The character actor: Hollywood’s unsung hero. While the definition of the phrase “character actor” has morphed and evolved over the years, as many words do, one thing it has never meant is A-lister or lead actor. Today, we often take “character actor” to mean those actors who seem to be in everything but never in a lead role. They may play kooky characters or they may just steal the spotlight, but they’re always a delight every time they pop up. The actors who make us go, “Oh, hey! It’s that guy/lady! I love that guy/lady!” like we’re all Rick Dalton pointing at his TV.
But I was curious. With so many excellent character actors out there, I was wondering who might be the favorite of movie and TV buffs. So I asked Twitter:
Let me tell you, Twitter delivered. Between direct responses and retweets with quotes, I got more than twelve hundred responses. In the words of John Mulaney,
So, instead of sharing every single response, I decided to go the route of sharing the names people answered with the most, using the extremely advanced scientific method known as “eyeballing the answers and keeping a rough mental count of how many times specific actors popped up.”
Now, this is by no means an accurate ranking, but these names were the ones that came up most often, including the top result for favorite character actor and favorite character actress. Keep in mind there are plenty I missed, and there are others that might creep more into leading (or at the very least, supporting) actor status.
Where you’ve likely seen him: Machete in the Machete movies, Breacher in The Flash, The Regulator in From Dusk ’til Dawn: The Series, himself in Muppets Most Wanted, Romeo Parada in Sons of Anarchy, Mr. Perez in A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, playing a bartender in The Young and the Restless.
Where you’ve likely seen her: Laurie Blake in the Watchmen series, Dr. Melanie Bird in Legion, Floyd Gerhardt in Fargo, Detective Sherry Regan in The District, Martha Logan in 24, Carol in Garden State, Kate in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Charlene Frazier in Designing Women, Dr. Criswell in Project X.
Where you’ve likely seen him: Many things – you just haven’t known it because he’s always covered in prosthetics. Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy movies (in fact, he’s in most GDT movies), Baron Afanas in the What We Do in the Shadows TV series, Saru in Star Trek: Discovery, the Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water, The Ancient in The Strain, Cochise in Falling Skies, Roger North in John Dies at the End, the Ice Cream Man demon in Legion, the Thin Infected Man in Quarantine, the Silver Surfer in the original Fantastic Four movies, Fauno and the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, Joey in Men in Black II, the Gentleman in classic Buffy the Vampire episode “Hush,” Billy Butcherson in Hocus Pocus.
Where you’ve likely seen him: Vizzini in The Princess Bride, Dr. John Sturgis in Young Sheldon, Theater Actor in A Marriage Story, Herb Smith in The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, the voice of Rex in the Toy Story movies, Charles Lester in The Good Wife, Cyrus Rose in Gossip Girl, Dr. Warren Hughes in Eureka, Dr. Howard Stiles in Crossing Jordan, Zek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Mr. Wendell Hall in the Clueless TV series & movie, the Canadian Prime Minister in Canadian Bacon
Where you’ve likely seen her: Joanna Klein in Defending Jacob, Leslie Mackinaw in Transparent, Gabby Horowitz in Motherless Brooklyn, Holly Maddox in The Handmaid’s Tale, Laurie Ann Hesby in American Crime, Susan in the “Nosedive” episode of Black Mirror, Marguerite Oswald in 11.22.63, the Vice President in The Beaver, President Allison Taylor in 24, Officer Paski in Signs, Mrs. Clack in The Village, Edie Bailey in The Perfect Storm, Pamela Duncan in Erin Brockovich, Frankie in Loving
