Actors Forever Associated With 1 Role

Which actor/actress will we be forever associated with one particular role?

Let’s give one each from film and TV and I’ll go first.

Linda Blair will ALWAYS be Reagan O’Neill (sp??) from The Exorcist.
Too bad for her, since those images of pea soup and spinning heads have dogged her throughout a rather dismal career.

From TV - Gary Coleman. Whenever I see him, I tune out whatever he is saying and wait for him to give that look and then the old: “Whad’you talkin’ 'bout Willis?”

Alright. Who else do we have?

Dustin Diamond-Screech
Gary Burghoff-Radar O’Reily
Alan Alda-Hawkeye Pierce
Jaleel White-Urkel
Pamela Anderson-Her character on baywatch had a name, I thought they just used shots of her chest?
Lou Farigno(sp?)-Incredible Hulk
Lucille Ball-Lucy Ricardo
And that goes double for Ricky
Cheech Marin-Cheech (his new TV series blows, in the commercials they always call they actors by their names and never the character names, what the hell is up with that?)
I’m sure i’ll chime in with more later.

TV: William Shatner – Captain Kirk

Movies: Robert Preston – Professor Harold Hill.

Well…let’s see. A few come to mind:

Jim Nabors will always be Gomer Pyle
just as

George Lindsey will always be Goober Pyle (talk about a lousy way to be remembered til the end of time).

Jim Varney will always be Ernest P. Worrell. (Later, Vern!)

Adam West will be Batman, forever (snicker…)

George Reeve died forever typecast as Superman.

Elizabeth Montgomery to me (and alot of others, I’m sure) will always be thought of as Samantha Stevens on Bewitched.

And although he hasn’t been this character in quite some time, and would love to lay him to rest, Paul Reubens will always be PeeWee Herman. I mean, how can you look at him and NOT see PeeWee?? Even in his mugshot, you expected him to suddenly cock an eyebrow and make a smirk.

Plus, I always see Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett. Yeah, I know he was in a million other things earlier as well as later, but he’s still Uncle Jed.

Mark Hamill will never be anything but Luke Skywalker.
Ralph Macchio, similarly doomed to be the Karate Kid forever.
Anthony Perkins is Norman Bates.
Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan are permanently James Bond. Connery barely got out.
I bet when most people see Judy Garland, they think Dorothy Gale…

Patrick Stewart…No matter how hard I tried while watching X-Men, I just couldn’t think of him as Professor X…He was just Captain Picard visiting a school of mutants for some reason.

This is why, if I ever make a movie, I’m going to cast random nobody’s that no one knows to play my characters…It’s cool to have big names and everything, but then everyone thinks “Oh it’s that guy from that other movie! He’s awesome!!” and not really the character they’re playing.

I didn’t recognize most of the actors in X-Men (not because they aren’t popular but because I don’t really keep up on this kind of thing), so I was happy because they were less “that guy from that other movie” to me. Except Picard. Wolverine was cool, heh…

…I’ll be on my way now.

  • Tsugumo

To me, James Garner will forever be Jim Rockford. To my mother, he will forever be a Maverick.

Eric Estrada will always be Ponch.

Mary-Kate etc. will always be Michelle Tanner.

Kesley Grammar will always be Frasier Crane (though he rarely plays someone else . . . ).

Kerry Elwes will always be Wesley.

Timothy Dalton cannot forever be James Bond. He wasn’t James Bond when he was James Bond, for heaven’s sake. You might as well say George Lanzenby will forever be James Bond.

Alan Hale, Jr = Skipper
Bob Denver = Gilligan
Leonard Nimoy = Spock
Pauly Shore = a guy who sucks
Adam Sandler = the other guy who sucks

Tim Curry = Dr. Frank N. Furter

Carrie Fisher = Princess Leia

Matthew Broderick = Ferris Bueller

Louise Lasser = Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

Bela Lugosi = Dracula

(Deafening applause!!!)

Timothy Dalton is, well, whoever. Same for Pierce Brosnan. Sean Connery barely escaped being stuck in 007 Hell, but the Roger Moore IS James Bond. He can’t help it.

George Michael Dolenz (Jr) - Micky Dolenz, Monkee
David A. Jones - Davy Jones, Monkee
Robert Michael Nesmith - Mike Nesmith, Monkee
Peter H. Thorkelson - Peter Tork, Monkee

I love the guys, but let’s face it…they were originally hired as actors. The phenomena swelled from there.

George Wendt will always be Norm.
Bill Cosby will always be Dr. Huxtable.

Kevin Kline, regardless of how many other wonderful roles he plays, will always be Otto.
Olivia de Havilland will always be Melanie Wilkes. (Okay, that’s an old one.)

Bruce Willis will always be NYC police officer John McClanes. That is what ruined the movie Unbreakable for me, and it’s why I had almost no intrest in seeing The Sixth Sense.

And Mad Max recently starred in What Women Want & The Patriot- a couple of yawn-fests I could have done without.

I’m with Tsugumo in saying that they need to find some new talent for the new movies.

This isn’t really adding to the list, but I think the folks from Sienfeld will never entirely be free from their characters on that show. Some of them are versatile enough to pull it off, but I think it will take another memorable character to work with. Not to hijack the thread or anything, but I wonder how many actors are instantly and equally associated with more than one role? I only mention it because I don’t think it happens that often. Maybe Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

Oh, back to the OP:
Christopher Reeves as Superman.
Ed Asner as Lou Grant.
Bob Denver as Gilligan.

I guess the real challenge is to find actors who have done a lot of stuff. Not just someone who played a character on TV for 15 years. So sctrach the above except for the Superman bit.

Hey, I didn’t say it was a good thing, I just said we’ll forevermore look at him and go, “Hey, that’s Dalton! He’s that dork who tried to play James Bond!” What do you remember him as, the husband of shuffling mummy Mae West in Sextette?

Ted Danson as Sam Malone. Watching his cameo in Saving Private Ryan I couldn’t help thinking “what the hell is Sam Malone doin’ in WWII? Where’s Norm?”

The fact that he’s an average, one-dimensional actor doesn’t help.

Ron Howard is forever Richie Cunningham.
The guy that played the Fonz (I forget his mane ATM), well, he’ll forever be the Fonz
All the Full House folks.
All the Saved By the Bell folks.
And, last but not least, Gilligan. Can he ever be anyone else?

Henry Winkler

Oh - and Jerry Mathers IS The Beaver.