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  1. #1
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    Supporting Roles You Will NEVER Forget

    Medium/Media: Movies, Television, Stage
    Type: Everything--comedy, drama, musical
    Who: Supporting Actor/Actress

    I am thinking about the person who doesn't have the central role but still leaves/left his or her mark.

    My example: Blanche Baker as the older sister in "Sixteen Candles." Specifically when she took too many darvrocet and had that insane wedding march down the aisle and then followed up by jumping up trying to catch rice with her mouth on the way out of the church. She just killed imho. Blanche was/is not a huge star but I will never forget her for that role.

    There are so many others out there that I could write forever but I want to know what performances were special for you. Remember--anything film, tv, stage, drama, comedy, musical--whatever.

  2. #2
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    Hattie McDaniel in "Gone with the Wind" (PC or not, not meant to offend, but neither Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh nor Olivia deHavilland would have had the same quality performances without her playing off them or they her).
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  3. #3
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    For some reason only fluffy TV comedy shows are coming to me right now,

    Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Will & Grace

    Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson, Glee

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    Bobby Canavale as "Bobby" on Third Watch. My favorite show ever, and he made that show for me. His entire character storyline (except for him being in love with Kim, cause I hated her ), made me wish I knew "Bobby". The whole episode arc with Bobby and Pauly and the 'Unfinished Business' episode broke my heart. I cried for days! Like for real, sat at my desk in tears crying over a TV character, and actually felt an ache in my heart. Now THAT is some good, memorable acting.

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    aspiring tri-national
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    Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. The most classic case I can think of where the supporting actress out-acted the star, Wynona Ryder just disappeared in their scenes together.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

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    Film
    Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich
    Meryl Streep in Adaptation
    Martin Landau in Ed Wood
    Madeline Sherwood in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    Bill Murray in Rushmore
    Willem Defoe in Shadow of the Vampire
    Chris Cooper in Adaptation and American Beauty
    Catherine Deneuve in Dancer in the Dark
    Thelma Ritter in All About Eve
    Christopher Plummer in Beginners
    Agnes Moorehead in The Magnificent Ambersons
    Mieko Harada in Ran
    Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom
    Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
    Alison Janney in Drop Dead Gorgeous (I'm sorry, but that's my favorite guilty pleasure movie and she's hilarious) and also for American Beauty
    Phyllis Sommerville in Little Children
    Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects
    Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds
    Thora Birch in American Beauty
    Margo Martindale in Paris, je t'aime
    Maria Barranco in Women on the Urge of a Nervous Breakdown
    Naomi Watts in Mother and Child and I Heart Huckabees
    Lily Tomlin in I Heart Huckabees and Flirting With Disaster
    Mark Wahlberg I Heart Huckabees and The Departed
    Isabelle Hupert 8 Women and I Heart Huckabees
    Parker Posey for both Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show
    Jack Nicholson in The Departed
    Dale Dickey in Winter's Bone
    John Hawkes in Martha May Marcy Marlene, Me and You and Everyone We Know, and Winter's Bone

    I'm sure there are so many I'm missing, but those came to mind right off the bat.
    Last edited by Allen; 02-19-2012 at 10:10 PM.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  7. #7
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    Before opening the thread, the first one that jumped to mind was Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca (1940).

    The other one in that movie is Rebecca de Winter herself. There is no actress to win an award - the character never appears in the book or movie, but is an enormous presence nonetheless. Perhaps Daphne du Maurier deserves the award instead, for writing her.

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    Television

    Jane Horrocks Absolutely Fabulous
    June Whitfield Absolutely Fabulous
    Nelsan Ellis True Blood
    Lauren Ambrose Six Feet Under
    Michael C Hall Six Feet Under
    Rachel Griffiths Six Feet Under
    Alice Ghostley Designing Women
    Michelle Forbes The Killing
    Zachary Quinto American Horror Story
    Taissa Farmiga American Horror Story
    Jessica Lange American Horror Story
    Christine Baranski Cybil
    Estelle Getty Golden Girls
    Ted Danson Bored to Death and Damages
    Margo Martindale Justified
    Phyllis Sommerville The Big C
    Brad Dourif Deadwood
    Zeljko Ivanek Damages
    Kaitlin Olson It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Lauren Velez Dexter
    Felicia Pearson The Wire
    Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones
    Sharon Gles Burn Notice
    Melissa Leo Treme
    Jane Adams Hung
    Hope Davis In Treatment
    Chloe Sevigny Big Love
    Rosemary DeWitt United States of Tara
    Last edited by Allen; 02-19-2012 at 06:44 PM.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  9. #9
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    I just watched The Killing Fields again last night, and I think Haing Ngor as Dith Pran absolutely qualifies for this. I find myself randomly thinking about the character when I'm just walking about in life. I don't watch the movie too often - it's way too hard to - but whenever I do I am absolutely blown away by the character and actor.

    I absolutely second Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, and Judith Anderson in Rebecca.

  10. #10
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    Thelma Ritter in All About Eve, Titanic, & Pillow Talk

    Clifton Webb in Laura

    Paulette Goddard in So Proudly We Hail

    Ann Miller in Kiss Me, Kate

    Myrna Loy in From the Terrace

    Carmen Miranda & Charlotte Greenwood in any of 20th Century Fox's 1940s Technicolor Pan-American confections.....
    Last edited by Fergus; 02-19-2012 at 03:09 PM.

