William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts*--". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.

Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.

These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.

Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.

These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
* Technically, it was Konstantin Stanislavski who coined the phrase "There are no small parts, only small actors", but we like the "William" references just for fun!
Quill
Attn Actors, Agents, Managers, Publicists: We are now seeking recommendations for new Working Actor Profiles to extend this series.
If you have a recommendation of an actor (who meets the above criteria with the appropriate credit history) we welcome your request. Please get in touch via our contact page
Peter Riegert | "The Good Wife" (2012) [a]

Peter Riegert - Slipping into every role!

Peter Riegert's unfailing ability to slip effortlessly into almost any role, be it dramatic, comedic, or musical, has enabled him to work continuously in films, television and on stage for over four decades.

Riegert marked time in a series of jobs from teaching eighth grade to waiting tables before he decided he wanted to pursue a career as an actor. Soon after settling on show business, the Bronx native joined the improvisational comedy troupe, War Babies.

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 22:07
0 comments
Bonnie Bartlett, Bob Odenkirk | "Better Call Saul" (2015) *

Bonnie Bartlett - Keeps the channel open

Bonny Bartlett, grew up in Illinois. Her interest in theatre came from her father, an actor turned businessman, who loved to quote Shakespeare. A straight-A student, Bonnie attended Northwestern University to study acting. There she met her future husband, Bill Daniels, also an actor (our March 2001 Profile).

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 21:10
0 comments
Chris Ellis | "Fairly Legal" (2011) [a]

Chris Ellis - Never been fishing!

Chris Ellis always wanted to be an actor because of television. He grew up in the 50's in the deep south in a "world of privation and violence", but saw on television people who seemed to have lives of ease and priviliege.

"I was raised in the Mississippi delta, and my salient memories from early childhood are of children who were beaten and abused by adults or by other children." But, that's is not why he left.

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 21:10
0 comments
Charlie Brill | Working Actor

Charlie Brill - Loves that Per Deim

Charlie Brill is what is known as a 'Natural Entertainer', in fact some believe that it's tough to say how much Charlie Brill is in show business and how much show business is in Charlie Brill. At just 11 years old, Brooklyn-born Brill bagged a day at grammar school, boarded a subway train, and bounded to Broadway to audition for "Peter Pan". He got the role of John - all before his 13th birthday. And like a fine wine, as he got older, he got better.

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 09:30
0 comments
Edie McClurg | Working Actor

Edie McClurg - She's no pushover!

Born on July 23, 1951 in Kansas City, Missouri, Edie McClurg began her performing career at age five with the oxymoronic Kansas City Rhythm Kids. She retired when the dance teacher was arrested on a morals charge for "dating" the tall and lissome, yet underage, star dancer in the troupe. That girl's big number culminated with a back-bend where Edie drank a soda upside down (of course).

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:49
0 comments
Ross Eliott 'Vitameatavegamin' as the Director | "I Love Lucy" (1951)

Ross Elliott (1917-1999)

A general utilitarian player on TV and film, Ross Elliott provided clean-cut, reliable support for over four decades. Born Elliott Blum on June 18, 1917 in New York City, Ross grew up in the Bronx and began appearing in plays while a teenage at both summer camps and in high school. He attended New York's City College upon graduation pursing both law and appearing in the college's dramatic productions. Acting won out in the long run after he received his degree in 1937.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:14
1 comment