Where you’ve likely seen him: The Tooch is arguably the first on our list to creep up into that “maybe too big a name to be considered a pure character actor,” but we never don’t love him. Merlin in Transformers: The Last Knight, Jack Warner in Feud: Bette and Joan, Maestro Cadenza in Beauty and the Beast, Caesar Flickerman in The Hunger Games movies, Mitchell Garabedian in Spotlight, Ivan the Guard in Muppets Most Wanted, Dr. Abraham Erskine in Captain America: The First Avenger, Dill in Easy A, George Harvey in The Lovely Bones, Dr. Kevin Moretti in ER, Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada, Jerry Siegel in Maid in Manhattan, Elliot Zweikel in A Life Less Ordinary, Khamel in The Pelican Brief, Vernon in Beethoven
Where you’ve likely seen him: Tudyk does a ton of voice work so for the sake of this article, I’ll stick with the roles where you can see his face. Eric Morden/Mr. Nobody in Doom Patrol, Gary in Santa Clarita Diet, Pastor Veal in Arrested Development, Wray Nerely in Con Man, Blondie in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Noah Werner in Suburgatory, Tucker in Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, Doc Potter in 3:10 to Yuma, Jack in Knocked Up, Simon in Death at a Funeral, Wash in Firefly and Serenity, Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball, Wat in A Knight’s Tale and Gerhardt in 28 Days
Where you’ve likely seen him: Mr. Woodhouse in Emma, Naberius in I, Frankenstein, Hephaestus in Wrath of the Titans, Minister Rufus Scrimgeour in the Harry Potter movies, Viktor in the Underworld franchise, Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Richard Hart in Notes on a Scandal, Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Philip in Shaun of the Dead, Billy Mack in Love, Actually, Cameron Foster in State of Play, Julian in Being Human
Where you’ve likely seen him: Frank Mathison in Homeland, Reese Hughes in White Collar, Marvin in Real Steel, Dr. Kaplan in 30 Rock, various appearances on Law & Order, the Doctor in Cold Mountain, Norm Duncan in Scotland, Pa., Dr. Larry Banks in Meet the Parents, Herbert Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Jim Feingold in The Game, Secretary of Defense Albert Nimziki in Independence Day, Fred Waters in Blank Check, Mr. Trask in Scent of a Woman, Dr. McElwaine in Basic Instinct, George Wilbur in My Cousin Vinny
Where you’ve likely seen him: Dr. Leslie Berkowitz in One Day at a Time, Principal Ball in The Goldbergs, Jack Barker in Silicon Valley, Stu Beggs in Californication, FBI Agent Jerry Barkley on Justified, Sandy Ryerson on Glee, Dr. Kendrick in The Time Traveler’s Wife, Bob Bishop in Heroes, Hugo Jarry in Deadwood, Bud in Failure to Launch, Assistant State Attorney Don Haffman in CSI: Miami, Tom Abernathy in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, Mr. Bates in Freaky Friday, Sammy Jankis in Memento, Karl in Dweebs, Ned in Groundhog Day, Dr. Werner Brande in Sneakers, Dr. Lamott in Basic Instinct, Mitchell Myerson in Single White Female, Max in Thelma & Louise, the Captain of the Guard in Spaceballs
Where you’ve likely seen her: Woman with Hair But No Beard in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Beverly in The Mindy Project, Jack in American Gods, Lady Bird Johnson in Jackie, Mrs. Lawrence in Just Before I Go, Peppy’s maid in The Artist, Marva Taggert in Valley of the Sun, Jo Ann in Crazy Heart, Mrs. Horowitz in All About Steve, Gracie Leigh in Jericho, Carla Jean’s mother in No Country for Old Men, Mother Gagnon in Flags of Our Fathers, Pageant Official Jenkins in Little Miss Sunshine, Kitty Farmer in Donnie Darko, Cora Mae Cobb in A Time to Kill, Loretta in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Helen in Speed, Miss Kettlewell in Child’s Play 2, the mother at the farm house in Rain Man
