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.
A character actor may play characters who are very different from the actor's off-screen real-life personality, while in another sense a character actor may be one who specializes in minor roles. In either case, character actor roles are more substantial than bit parts or non-speaking extras.
The term is used primarily to describe television and film actors.An early use of the term was in the 1883 edition of The Stage , which defined a character actor as "one who portrays individualities and eccentricities". Actors with a long career history of playing character roles may be difficult for audiences to recognize as being the same actor.
In contrast to leading actors, they are generally seen as less glamorous.While a leading actor often has physical beauty needed to play the love interest, a character actor typically does not. Some character actors are known for their unusual looks. For example, the face of Chicago character actor William Schutz was disfigured in a car accident when he was five years old, but his appearance after reconstructive surgery helped him to be distinctive to theater audiences. Generally, the names of character actors are not featured prominently in movie and television advertising on the marquee, since a character actor's name is not expected to attract film audiences. Some character actors have been described as instantly recognizable despite their names being little known.
During the course of an acting career, an actor can sometimes shift between leading roles and secondary roles.Some leading actors, as they get older, find that access to leading roles is limited by their increasing age. In the past, actors of color, who were often barred from roles for which they were otherwise suited, found work performing ethnic stereotypes. Sometimes character actors have developed careers based on specific talents needed in genre films, such as dancing, horsemanship, acrobatics, swimming ability, or boxing. Many up-and-coming actors find themselves typecast in character roles due to an early success with a particular part or in a certain genre, such that the actor becomes so strongly identified with a particular type of role that casting directors steer the actor to similar roles. Some character actors play essentially the same character over and over, as with Andy Devine's humorous but resourceful sidekick, while other actors, such as Sir Laurence Olivier, have the capacity of submerging themselves in any role they play. That being said, some character actors can be known as "chameleons", actors who can play roles that vary wildly. One such example of this is Gary Oldman. Some character actors develop a cult following with a particular audience, such as with the fans of Star Trek or The Rocky Horror Picture Show .
Character actors tend to play the same type of role throughout their careers,including Harvey Keitel as tough and determined characters, Christopher Lloyd as an eccentric, Claude Rains as sophisticated, sometimes morally ambiguous men, Abe Vigoda as an ageing criminal, Fairuza Balk as moody goth girls, and Forest Whitaker as composed characters with underlying volatility. Ed Lauter usually portrayed a menacing figure because of his "long, angular face" which was easily recognized in public, although audiences rarely knew his name. Character actors can play a variety of types, such as the femme fatale, gunslinger, sidekick, town drunk, villain, whore with a heart of gold, and many others. A character actor's roles are often perceived as being substantially different from their perceived real-life persona, meaning that they do not portray an extension of themselves, but rather a character substantially different from their off-screen persona. Character actors subsume themselves into the characters they portray, such that their off-screen acting persona is practically unrecognizable. According to one view, great character actors are rarely out of work, and often have long careers that span decades. They are also often highly regarded by fellow actors.
Eli Herschel Wallach was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than seven decades, beginning in the late 1940s. Trained in stage acting, which he enjoyed doing most, he became "one of the greatest 'character actors' ever to appear on stage and screen", with over 90 film credits. He and his wife Anne Jackson often appeared together on stage, and were one of the best-known acting couples in American theater. As a stage and screen character actor, Wallach had one of the longest-ever careers in show business, spanning 62 years from his Broadway debut to his last two major Hollywood studio movies.
James Maitland Stewart was an American actor and military officer. Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart had a film career that spanned over 55 years and 80 films. With the strong morality he portrayed both on and off the screen, Stewart epitomized the "American ideal" in twentieth-century United States. In 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked him third on its list of the greatest American male actors.
Paul Muni was an Austro-Hungarian-born American stage and film actor who grew up in Chicago. Muni was a five-time Academy Award nominee, with one win. He started his acting career in the Yiddish theater. During the 1930s, he was considered one of the most prestigious actors at the Warner Bros. studio, and was given the rare privilege of choosing which parts he wanted.
Blackface is a term used to describe a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The term is also used for black makeup worn as part of folk traditions and disguising, not all of which are perceived as or originated as racial stereotypes of black people.
Charles Nelson Reilly II was an American actor, comedian, director, and drama teacher known for his comedic roles on stage and in films, television shows, and cartoons.
Bradford Claude Dourif is an American character actor. He was nominated for an Oscar, and won Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for his supporting role as Billy Bibbit in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). He is also known for his roles as the voice of Chucky in the Child's Play franchise (1988–2017), and Gríma Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings series (2002–2003).
Abraham Vigoda was an American actor known for his portrayals of Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972) and Phil Fish in Barney Miller and Fish (1977–1978).
