominee
Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Sergeant York (1941)
1941 Winner
Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The Westerner (1940)
1939 Winner
Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Kentucky (1938)
1937 Winner
Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Come and Get It (1936)

I nominate 6 time Oscar nominee for actresses,Thelma Ritter

Academy Awards, USA 1963 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1960 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Pillow Talk (1959)
1954 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Pickup on South Street (1953)
1953 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
With a Song in My Heart (1952)
1952 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The Mating Season (1951)
1951 Nominee
Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role
All About Eve (1950)

FYC, I assume you are using the term "character actor" in the gender neutral sense. I think a combined male/female answer pool is far more interesting. But, your poll needs more female representation. Maybe asking for one actor and one actress per poll member would balance things out. I would think these actresses would be in the conversation:
Beulah Bondi,
Ruth Gordon
,
Anne Revere,
Ethel Barrymore,
Mercedes McCambridge,
Angela Lansbury,
Marisa Tomei,
Geraldine Page.
Otherwise, changing the question to: Who is your favorite male character actor? would offer more clarity.
(Edited)
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riverotter

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I added brennan. Doing one for user, so if you'd like to change, let me know.
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urbanemovies

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We still need a clarification, whether this includes actresses too. Are you using the term actor in its gender-neutral form or male only; generally when people refer to character actors its both.

Plus, its "urbanemovies" not "urbanmovies", please correct my answer option.

Yes, I WOULD like to change my nomination to Thelma Ritter.
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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SECOND REQUEST please, correct my answer option or remove it altogether.

"urbanemovies" not "urbanmovies" and change my nomination to Thelma Ritter.
(Edited)
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Breumaster

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Does Michael Caine count? He had many supporting roles.
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Breumaster

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I love Bob Gunton. He's one of the finest! Ever! My suggestion:
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0348409/

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Breumaster

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J.T. Walsh was, too. :D (My pick is still Bob Gunton)
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000687/

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riverotter

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no, he's had many leading roles
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Breumaster

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But well, what about Bob Gunton?
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riverotter

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added
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Breumaster

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Nice! Thank you.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Would you mind much if I extrapolate on your idea riverotter?
Would like to do a poll about a most memorable single character as an actor. Like Slim above.
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls049631706/

(Edited)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Then you make that poll, Ed, and it can be kinda related to riverotter's.  :)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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It's polite to ask first.
I'm waiting.
Did that on my Simpsons Character Poll first.
The other Author and I both had our polls go live.
His poll and my poll had links to each others polls.
Live Poll: The Simpsons Best Guest Characters
Live Poll: Your Favorite Episode of The Simpsons
(Edited)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Aww, that's nice.  :)
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.

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I hesitate between John Turturro and Steve Buscemi... and I can't decide!
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Breumaster

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Take Buscemi. He's cooler. ;D
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.

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But Turturro is underrated...
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Breumaster

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Also true.
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NDbportmanfan 1

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George Kennedy
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riverotter

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Breumaster

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Nice pick. Grand Monsieur.
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NarniaisAwesome

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NDbportmanfan 1,
I thought about requesting George, too!  He appeared in some cheesy films that were featured on RiffTrax and then he was on Dallas... he's not a terrible actor, but he's become an inside joke with me, so I like him and I'm glad he will be on the poll!  :)
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NarniaisAwesome

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Also, he never changed through his whole life, lol:
Image result for george kennedy young photos

Related image
Good for him!
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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I'd like to nominate a woman but Denis O'Hare has been my favorite for years. 
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riverotter

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James The Movie Guy

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riverotter

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Jeorj Euler

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That made me think of Michael Rooker whom I'm can scarcely remember starring in anything. I can at least recall Michael Biehn starring in The Terminator and as well as a low-key (possibly made-for-TV) movie Asteroid, but indeed he most often plays a supporting character.
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Breumaster

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Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy II
Cliffhanger
The Walking Dead (tv-series)
Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer (leading role)

These are the titles that come to my mind about Michael Rooker. I guess there are some more I saw. I'd have to search. :) I saw Michael Biehn in some later trash movies.
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riverotter

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Already added my #1 pick, but I'm disappointed no one's nominated John Carradine. :-(
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DIGGER

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Alright, RIVEROTTER.  If it will make you happy, I'll be the one to nominate JOHN CARRADINE.  Just tell me what I have to do to get his name on your list?
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riverotter

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he's on. Thanks!
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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riverotter

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can you choose one?
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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That list is for you to choose.
Makes no difference to me.
:):)
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riverotter

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went with Lorre 
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Cool
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Pencho15

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If he counts I'll nominate my favorite actor, Bob Peck
(Edited)
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riverotter

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added
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riverotter

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Anyone want to nominate John Hawkes? https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370035/?ref_=tt_cl_t4
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riverotter

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anyone
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NarniaisAwesome

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Are you allowing people to have 2nd picks?
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Dracko

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Max Von Sydow, do you think he can fit in?
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riverotter

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Stephen Atwood

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Eli Wallach 

Please also note that it's IMDb not IMDB.
(Edited)
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riverotter

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added and changed.