Underrated Actor ~ Frank Whaley

Frank Whaley

Here’s a man you may recognize but yet might not have known his name. Frank Whaley is a critically acclaimed actor/writer/director who has been around for almost 30 years, but is probably best known for his roles in Pulp Fiction and Field of Dreams. He has written and directed four films including the underrated The Jimmy Show, starring himself, Carla Gugino and Ethan Hawke. He is also the lead actor with Kevin Spacey in the underrated Swimming With Sharks. Other notable appearances include Ironweed (1987), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), The Doors (1991), Career Opportunities (1991), JFK (1991), I.Q. (1994), Broken Arrow (1996), Vacancy (2007), and Drillbit Taylor (2008). Click here for a complete list.

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Underrated Actress ~ Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd is a veteran actress with more than 70 television and big-screen credits. Ann originally headed to college in her home state of Massachusetts to study pre-med, but later decided to pursue acting. She spent several years performing in regional theatre in the Chicago area, and moved to New York City in 1988 to pursue a bigger stage. She has won numerous awards for her stage work, and has appeared on Broadway three times. I had vaguely recognized Ann from other movies, but it was her performance in the independent psychological thriller Compliance, which is Underrated Movie #212 on this list, that really caught my attention. To me it is one of the most amazing acting jobs of all time, and Dowd should have been nominated for the Academy Award… and she should have won. Other notable appearances include Lorenzo’s Oil (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Shiloh (1996), TV’s The X-Files (1999), TV’s NYPD Blue (2000), TV’s Freaks and Geeks (2000), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Marley & Me (2008), The Informant! (2009), and Side Effects (2013). Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actor ~ Charles Durning

Charles Durning

You’ve seen this guy a million times, but did you know his name? The late Charles Durning was a WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor. Charles was kicked out of the American Academy of Dramatic Art drama school because they thought he had no talent, which also happened to fellow actor Jason Robards. His breakthrough role occurred on Broadway in 1972 starring in “That Championship Season” where he was noticed by director George Roy Hill, who cast him in “The Sting.” He played the role of Santa Claus in five different movies, won Broadway’s 1990 Tony Award for Best Actor for portraying Big Daddy in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and was considered for the role of General Worden in The Dirty Dozen. Charles was nominated for two Oscars, for To Be or Not to Be (1983), and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). His filmography has over 200 credits, including notable appearances in The Sting (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), The Muppet Movie (1979), North Dallas Forty (1979), Tootsie (1982), Dick Tracy (1990), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), TV’s Evening Shade (1994), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actor ~ Raymond J. Barry

Raymond J. Barry

You have no doubt seen this guy many times, but you didn’t know his name until now. He attended Brown University, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. His degree is in philosophy. Raymond has also been in over 75 stage productions, and he once taught English at a private school in New York. Notable appearances include Little Children (2006), Training Day (2001), The Deep End (2001), Dead Man Walking (1995), Falling Down (1993), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Notable TV appearances include Justified, CSI, Law & Order, Lost, Alias, and The X-Files. Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actor ~ Jay O. Sanders

Jay O. Sanders

Standing at 6’4″, Jay O. Sanders is another face you might recognize buy yet never knew the name. If you’ve watched any movies in the last 25 years, you’ve likely seen him in one of your favorites. Notable appearances include Green Lantern (2011), Edge of Darkness (2010), Revolutionary Road (2008), Half Nelson (2006), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Tumbleweeds (1999), JFK (1991), Glory (1989), and Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988). Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actor ~ Mike Starr

Mike Starr

You’ve seen this guy in many movies, but you probably didn’t know his name. From Queens, New York, and standing at 6’3″, Mike Starr is often called-upon to play a mobster, a cop, or a tough-guy of some kind. He has almost 200 movie and television roles to his credit, with notable appearances including The Office (2009), Snake Eyes (1998), Blood and Wine (1996), Frasier (1994), Dumb & Dumber (1994), Goodfellas (1990), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), Funny Farm (1988), and The Natural (1984). Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actress ~ Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino

Those who loved to watch the exploits of Kevin Arnold will recognize Carla from her appearance on a classic episode of The Wonder Years. She has a vast filmography, with notable appearances including American Gangster (2007), Underrated Movie #26 The Lookout (2007), Night at the Museum (2006), Spy Kids (2001), Chicago Hope (TV Series, 2000), Snake Eyes (1998), and This Boy’s Life (1993). Click here for a complete list.

Underrated Actor ~ Steve Park

Steve Park

Steve Park is best known for his sketch comedy on the TV series In Living Color, and for his portrayal of the character Mike Yanagita in the movie Fargo. He originally auditioned for In Living Color after seeing a skit parodying the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing, in which Steve plays the role of a Korean shop owner. He met his wife and fellow cast member, Kelly Coffield Park, on the set of the show. Notable appearances include Morning Glory (2010), A Serious Man (2009), Underrated Movie #170 Rocket Science (2007), Fargo (1996), Falling Down (1993), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Underrated Movie #125 Quick Change (1990), and Do The Right Thing (1989). Click here for a complete filmography.

Underrated Actor ~ Dan Hedaya

Dan Hedaya

Dan Hedaya is a familiar face from his work in films and on TV, where he often plays a villain, although he had a good comic turn as the charmingly sleazy Nick Tortelli, Carla’s ex-husband on “Cheers,” probably his most famous role. He has also done much stage work, including many New York Shakespeare Festival productions. Before becoming an actor he taught junior high school for several years. Notable appearances include The Hurricane (1999), Underrated Movie #35 A Civil Action (1998), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Ransom (1996), Clueless (1995), The Usual Suspects (1995), Underrated Movie #83 Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993), and Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). Click here for a complete filmography.

Underrated Actor ~ Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor

A talent for playing off-the-wall characters, Jeffrey Tambor has been seen by television and movie audiences for four decades. A large, looming fellow, his sly-eyed look and leering gaze, matched with a bright set of pearly whites and stark pattern baldness, made him a natural for broad, warped comedy. He was first seen on episodic TV in the mid-1970’s, with multiple appearances on Three’s Company (1976) in which he would stand toe-to-toe with John Ritter and steal many of their scenes with his noticeably bizarre mannerisms. Click here to watch this clip of one of his guest spots on Three’s Company. Other notable appearances include Underrated Movie #77 Win Win (2011), Hellboy (2004), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Meet Joe Black (1998), There’s Something About Mary (1998), City Slickers (1991), Underrated Movie #81 Three O’Clock High (1987), and Mr. Mom (1983). Click here for a complete filmography.

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