Where you’ve likely seen him: Charon in the John Wick franchise, Irvin Irving in Bosch, David Gentry in Angel Has Fallen, Papa Legba in American Horror Story, Carter in Little Woods, the model and voice for Sylens in video game Horizon Zero Dawn, Martin Hatch in Quantum Break, The Cowboy in The Blacklist, Major Carver in The Guest, Daniel Newcombe in the American remake of Oldboy, Phillip Broyles in Fringe, Matthew Abaddon in Lost, Col. Cedric Daniels in The Wire, Dr. Taylor in Law & Order: SVU
Where you’ve likely seen him: Dennis Feinstein in Parks and Recreation, Adrian Pimento on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Derek Hofstetler in The Good Place, Tick Tock Man in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Dr. Steve in Transparent, Peter in The Disaster Artist, George in How to Be Single, Rafi in The League, multiple characters in Kroll Show, Nadal in The Dictator
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Where you’ve likely seen him: Stewart on Devs, Father Leviatch in Lady Bird, Mr. Emery in Manchester By the Sea, William Slade in Lincoln, multiple judges across the Law & Order universe, Omar in New Amsterdam
Where you’ve likely seen him: Goggins finally landed himself a leading TV role with The Unicorn this year, but before that, his career has been varied. Baby Billy Freeman in The Righteous Gemstones, Nathan Miller in Deep State, Sonny Burch in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mathias Vogel in the Tomb Raider reboot, Lawrence in Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Sheriff Chris Mannix in The Hateful Eight, Boyd Crowder in Justified, Venus Van Dam in Sons of Anarchy, Warden Nigel James in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Billy Crash in Django Unchained, Claw Hawkins in Lincoln, Stans in Predators, Shane Vendrell in The Shield, Steve Naish in House of 1000 Corpses, Stan Roberts in The Crow: Salvation, Charlie in The Next Karate Kid
What you’ve likely seen him in: Mikey O’Shea in Shameless, Jesse Sallander in Code Black, Bacon in Keanu, José Rodríguez Gacha in Narcos, Mexican Cop in We’re the Millers, Rene Calderon in How to Make It in America, George in The Caller, Martinez in Fighting, Ramon Gaviota in John from Cincinnati, Sergeant Moorehead in School for Scoundrels, Raddimus in Waiting…, Ray in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, Lance in Punch-Drunk Love, Raoul ‘El Cid’ Hernandez in Oz, Maurice t.t. Rodriguez in Boogie Nights, Rem in The Substitute, Pachanga in Carlito’s Way, Jose in Crocodile Dundee II
Where you’ve likely seen him: Good ol’ Cliff Curtis, the ethnically ambiguous actor who has played every ethnicity under the sun. Billy Freeman in Doctor Sleep, Jonah in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Travis Manawa in Fear the Walking Dead, Dax Miller in Missing, Fire Lord Ozai in The Last Airbender, Reuben ‘Rabbit’ Palchuk in Trauma, Tic’Tic in 10,000 BC, FBI Deputy Director Miguel Bowman in Live Free or Die Hard, Searle in Sunshine, Captain Ariel in The Fountain, Porourangi in Whale Rider, Claudio Perrini in Collateral Damage, Smiley in Training Day, Escobar in Blow, Cy Coates in Bringing OUt the Dead, Amir Abdulah in Three Kings, Mana in The Piano
Marc Evan Jackson
Where you’ve likely seen him: Richard Spier in The Baby-Sitters Club, Alec in The High Note, Kevin Cozner in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Shawn in The Good Place, Chris Wallace in Bombshell, Lloyd in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Principal Bentley in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Landsat Steve in Kong: Skull Island, Vice Principal Kelly in My Dead Ex, the therapist in You’re The Worst, Kermit Biggs in The Spoils Before Dying, Trevor Nelsson in Parks and Recreation, Dr. Murphy in 22 Jump Street, the director in Key & Peele sketches, the Commander of US Central Command in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Where you’ve likely seen her: Mo’at in the Avatar