Worst English accents on US TV (And vice versa)

I wonder if the average American fan of Frasier can tell (without actually knowing who the guy is) that dafne’s Obnoxious brother is not English.

His is, to my mind, the worst English accent by an American Actor on an American TV show.

On the other hand, probably the best - Is Spike from Buffy. I naturally assumed Spike was English until I saw a behind the scenes type show of Buffy.
If you turn the tables, I reckon Hugh Laurie’s (House) American Accent is not great, and Neither is Michelle Ryan’s (Bionic Woman) or Anna Friel (Pushing Dasies) But I’m not a great judge, not being American.

In fairness, Anthony LaPaglia, who played Simon, is Australian. Hugh Laurie’s accent is not bad. I haven’t seen the other shows often enough to judge well, but I think Anna Friel does a halfway decent job.

He is Australian.

Hugh Laurie’s American was stilted in the beginning but he is better now. One of the best American accents I have heard is Damien Lewis in* Band of Brothers*.

Drat! I knew I should have gone with what I was originally going to say - “Non-English”

Hugh Laurie’s accent has gotten worlds better in the last few years. When he did Stuart Little, his accent was BAD, now he just has his moments.

Jesse Spencer, also from House, also has an accent that slips at times, but he’s Australian.

Jamie Bamber (Lee Adama) is quite good on Battlestar Galactica.

He’s another one who I had no clue wasn’t American.

It was when I heard the phrase “Hunk brit actor” applied to him that I twigged.

My wife and I were both shocked when we heard his real voice on the DVD extras. Very convincing American accent. However, on one of the deleted scenes, he pronounced fillets (the fish kind) as FILL-its instead of fill-AYS. Maybe that’s why they killed the scene.

You mean… the word ‘fillet’ is pronounced without the ‘t’, “fillay” by some countries?

So our “Manx kipper filleTs” are “manx kipper fillays”?

Logic tells me the fillay pronounciation is the correct one, so why have we brits/manxmen been pronouncing the T?

In the US at least, it’s “fillay” … I have always assumed it was French.

Best: two from The Wire: McNulty, Dominic West - English, and Carcetti, Aidan Gillen - Irish.

I also has no idea Ian McShane was English while I was watching Deadwood.

Worst: can’t think of any from TV, but surely Costner’s English accent in Robin Hood has to be up there.

Jamie Bamber’s mother is American - he didn’t have to learn from scratch.

Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson both nailed Midwestern twangs in “Dead Again”.

Question: Which was worse - Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins or Merv Griffin in “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”?

The same reason we pronounce the S in Paris…it’s not a French word, just of French origin.

Erm… Did he bother to act with any accent other than his own?

I think RHPoT is a very good film, but I’ve always been miffed that they chose to cast Americans for the goodies and Brits for the baddies.

(In hindsight though, one of the baddies is now in the top ten of my fave brit actors - Alan Rickman)

percypercy writes:

> Jesse Spencer, also from House, also has an accent that slips at times, but he’s
> Australian.

Say what? Spencer is an Australian actor playing an Australian character. In fact, some people have noted that, although there are a number of Australian actors who are currently regulars in American TV shows, Spencer is the only one who plays an Australian character.

Yes. He frequently slipped into and more frequently slipped out of a terrible English accent.

I just recently discovered that the UK (and Australia) doesn’t pronounce the T in “nougat.” Kind of the opposite thing going on there. Why do we in the US pronounce the T?

Seriously? They pronounce it nouga, like new-gah? I work with a guy from Manchester, I’ll have to try it on him.

Though…I think I will probably snicker if he does. :smiley:

Lena Heady, whose family is English, was born in Bermuda and moved back to England with her family when she was eight. Listening to her play Sarah Connor in the Sarah Connor Chronicles, you wouldn’t know she isn’t an American.

Minnie Driver pulls off a passable Southern accent on the Riches. Eddie Izzard’s accent is a bit off, but I guess you could explain it away as Wayne Malloy’s having grown up in a Traveler community and being exposed to a lot of Irish accents.

Nicole Kidman also can do a convincing American accent in my opinion.