John Morgan (Bat) Neal, writer for Shooting Star Comics, recently posted on the Dixonverse board on the apparently modern lack of character actors that enjoyed an abundance in the past. His question comes in the form of a title.

Characters actors: A dying breed?

I watch a lot of TV Land. And a lot of Gunsmoke and Bonanza. (Hey TV Land, add some more westerns! Like Rifleman for instance!)

One of the things I notice and love about old television is the sheer epidemic of very talented, colorful and interesting (read non-cookie cuter attractive) actors.

Lord that was a golden age for televison character actors.

Today it seems unless you have a certain amount of attractiveness you aren’t allowed on TV. So we have whole casts of people that look mostly similar.

Where are the Ellen Corbys, the Will Geers, the Morgan Woodwards and Royal Danos [all RIP] these days?

There’s a call to celebrate them and list them. I’m collecting a list from the thread; if you notice any one missing feel free to lay on a suggestion.

Clancy Brown
Benicio del Toro
Alan Rickman
Luis Guzman
Brad Dourif
Gabriel Byrne
Robert Picardo
Harry Dean Stanton
Bruce Campbell
Michael Wincott
Dan Hedaya
Dwight Schultz
Kevin Pollack
Pete Postlethwaite
James Remar
Steve Buscemi
Michael Madsen
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
James Gammon
Crispin Glover
Joan Cusack
Patrick Warburton
Amy Sedaris
Xander Berkley
Dietrich Bader
Jean Reno
Powers Boothe
John Turturro
Tim Curry
Michael Lerner
Sam Rockwell
Harland Williams
Janene Garafalo
Oliver Platt
Hugh Laurie
Stanley Tucci
Eric Roberts
Tom Sizemore
David Hyde Pierce
Sean Bean
Tony Shaloub
Michael McKean
Sam Elliott
David Alan Grier
Donal Logue
Kevin Spacey
Ed Norton
Paul Giamatti
William H. Macy
Peter Boyle
Doris Roberts
Jock Mahoney
Joey Pants
John Goodman
Johnny Trejo
J.T. Walsh
Paul Gilfoyle
Andreas Katsulas
Clyde Kusatsu
Soon Tek-Oh
Veronica Cartwright
Fred Dalton Thompson
Gloria Foster
Clarence Williams III
Joe Morton
Cheech Marin
Jonathan Pryce
Diane Ladd
Gena Rowlands
Ned Beatty
Dabney Coleman
Reginald Veljohnson
William Atherton
Alan Arkin
Robert Duval
Blythe Danner
J.K. Simmons
Bill Mumy
Stephen Furst
John Larroquette
Hugh Laurie
Rowan Atkinson
Stephen Root
Holly Hunter
John C. McGinley
Kathy Najimy
Eugene Levy
Fred Willard
Frances McDormand
Catherine O’Hara
Christopher Guest
Rip Torn
Jeffrey Tambor
Hank Azaria
David Cross
Bob Odenkirk
Jason Bateman
Tony Hale
Will Arnett
Harve Presnell
John Carol Lynch
Chris Penn
John Hurt
Ian Holm
Tom Skerrit
Harry Dean Stanton
Yappet Kotto
Joe Pesci
Paul Sorvino
Olympia Dukakis
Fred Thompson
Ron Perhlman
Timothy Spall
Christopher Ecclestone
Paul Gleason
Brendan Gleason
Harold Ramis
John Lithgow
Jason Lee
Fairuza Balk
Noah Taylor
Olivia Williams
Lilly Tomlin
Giovanni Ribisi
Will Patton
Robert Patrick
Daniel von Bergen
Bebe Neueith
Piper Laurie
Tom Wilkinson
Robert Carlyle
Jimmy Smits
James Cosmo
John Glover
Louis Gossett Jr
Ray Winstone
Jack Davenport
Richard Schiff
Bradley Whitford
Mary MacCormack
Mary McDonnell
Lance LeGalt
Clint Howard
Rance Howard
Dick Miller
James Cromwell
Larry Miller
Russell Johnson
Martin Mull
Richard Kind
Armin Shimmerman
Brent Spiner
Avery Brooks
Rene Auberjonois

Rest in peace DeForest Kelley, Alan Hale Jr, Lane Smith, and James Doohan
Long live “Bones” McCoy

more later