Sad news today. Carol Ann Susi passed away.
Don’t know her? She was Howard’s unseen mother on Big Bang Theory. And she was often the funniest thing in the show, with her yelling back and forth at Howard. But I’ve been a fan of her’s for a long time, she has a long list of credits as a character actress. If there was a show in the 90’s, bet anything she appeared in an episode of it! Seinfeld, Mad About You, Married..With Children, A Different World, Just Shoot Me…just to name a few.
Character actors don’t always get a lot of respect but I love them. These are the supporting actors/actress’s who we see but often take for granted. They appear in a million roles and always gets a laugh. You may never know their names but their faces, voices, and personality become famous and loved. Today I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. In no particular order.
I love this guy. He has a such a deadpan delivery that you can’t help but laugh. Most famous or being Elliott on The Bob Newhart Show, he has done tons of other roles and voice overs for commercials. By the way, all the patients that were on The Bob Newhart Show should be on this list. But Riley stands out for me with his several roles in Night Court and way to many more to series and cartoons to mention here. Often he will appear for a brief line and that’s all, like in the Seinfeld episode he appeared in.
If you don’t know who this guy is by his face, you’ve never watched TV. There was just something about this guy…the way he looked, the way he sounded….that made him so memorable. He appeared in a million things from The Dick Van Dyke Show to Night Court to Everybody Loves Raymond. Yes, you read that correctly! He was around a loonnngg time. He also appeared in movies like Ghost.
This guy is so great, he can play the slimy Nick Tortelli one minute and the next he’s playing Richard Nixon! His list of credits is crazy huge and unlike some of the actors on this list, you never know which Hedaya you’re going to get. The nasty villain in Commando, or the soft spoken and sweet handyman on Who’s The Boss? Very underrated.
Pat Crawford Brown
Seriously, check out the woman’s IMDB page. It goes on forever!! This adorable little lady has been in a million things. Probably best known for being Mrs.Torkelson on Coach and Ida Greenberg on Desperate Housewives. What else has she appeared in? EVERYTHING!! Well maybe not everything but she has one heck of a resumee incuding The Wonder Years, Growing Pains, and Murphy Brown very often playing a cranky old lady.
Is this guy really a character actor? Well when you consider the characters he’s played I guess it’s safe to call him that. He is most famous for playing Jimmy James in NewsRadio, but he can play serious just as well as goofy. He can do all sorts of accents and voices. He was unrecognizable as a Klingon in Star Trek’s “Unification” and has appeared in virtually every sitcom from Seinfeld to Home Improvement to Night Court.
I love this lady. And not just because of The Hogan Family. She gets some of the biggest laughs in Ferris Bueller, and her scene in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is famous. She also starred in Small Wonder but we can’t hold that against her. If by some chance you don’t know her face, she had done a ton of voice over work.
With a very long resume he was a character actor for ages. He was also a respected actor even winning a Tony Award a long time ago. He played Roseanne’s father, George’s father on Seinfeld before the role was re-cast, and Steven’s father on an early episode of Family Ties. But his most remembered role, I think, was yet another father. Clark Griswald’s on Christmas Vacation.
Before she became a well known name on Two and a Half Men, she appeared in supporting roles all over the place. She has a very loud personality and always makes an impact in whatever role she is in, no matter how small. From Who’s The Boss to Friends, whenever I see what episode she appeared in I instantly remember the role. That’s how memorable she is.
Ellen Albertini Dow
Finally, where do you go when you need an adorable old lady? You go to his fine actress. She played the cute grandma in Wedding Singer and has popped up in Seinfeld, Just Shoot Me, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, Newhart, Mr.Belvedere, Wings, Family Matters, Scrubs, a Star Trek TNG episode I depise…and on and on and on. She’s still performing to this day but will probably be best remembered for the rapping grandma in one of the few decent Adam Sandler movies.
I could go on and on and on. If you’ve never heard of these fine actors, check them out. You may be surprised just how many times you saw them in an episode or movie and didn’t even realize it. Did I miss any of your favorites?