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So That's Who Played That Character!

  • Jun 17, 2011

You wish you looked like George Clooney.  You could pick out Angelina Jolie in a crowd of millions.  Heck, you probably even know that Nicholas Cage was in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.  But have you ever heard of Ray Park?  How about Doug Jones?  Neither name rings a bell?  Never fear.  I've compiled a list of actors and actresses that you know and love but don't even know it.  From Boba Fett to Yeoman Rand, here's a list of famous faces you might not recognize.

Jeremy Bulloch
Quite possibly one of the most famous characters in all of film history, the bounty hunter called Boba Fett made his original screen debut in Star Wars:  The Empire Strikes Back.  He would return in Star Wars:  Return of the Jedi and even be added to Star Wars:  A New Hope years later thanks to George Lucas' polished version of that film.  Heck, we even got to see a younger version of him in the prequels and he was eventually given a new voice (and face) in these same films and the updated versions of the original films.

But who wore that Mandalorian armor in the beginning?  None other than Jeremy Bulloch.  Bulloch has had a long career as a character actor, and fans of Doctor Who will recognize him as being a part of the serials The Time Warrior and The Space Museum.  If you've got a quick eye, you'll even see him in Star Wars:  Revenge of the Sith. 

Few actors can lay claim to a role so iconic and so beloved despite literally just a few minutes of screen time as Bulloch can with Boba Fett.  I actually got to meet Mr. Bulloch this year and I must say that he appears to truly love his fans.

Doug Jones
If you've ever watched either Hellboy film, the Disney spookfest Hocus Pocus, Pan's Labyrinth, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Fantastic Four:  Rise of the Silver Surfer, or even Batman Returns, you've seen the brilliant acting skills of Doug Jones.  He's morphed into more heroes and villains than I can list here, but you've rarely seen his face.  Why?  Because almost all of Jones' big roles have been behind a mask or makeup.

Abe Sapien, Billy Butcherson, the Silver Surfer, and the Fawn are just a few of the many roles Jones has played over the years.  In many of his films, Jones goes so far as to play multiple roles behind masks, making him a very versatile performer.  If you've never watched any of Jones' work before, I highly recommend you check him out.

Ray Park
Darth Maul, Snake-Eyes, Toad, the Headless Horseman, and Edgar from Heroes.  What do all of these characters have in common?  They were all portrayed by one man:  Ray Park.  With a deep love of martial arts and their practice, Park started film work as a stunt double.  He was such an excellent stuntman that he started to get offered legitimate, self-standing roles.  His biggest role (or at least his most recognizable one) is that of Darth Maul from Star Wars:  The Phantom Menace.  While he speaks absolutely no lines (the few words Maul did speak were dubbed in by Peter Serafinowicz), Park managed to captivate audiences with his black and red Sith nemesis to the Jedi. 

Park has had plenty of screen time over the years, and his star appears to be on the rise.  With his excellent martial arts skills and his growing presence in bigger roles, who knows where his career will go? 

See the full review, "You Don't Recognize Him, But You Do Know Him!".
Persis Khambatta
Proving that bald can be beautiful, Persis Khambatta made Star Trek:  The Motion Picture tolerable.  While I personally found the film to be a bit of a drag, Khambatta's portrayal of Lieutenant Ilia was excellent.  She had roles in just a few films and television programs after Trek, but her career never lifted above smaller roles.  Sadly, Khambatta passed away in 1998 due to a heart attack.

While plenty of women passed through the loving arms of Captain James T. Kirk, few of them grabbed audiences like Yeoman Janice Rand.  The character, which appeared in Star Trek:  The Original Series, Star Trek:  Voyager, and in multiple Star Trek films, was portrayed by Grace Lee Whitney.  She eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant throughout the course of the franchise.

Whitney's role was rather small and she was eventually written out of the original series, but her brief interactions with Kirk made her popular with fans, and Whitney embraced them. 

