Actors you DON'T recognize

There are a lot of threads about actors that people recognize, but that almost seems too easy. I mean, just about anybody who appears in any sizable role in a movie or TV series has probably done lots of smaller parts to get where they are. “Oh, yeah, I remember her, she played the best friend of one of the guys in that movie about the two bike messengers.” Or whatever.

What about the reverse; has there ever been someone you saw in a very prominent role, that you’d never seen before, or since?

For me, it’s Inspector Cobb in the third Die Hard movie. IMDb estimates the budget for that movie at $90 million. It’s got Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jeremy Irons, I recognized Colleen Camp, and Graham Greene, but who the hell is that guy playing McClane’s boss? That’s not a criticism; I like him in the movie, competent and overworked, but not cartoonish. I’ve just never seen him anywhere else. IMDb says it’s Larry Bryggman.

So, is there anybody else? What actors have you seen in major roles who were conspicuous because you haven’t seen them before?
Checking his filmography, he was in one episode of Law & Order that I’m sure I’ve seen, but I don’t remember him in it.

We were recently watching The Lovely Bones and my wife was commenting on how well Stanley Tucci hid in character.
I said I did not recognize him and asked what else I might have seen him in. After she failed to come up with anything I may had seen him in I looked him up on IMDB. There wasn’t a single movie or TV show that I had seen of his.

Similar was Josh Brolin in No Country for Old Men. Before that movie I had never seen him.

I was just rewatching Band of Brothers yesterday and aside from Ron Livingston, David Schwimmer and Donnie Walhberg, the cast is entirely new faces. I’ve seen a few of them in bit parts in other things(the guy playing Bill Guarnere has had small roles in Monk and I think he was a henchman in one of the Bad Boys movies), but for the most part none of them have gone on to do anything noteworthy.

Same with the Wire.

:dubious: I thought the OP was going more for actors who came out of nowhere in big roles and then disappeared. Those two hardly qualify.

Jamie Bamber (3 episodes) went on to play Apollo in Battlestar Galactica.
Scott Grimes (Malarkey) went on to act in 112 episodes of ER.
Damian Lewis (Winters) went on to star in three seasons of “Life” on FOX.
Neal McDonough (Buck) has an extensive biography after BoB, including “Boomtown” (24 episodes), “Medical Investigation” (20 episodes), and “Desperate Housewives” (24 episodes). He also has played bit-to-supporting roles in a number of movies.

Good call. But again, nothing noteworthy.:slight_smile:

I remember that little dweeb from Charles in Charge.

It’s no longer the case, ever since Sling Blade I suppose, but there for the first dozen or so times Billy Bob Thorntonwas in support roles in movies, he was very hard to recognize because his appearance from one part to the next was almost totally different from all previous ones. He still does some chameleon disguises but has gotten too recognizable for it to work nowadays.

Lon Chaney?

Does anybody else remember The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)? Talk about some shitty disguises!

I still refuse to believe that BBT was Sling Blade.

That one Brooklynite who lost a leg to a shell became the President’s advisor on 24. Amazed to see that he already has grey hair…

I’m assuming you’re taking a piss, because otherwise :rolleyes:

Doesn’t quite fit the thread, but I never recognize Gary Oldman in anything.

Not to hijack the thread (even further), but I have the exact opposite problem: I keep seeing Gary Oldman everywhere. Before I knew who Sam Rockwell was, I was convinced he was just Gary Oldman putting on an accent. GI Joe: the rise of Cobra? Damn, there’s Gary Oldman, but what’s with the bad voice acting? That new Luc Besson film, Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec: yay, it’s Gary Oldman, and he’s speaking French! Honestly, the next time I see a film with Oldman actually in it, I’m not going to believe it’s him.

Following that same line, How about Lucas Black?

Whoa. I just GISed him and there is no way in hairy heck I would have recognized him.

Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive. Hadn’t seen her before, haven’t seen her since, although IMDB tells me she’s done a fair bit. Shame, because I thought she was the hottest babe in MH, and she co-starred with Naomi freakin’ Watts.

Scott Grimes was already pretty famous for Party of Five. He wasn’t one of the titular five, but he was a regular. IMDb credits him with 71 episodes.

I think you’re confusing him with Willie Aames.

Ted Levine who plays Monks boss cop was Buffalo Bill in “Silence of the Lambs”. The roles are so different that it is hard to reconcile them.

Are you meaning that you can’t stand Billy Bob Thornton but like Sling Blade and so wish that BBT wasn’t in it? Or are you meaning that you like BBT but hate Sling Blade and so hate the fact that he’s in it? Or is it just that it’s SO different from anything else BBT has done that it’s unbelievable? I can see that. He is an excellent actor. Too bad his last really great “character” role was in Bad Santa. (arguably, of course, but then, I haven’t seen everything he’s done in the past few years.)

I’m sure you know, but maybe others don’t, he came up with the character of Karl Childers. He wrote the movie. He directed the movie. He very deservedly was nominated for Oscars for the writing and acting. It won for Best Adapted Screenplay (it was adapted from his own short film). I think Sling Blade is an amazing movie.

And oh yes, Lucas Black has definitely grown up into a nice-looking young man!

It’s happened with me before – many times – that I’ll see a resemblance in an actor or actress to “somebody” and it will sidetrack me from being able to enjoy whatever I’m watching until I can identify the resembled person.

Just within the past month, Masterpiece Mystery on PBS ran some episodes of “Foyle’s War” (2002) in which Honeysuckle Weeks (pictured here) plays a recurring role.

It took a bit of mental juggling before I realized the resemblance is to Lucas Black for whom the best photo I have found so far is this one.

I’ve seen Lucas in several roles since he passed into adulthood, as well as a few when he was still a kid. Being an Alabama boy who refuses to drop his Southern accent has endeared him to me, but he’s also a competent actor whose face is (obviously) in my mind’s eye.