You know those people you see always sitting in the café, trying to do something with someone, in that one movie starring that guy on the front of that magazine? We all know them and we all see them. They are EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING and yet, when it comes to recalling the names of their roles or real names, we draw a blank. Several stars, until they get their breakout role, will remain like that, in the shadows. Even the most powerful and well-known stars like Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Steve Carrell, and Jon Hamm started like that. But when they found their niche role, they killed it and created a name for themselves.
The reason why we may see the same people in films but not recognize them or know their names is because it takes many people to make one film. Until either someone is recognized for their acting ability or acts out and gets in trouble, they will remain a supporting or background character. But of the hundreds of actors out there, here are a list of the 15 celebrities that are in everything that no one knows.
15 Glenn Horshower
Most recently known as Wayne Lowry in Bloodline (2015-2016). Howshower has 209 film and television credits. He was first featured in a film called Drive-In in 1976. He has since made guest appearances on the television show Dallas (1978), The Dukes of Hazzard (1980-1983), and even Full House (1991). He has been in a few TV movies and films, but always as a side and supporting characters. Ranging from Nickelodeon to dramatic shows, Horshower seems to have steadily worked from the mid 1970’s until now. He never caught a break for a bigger role and has continued to be supporting characters with lines on shows. In the early 2000’s, he took a role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The West Wing, both of which were very popular shows in their time. He’s been in dramatic and action shows, films, etc. He was part of films shown at film festivals and won an award at three of the four festivals his film was entered in.
14 Christopher McDonald
With a whopping 190 credits to his name, Christopher McDonald is truly one of the more accomplished actors. With six upcoming projects in production or post-production, he has been a busy man. Getting his start in a TV movie called Getting Married (1978), he quickly moved on to films and making appearances on TV shows like Cheers (1982), Matlock (1986-1989), and then a longer recurring role of Matt Collins in Walter & Emily (1991-1992). As the voice of Jor-El in Superman (1996) and then Bryce Anderson in Veronica’s Closet (1997-1999). After a few more recurring roles in films and TV series and movies, McDonald landed the voice of Hego in Kim Possible and continued on to a few bigger titles like the Law & Order series, before being cast as Harry Daugherty in Boardwalk Empire (2010-2012), Judge Don Schakowsky in The Good Wife (2015-2016), and so on. McDonald has been, also, featured in music videos and will be in a Broadway show called The Front Page. With a wide range of talents, McDonald is still very active and collecting more.
13 Brett Cullen
Known as a very familiar face in 131 screen credits, Brett Cullen has had a very extensive acting career, amongst other roles he’s picked up over time. Most recently featured as Arthur Crosby in Narcos (2016), Cullen has been many men over the years, both good and bad, and I remember him best as Nathan Ingram in Person of Interest, a television show that ran from 2011-2016. Cullen got his start on a mini-series as Gideon Chisolm in The Chisolms (1980). From there, he continued onto several TV movies and films, as well as TV series like Falcon Crest (1986-1988), Suddenly Susan (1997), Legacy (1998-1999), and Desperate Housewives (2004-2005). Cullen has worked on projects for Disney but has focused his career on dramatic TV series and films of the same nature. With TV show credits from The West Wing (2005-2006), Friday Night Lights (2007), Lost (2005-2008) and Damages (2009), he has a long history with many huge stories and is starting to bud as a more powerful male actor in the industry.
12 Clea Duvall
With 78 credits, Clea Duvall was most recently featured in Veep (2016) as Marjorie Palmiotti. But her first appearance on TV was as Nina on Dangerous Minds (1996) before landing a role in Little Witches (1996). She continued on to a recurring role on ER (1997) before Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and a few more films that helped her into Carnivale (2003-2005), Heroes (2006-2007), Grey’s Anatomy (2008), and American Horror Story (2012-2013). After landing roles in TV shows with higher profiles, she landed in a few films before taking to TV again in The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015) as Emma Borden, New Girl (2016), and Better Call Saul (2015-2016). As she continued acting, she started up her producing career. Duvall made her directing debut in The Intervention (2016) while executive producing it and Armed Response (2013). Duvall, along with the cast of Argo (2012), won many ensemble cast awards in 2013 and then with the cast of 21 Grams (2003) at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards. Duvall’s career seems to still be getting started, as she branches out into other professions in the entertainment industry.
11 Sarah Clarke
Every teenager will know this woman as Renee, the mother of Bella from The Twilight Saga films. Starting in 2000, Sarah Clarke was featured as Melinda Peters in Sex and the City. After a few TV series appearances, short and smaller films, Clarke landed the role of Nina Myers in 24 from 2001-2004. Clarke landed a major role in Trust Me (2009), but the series never made it beyond the first season. But, in 2010, the Twilight films started and Clarke was cast. Despite her small appearances, Clarke was still forever a part of that cast, which upped her appearances in more TV series including Covert Affairs (2012) as Lena Smith and The Tomorrow People (2013-2014) as Marla Jameson. Of her 51 screen credits, she won the Golden Satellite Award in 2003 for a supporting role in 24. As far as women in Hollywood, Clarke is of the women involved with more face time in multiple projects. In 1999, before the film and television career started, she was featured in a commercial for Volkswagen. When the commercial won an award, her career moved her right on up into the small screen and then, the big screen.
