Some actors take on the supporting role as their sole practice in Hollywood. Every role they play, small as it may be, has a stunning effect on the outcome of the show. They are the reason we talk about the show the next day. Only a few men have been able to perfect the role of supporting actor. Based on their body of work, here my list of the best supporting actors of all time.
1. Barry Corbin
Barry Corbin leaves his mark on every film he appears in, no matter how small the part. From the Secretary of Defense in “War Games” to the beloved Uncle Bud in “Urban Cowboy”, we know it’s going to be a great film when Barry Corbin makes an appearance. Since starting his acting career in 1970, Corbin has over 400 credits to his name including six projects in post production due out in 2010-2011. He has been nominated for three Emmy awards, twice for his supporting role on “Northern Exposure”, but has yet to win a major acting award.
2. Scott Glenn
Though Scott Glenn has stepped into the lead role, his best acting has come through in his supporting roles. His most compelling role came in 1980 as the ex-con in “Urban Cowboy”. Never having been nominated for a major award seems to be an overlook on the part of Hollywood. Glenn manages to look like the roughest guy on screen, but for some reason we still want to like him. Scott Glenn currently has two projects in post-production for 2010-2011 release.
3. Will Patton
When you see Will Patton in the credits of any movie or TV show you can almost guarantee some sort of covert activities will be involved. Patton plays the part of government agents like he was born to do it. While we often want to like his characters, they usually devolve into something we never saw coming. The ability to repeat this process without being appearing type cast earns Will Patton the honor of making the list of best supporting actors. Currently Patton has two projects in post-production for 2010-2011.
4. Steve Buscemi
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t like Steve Buscemi’s characters. That being said, he is one of the supporting actors that we love to hate. If a film boasts of an appearance by Buscemi, we know it’s going to be weird… at the least. From “Fargo” to “Pulp Fiction”, he’s always the creepy guy even if the movie is filled with creepy characters. Though he’s won several minor acting awards and been nominated for three Emmy’s, Buscemi has yet to win a major. Currently with 11 projects in various stages of production for 2010-2011, making Steve Buscemi one of the hardest working supporting actors the decade.
5. Sal Mineo
Taken from us far too soon, Sal Mineo made a name for himself as a great supporting actor in “Rebel Without a Cause” in 1955. Mineo added nearly 100 more acting credits to his name before he was murdered in 1976. His consummate roles as the underdog made us love him in every supporting role. Imagine what we’ve missed out by losing this great actor so early.
6. David Keith
Likely best known for his supporting role in “An Officer and a Gentleman”, David Keith proved his acting abilities early and often. Keith has since played a myriad of roles, often as a bad cop or government rogue. Though nominated for two Gold Globe Awards for “An Officer and a Gentleman”, David Keith has yet to win an acting award. His latest endeavor is in the new TV drama “Lonestar”, premiering in the fall of 2010.
7. Edward Hermann
He played my favorite vampire of all time in “The Lost Boys”. Edward Hermann is best known for playing government officials, or crazy men… or both. Hermann, like Ronny Cox, is known for playing the lovable character that often turns out to be no-so-lovable. He makes every character he plays three dimensional.
8. Ronny Cox
Ronny Cox has over 250 acting credits to his name. I first saw him in the family show Apple’s Way, and he instantly became one of my favorite supporting actors. Ronny Cox can play truly evil people just as easily as he can portray the most trusted of townsmen. He has a positive affect on every movie he is in, and never overplays his role.
9. George Kennedy
George Kennedy will forever be the conssumate actor’s actor. Usually portraying the lead actor’s best friend, he could do it in comedies or dramas equally well. Kennedy was a big name in the role of supporting actor during the 1970’s after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1967 for Cool Hand Luke. George Kennedy has one film in production for 2011.
10. Anthony Heald
Most recently seen on Boston Legal, Anthony Heald is a fine actor in a supporting role. He was outstanding for four years on Boston Public before that as the assistant principal that you wanted to hate, but couldn’t. While his looks could stereotype him, Heald has been able to pull off amazing acting skills playing both good and evil roles.
Coming up with a list of the best supporting actors ever was actually not as hard as it may sound. Knowing all of their names, now that’s a different story. You may not recognize the names of these great supporting actors, but their contributions to film and television is priceless. I bet you recognize all of their faces too.