Hidden Gems or Actors To Look Out For

by karljhickey14 | created - 20 Jun 2015 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Minor appearances , often uncredited , mostly in B's . Not character actors as such - many of whom are as famous as the big stars , but the people you spot when you see enough films .

1. Byron Foulger

Actor | The Man with Nine Lives

One of those wonderfully busy character actors whose face is familiar if not his name, mild-mannered actor Byron Foulger began performing with community theater, and stock and repertory companies after graduating from the University of Utah. He met his future wife, character actress Dorothy Adams, ...

2. Iris Adrian

Actress | The Odd Couple

Sugar, Pepper, Pearl, Sunny, Goldie, Bubbles, all those are nicknames borne by petite actress Iris Adrian in several of the 160 movies she made. With such names, don't expect to see her playing Joan of Arc or Electra but it remains that all these pet names reflect her winning femininity, its ...

3. Arthur Q. Bryan

Actor | The Devil Bat

Arthur Q. Bryan was born on May 8, 1899 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Arthur Quirk Bryan. He was an actor, known for The Devil Bat (1940), Millionaire Playboy (1940) and Samson and Delilah (1949). He died on November 18, 1959 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.

4. Percy Helton

Actor | The Set-Up

One of the most familiar faces and voices in Hollywood films of the 1950s. Percy Helton acted almost from infancy, appearing in his father's vaudeville act. The famed Broadway producer David Belasco cast Helton in a succession of child roles over several years, giving the boy an invaluable ...

5. Frank Wilcox

Actor | The Ten Commandments

American character actor in scores of films after substantial stage experience. He was born in DeSoto, Missouri, but raised in Atchison, Kansas. The son of a railroad worker and law clerk (some publicity material states the father was a physician, but family and census records show otherwise), he ...

6. Will Wright

Actor | The Blue Dahlia

One of those familiar character actors who seems to have been born old, Will Wright specialized in playing crusty old codgers, rich skinflints, crooked small-town politicians and the like. A former newspaper reporter in San Francisco, he switched careers and entered vaudeville, then took to the ...

7. Minerva Urecal

Actress | The Ape Man

A stage actress, Urecal made her screen debut in 1934. For the remainder of her career and two hundred plus movies, she played cleaning women, landladies, shopkeepers and the like. She was known as a Marjorie Main type actress and later went on to a career in television playing in such shows as "...

8. Allison Hayes

Actress | Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Anyone who loves B-movies of the 1950s appreciates this lovely actress Allison Hayes. She was born Mary Jane Hayes on March 6, 1930 in Charleston, West Virginia. The raven-haired beauty was the 1949 Washington, D.C. entry into the Miss America pageant. Shortly afterwards, Mary Jane adopted the ...

9. Dick Miller

Actor | The Terminator

Born in the Bronx, New York to Russian Jewish immigrant parents (Isidor "Ira" and Rita Blucher Miller), Richard Miller served in the U.S. Navy for a few years and earned a prize title as a middleweight boxer. He settled in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, where he was noticed by producer/director ...

10. Frank Gerstle

Actor | D.O.A.

Frank Gerstle was born on September 27, 1915 in New York City, New York, USA as Francis M. Gerstle. He was an actor, known for D.O.A. (1949), The Neanderthal Man (1953) and 13 West Street (1962). He died on February 23, 1970 in Santa Monica, California, USA.

11. Barney Phillips

Actor | The Twilight Zone

Barney Phillips was an American actor of German descent. He was born in 1913 in St. Louis, Missouri, under the name "Bernard Philip Ofner". His father was Harry Nathan Ofner, a salesman employed in the leather industry. His mother was Leona "Lonnie" Frank, a German emigrant who became a naturalized...

12. Edward Platt

Actor | North by Northwest

Forever and fondly remembered as Don Adams' foil on the popular Mel Brooks/Buck Henry spy series Get Smart (1965), character actor Ed Platt (also billed as Edward C. Platt) had been around for two decades prior to copping that rare comedy role. Born in Staten Island, New York, he inherited an ...

