Forgettable, Mediocre Actors and Actresses Who Were Nevertheless Successful

So, Sabrina was on TV. Never having watched it, I said to Mrs. Evil Captor, “Who is that actress with Harrison Ford? She looks kinda familiar, but I can’t place her.”

Mrs. Evil Captor said, “Me either, she was in a lot of movies at one time, but she wasn’t very good or very memorable. She was in First Knight.”

“I thought Isabella Rosselini was in First Knight and wasn’t very good and was in a lot of movies,” I responded.

“No, it was her, whoever she is,” responded Mrs. Evil Captor. "You are thinking of “Big Night.”

“Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio?” I asked.

“No,” replied Mrs. Evil Captor, "but she’s another one.’

“Anabella Sciorra?” I asked.

“No,” replied Mrs. Evil Captor. “It’s Julia Ormond!” (I think she remembered just to shut me up.)

But that got me thinking … there are an awful lot of actresses who’ve done a sapte of top of the line mainstream movies but never made much of an impression. What other actresses are there who’ve been all over the big screen without being all that memorable or all that good?

I think Anabella Sciorra is a very good actress. (Sopranos, Law & Order)

I agree that Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is mediocre.

Isabella Rosselini? Seriously? She doesn’t even rate mediocre on my assessment.

Julia Ormond… ok, somewhere between mediocre and good.

Sonny Tufts.
Tab Hunter

Yeah, but Sciorra is kinda generic somehow, AFAIC. She never seems to make and impression. Maybe a great actress, I dunno, but I don’t remember her particularly in any role … yet I remember much crummier actresses much more vividly.

I think that is because she is kind of “quiet” in her personality.

Another similar actress to this is Juliana Margoulies.

ya know, I know the name Sonny Tufts, I’m sure I’ve seen pics he was in, but I don’t have any idea what he looks like, much less which movies he was in. So, yeah.

Now, Tab Hunter is definitely a mediocre actor at best. But I remember him more, probably because he was the definition of Golden Boy in terms of looks. It was the only thing about him that was memorable, but he was memorable. I remember him from some beach movies, mostly, and it’s mostly a blur, but it’s more than I got for Sonny Tufts.

Keanu Reeves. His movies have made some money.

I’m always impressed at how wooden he is.

I don’t think he is on the level of Philip Seymour Hoffman or Daniel Day Lewis… but… I don’t think he is as bad as people say. I find him entertaining and I think he tires hard in his roles.

Shatner - He can’t do it all - act, sing, dance. He’s had a powerful career for 60 years, for no particular reason.

That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy his work. I do. I just don’t know why. Going to spin up his version of “Rocket Man” now…

Sandra Oh

I’ve never seen her and thought she was a good selection for anything.

Each to his own. I like a lot of his movies, but he always seems to have this wooden look of confusion on his face. Most believable line he’s ever delivered: “Whoa!”

Quick Googling found some hilarious reviews on this page.

I see what you did there.

Also, the guy from AVATAR. You know, he was in that TERMINATOR movie? And those CLASH OF THE TITANS movies? He was blandly handsome, looked like he could take a punch, knew how to deliver his lines seriously? Yeah, that guy.

Yeah, he is kind of boring but I also thin he tries hard to be a good actor.

Tufts was no different. He was a big beefcake star, all because of his looks. The only difference was his heyday was ten years earlier. By the time Hunter came along, Tufts was a punchline (literally).

Other names:
Steven Seagal
Tom Laughlin
Veronica Lake (steamy sex symbol, mostly because of her hair)

The OP asked about “forgettable, mediocre actors” who were nonetheless successful.

Steven Seagal doesn’t even rise to the level of mediocre. He barely even qualifies to be called an actor. I suppose he’s an actor in the sense that he gets paid to do whatever it is he does, and he has a union card and all that, but whatever he’s doing, it isn’t “acting.”

Guys, remember the “forgettable” part of the OP?

Keanu Reeves may not be a good actor but he’s not forgettable. Same with Bill Shatner. Shatner has, let’s put it this way, his own particular style of acting. But Shatner is not forgettable. Neither is Steven Seagal. Steven Seagal is a terrible actor, but he’s not forgettable.

These are people who have a distinctive persona, who never ever disappear into a role. You never watch a movie with Keanu Reeves in it, and then next week you remember the movie and liked it but can’t remember the lead actor.

So the guy who was in Avatar and Clash of the Titans and Terminator is an actual example. He’s not a terrible actor, but he’s not memorable, even though he’s played the lead role in quite a few hit movies. If he walked into your local supermarket you might not even recognize him.

Ronald Reagan

How about Arnold Schwarzenegger?

A couple of years ago, I started a very similar thread (Actors and actresses that have no charisma and leave no impression), and specified Sam Worthington as my favorite example:

I’m guessing even a thread about him left no impression!

Bill Paxton

Remember him in Twister? No, you remember Helen Hunt and a lot of CGI.

Remember him in Apollo 13? Just like his character, he was left behind.

Remember him in Independence Day? Oh, wait. That was Bill Pullman!