We’ve all been there: You’re watching a movie or TV series, and feel like you recognize the actor on screen, but you just can’t place him, and most certainly can’t name him.
There are plenty of actors who, after Googling to find their names and feasting your eyes on their photos, make you scream, “Oh, that guy.” We’ve rounded up some of the most irksomely familiar actors, many of whom have appeared on both film and TV (though often in supporting roles) to give you some clarity. They deserve to have a spotlight shone on them, and their names placed in lights, so enjoy. And while this list features only male actors, keep an eye out for our all-ladies list in the near future.
Currently appearing in the Netflix reimagination of 1970s/’80s sitcom One Day at a Time, you may have also seen Tobolowsky in popular series like Silicon Valley, Californication, Deadwood, Heroes, and White Famous. And yes, he also plays insurance salesmen Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. A consummate pro with a sprawling résumé, Tobolowsky even joked about his status during a hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Live! skit just before the Emmy Awards where he was handed the illustrious award for “The Guy From That Show.” (Note: all three runner-ups are also on this list!)
From Westworld to The Hunger Games, Boardwalk Empire, Casino Royale, and House, Wright’s IMDB résumé includes some of the best content on television and in theaters. Wright’s IMDB bio even refers to him as “one of the most underrated and underexposed actors of his caliber and generation.” Even if he wrote that line himself, anyone who has seen his work — including his chilling turn as Bernard in Westworld — would have to agree.
With his distinctive face and piercing blue eyes, you immediately recognize Baker from his roles in series like Homeland, Blindspot, The Americans, and The Good Wife. Yet, while he’s been actively working in Hollywood for more than three decades, Baker has often been relegated to supporting roles that, while memorable, still haven’t quite put his name on the map.
Welliver’s name might finally be on the map for some, thanks to his three seasons as the lead on Amazon’s well-received crime series Bosch (which has two more seasons on the way). Still, many fans still know him as “that one guy” from his appearances in multiple films and series, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Suits, Deadwood, The Good Wife, Sons of Anarchy, and Lost. Even without name recognition, Welliver has had an impressive career, coming a long way from his first film role in 1990’s Navy SEALs, when he was credited only as “Redneck in Bar.”
Kind’s most notable roles were in Mad About You and Spin City in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he has since appeared in plenty of series like Gotham, Big Mouth, and I’m Dying Up Here. Some may also recognize his voice from roles in American Dad! and Tangled: The Series. Kind is a hilarious comedic actor worthy of recognition for his work — and he’s still as funny today as he was in his heyday in the ’90. If you want proof, check him out in his role as the wacky dad in Amazon’s ’80s nostalgia series Red Oaks, alongside Mad About You co-star Paul Reiser.
At a towering 6 feet, 3 inches tall, you might think Fuller is pretty unforgettable, and indeed he’s played memorable characters on both TV and in movies, like Wayne’s World, Anger Management (the movie), Midnight in Paris, Supernatural, Rosewood, and The Good Wife. While his name may not stick, his character work (see the flashlight scene in the aforementioned Wayne’s World for a shining example) leaves a lasting impression.
Yes, he’s that guy from Lost. He’s also the guy from The Wire, Fringe, and Oz. This prolific actor’s time on both Lost and Fringe even overlapped. While he isn’t a topline star, Reddick is one of the busiest guys in Hollywood, also doing voice work, starring in and co-producing the YouTube web series Drone, and even moonlighting as a musician.
While his face brings up foggy memories, Morshower’s many roles as military and law enforcement officers tend to all blur together, leaving his name in the dust. It was he who played Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce in 24, and appeared in the Transformers film series, X-Men: First Class, and Bloodline. Putting on his authoritative grimace more often than not, Morshower has also had more than a dozen guest-starring or recurring roles on everything from The West Wing to Matlock, Star Trek: Voyager, Deadwood, Bones, and Friday Night Lights.
You likely recognize Feore from series like 24, House of Cards, Gotham, and The West Wing, but find yourself pulling out your phone to Google who he is. A theater actor, Feore has serious dramatic chops, which have helped land him supporting roles in several films throughout his career as well, including Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Paycheck, and The Chronicles of Riddick.
Doing commercial work can be a great way for an actor to increase his visibility, but in the case of Haysbert, his great portrayal in a series of television ads has made him forever known as the “Allstate guy.” Perhaps it’s also that his booming, powerful voice supersedes something as trivial as his name. Nonetheless, this actor has appeared in everything from Navy SEALs to Major League, and as President David Palmer in 24, a character regarded by some as one of the best fictional presidents on television.
Having appeared in shows like Modern Family, Black-ish, Silicon Valley, and Eastbound & Down, Daly often finds himself donning a doctor’s lab coat or school principal sweater vest. As a former cast member of MADtv and the current “CarMax guy,” Daly told the New York Post in 2016 that it wasn’t until he put on the lab coat prior to filming his part in an episode of Netflix series Lady Dynamite that he said to himself: “Oh, this is turning into a thing now.”
Often seen as the humorous “sidekick,” most people likely know Koechner best as Champ from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (whammy!). This uber-familiar character actor has appeared in highly quotable television and film projects (often alongside Will Ferrell), including both Anchorman and Anchorman 2, Talledega Nights, Semi-Pro, and The Office. And while his mug is instantly recognizable to any comedy fan, his name likely isn’t. Koechner is currently appearing in CBS sitcom Superior Donuts alongside Judd Hirsch, Katey Sagal, and Jermaine Fowler.
- Bear Grylls goes interactive with Netflix’s Bandersnatch-esque You vs. Wild
- Game of Thrones season 8 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far
- How to know if you’ve been hacked
- Do three generations unite in the first ‘Shaft’ trailer? You’re damn right
- Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in April 2019