William Hurt (except Smoke)
James Coburn (no exceptions)
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Harrison Ford (with a few excpetions)
Tom Cruise (early- all cocky guy, lately- all brooding)
William Shatner. Well, except for Congeniality.
Eddie Murphy. Actually, he plays the same set of characters in every movie…
Why the hell weren’t Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzeneggar the first ones out of the chute?
Robert deNiro (except for Awakenings)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (he plays the Japanese bad guy in every movie that requires a Japanese bad guy… The Art of War, Rising Sun, Mortal Kombat…)
Also, the little Asian character actor who plays a thug in every movie… balding, long hair, Fu Manchu moustache… he was the guy who tortured Mel Gibson’s character in Lethal Weapon.
And seconds for Nic Cage and Christopher Lambert.
Jack Nicholson. And that is what really spoiled Kubrick’s verison of The Shining for me.
Hows about Gary Oldman?
Julia Roberts always seems to play the same person, but I think that’s because she can’t act worth a hoot, so it’s unintentional. Wheras Ahnold really is always trying to play the same guy.
Tom Green, of course, always plays a stupid weirdo.
John Malkovich always plays a creepy weirdo, except in “In The Line of Fire,” in which he played a psychotic weirdo.
Ben Affleck always plays Ben Affleck.
James Van Der Beek always plays The Sensitive, Introspective Kid.
Freddie Prinze Jr. always plays The Smiling Playboy.
Brendan Fraser always plays The Big Lovable Goofball, though in “The Mummy” he did branch out into The Big Lovable Guy Who Beats Everyone Up.
Surely Burt Reynolds finds a place in this pantheon of thespian excellence.
Hey! I hear Michael Douglas is in a new movie where he plays a big asshole!
The guy that played RFK in 13 days also played him in a Marilyn Monroe movie so he DID play the same guy.
Oliver Platt (I love this guy, this isn’t a criticism)
How are H.I. McDonnough, Ben Sanderson, and Stanley Goodspeed “the same role”? Sure, Nicolas Cage has a lot of tics & moves that occur in every movie. But the roles played in “Raising Arizona”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and “The Rock” are distinctly different, in my view. And it’s not just those three.
Brendan Fraser and Robert DeNiro also don’t need to be on this list. In fact, a lot of these actors have a definite persona which they often return to. But most of them have at least attempted to inject some variety in their careers.