Typing is something that can happen to any actor, regardless of their ability to play various roles. It’s a term that refers to an actor playing similar roles throughout their career, and often happens because of an iconic debut performance. Even if they continue to land steady work or find a few unexpected roles along the way, mainstream movie-watching audiences may find it hard to separate them from their most well-known role.
The following 10 actors have all played more than just one role in their careers, but have been typecast to some extent due to their most well-known performance. Granted, an iconic performance that’s hard to tear away from might just be better than a career without iconic performances, but it’s still worth seeking out other roles from the actors below, as each deserves appreciation in outside of his career-defining roles.
William Shatner as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-1969)
While he’s not the only actor to have played Captain James T. Kirk, it’s hard to separate the role of William Shatner. He first appeared as a character in 1966, in the original series of star trekand continued to play the character in a series of feature films for many years after the TV series ended.
Considering he’s played the character for several decades – ensuring the role of Captain Kirk had some serious longevity – maybe that’s enough. It’s important to note that this isn’t his only role, however, appearing in numerous TV shows and movies (usually in smaller roles or cameos), and keeping busy outside of acting as well. , like when he became the oldest person to go into space. 2021, at the age of 90.
Tobin Bell as Jigsaw in ‘Saw’ (2004)
the Saw The franchise might not have become such a lucrative horror franchise without its main villain, the gritty-voiced, endlessly menacing old Jigsaw. It is a role that Tobin Bell made his own and made sure the filmmakers behind the show continued to find ways to include Bell in it in some way, even after the character died.
Even when Tobin Bell appears in something far removed from the iconic horror series that made him an icon, it’s hard not to think of him as “that type of Saw.” Even before Saw, he played menacing authority figures and/or villains (as briefly in The Sopranos and 24), and since the series, has also become a villain.
Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams in “The Evil Dead” trilogy (1981-1992)
It doesn’t really make sense why Bruce Campbell didn’t have a bigger career outside of the evil Dead trilogy. He displays real versatility in this series, given the Ash Williams seen in army of darkness is a far cry from the Ash Williams seen in the first evil Deadand Campbell is adept at playing him as unfortunate victim, action hero, and accident-prone buffoon.
Outside of this iconic series, however, it’s hard to remember a defining film performance by Bruce Campbell that’s more than a hilarious cameo or a bit part (he often appears in such roles in by Sam Raimi Nope-evil Dead movies). He had a solid run on Burn noticeappearing in 111 episodes between 2007 and 2013, but still feels underappreciated and underutilized as an actor, now over 40 years after his breakout role.
Amy Acker as Fred in ‘Angel’ (1999-2004)
by Amy Acker first big role remains his best known: that of the adorable nerdy Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle in Angel. She was introduced towards the end of that show’s second season and remained a regular until the end of its final season, remaining a moral center for the rest of the main cast, whose actions became more morally ambiguous in thread of the show.
It probably doesn’t help that other roles like dolls house and The cabin in the woods had him play similar characters. She plays this type of character very well, but at the same time, it’s a shame that it seems to have pigeonholed her when it comes to the roles.
Michael Cera as George-Michael Bluth in “Arrested Development” (2003-2019)
It’s hard to imagine Michael Cera playing anyone but a socially awkward nerd, but part of that comes from the fact that he does it so well. Although his role as George-Michael Bluth in Development stopped is far from his only famous character, it was his breakout role and served as a template for the kind of roles he would play for the next decade or two.
It’s easy to imagine Scott Pilgrim and Evan from super bad find common ground with George-Michael, and even when he shows up unannounced Twins Peaks’ Super-there third season, his character (Wally Brando) felt familiar. He plays better than most likeable-but-goofy nerds, but it would be interesting to see Cera in an entirely different role at some point.
Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer in “Fight Club” (1999)
Since 1999 fight clubthe most of At Helena Bonham Carter’s roles have seen her play comparable characters. fight club marked the first time she shone as a morally dubious, somewhat twisted, and eccentric character, and it was a performance that led her to have many roles where she played troubled characters or outright villains. simple.
It is important to note that many of his roles before fight club were different, and she hasn’t been 100% typecast since 1999. But considering her other well-known roles include Ms. Lovett of Sweeney ToddBellatrix Lestrange Harry Potterand the Red Queen of Alice in Wonderlandit’s hard not to see it being cataloged at least sometimes.
James Cagney as Tom Powers in ‘The Public Enemy’ (1931)
One of the big by James Cagney the first main roles were those of Tom Powers in The public enemy. It was an iconic crime movie that set the stage for many gangster films to come, focusing on a flawed protagonist who makes it in a life of crime, only to have things fall apart by the end of the film.
Not only did this help define mobster gender conventions, but it also defined many of Cagney’s roles in the future. He would play a badass, charismatic and violent man on several occasions throughout his career (although he occasionally broke out of this type of character), with The public enemy ultimately being the film that sent him down this path.
William Atherton as Walter Peck in “Ghostbusters” (1984)
William Atherton delivered a strong performance in a starring role in the underrated 1974 Steven Spielberg movie, The Sugarland Express. His role there as an anti-hero fleeing the law is different from the kind of character he had become known for, who is first seen in the 1984 classic. ghost hunters.
He plays a loving, hating fool named Walter Peck who is a constant thorn in the side of the heroes. His other well-known role in the first two die hard movies (Richard Thornberg) is extremely similar, where he’s just as awkward for the main characters, and just as unlikable. It’s not all Atherton is capable of as an actor, but it’s a type of role in which he has found a reasonable degree of popularity.
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
Even though buffy the vampire slayer Just missing out on the IMDb Top 250 TV Shows, it’s still a classic turn-of-the-century series. A big reason it’s such a great show is its cast of characters, and few main characters are as memorable or compelling as Willow Rosenberg, played by Alyson Hannigan.
Willow has changed a lot throughout the series, which means Hannigan has also had to convey a huge range of emotions and changes over the course of seven seasons. Still, Willow’s core traits – being shy, likeable and sometimes goofy – have carried over to other roles, including Michelle in the American pie series and Lily Aldrin in how I Met Your Mother.
Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ (1975)
It’s hard to talk about it Tim Curry without referring to his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the twisted cult classic musical/horror film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He plays the movie’s most memorable and over-the-top character: a deranged scientist who wants to create life, while not afraid to kill those who harm him.
This led to a career where Curry always seems to play theatrical and over-the-top characters, and/or villains. He is also well known for playing Pennywise in the He 1990 miniseries and 1985’s mysterious Wadsworth Indexbut few of the big roles he’s played since 1975 can be considered a radical departure from the role that made him famous.
NEXT: From De Niro to Pattinson: Ranking the Best Roberts to Grace the Big Screen
10 Actors Who Can’t Break Free From An Iconic Performance – Deadline