Below we take a look at three of the most prolific actors who are more recognised by the characters they play than who they really are.
In Hollywood, there are a multitude of stars that have transcended to A-list status. These celebrities are known by their names rather than by the characters that they have played that made them household names.
There are also acclaimed actors who have not transcended to this level of stardom. This is despite the fact that they have played the roles of some of the most memorable characters in film and television projects.
These actors are either remembered by the prolific character names, or are simply recognisable, even if people do not remember the movie or television project they have been in.
Who is the no. 1 actor in the world?
Surprisingly, the best actor in terms of revenue earned from their acting projects is actress Scarlett Johansson, who is regarded as the number one actress according to The Numbers. This ranking is based on the actor who has amassed the highest revenue at the box office worldwide.
Johansson is considered a lead ensemble actress as that is how the actress has been credited in most of her successful films.
Some of her highest grossing films at the box office include her role as Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series of movies, and her roles in Lucy, Sing, and Sing 2.
Three of the most prolific actors you probably don’t know
The list of the most prolific actors people do not know is extensive, but there is an actor who deserves an honourable mention for being the actor that has been in the most films. According to Screenrant, as of April 2022, the Hollywood actor with the most acting credits to date is Eric Roberts.
Probably more commonly known as the brother of America’s sweetheart, Julia Roberts, and the father of Emma Roberts, Eric has an acting career that spans close to six decades.
His first acting credit was in 1964 in the role of Ted Bancroft no.1 in Another World. Since then, the actor has acted in television series and in films.
Throughout his career, Eric has been known for not caring much about the leading role credit, but merely being part of great film and television projects. According to IMDb, Roberts currently has 684 acting credits under his name. This includes projects that are currently in post-production and those that are currently being filmed.
But in the same way Roberts is not applauded for his record-breaking feat, there are a number of actors who, though they may not have as many acting credits, have been in the industry for so long that they are recognisable by face.
However, for many, putting a name to the face is more difficult than naming the film or television series that the actor is most recognisable for.
1. Peter Stormare
The name Peter Stormare might not be recognisable, but it is probably easier to imagine Stormare as the most prolific Russian or Eastern European gangster or “bad guy” in movies.
Stormare has been the call guy for a number of films where the “bad guy” character needs to be filled. This could be because of his thick accent and Eastern European appearance.
The Swedish-born actor has been acting since 1978, and some of the most well-known films that he has been part of include Armageddon, The Brothers Grimm, and 1996’s Fargo in which he played Gaear Grimsrud.
2. William Fichtner
William Fichtner is one of the quintessential examples of a “famous actor that nobody knows.” Starting his acting career in 1989, Fichtner has showcased his versatility and range. Through playing the antagonist, or the good guy supportive role, the actor has nailed all of his characters, which is sometimes credited to his imposing and striking looks.
Some of his acting credits include playing Colonel William Sharp in Armageddon, Flanagan in 2004’s Crash, and as Adam in the hit sitcom, Mom. Fichtner is still active as an actor as his latest role is on the series, The Company You Keep.
3. Giancarlo Esposito
Considering that Giancarlo Esposito’s acting career dates back to as early as 1979, it is surprising that his most successful role came in the hit crime and espionage drama series, Breaking Bad, where he played the role of Gus Fring, and reprised his role for the prequel spin-off, Better Call Saul.
His other memorable and recent acting credits include Dear White People for 23 episodes, Once Upon a Time for 14 episodes, and The Get Down for 10 episodes. His most recent acting credit is his role in The Mandalorian, where he played Moff Gideon for eight episodes.