Actors you're surprised never made it big

Who are some actors who you swore were going to be top stars, but never really made it?

I’m surprised and pleased that Madeleine Stowe has been in a lot of movies. But so few were really big pictures. I’ll always think of her as that woman in Twelve Monkeys.

Kerri Green. I predicted big things for her. But it seems that once she reached the age of majority, she just stopped working.

Balthizar Getty. Much like Stowe, he’s been working, mostly in bit parts on TV shows. After Lord of the Flies and White Squall, I thought he was going to be huge. Instead he’s landed roles like “Gas Station Attendant.”

He was also in 92 episodes of something called Brothers and Sisters. I’ve never seen it - was his a bit part?

Besides, I could never tell him apart from Liev Schrieber.

I’ve never even heard of it. But at 92 episodes you’d figure that he has a big part.

Michael Biehn. Sure Arnold was the breakout from Terminator…but I never understood why Biehn never did much more.

Catherine McCormack. She’s incredibly beautiful in a gut wrenching way, she’s a talented, classically trained actor, she brings an air of intelligence (which may very well be faked, but if so, it’s very well faked) to every role…and yet, she’s still best known as, “Oh…yeah…wait, isn’t she the chick from Braveheart?”

Her third role, over 15 years ago. She’s done a lot of work since, but all small stuff or ignored stuff. Why isn’t she a star? It makes no sense.

Typecasting. Remember, this is a guy who played a SEAL officer in three unrelated movies; I guess casting directors couldn’t think of him as anything else.

Julie Benz is my favorite actress who has never quite managed to become a household name. Part of that has to do with the choices she makes in roles. Her role in Dexter was major but wasn’t going to show off her chops to the casual observer and as popular as that show is, it’s going to get a smaller audience almost by design. Her role in Angel was only going to get seen by a small segment of the population so no matter how brilliant she was (and she was) it’s not going to be taken seriously, and No Ordinary Family is just a terrible show so there is nothing to do about that.

She is freakin talented though.

You could probably mention a whole bunch of people from SNL, especially Dana Carvey, who was supposed to be huge, but whose career just foundered after he left the show.

The role was hardly a bit part - he was one of the brothers on Brothers and Sisters and had many prominent segments in the series.

I was always sort of surprised that Catherine Burns career seemed to have ended after her Oscar nominated role in Last Summer.

She appears quite busy in this list, preferring the theater over film.

I’d say Valérie Kaprisky, but she’s done most of her work in France, and I have no idea how successful she’s been on balance.

Busy, sure. And I absolutely hope it’s due to her preference as she says. But the OP asked who we are surprised never made it “big”. She’s a solid working actress with a resume a mile long who never made it “big” in terms of stardom or cultural awareness.

Edward Furlong. According to his IMDB page, he’s worked pretty steadily, but he’s never become a big star. I also understand, though, he also had some substance abuse problems during his teenage years.

As a sidenote - I see from his IMDB page that he’s part Mexican, kind of interesting given his role as an up-and-coming white supremacist in “American History X.”

Jason Carter- He played Marcus on Babylon 5. I’ve seen him in commercials since, but little else.

I thought he’d be successful .

Oh, and I sometimes picture Ben Browder from Farscape as the biggest movie star in Hollywood. I forget that he isn’t.

Ooh, good one!

I always thought Adrian Paul deserved much more than Highlander stuff.

Diane Franklin. Loved her in Last American Virgin and Better Off Dead (also in Saturday the 14th IIRC). Bit parts in some TV stuff.

She should have been huge!

Not that I think that she’s especially a great actress or anything, but I’ve always been a little surprised that Piper Perabo didn’t get to be a bigger star than she is.

adrian paul was my pick to play sirius black.

still with the highlander anthology, i thought clancy brown was a very good actor. after HL and a few forgettable minor roles, i saw him again as a middle-aged supporting player. sad.