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Character actor

Actor who predominantly plays distinctive or eccentric characters / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A character actor is an actor known for playing unusual or interesting characters in supporting roles.[2][3][4][5] The term is somewhat abstract and open to interpretation.[6] While all actors play "characters",[7] the term character actor is often applied to an actor who frequently plays a distinctive and important supporting role.[1][8] In another sense, a character actor may be also be one who specializes in minor roles.

Actor Claude Rains (right) was sometimes a leading actor, sometimes a character actor, often cast as a sophisticated, sometimes "morally ambiguous" man.[1]

A character actor may play a variety of characters in their career, often referred to as a "chameleon", or may be known for playing the same type of roles. Character actor roles are more substantial than bit parts or non-speaking extras. The term is used primarily to describe television and film actors, as opposed to theater actors.[9] An early use of the term was in the 1883 edition of The Stage, which defined a character actor as "one who portrays individualities and eccentricities".[10] Actors with a long career history of playing character roles may be difficult for audiences to recognize as being the same actor.[5]