Rupert Pupkin Speaks: My Favorite Character Actors ""

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Favorite Character Actors

Just got a chance to have brief conversation with one of my heroes today, DICK MILLER himself! He is certainly among my all time favorite character actors and is a guy who elevates any film that he's in through his mere presence. He truly does that. So this got me thinking of other actors who really elevate material by being there and delivering solid performances again and again. Here's what I came up with off the top of my head:

1. Warren Oates
2. Henry Silva

3. Elisha Cook Jr.

4. John Heard

5. Harry Dean Stanton

6. Lee Van Cleef

7. Yaphet Kotto

8. Gary Busey

9. Slim Pickens

10. Dick Miller

11. Scatman Crothers

12. Thelma Ritter

13. Jack Elam

14. Roddy McDowall

15. Ed Lauter
16. M. Emmet Walsh

17. Peter Lorre

18. Dabney Coleman

19. Tom Atkins
20. Joe Spinell

21. Syndey Greenstreet

22. Wlliam Demarest
23. Crispin Glover
24. Timothy Carey
25. Neville Brande

26. Paul Dooley

27. Kenneth McMillan
28. Ruth Gordon
29. Joe Don Baker
30. William Forsythe
31. Aldo Ray
32. Robert Forster

33. Paul Bartel

34. Keenan Wynn

35. Kevin McCarthy

36. J.T Walsh
37. Klaus Kinski
38. Dan Hedaya

39. Brion James
40. Robert Blake

41. Henry Gibson
42. Phillip Baker Hall
43. Mary Woronov

44. Ward Bond

45. Dean Cameron

46. Peter Riegert
47. Dub Taylor
48. P.J. Soles
49. R. Lee Ermey

50. Scott Glenn

51. R.G Armstrong

52. L.Q. Jones
53. Clint Howard

54. Joe Pantoliano

55. Steve Buscemi

56. Robert Picardo
57. Saul Rubinek
58. Paul Gleason

59. Robert Davi


Colonel Mortimer said...

Awesome list Rupert! It's sad that American films no longer seem to have much interest in shepherding this type of actor.

Was your Dick Miller conversation for a GGTMC interview? If so, consider me psyched! I see Mr. Miller all the time at Silver Spoon in West Hollywood, but he's always with a group of people and I feel like a dolt going up to him and saying hi.

Speaking of Miller one Joe Dante regular is missing (you've included McCarthy) from your list: Robert Picardo!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Yes the interview is for the GGTMC. Not a super long one(less than 10 mins) but I was so honored to just get to chat with him for a little bit. The Samurai and I will record a little Dick Miller discussion/intro for it at some point and we'll put it out.
Good call on Picardo!

Aaron said...

OK, so I'm stoked to see Crispin Glover on there. And Warren Oates at the top? Yes sir. It's great to see Mary Woronov get some props as well. She starred in a lot of my favorite genre movies. Overall, a great list. But no Daniel Day-Lewis? He would have been close to the top of my list, if not the very top. Robert De Niro as well. And Pacino, but those are the obvious choices.

Hal said...

Phenomenal list of talent there.

One glaring omission though, maybe the quintessential character actor: the great Jack Warden.

Hal said...

Some others who would make my list:

John Vernon
Norman Fell
Burgess Meredith

And my pick for the best actress working today, though she technically wouldn't be a "character actor" since she's played several leads, but she certainly elevates *anything* she's in: Alfre Woodard.

Karl Brezdin said...

Awesome list Mr. Pupkin.

I'd also throw my hat in the ring for Geoffrey Lewis. He had a great run with Eastwood.

SteveQ said...

Love this list. I could add to it forever, but my favorite (forgotten) character actor is Jack MacGowran. Glad to see Harry Dean Stanton near the top; I love his work so much - and he sings! check out "Across the Borderline" with Ry Cooder - but, boy, I wish I hadn't met him... maybe if he'd been sober.

Unknown said...

Fantastic list! Those are pretty much everybody I'd have on mine too. Good to see the likes of Timothy Carey and J.T. Walsh on there. And I totally agree with Warren Oates being #1. He's The Man as far as I'm concerned.

Rupert Pupkin said...

AARON-Good call on all your suggestions, was trying to keep my list to older actors that get a bit less press for the most part, I think that's the only reason I missed those guys. Also if they've had a lot of leading roles I leaned away from some guys. Also depended on the type of leading roles they got. What am I talking about, there's no rhyme or reason to anything I do.

HAL-All great suggestions sir! Burgess Meredith was one I meant to add yesterday and Jack Warden certainly deserves some recognition too. Both fantastic actors. For that matter Martin Balsam might be a candidate too.

KARL-Geoffrey Lewis! Good call, always solid.

Steve-Jack MacGowran didn't ring a bell for me, but his filmography sure does. I bet I'd recognize him. When did you meet Harry Dean Stanton?

JD-There were so many people I kept thinking of, I'm sure this list could truly be endless. Carey and Walsh are both interesting guys for me for sure. And how can you not got with Oates? THE MAN indeed! Love the avatar btw!

Graygrrrl said...

What, no Stephen Tobolowsky ?

Aaron said...

Ahh, that makes sense.

Shiftless said...

Brion James and Dean Cameron - nice! The whole list is outstanding. Two guys I would add would be Scott Wilson and Paul Koslo.

Rupert Pupkin said...

-Graygrrrl-total oversight on my part. Love him!

-Shiftless-both great picks!

bigfanboy said...

Absolutely love this. I have a few movie buff friends who I always talk about "character actors" with. I was so sad when I heard Kevin McCarthy died. I met him in 2001, and even at 87 he was full of energy and fantastic stories. I can only hope if I reach that age that I have half the enthusiasm he does. I also love Dick Miller... and Robert Picardo... heck, anyone Joe Dante used repeatedly. Great post sir!

Ned Merrill said...

Awesome list, Bri! You got so many of my all-time favorites on here, it's hard to find anyone to add. Some more to add to the stew or, more appropriately, an alternate list. Tried to get some more women on there. It's tough:

Burt Young
Tim McIntire
John Vernon
William Smith
Martin Kove
Tracey Walter
Jeff Corey
Linda Manz
Thomas Mitchell
Seymour Cassel
Richard Jaeckel
Lionel Stander
Eugene Pallette
Bert Remsen
Susan Tyrrell
Mickey Knox
Kenneth Mars
Donald Moffat
Bill Duke
Sully Boyar
Marc Lawrence
Carol Kane
E.G. Daily
Robert Prosky
Dolph Sweet
Jack Kehoe
Cliff DeYoung
Bill McKinney
Frank McRae
David Patrick Kelly
J.C. Quinn
Edward Everett Horton
Richard Dysart
Peter Maloney
Frank McHugh
Amy Madigan
Charles Hallahan
Robert Joy
Michael J. Pollard
Richard Libertini
Chelcie Ross
James Remar
Harry Northup
Michael Talbott
Lee J. Cobb
Beulah Bondi
Pamela Reed
George Dzundza
Guy Kibbee
Gerrit Graham
James Gammon
Charles Cyphers
Jonathan Banks
Ned Beatty
Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Charles Napier
Gregory Walcott
Tony LoBianco
Annie Potts
Andy Romano
Wendie Jo Sperber
Bob Balaban
Robert Ridgely
Ed Begley Jr.
Brian Keith
Dan Duryea
David Huddleston
Wallace Ford
Billy Green Bush
Barbara Barrie

Ned Merrill said...

Geoffrey Lewis