13. Ray Teal

Actor | The Best Years of Our Lives

Most familiar to TV audiences as no-nonsense Sheriff Roy Coffee on the long-running western series Bonanza (1959), Ray Teal was one of the most versatile character actors in the business. In his almost 40-year career he played everything from cops to gunfighters to sheriffs to gangsters to a judge ...

14. Jonathan Hale

Actor | The Saint in Palm Springs

Canadian-born Jonathan Hale had a long film career, appearing in over 200 pictures. He was a member of the diplomatic service prior to his film career, and his stately bearing stood him in good stead for the variety of corporate executives, military officers and high-level politicians he often ...

15. Frank Orth

Actor | His Girl Friday

Orth started his career in vaudeville in 1897. He married Ann Codee who would be his wife for fifty years until her death in 1961. Together they were billed as Codee and Orth. He entered movies by making the first foreign language film shorts in sound for Warner Bros. in 1928. That started him on a...

16. Bruno VeSota

Actor | Attack of the Giant Leeches

Tubby 5' 10 1/2" character actor Bruno VeSota had a remarkably long, varied and impressive career acting and directing in the mediums of stage, radio, movies and television. He was born Bruno William VeSota on March 25th, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second of three sons born to Lithuanian...

17. Reggie Nalder

Actor | The Man Who Knew Too Much

With a mysterious past and a mouth marred by burns, Reggie Nalder has a unique, if under appreciated, place in the history of cinema.

Nalder was born Alfred Reginald Natzler in Vienna, Austria, the son of Ida (Herzog), from Safov, and Sigmund Natzler. His parents were from Jewish families The year ...

18. Jacques Marin

Actor | Charade

Short, stocky Jacques Marin was a wonderfully droll character actor, who tended to pop up in international films of the 60's and 70's, whenever a typically French-looking gendarme, police inspector, concierge or shopkeeper was needed. His trademark was a toothbrush moustache and a deadpan ...

19. Max Showalter

Actor | Sixteen Candles

Born in Kansas, Max Showalter picked up the "acting bug" as a toddler when mother used to take him to the local theater where she played the piano for silent movies. He acted in 92 shows at the Pasadena Playhouse between 1935 and '38, made his Broadway debut under the aegis of Oscar Hammerstein II ...

20. Dominique Zardi

Actor | Delicatessen

Dominique Zardi was born on March 2, 1930 in Paris, France as Emile Jean Cohen-Zardi. He is known for his work on Delicatessen (1991), The Nada Gang (1974) and Le Boucher (1970). He died on December 14, 2009 in Paris.

21. Henri Attal

Actor | Les biches

Henri Attal was born on May 13, 1936 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for Les Biches (1968), OSS 117: Mission for a Killer (1965) and Blue Panther (1965). He died on July 24, 2003 in Cucq, Pas-de-Calais, France.

22. Vida Hope

Actress | The Man in the White Suit

Vida Hope was born on December 16, 1910 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England as Vida B. F. Hope. She is known for her work on The Man in the White Suit (1951), Hue and Cry (1947) and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1947). She was married to Derek N. Twist. She died on December 23, 1963 ...

23. Marianne Stone

Actress | Lolita

She was one British character player who seemed to show up everywhere on post-war film, stage and TV, although, more times than not, could barely be glimpsed. A most efficient actress, Marianne Stone's career spanned four decades and was primarily enjoyed in bawdy, ribald comedy playing lowbrow or ...

24. Sam Kydd

Actor | Crane

Sam was a very well known, un-sung, British Actor from 1946 to his death in 1982. He was originally born in Northern Ireland but came over to London England as a boy with his mother and her brothers, setting up home in Bayswater, then Shepherd's Bush, then Chiswick. He was sent to Dunstable school....