franchise, Loretta Wade in NCIS: New Orleans, Senator Williams in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Tyne Patterson in Sons of Anarchy, Mrs. Irene Frederic in Warehouse 13, the voice of Amanda Waller in multiple Batman: Arkham video games and various animated DC series, Carolyn Maddox in Law & Order: SVU, Mrs. Trainor in Brothers, Claudette Wyms in The Shield, Detective Marge Francis in End of Days, Cheryl Andrews in Millennium, Dr. Angela Hicks in ER, Hollis Miller in Face/Off, Sara Pickett in Return to Lonesome Dove, Bertha in RoboCop 3, Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, Fran Ambrose in Psycho IV: The Beginning, Julie Marsden in Postcards from the Edge, Dawn Murphy in Women in Prison, Deborah in Go Tell It on the Mountain
M. Emmet Walsh
Where you’ve likely seen him: Eli’s father in The Righteous Gemstones, Mr. Proofroc (the groundskeeper) in Knives Out, Tex Hopkins in Sneaky Pete, Fr. John in Faith, Hope & Love, Lyle Hewes in Damages, Mr. Saunders in Youth in Revolt, Kroger in Your Name Here, Walt Scheel in Christmas with the Kranks, Randall Evans in The Mind of the Married Man, George in Snow Dogs, Dean in Me & Will, Coleman in Wild, Wild West, Lester Ivar in Twilight, Joe O’Neal in My Best Friend’s Wedding, the apothecary in Romeo + Juliet, Raymond Garrison in Portraits of a Killer, Bill Wilcox in Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Sheriff Bob Brody in Bitter Harvest, Fred Miller in The Mighty Quinn, George Henderson Sr. in Harry and the Hendersons, the talkative guy at the machine shop in Raising Arizona, Harv in Critters, Dr. Joseph Dolan in Fletch, Bryant in Blade Runner, Mack in Cannery Row, the swim coach in Ordinary People, the madman in The Jerk, Dickie Dunn in Slap Shot
Where you’ve likely seen him: Willoughby Kipling in Doom Patrol, Crowley in Supernatural, Benedict Valda in Warehouse 13, Curtis Hagen in White Collar, Ackley in Sons of Liberty, Jim Sterling in Leverage, Canton Delaware in Doctor Who episodes “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon,” Tanaka in Dollhouse, Romo Lampkin in Battlestar Galactica, the killer in Slow Motion Addict, Dr. Charles Walker in Medium, Ivan Erwich in 24, Leitch in Unstoppable, Badger in Firefly episodes “Shindig” and “Serenity,” Doug Sweeney in Lady in the Box, C.J. Yates in Soldier of Fortune, Inc., Bob the Caretaker / Cecil L’Ively in The X-Files episode “Fire,” Paddy Armstrong in In the Name of the Father
And now we come to the Top 10 portion of the list. The character actors you see everywhere, in everything. These were the actors and actresses that people kept sharing over and over and over again, including the two who stood head and shoulders above the rest.
10. David Strathairn
Where you’ve likely seen him: Commander Klaes Ashford in The Expanse, Admiral William Stenz in Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Black Jack Foley in Billions, Ellis in Fast Color, Peter Kotsiopulos in The Blacklist, Nathan Zuckerman in American Pastoral, Ty Burley in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Dr. Lee Rosen in Alphas, William Seward in Lincoln, Noah Vosen in the Jason Bourne franchise, Steven in The Uninvited, Arthur Spiderwick in The Spiderwick Chronicles, President Dedmon in We Are Marshall, Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, Robert Wegler in The Sopranos, Rev. Russell in Simon Birch, Pierce Patchett in L.A. Confidential, Tom in The River Wild, Russell Terziak in Home for the Holidays, Ray McDeer in The Firm, Whistler in Sneakers, Ira Lowenstein in A League of Their Own, Wesley in Silkwood
9. Giancarlo Esposito
