Character actor

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A character actor is a supporting actor who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters. Character actor_sentence_0

The term, often contrasted with that of leading actor, is somewhat abstract and open to interpretation. Character actor_sentence_1

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. Character actor_sentence_2

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. Character actor_sentence_3

In either case, character actor roles are more substantial than bit parts or non-speaking extras. Character actor_sentence_4

The term is used primarily to describe television and film actors. Character actor_sentence_5

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". Character actor_sentence_6

Actors with a long career history of playing character roles may be difficult for audiences to recognize as being the same actor. Character actor_sentence_7

Overview Character actor_section_0

In contrast to leading actors, they are generally seen as less glamorous. Character actor_sentence_8

While a leading actor often has physical beauty needed to play the love interest, a character actor typically does not. Character actor_sentence_9

Some character actors are known for their unusual looks. Character actor_sentence_10

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. Character actor_sentence_11

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. Character actor_sentence_12

Some character actors have been described as instantly recognizable despite their names being little known. Character actor_sentence_13

During the course of an acting career, an actor can sometimes shift between leading roles and secondary roles. Character actor_sentence_14

Some leading actors, as they get older, find that access to leading roles is limited by their increasing age. Character actor_sentence_15

In the past, actors of color, who were often barred from roles for which they were otherwise suited, found work performing ethnic stereotypes. Character actor_sentence_16

Sometimes character actors have developed careers based on specific talents needed in genre films, such as dancing, horsemanship, acrobatics, swimming ability, or boxing. Character actor_sentence_17

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. Character actor_sentence_18

Some character actors play essentially the same character over and over, as with Andy Devine's humorous but resourceful sidekick, or David Warner's sci-fi villains. Character actor_sentence_19

Others, like Sir Laurence Olivier, submerge themselves in any role they play. Character actor_sentence_20

Some character actors are known as "chameleons", able to play roles that vary wildly, such as Gary Oldman. Character actor_sentence_21

Some character actors develop a cult following, like the fans of Star Trek or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Character actor_sentence_22

Character actors tend to play the same type of role throughout their careers, like Harvey Keitel as tough and determined, Christopher Lloyd as an eccentric, Claude Rains as sophisticated, sometimes morally ambiguous men, Abe Vigoda as an aging criminal, Fairuza Balk as moody goth girls, and Forest Whitaker as composed characters with underlying volatility. Character actor_sentence_23

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 actor_sentence_24

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. Character actor_sentence_25

A character actor's roles are often substantially different from their real-life persona. Character actor_sentence_26

Good character actors are rarely out of work, and they often have long careers that span decades. Character actor_sentence_27

They are often highly regarded by fellow actors. Character actor_sentence_28

See also Character actor_section_1

Character actor_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character actor.