25. Patsy Kelly

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

Patsy Kelly was born Bridget Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly on January 12, 1910, in Brooklyn, New York. She began performing in vaudeville when she was just twelve years old. Patsy worked with comedian Frank Fay and starred in several Broadway shows. She was discovered by producer Hal Roach, who paired ...

26. Russell Hicks

Actor | The Blue Bird

Tall, distinguished-looking Russell Hicks appeared in almost 300 films in his more than 40-year career (although his first known screen appearance was in 1915, he has screenwriting credits as early as 1913, so it's possible his screen debut was earlier than credited). His cultured bearing, ...

27. Roy Roberts

Actor | Chinatown

Veteran character player Roy Roberts proudly claimed over 900 performances in a 40-year career. He might not have been known necessarily by name, but the face was distinct and obviously familiar. The prototype of the steely executive, the no-nonsense mayor, the assured banker, the stentorian leader...

28. Harry Hayden

Actor | Hail the Conquering Hero

Harry Hayden was born on November 8, 1882 in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was an actor, known for Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), The Velvet Touch (1948) and Two Sisters from Boston (1946). He was married to Lela Bliss. He died on July 24, 1955 in West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.

29. Irving Bacon

Actor | Meet John Doe

A minor character actor who appeared in literally hundreds of films, actor Irving Bacon could always be counted on for expressing bug-eyed bewilderment or cautious frustration in small-town settings with his revolving door of friendly, servile parts - mailmen, milkmen, clerks, chauffeurs, cab ...

30. William 'Billy' Benedict

Actor | Adventures of Captain Marvel

William Benedict was active in the drama department of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, high school and, at the height of the Depression (1934), decided to relocate to California. At first, he wanted to be a dancer, but when he discovered that dancers were a dime-a-dozen in Hollywood, he concentrated on acting...

31. Dewey Robinson

Actor | A Midsummer Night's Dream

Dewey Robinson was born on August 17, 1898 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He was an actor, known for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), 6 Hours to Live (1932) and The Big Broadcast (1932). He was married to Louise Arlene Woolner. He died on December 11, 1950 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

32. George Chandler

Actor | The High and the Mighty

After military service during the First World War, Chandler studied at the University of Illinois, financing his studies by playing jazz violin in a band. During the early 1920's, he returned to the vaudeville circuit and began in films from 1928. Most of his early efforts were short one- and ...

33. Sterling Holloway

Actor | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Popular American character actor of amusing appearance and voice whose long career led from dozens of highly enjoyable onscreen performances to world-wide familiarity as the voice of numerous Walt Disney animated films. Born in the American Deep South to grocer Sterling P. Holloway Sr. and Rebecca ...

34. Walter Catlett

Actor | Bringing Up Baby

Walter Catlett carved out a career for himself playing excitable, officious blowhards, and few actors did it better. A San Francisco native, he started out in vaudeville - with a detour for a while in opera - before breaking into films in the mid-1920s. Two of his best remembered roles were as the ...

35. Edward Gargan

Actor | The Falcon's Brother

Edward Gargan was born on July 17, 1902 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Falcon's Brother (1942), The Falcon and the Co-eds (1943) and The Falcon in Danger (1943). He was married to Catherine Conlan. He died on February 19, 1964 in New York City.

36. Grant Mitchell

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

You would think stage and film veteran Grant Mitchell was born to play stern authoritarians; his father after all was General John Grant Mitchell. But Mitchell would actually be better known for his portrayals of harangued husbands, bemused dads and bilious executives in 30s and 40s films. Born in ...

37. Nydia Westman

Actress | The Cat and the Canary

This adorable character actress tended to play older than she really was on stage, screen and TV. Petite and quite pretty in her youth, Nydia Westman was born in 1902 to vaudevillian parents, actor-composer Theodore Westman and actress-playwright Lily Wren, and was thrust into the limelight at an ...

38. Harry Holman

Actor | Meet John Doe

Harry Holman was born on March 15, 1872 in Conway, Missouri, USA as Harry James Holman. He was an actor and writer, known for Meet John Doe (1941), The Dark Horse (1932) and Oliver Twist (1933). He died on May 3, 1947 in Hollywood, California, USA.