Where you’ve likely seen him: The face and voice of villain Anton Castillo in the upcoming Far Cry 6 video game, Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Archie in Stargirl, Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, Congressman Powell in Godfather of Harlem, Doc in the “Gray Matter” segment in the Creepshow reboot, the narrator of Dear White People, El Lazo in Westworld episode “Reunion,” Jorge in the Maze Runner trilogy, Frank Dawson in Okja, Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror/Genie in Once Upon a Time, Pastor Ramon Cruz in The Get Down, Oscar Christoph in Allegiance, Tom Neville in Revolution and Revolution: Enemies of the State, Gilbert Lawson in Community, Daramus Holiday in Alex Cross, Robert Fuentes in South Beach, multiple characters across the Law & Order universe, Hypnos in Monkeybone, Mike Giardello in Homicide: Life on the Street, Mr. Peavey in Stardust, Jack Baer in The Usual Suspects, Detective Paul Gigante in Bakersfield P.D., Thomas Hayer in Malcolm X, Buggin’ Out in Do the Right Thing, Julian ‘Big Brother Almighty’ Eaves in School Daze, the videoplayer in Maximum Overdrive, the street vendor in Desperately Seeking Susan, J.C. Pierce in Taps
8. Michael Stuhlbarg
Where you’ve likely seen him: Fun fact, Stuhlbarg was in three different movies nominated for an Academy Award in 2017. Those roles and movies were Dr. Robert Hoffstetler in The Shape of Water, Mr. Perlman in Call Me By Your Name and Abe Rosenthal in The Post. Other roles of his are Richard Clarke in The Looming Tower, Sy Feltz in Fargo, Dr. Nicodemus West in Doctor Strange, Chaim in Transparent, Agent Halpern in Arrival, Edward G. Robinson in Trumbo, Andy Hertzfeld in Steve Jobs, Paul Marshall in Pawn Sacrifice, Arnold Rothstein in Boardwalk Empire, Dr. Flicker in Blue Jasmine, Lew Wasserman in Hitchcock, George Yeaman in Lincoln, Tommy in Seven Psychopaths, Griffin in Men in Black 3, Larry Gopnik in A Serious Man, Ferris’ attorney in Body of Lies, Jerry in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip pilot episode and “K&R: Part 2,” young Hassid in A Price Above Rubies
7. Shea Whigham
Where you’ve likely seen him: Pete Strickland in the Perry Mason reboot, Peter in Modern Love episodes “So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?” and “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap,” Detective Burke in Joker, Wayne Vincent in Vice, Thomas Carrasco in Homecoming, Dr. Woodbury Laurence in Bad Times at the El Royale, Gus Grissom in First Man, Andy Wheeldon in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Ray Liptrapp in Vice Principals, James Turner in Death Note, Moe Dammick in Fargo, Cole in Kong: Skull Island, Chief Roger Dooley in Agent Carter, Jim in Knight of Cups, Man in Cop Car, Elias ‘Eli’ Thompson in Boardwalk Empire, Joel Theriot in True Detective, Carl Elway in American Hustle, Captain Ted Beecham in The Wolf of Wall Street, Stasiak in Fast & Furious 6 and Fast & Furious, Jake in Silver Linings Playbook, Corliss in The Lincoln Lawyer, Dewart in Take Shelter, the sniper in Machete, Justin in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Kenny Dugan in Pride and Glory, Bobby Kenyon in ER episodes “Darfur” and “No Place to Hide,” Drake Landon in Lords of Dogtown, Eugene in Wristcutters: A Love Story, Private Wilson in Tigerland
6. Peter Stormare
Where you’ve likely seen him: Czernobog in American Gods, Hafdis Snaejornsson in Get Shorty, Artem in LA to Vegas, Ingmar in Swedish Dicks, Chance Gilbert in Longmire, Agent Mark Holman in Kill ‘Em All, Abram in John Wick: Chapter 2, Pierce Davidson in King of the Dancehall, Martun Sarkissian in Graceland, Werner Zytle / Vertigo in Arrow, Milos ‘Berlin’ Kirchoff in The Blacklist, The Ghost in 22 Jump Street, Francis O’Connell in Rage, Dr. Bjornson in Pain & Gain, Highsmith in Bad Milo, Sheriff Berringer in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Burrell in The Last Stand, Scott Langral in Lockout, Gabriel in Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Aaron Cohen in Entourage episodes “The Sorkin Notes” and “Security Briefs,” The President in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Tommen in Switch, John Abruzzi in Prison Break, Emperor in Nacho Libre, Cavaldi in The Brothers Grimm, Satan in Constantine, Alexei in Bad Boys II, Dr. Simms in The Tuxedo, Dr. Solomon Eddie in Minority Report, Hjelmstad in Windtalkers, Adrik Vas in Bad Company, Serge Muscat in Chocolat, Lev Andropov in Armageddon, Gaear Grimsrud in Fargo (movie, not TV show), the nihilist in The Big Lebowski
