Bit part

Last updated

A bit part is a role in which there is direct interaction with the principal actors and no more than five lines of dialogue, often referred to as a five-or-less or under-five in the United States, or under sixes in British television, or a walk-on part with no dialogue.

A bit part is higher than that of an extra and lower than that of a supporting actor. An actor who regularly performs in bit roles, either as a hobby or to earn a living, is referred to as a bit player, a term also used to describe an aspiring actor who has not yet broken into supporting or leading roles.

Unlike extras, who do not typically interact with principals, actors in bit parts are sometimes listed in the credits. An exception to this practice is the cameo appearance, wherein a well-known actor or other celebrity appears in a bit part; it is common for such appearances to be uncredited.

In MGM's 1951 screen version of the musical Show Boat , the role of the cook Queenie (Frances E. Williams) was reduced from a significant supporting role in the stage version to a bit part in the film. Williams, whose appearance was not intended as a cameo, was not listed at all in the credits. On the other hand, William Warfield, whose role as Joe, Queenie's husband, was also drastically shortened in the film from the stage original, did receive screen credit because he sang Ol' Man River .

Bit parts are often significant in the story line and sometimes pivotal, as in Jack Albertson's role as a postal worker in the 1947 feature film Miracle on 34th Street . Some characters with bit parts attract significant attention. Konstantin Stanislavski remarked that "there are no small parts, only small actors." [1]

Dabbs Greer, a bit actor, once said, "Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead." [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance or voice part of a well-known person in a work of the performing arts. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance or renowned people making uncredited appearances. Short appearances by celebrities, film directors, politicians, athletes or musicians are common. A crew member of the movie or show playing a minor role can be referred to as a cameo as well, such as Alfred Hitchcock's frequently performed cameos.

Character actor Actor who predominantly plays unusual or eccentric characters

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.

Opening credits The list of the most important members of a film TV, or video game production shown at the beginning of the work

In a motion picture, television program or video game, the opening credits or opening titles are shown at the very beginning and list the most important members of the production. They are now usually shown as text superimposed on a blank screen or static pictures, or sometimes on top of action in the show. There may or may not be accompanying music. When opening credits are built into a separate sequence of their own, the correct term is title sequence.

A supporting actor is an actor who performs a role in a play or film below that of the leading actor(s), and above that of a bit part. In recognition of important nature of this work, the theater and film industries give separate awards to the best supporting actors and actresses.

A leading actor, leading actress, or simply lead, plays the role of the protagonist of a film, television show or play. The word lead may also refer to the largest role in the piece, and leading actor may refer to a person who typically plays such parts or an actor with a respected body of work. Some actors are typecast as leads, but most play the lead in some performances and supporting or character roles in others.

Casting (performing arts) Pre-production process for selecting actors, dancers, singers, or extras for roles or parts

In the performing arts industry such as theatre, film, or television, a casting is a pre-production process for selecting a certain type of actor, dancer, singer, or extra for a particular role or part in a script, screenplay, or teleplay. This process is typically utilized for a motion picture, television program, documentary, music video, play, or television advertisement, etc. This involvement in a dramatic production, advertisement, and or industrial video is intended for an audience, or studio audience.

Billing (performing arts) Performing arts term

Billing is a performing arts term used in referring to the order and other aspects of how credits are presented for plays, films, television, or other creative works. Information given in billing usually consists of the companies, actors, directors, producers, and other crew members.

A background actor or extra, is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera or ballet production, who appears in a nonspeaking or nonsinging (silent) capacity, usually in the background. War films and epic films often employ background actors in large numbers: some films have featured hundreds or even thousands of paid background actors as cast members. Likewise, grand opera can involve many background actors appearing in spectacular productions.

Dabbs Greer American actor

Robert William "Dabbs" Greer was an American character actor in film and television for over 60 years. With nearly 100 movie roles and appearances in nearly 600 television episodes of various series, Greer may be best remembered as series regular "Mr. Jonas", as Coach Ossie Weiss in the sitcom Hank and as series regular Reverend Robert Alden in Little House on the Prairie. Greer may be better known to later audiences as the 108-year-old version of the character played by Tom Hanks in 1999's The Green Mile.