39. Esther Howard

Actress | Born to Kill

Switching from Broadway to Hollywood in 1931, actress Esther Howard was an expert at portraying frumpy old crones, man-hungry spinsters and oversexed dowagers. Utilizing her wide, expressive eyes and versatile voice for both broad comedy and tense drama, Howard was equally at home portraying ...

40. Vince Barnett

Actor | Scarface

Former vaudevillian, who acquired a solid reputation as a practical joker and master of insult, second only to the great Groucho Marx. Celebrity hosts would often hire Vince to perform gags and put-on jokes at their lavish parties, where he would insult the guests and create mayhem in his wake. He ...

41. Mary Gordon

Actress | Bride of Frankenstein

Scots actress, long in the United States, who specialized in housekeepers and mothers, most notably the housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes series of movies of the Thirties and Forties. She was born Mary Gilmour, the daughter of a Glasgow wire weaver. She worked as a dressmaker before ...

42. James Burke

Actor | The Maltese Falcon

James Burke was born on September 24, 1886 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Maltese Falcon (1941), Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940) and At the Circus (1939). He was married to Eleanor Durkin. He died on May 23, 1968 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

43. Richard Gaines

Actor | Double Indemnity

Richard Gaines was born on July 23, 1904 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA as Richard Houston Gaines. He was an actor, known for Double Indemnity (1944), The More the Merrier (1943) and Ace in the Hole (1951). He was married to Brenda Marshall. He died on July 20, 1975 in North Hollywood, Los Angeles...

44. Fred Kelsey

Actor | The Lone Wolf Strikes

Fred Kelsey was born on August 20, 1884 in Sandusky, Ohio, USA as Frederick Alvin Kelsey. He was an actor and director, known for The Lone Wolf Strikes (1940), On Trial (1928) and Mesa of Lost Women (1953). He was married to Katharine Miller. He died on September 2, 1961 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, ...

45. Jimmy Conlin

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

Jimmy Conlin was born on October 14, 1884 in Camden, New Jersey, USA as James Patrick Conlin. He was an actor, known for Anatomy of a Murder (1959), The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) and Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947). He was married to Dorothy Ryan, Myrtle Glass and Lillian Grace Steel (actress)....

46. Christian Rub

Actor | You Can't Take It with You

Christian Rub was born on April 13, 1886 in Graz, Styria, Austria. He was an actor, known for You Can't Take It with You (1938), Peter Ibbetson (1935) and Girls' Dormitory (1936). He was married to Amy. He died on April 14, 1956 in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

47. Johnny Arthur

Actor | The Monster

American actor who specialized in timid or whiny characters. He appeared on the stage in England and in the USA, and performed in musical comedy. He began his film work in silents and often worked in the films of Hal Roach.

48. Marjorie Bennett

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Marjorie Bennett was an Australian actress, who spend most of her career working in the United Kingdom and the United States. She was born in York, Western Australia, a town that was an important stop for miners and travelers during the Australian gold rushes of the late 19th century. York is ...

49. Charles Williams

Writer | Dead Calm

Charles Williams was born in San Angelo, Texas, and grew up there and in New Mexico. He attended Brownsville High School in Texas through the tenth grade. In the United States Merchant Marine, from 1929 to 1939, he served as a radio operator. Williams joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, and ...

50. Harry Tyler

Actor | The Grapes of Wrath

Harry Tyler was born on June 13, 1888 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Naked Street (1955) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955). He was married to Gladys Crolius. He died on September 15, 1961 in Hollywood, California, USA.

51. Franklin Pangborn

Actor | Hail the Conquering Hero

Franklin Pangborn - a name more befitting a fictionalized bank president rather than a great comedic actor - was a singular character actor but little is known of his early years. He spent some time in developing acting talent prior to appearing on Broadway by March of 1911, and would do six plays ...



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