  11. #11

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    Jared Leto in Lord of War Not that it's difficult to out-act Nicolas Cage, but Jared just played his role beautifully.

  12. #12
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    Here are some of my choices, mostly from very old movies:

    Thelma Ritter in Rear Window and Pillow Talk
    Elsa Lanchester in Witness for the Prosecution
    Roddy McDowell in How Green Was My Valley
    Rod Steiger in Dr. Zhivago
    Rudy Vallee in Palm Beach Story
    Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis
    Bob Gunton and James Whitmore in The Shawshank Redemption
    Rosalind Russell in The Women
    Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden
    Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce
    Mercedes McCambridge in Giant
    Jane Darwell in Grapes of Wrath
    Walter Houston in Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    I also agree with the Judith Anderson and Agnes Moorehead roles posted already.

    And my number one choice: Jack Carson in just about anything. What a fine, underrated actor. Could do comedy and dramatic roles equally well.

  13. #13
    Mad for mangelwurzels
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grannyfan View Post
    Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce
    And Eve Arden too, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grannyfan View Post
    Walter Houston in Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    A great performance.

    But I think my favourites were Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon and Edward G. Robinson in Double indemnity.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by orientalplane View Post
    And Eve Arden too, IMO.
    Even Arden was in Mildred Pierce...can't believe I forgot that one.

    I would also add Ruth Hussey in The Philadelphia Story
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  15. #15
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    Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz
    IMO one of the best movie villains in movie history. The perfect match with sweet (yet feisty) Dorothy Gale.

    Marilyn Monroe in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve
    These are more "bit" roles than supporting roles, but she commands the screen whenever she appears. A true movie icon in the makings.

    Eric von Stroheim in Sunset Boulevard
    What would this screen classic be without Max?

    Lonette McKee in Sparkle
    With the death of Whitney Houston, the remake (to be released later this year) is in the news. I urge everyone to see the original as McKee gives one of the best screen debut performances in movie history as Sister. She OWNS the film.

    Christopher McDonald in Thelma and Louise
    Such an underrated performance! Much is made about Brad Pitt's breakout role (deservedly so), but McDonald's great performance as Thelma's grumpy husband Darryl makes one understand why Thelma went on a life of crime.

    Benicio Del Toro in The Usual Suspects
    I LOVE his performance as Fenster!! I think he stole every screen he was in from the amazing cast of the movie.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Television

    Lauren Ambrose Six Feet Under
    Michael C Hall Six Feet Under
    Rachel Griffiths Six Feet Under
    Alice Ghostley Designing Women
    Christine Baranski Cybil
    Estelle Getty Golden Girls
    Phyllis Sommerville The Big C
    Brad Dourif Deadwood
    These.

    Also, off the top of my head ...

    David Hyde Pierce - Frasier
    Bebe Neuwirth - Cheers
    John Ratzenberger - Cheers
    George Wendt - Cheers
    Thomas Haden Church - Wings
    Christopher Meloni - Oz
    JK Simmons - Oz
    Ed Flanders - St. Elsewhere
    Bonnie Bartlett - St. Elsewhere
    Allyce Beasley - Moonlighting
    Ben Vereen - Roots
    Cicily Tyson - Roots
    Jessica Lange - American Horror Story
    Molly Parker - Deadwood
    Robin Weigert - Deadwood
    Shell Kepler - General Hospital
    Marg Helgenberger - China Beach
    Brian Wimmer - China Beach
    Jessica Walter - Arrested Development
    Henry Winkler - Arrested Development
    Wil Arnett - Arrested Development
    Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
    Greg Germann - Ally McBeal
    Lucy Lui - Ally McBeal
    Ted Knight - MTM Show
    Betty White - MTM Show
    Georgia Engel - MTM Show
    ... well, yes, all of them on MTM Show

  17. #17
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    The one that really jumps at me is Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. The movie was OK but he was just this tightly wound, explosive psychopath. He played completely against type and blew me away. Just an incredible performance. I just kept going: this is the same guy who was Gandhi?!?!?!?!?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefcake View Post
    These.
    Bebe Neuwirth - Cheers
    John Ratzenberger - Cheers
    George Wendt - Cheers
    Jessica Lange - American Horror Story
    Lucy Lui - Ally McBeal
    I struggled with whether Jessica Lange is lead or supporting. Even the award shows don't seem to have a consensus, but she's definitely the most memorable performance of any category I've seen this entire television season.

    I knew I was missing a show and it was definitely Cheers. Bebe Neuwirth I'd give anything to see the version of A Chorus Line where she played Sheila.

    I don't think Lucy Liu, other than Kill Bill, has ever been as good as she was on Ally McBeal

    I would also give Peri Gilpin a mention for Frasier
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  19. #19

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    I know she had more of a recurring role, but I loved the episodes of Frasier featuring Bebe Glazer (Harriet Sansom Harris). She was great!!

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    Everyone always raves about Colin Firth in Pride and Predjudice, but I thought the Bingley sisters (Anna Chancellor, Lucy Robinson) were priceless. I also thought Lydia (Julia Sawahla) was the best Bennet.
    Last edited by aliceanne; 02-19-2012 at 07:22 PM.

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