Joseph Isaac Fleishaker was an American character actor best known for his appearances in low-budget cult and horror movies, in particular those produced by New York-based independent film company Troma Entertainment, who have billed Fleishaker as "Troma's biggest action star", humorously alluding to his morbid obesity which surpassed five hundred pounds.

<i>Conversations with Other Women</i>

Conversations with Other Women is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Hans Canosa, written by Gabrielle Zevin, starring Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter. The film won Best Actress for Bonham Carter at the 2005 Tokyo International Film Festival.

<i>Show Boat</i> (1951 film) 1951 film by George Sidney, Roger Edens

Show Boat is a 1951 American musical romantic comedy-drama film, based on the 1927 stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber. It was made by MGM, adapted for the screen by John Lee Mahin, produced by Arthur Freed and directed by George Sidney.

Actor Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. This can also be considered an "actor's role," which was called this due to scrolls being used in the theaters. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

<i>Degrassi Goes Hollywood</i> 19th episode of the eighth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation

Paradise City: Degrassi Goes Hollywood is a 2009 Canadian film adaptation of the popular, long-running teenage drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. The movie premiered in the United States on The N on 14 August 2009, and in Canada on CTV on 30 August 2009. It was directed by veteran Degrassi actor-director, Stefan Brogren. Degrassi Goes Hollywood is the first feature-length movie of the Next Generation cast, and the second feature-length film in the Degrassi franchise, the first being 1992's School's Out in which Brogren co-starred. Degrassi Goes Hollywood is the first in-continuity Degrassi production recorded and/or set principally outside of Canada. For syndication purposes, the film has been shown as a four-part episode titled "Paradise City".

Hilda Fenemore British actress

Hilda Lilian Fenemore was an English actress with a prolific career in film and television from the 1940s to the 1990s. Fenemore played mainly supporting roles which were characterised in her obituary in The Stage as "friends, neighbours, mothers and passers-by"; however her many credits meant that she fell into the category of actors who a majority of film and TV viewers would have been unable to name, yet whose face was instantly recognisable. Her longest-running role was recurring character Jennie Wren in TV series Dixon of Dock Green, who she played for six seasons between 1960 and 1965.

An under-five, also known as an under-5 or a U/5, is a television or film actor whose character has fewer than five lines of dialogue. The term is used in SAG-AFTRA contracts and has been used when referring to performers in a daytime soap opera.

Arthur Gould-Porter

Arthur Gould-Porter was an English actor who appeared in films and on television and stage. His film and TV career spanned from 1942 to 1977, and although mainly a character actor he is remembered for his part as Captain Greer in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and for his reoccurring role as Ravenswood the butler in The Beverley Hillbillies., He was sometimes credited as Arthur E. Gould-Porter and A. E. Gould-Porter.

Inaamulhaq

Inaamulhaq is an Indian actor and screenwriter who has been part of several commercial and critically acclaimed Bollywood films, including Filmistaan, Jolly LLB 2 and Airlift. After winning many accolades for his performances from the audience, jury and critics Inaamulhaq has bagged the Best Actor Award at the DCSAFF for outstanding performance in his latest film Nakkash. and Best Actor Award at India International Film Festival of Boston (IIFFB) 2019.

Michael Greer

Michael Greer was an American actor, comedian and cabaret performer. He is best known for his appearances in the films The Gay Deceivers and Fortune and Men's Eyes, and for being one of the first openly gay actors to appear in major Hollywood films.

References

  1. Hooton, Christopher (26 August 2016). "The actors consistently choosing the best movies". The Independent . London. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  2. Nelson, Valerie J. (1 May 2007). "Dabbs Greer, 90; busy character actor played everyman-type roles". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 18 October 2016.