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Underrated Actors/Actresses

Who in your opinion are some of tinseltown's most underrated actors and actresses? These are thespians whose talents deserve lengthier screen time, well-written lines and better movie projects.

For me William H. Macy typifies underratedness. Also Richard Roxburgh, Debra Winger and Judy Davis. I don't know much local filmography to speak authoritatively about their body of work.

Who to you are people whose names should be on top of a marquee?


  • i agree with milliam h. macy. i think that sean penn, philip seymour hoffman, jennifer jason leigh and philip baker hall are underrated. also loretta devine, don cheadle and alfre woodard among the black actors.
  • philip seymour hoffman is a great actor! i'm glad that finally he's getting noticed for his performance. he was featured in one of the latest issues (if not the latest) of GQ.
  • krovekrove PExer
    david morse. LOL!
  • Originally posted by |ostsou|
    i agree with milliam h. macy. i think that sean penn, philip seymour hoffman, jennifer jason leigh and philip baker hall are underrated. also loretta devine, don cheadle and alfre woodard among the black actors.

    Wow! You hit the spot on Sean Penn, who, despite his Academy Award nominations in DEAD MAN WALKING and SWEET AND LOWDOWN, never really got offered the roles that went to Brad Pitt and his ilk. Which is good. This actor is really a wonder of the world. Who can recognize him CARLITO'S WAY?

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman is really too quirky for moviegoers tastes. I agree that his standout performances in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, FLAWLESS and even a cameo in NEXT STOP WONDERLAND are the stuff of legends. He can disappear in the role with the versatility of a Vincent D'Onofrio and can embellish a role with a sleight of hand if needed.

    Now, now, don't get me started with Method actress Jennifer Jason Leigh. She is way too indie and too unquantifiable that the roles given her were either cruel punishments or dazzling showcases for her talent. Enumerating her body of work is like enumerating Ella Fitzgerald's dud records (even Mel Torme said he can't find one in Ella's), but enumerate I will, just the same. The films that made big impressions to me: MRS PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, GEORGIA, WASHINGTON SQUARE, eXiStenZ and even in SINGLE WHITE FEMALE.

    Loretta Devine is simply divine way back on her THE SHOWGIRLS (that's the title of her Broadway hit, was it?) where her singing may not be as explosive as Jennifer Holiday's but just as memorable. I first saw her in WAITING TO EXHALE and bit roles in a slasher movie and in WHAT WOMEN WANT.

    Please help me remember Philip Baker Hall's films. Was he the pedophile in Todd Solonz's HAPPINESS?

  • I like David Morse, too. He is credible in THE GREEN MILE and held his own opposite Tom Hanks. He seems to make the movies stronger with his presence.

    William H. Macy is also a chameleon like Daniel Day Lewis. He was mesmerizing in FARGO and in my opinion he should have been nominated as best actor in that movie as his screen time was definitely lengthier than Frances McDormand. I read somewhere that FARGO has an underwritten female role but the Coen brothers made it robust when Frances came in. Macy was also great in the critically-lambasted PSYCHO.

    I used to think that Julianne Moore was underutilized until she appeared in mainstream films like HANNIBAL and THE END OF THE AFFAIR. She was great in MAGNOLIA. She made the character believable and real. Truth is, I don't really like her. I respect her film choices though.
  • loretta devine also appeared in INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE and the slasher movies URBAN LEGEND 1 & 2.

    philip baker hall starred in lost souls, magnolia (as the host of the quiz show), psycho (1998), boogie nights among others. it's dylan baker on happiness. i dont think phillip baker hall starred in it.

    among the filipino actors i would say that jackylyn jose, gina alajar, mylene dizon, pen medina, rey ventura and chin chin gutierrez are underrated.

  • AKO*pacute*
  • I watched Martin Scorsese's KING OF COMEDY and I was bowled over by the performance of this actress Sandra Bernhard. I didn't know that she's the same New York act who wrote and produced and acted in her critically-acclaimed one-woman shows like WITHOUT YOU I'M NOTHING, EXCUSES FOR BAD BEHAVIOR and I'M STILL HERE GODDAMMIT!.

    This woman should be given more roles if only to see real magic unfold before your eyes. I never raved for an actress since I "discovered" Judy Davis in her offbeat films.

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