In professional wrestling, a heel is a wrestler who portrays a villain or a "bad guy" and acts as an antagonist to the faces, who are the heroic protagonist or "good guy" characters. Not everything a heel wrestler does must be villainous: heels need only to be booed or jeered by the audience to be effective characters.
In professional wrestling, a face (babyface) is a heroic or a "good guy" wrestler, booked (scripted) by the promotion with the aim of being cheered by fans. Traditionally, they wrestle within the rules and avoid cheating while behaving positively towards the referee and the audience. Such characters are also referred to as "blue-eyes" in British wrestling and técnicos in lucha libre. The face character is portrayed as a hero relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analogous to villains. Not everything a face wrestler does must be heroic: faces need only to be clapped or cheered by the audience to be effective characters. When the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated went into circulation in the late 1970s, the magazine referred to face wrestlers as "fan favorites" or "scientific wrestlers," while heels were referred to as simply "rulebreakers."
Jeffrey Duncan Jones is an American character actor best known for his roles as Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus (1984), Edward R. Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Charles Deetz in Beetlejuice (1988), Eddie Barzoon in The Devil’s Advocate (1997), and A. W. Merrick in both Deadwood (2004–2006) and Deadwood: The Movie (2019). His career started in Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and advanced to London and Broadway. In film and television, Jones has had many roles which capitalized on his deadpan portrayal of characters in unusual situations, often to comic effect. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance in Amadeus and a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble cast of Deadwood.
Jon Raymond Polito was an American character actor. In a film and television career spanning 35 years, he amassed over 220 credits. Notable television roles included Detective Steve Crosetti in the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street and as Phil Bartoli on the first season of Crime Story. He also appeared in several films including The Rocketeer, The Crow and Gangster Squad, as well as his work with the Coen brothers. He appeared in five of their films, including Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski. Polito also portrayed legendary "hungry i" nightclub impresario Enrico Banducci in a large supporting role in Tim Burton's 2014 film Big Eyes starring Amy Adams.
James Robert Rebhorn was an American character actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the series White Collar and Homeland. He also appeared in films such as Scent of a Woman, Carlito's Way, Independence Day, My Cousin Vinny, and Meet the Parents.
Jeffrey Wright is an American actor. He is best known for his Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy winning role as Belize in the Broadway production and acclaimed HBO miniseries Angels in America. He starred as Jean-Michel Basquiat in Basquiat, Felix Leiter in the James Bond films Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and No Time to Die, Valentin Narcisse in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and Beetee in The Hunger Games films. Since 2016, Wright has starred as Bernard Lowe and Arnold Weber in the HBO series Westworld.
The architectural form of theatre in Rome has been linked to later, more well-known examples from the 1st century B.C.E. to the 3rd Century C.E. The Theatre of ancient Rome referred to as a period of time in which theatrical practice and performance took place in Rome has been linked back even further to the 4th century B.C.E., following the state’s transition from monarchy to republic. Theatre during this era is generally separated into genres of tragedy and comedy, which are represented by a particular style of architecture and stage play, and conveyed to an audience purely as a form of entertainment and control. When it came to the audience, Romans favored entertainment and performance over tragedy and drama, displaying a more modern form of theatre that is still used in contemporary times. 'Spectacle' became an essential part of an everyday Romans expectations when it came to Theatre. Some works by Plautus, Terence, and Seneca the Younger that survive to this day, highlight the different aspects of Roman society and culture at the time, including advancements in Roman literature and theatre.Theatre during this period of time would come to represent an important aspect of Roman society during the republican and imperial periods of Rome.
Museum theatre is the use of theatre and theatrical techniques by a museum for educational, informative, and entertainment purposes. It can also be used in a zoo, an aquarium, an art gallery, and at historic sites. It is generally performed by professional actors. Varieties of museum theatre include historical characters, puppetry, movement and music.
Cho Jae-hyun is a South Korean film, stage, and TV actor. He is commonly dubbed "director Kim Ki-duk's persona" since Cho has starred as leading and supporting characters in almost all films directed by Kim.
Cross-gender acting refers to actors or actresses portraying a character of the opposite gender. It is distinct from both transgender and cross-dressing character roles.
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.
Presentational acting and the related representational acting are opposing ways of sustaining the actor–audience relationship. With presentational acting, the actor acknowledges the audience. With representational acting, the audience is studiously ignored and treated as voyeurs.
Bill Doherty Jr. is an American actor.
... definitions for acting are always very tricky. What is a 'character actor'? What is a 'lead'? What is 'supporting'? ... It drives me nuts...
...consummate professional who evokes admiration and awe in his colleagues...