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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Who were the most underrated actors/actresses ever?

Asked by Espiritus_Corvus (17294points) June 29th, 2014

Stage and screen actors who were good, but got stuck in lightweight roles, or character actors caught in the Hollywood typecast, or good actors, for one reason or another, who got murdered by the press, or those destroyed in the 1950’s communist witch hunts, or even those who died too young before they met true potential.

Such as the much maligned Diana Dors, whose star glimmered ever fleetinigly for only short moments starting at seventeen with Oliver Twist (1948), or the noir film Tread Softly Stranger (1958), and as a death row inmate sentenced to hang in the controversial Yield to the Night (1956) for which she was nominated for the Palm d’Or. But because of her looks, it was decided she would be marketed as “Britain’s Blonde Bombshell” by her agent/husband who managed to go through all her money after eleven years of work and left her destitute and heavily indebted to the taxman when he died of syphilis in 1958.

Even some of her best roles, like the Hitchcock-style The Last Page (1952) was sabotaged when it was marketed in the US as Man Bait, and the same with her best dramatic performance, Yield to the Night, which was marketed in the sexually repressed US public as The Blonde Sinner.

By the 1970s she was reduced to doing cabaret work as an aging torch singer and comedienne in burlesque to pay the bills and was dismissed by the general public as a failed Marilyn Monroe wannabe. She was very good and had great potential, but she couldn’t catch a break from the press, or her managers who saw that they could make fast money selling her as just another dumb blonde in films that were nothing more than soft porn of the times.

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9 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

In a way Sylvester Stallone. The man can turn in solid dramatic acting. Unfortunately most of his career has been brainless “turn every non-American into paint with big goddamn machine guns” action flicks. How much of this has been typecasting and how much has been of his own preference I’m not sure.

zenvelo's avatar

@Darth_Algar Sly Stallone has prided himself on being in charge of his own career since he created Rocky. But I disagree he is underrated; if anything he is overrated. He is wooden and shows only one emotion: tortured anger. He casts himself as a tormented soul who can only respond with violence.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Stallone owned a home here and after a while every person who interacted with him learned to hate his guts.
Soon he could get no one to do any work for him and he was forced to sell out and leave.
Good riddance to bad rubbish, including his incredibly lousy acting.
Maybe if he learned to speak more than guttural English he would be passable.

FlyingWolf's avatar

David Morse. He had a role on St. Elsewhere and acted everyone else in an amazing cast under the table. He has been mostly relegated to character roles over the years, and he is one of the most talented actors around.

Don Cheadle. I first saw him in Picket Fences and he stole every scene. Just an outstanding actor who has had some great roles, but no where near enough of them.

Ron Eldard. He is incredibly talented and has never really had a break through role. He guest starred in ER back in the day and got press for that (and for dating Julianna Margulies) and he was in his share of feature films, but has never really broken through. I saw him on Broadway playing Father Flynn, and this Catholic girl almost crossed herself after his character’s sermons, he was outstanding in the role.

trailsillustrated's avatar

That kid that was in the 6th sense. All the actors in the very fine movie “country life” . Greta sachhi. The kid that was in slingblade. Everybody except clive owen in children of men.

ucme's avatar

Oliver Reed (that’s all)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@FlyingWolf “Don Cheadle. I first saw him in Picket Fences and he stole every scene. Just an outstanding actor who has had some great roles, but no where near enough of them.”

One of his best roles :P

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I always liked Gregory Hines but only saw him in a couple of things. He had such a believable stage presence. We lost him way too early.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@El_Cadejo I just saw Cheadle in Volcanoe in L.A. movie (with the Men in Black dude) Don was great in this movie. And he can carry a whole movie on his own. Like when he played the Hotel manager in Hotel Rwanda.

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