5. Richard Kind
Where you’ve likely seen him: Formica Michael Mikowitz in The Goldbergs, Cousin Andy in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dr. Mark Devanow in Mad About You and the revival, Rudy Giuliani in Bombshell, Ira Rosenbloom in Young Sheldon, Gus Barton in Brockmire, various characters across the Law & Order universe, Aubrey James in Gotham, Sam Meyers in Red Oaks, John Sears in Suburbicon, Marty Dansak in I’m Dying Up Here, Sam Jacobson in Detours, the voice of Bing Bong in Inside Out, Harland ‘The Blaster’ McGuinnes in Sharknado 2: The Second One, Bix Field in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Mr. Rifkin in Glee episode “The Back-Up Plan,” Jacob in Obvious Child, Max Klein in Argo, Tim in Bad Seed, Marv in Burn Notice, Uncle Arthur in A Serious Man, Jacob in The Visitor, Andy Andrews in The Grand, the marketing person in For Your Consideration, the jury foreman in The Producers, Mr. Korman in Scrubs, the casting executive in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Paul Lassiter in Spin City, Alex Beebee in The Commish, Gary Meyers, Ph.D. in Stargate, multiple characters in The Carol Burnett Show and Carol & Company
4. Clancy Brown
Where you’ve likely seen him: As the longtime voice of Mr. Krabs on SpongeBob Squarepants, Ed Sawyer in Emergence, Stanley Thomas in Promising Young Woman, Burg in The Mandalorian, Waylon ‘Jock’ Jeffcoat in Billions, Mr. Crosby in The Goldbergs, Curly Joe in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Major Schoonover in Netflix’s The Punisher and Daredevil, Blackhand in Warcraft, Sheriff August Corbin in Sleepy Hollow, Gracchus in Hail, Caesar!, General Wade Eiling in The Flash, the dad in Just Before I Go, Dr. Albert Marconi in John Dies at the End, Meacham in Cowbows & Aliens, the voice of Parallax in Green Lantern, Alan Smith in the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, John Clay in The Burrowers, Brother Justin Crowe in Carnivàle, Arquillian Ambassador in Men in Black: The Series, Lt. Jimmy Williams in The Hurricane, Dr. Ellis West in ER, Smith in Flubber, Sergeant Zim in Starship Troopers, John Danziger in Earth 2, Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, Gus Gilbert in Pet Sematary II, Nick Mann in Blue Steel, MSgt. Larry McRose in Extreme Prejudice, Kurgen in Highlander, Rawhide in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
3. Judy Greer
Where you’ve likely seen her: Karen in the Halloween franchise reboot, Jill in Kidding, Dr. Amy Hicks in Playing with Fire, Dr. Janelle Kurtz in Where’d You Go, Bernadette, the voice of Cheryl in Archer, Maggie Lang in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Kitty Sanchez in Arrested Development, Joyce in The 15:17 to Paris, Judy in Casual, Cornelia in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, Lina Bowman in Married, Karen in Jurassic World, Jenny Newton in Tomorrowland, Bridget Schmidt in Two and a Half Men, Donna Clint in Men, Women & Children, Ms. Desjardin in the Carrie remake, Trixie in Californication, Ingrid ‘Fatty Magoo’ Nelson in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Wendy Park in Glenn Martin DDS, Julie Speer in The Descendants, Cindy in Love & Other Drugs, Casey in 27 Dresses, Kitty Walker in The Village, Lucy Wyman in 13 Going on 30, Penny in The Wedding Planner, Puff Conklin in Love & Money, Erin the File Girl in What Women Want, Cathy Daitch in Three Kings, Fern in Jawbreaker
And now, we finally come to it. Our final two. the King and Queen of Character.
