Carrying on with my theme of five best, let’s take a look at my five favorite character actors. These are actors who aren’t top tier, movie-carrying actors. These are the guys that round out a cast and oftentimes steal the show.
5. William Sadler: The guy is versatile. He’s played a rugged special forces colonel (Die Hard 2), Death (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) and a likable inmate (Shawshank Redemption) with equal sensitivity.
4. J.K. Simmons: Whether it is playing the resident psychologist, Skoda, in the Law & Order Series, or his recurring role as J.J. Jameson in the Spiderman movies, Simmons seems to know how to bring special touches to his work.
3. William Fichtner: From a crooked businessman in Heat, to hardass fisherman in The Perfect Storm, Fichtner always delivers a memorable performance.
2. Harry Dean Stanton: From Cool Hand Luke, to Alien, to Repo Man, to Red Dawn, few actors alive have been in as many “hit” movies as Harry.
1. Chris Cooper: Cooper first came to my attention in the highly underrated film Lone Star. He’s made several really great films since then, but probably the one he is most famous for is the militant father in American Beauty. Cooper is just fascinating on screen, no matter what he’s doing.
Maybe later I’ll post my favorite character actresses.