Whitney is one of the most recognizable faces in the Trek universe, and while you might have always known her as Janice Rand, now you know the lady behind the short yeoman skirt. 

Warwick Davis
You love Wicket W. Warwick, Willow Ufgood, Professor Flitwick, and the evil Leprechaun from the film series of the same name, but you might not know that Warwick Davis portrayed all of these characters and many, many more over the years.

Davis is one of those actors who easily transitions from playing sweet, loveable characters such as the Ewok, Wicket, into sinister villains like the Leprechaun.

Unlike some of the people on this list, Davis has actually headlined a number of films. He truly is a major star, but has managed to keep a low profile in the real world. If you're a fan of science fiction, horror, or fantasy, the odds are quite good that Davis has been in a film you love.

Majel Barrett
Majel Barrett was a very well spoken lady.  How do I know this?  Well, if you've watched any of the Star Trek shows (including a few episodes of Enterprise) and most of the films, you've heard her voice.  Barrett (aside from being Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's wife) was the voice of the ship's computer.  She also portrayed Nurse Chapel in the original series and Counselor Troi's mother, Lwaxana (a personal favorite of mine) in The Next Generation.

While playing a computer's voice, little emotion was necessary from Barrett.  However, she shined in her character roles, specifically as Lwaxana Troi.  Whenever I see her on screen, I know that the episode is going to be fun.

Barrett passed away in 2008.  

Kane Hodder

Hockey is a brutal sport in its own right, but the game's facemask took brutality to a new level when Kane Hodder donned the iconic headgear of Jason Voorhees in four of the franchise's hack and slash flicks.  Without saying a word, Hodder scared the bejesus out of tons of people. 

While most of his other roles fall into the category of stunt double, Hodder has managed to grow quite a large cult following over the years for his work as Voorhees.  If and when he'll return to the franchise is up in the air, but one thing is for sure, if you need someone mauled, hacked, beaten, stabbed, or punched to death, Hodder is your man.

Kevin Peter Hall
Only one man has portrayed a cryptozoological icon and an alien bad enough to slap around Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover.  That man, Kevin Peter Hall, utilized his 7'2" frame to tower over fellow actors as the Predator in Predator and Predator 2, as well as Bigfoot in Harry And The Hendersons.

Hall was also cast in a number of smaller roles throughout his brief career, which was sadly cut short when he passed away in 1991.

Peter Mayhew
The only furball that was more loveable than the Ewoks from Star Wars, was Chewbacca, Han Solo's loyal co-pilot and friend.  The man behind all of that hair was Peter Mayhew, whose 7'3" frame made him even bigger than Darth Vader.

With his deep blue eyes and body language, Mayhew took a character that could have been quite silly and turned it into one of the most emotionally charged characters in the film.  From his fiercely protective ways to his overly loving demeanor with those he missed, Chewbacca became one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe thanks primarily to Mayhew's acting skills.

Mayhew has become a fixture on the convention circuit, and many fans have had the honor of meeting this truly gentle giant.

What did you think of this list?

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July 12, 2011
While I wouldn't have recognized Peter Mayhew in a head shot, I'm familiar with the name. As for Davis, Whitney, Kambata, Hodder, Hall, and Barrett--we old timers know 'em all.
June 28, 2011
Awesome list. Peter Meyhew I'm told is cool but he looks kinda odd. Persis and Grace were beautiful Star Trek women who I wish we could have seen more.
June 18, 2011
Wow, what a great list! And you're right- I had no idea who was behind all these amazing characters. Thanks for the education :)
June 23, 2011
No prob.
June 17, 2011
holy sweet Moses!! VVVEEERRYYYY NNIICCEE!! I love this list!! Kane Hodder is just so cool! I feel a volume two coming from you under this topic.... ;)
June 17, 2011
I'm going to have to do a lot of research to make a second list. These actors were just off the top of my head.
June 17, 2011
this is such a great idea!!
About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #32
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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