2. Stephen Root
Where you’ve likely seen him: Maynard Barnes in the Perry Mason reboot, Neil Mullin in Bombshell, Hawthorne Abendsen in The Man in the High Castle, Monroe Fuches in Barry, Professor Brown in On the Basis of Sex, Teller in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Jim Hudson in Get Out, Hymie King in Trumbo, Nathaniel Sackett in TURN: Washington’s Spies, Lynn Boyle in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Col. Al Lingo in Selma, Judge Mike Reardon in Justified, Gaston Means in Boardwalk Empire, Habberman in The Lone Ranger, Roger in Bad Milo, Arthur Koehler in J. Edgar, Sheriff Wynan in Red State, Bill Prady in 24, Gus Lacey in The Men Who Stare at Goats, Dwight Dixon in Pushing Daisies, Suds in Leatherheads, Chode in Tripping the Rift, the man who hires Wells in No Country for Old Men, Bob Mayer in The West Wing, Dr. Freeman in Surviving Christmas, Gordon in Dodgeball, Fernand Gudge in The Ladykillers, Gene in Ladies Man, the man at the radio station in O Brother, Where Are Thou?, Dennis Mansky, the head of NorthAm Robotics in Bicentennial Man, Jimmy James in News Radio, Milton in Office Space, Chris Kraft in From the Earth to the Moon, Dean Gerald Adams in Krippendorf’s Tribe, R.O. in Harts of the West, Atty. Brandon McCafferty in L.A. Law, Don Durenberger in Dave, Coontz in RoboCop 3, Gary Murray in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie, not TV show), the police sergeant in Ghost, Dean Burbage in Monkey Shines and the DEA Agent on the toilet in Crocodile Dundee II
Finally, the queen. The woman whose character’s name in BoJack Horseman is literally “Character Actress Margo Martindale.”
1. Margo Martindale
Where you’ve likely seen her: Bella Abzug in Mrs. America, Character Actress Margo Martindale in BoJack Horseman, Mammaw Bledsoe in Uncle Frank, Audrey Bernhardt in Sneaky Pete, Grandma Sandy in Instant Family, Claudia in The Americans, Ruth Eastman in The Good Wife and The Good Fight, woman on the shuttle in Downsizing, Alta in Wilson, Flo in Mother’s Day, Sister Aluminata in The Boss, Sally Hollar in The Hollars, Carol Miller in The Millers, Nancy Rawling in Heaven is for Real, Miss Horchow in the Masters of Sex pilot, Mattie Fae Aiken in August: Osage County, Aunt Del in Beautiful Creatures, Rita Perkins-Hall in A Gifted Man, Mags Bennett in Justified, Miss Ham in Secretariat, Nurse Klowden in Mercy, Ruby in Hannah Montana: The Movie, Donna in The Winning Season, Camilla in Dexter, Nina Burns in The Riches, Ma Cox in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Roz in The Savages, Betsy in Wedding Daze, Earline Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby, Harriot Blatch in Iron Jawed Angels, the psychologist in The Human Stain, Mrs. Latch in The Hours, Michelle Grande in 100 Centre Street, Trish Steger in The Laramie Project, Ivy in Proof of Life, Betty in 28 Days, Wilma Brown in Ride with the Devil, Nurse Floyd in In Dreams, Clara Mayfield in Ghosts of Mississippi, the nurse in Sabrina, Nina Huff in The Firm, Wendy Gimble in Lorenzo’s Oil, Millie in The Rocketeer, Donna in Days of Thunder
As I said before, there are plenty of incredible character actors people suggested that I didn’t include in this article. It’s well worth clicking on the original tweet and scrolling through the answers for fun. What would your answer be?