10 Mark Pellegrino
Here’s a face that many people have seen and often think he’s someone else. Getting his start in 1987 from the TV series L.A. Law, Mark Pellegrino has made appearances in TV movies, series, and films. Some more notable shows include Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989), The X-Files (1999), NYPD Blue (1997-2002), and Without A Trace (2006). In 2006, Pellegrino landed a recurring role as Paul Bennet in Dexter (2006-2007). After that, he was cast in darker roles in various television and film roles. He was featured as Jacob on Lost (2009-2010), Gavin Q. Baker in The Closer (2011), Clayton Haas in Quantico (2015-2016), and most recently as Lucifer in Supernatural (2009-2017). Pellegrino as two projects in 2017 and is currently working on his producing. Also, having been nominated for two awards, there is some talk about the cast of 13 Reasons Why (2017) on Netflix, which he is a part of, getting attention and nominations in the upcoming awards season. Pellegrino may be known by a few people, but it looks as though he will continue in the darker roles of television for a while.
9 Erick Avari
Did you know that Erick Avari has 147 screen credits? The man is everywhere and yet, we know him as the producer of Castle (2009-2016) even though he made a guest appearance in 2010. His acting career started in Kanchenjungha in 1962 but he has appeared in several dramatic films following, including General Hospital (1963), Murphy Brown (1991), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991), and in 1991, he made an appearance in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After that, he appeared I more comedic shows like Cheers (1992), Seinfeld (1993), and many more like The West Wing (2000). This is where he added his vocal talents to cartoons like The Wild Thornberrys (1999-2000). After another decade of making guest appearance in shows like Dragnet (2003), Heroes (2006), and Burn Notice (2008), he started working on Castle and continued to make appearances in popular TV series and films, most recently featured in Madam Secretary and The Brink in 2015. Avari’s credits span over a wide number of genres because his interests are more in the science fiction but is open to taking on roles of all flavors. If you look at his most recent roles, it’s obvious he is a fan of the more fun stuff out there. Not only is he an actor but his voice is also featured in video games and he is currently working on Project Eden: Vol. 1 (2017).
8 Judy Greer
A woman with 111 credits alongside HUGE names in Hollywood, Judy Greer has exploded onto the television and film scene, and yet, somehow, she has yet to blow up Hollywood. For example, the five films she is featured in, which will be released this year, includes Public Schooled, Pottersville, Our Souls at Night, Measure of a Man, and War for the Planet of the Apes. Getting her start in the film Stricken (1997) and the TV series Early Edition (1997), she continued her career on consistently with films and TV series. Her first recurring role was Puff Conklin in Love & Money (1999-2000) before she landed the role of Penny in The Wedding Planner (2001), which featured Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. Oddly enough, usually after being featured with such high profile, she should have been noticed and picked up for more featured roles of her own. Instead, she went onto being the supporting female role in more films with big stars, the best friend in TV series, and her first recurring TV role was Bran Lowenstein in Love Monkey (2006). After a long number of films and some TV movies, she was featured as Connie Grabowski in Mad Love (2011). After that, the bigger titles include Arrested Development (2003-2013), Two and a Half Men (2007-2015), and then, she lent her voice to some children shows before Archer (2009-2017). As she continues her career, she attends conventions, award shows, and I just hope she gets featured in her own film or TV series soon because she is truly a good actor with great range
7 Robert John Burke
Amazingly enough, Robert John Burke has been featured in 83 screen credits. This is the man that we see and just know that he is up to no good. The roles he plays, the men he brings to life, as the audience, we know that he is suspicious and always thinking. He just has that look. We love to hate and fear him. Well, Burke started his career on The Chosen (1981) based on the book. He has been credited under many different names as well for various reasons and has been featured in many TV movies and series, and films. He took a more romantic turn in Sex and the City (2002) as Walker Lewis before taking on a special agent role in Oz (2000-2003). He was cast as either a ruffian or a police officer many times before being cast as Bart Bass in Gossip Girl (2007-2012). After that, he gained more recognition amongst the female and younger generation when featured in Amy Wives (2012-2013) and Person of Interest (2012-2013) as Officer Patrick Simmons. Before his most recent slew of movies, he was featured as Special Agent Brock in Allegiance (2015) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2002-2017). He has three films coming out in 2017, and due to his serious look and speech patterns, it’s very possible he will continue in the role of bad-boy cop or suspicious man.
6 Patrick Warburton
With 162 credits, Patrick Warburton is of the most active and has the most memorable traits, and yet, he still made it onto this list. With 161 credits to his name, Warburton was most recently featured as Lemony Snicket in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2018). Warburton got his start on the TV series The Paper Chase (1986) and then landed in the movie Master of Dragonard Hill (1987). Warburton continued guest-starring in various films, TV movies, and series before landing a recurring role on Seinfeld (1995-1998), lending his voice to The Secret Files of the SpyDogs (1998-1999) and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001). He added his voice to many more videos, films, and video games, before taking on more shows like Less Than Perfect (2003-2006) and more TV shows on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. His career continues in with more video games, before landing a recurring role as Joe Swanson on Family Guy (1999-2017). In 2017, Warburton’s Austin Found is set to be release, along with the TV series Puppy Dog pals and the animation Animal Crackers. Warburton has attended many San Diego Comic-Cons for his various projects and will continue his career into the years to come.
5 Michelle Forbes
With 69 credits to her name, Michelle Forbes was most recently featured in Berlin Station (2016), a TV series that got a lot of attention. A bit like the start of her career, Forbes started on Guiding Light (1988) as Dr. Sonni Wells. She continues with light-hearted roles until she landed Ensign Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991-1994). She continued in TV movies and series, while also landing films. Some memorable roles include Lynne Kresge in 24 (2002-2003), Samantha Brinker in Prison Break (2005-2006), Maryann Forrester in True Blood (2008-2009), and Mitch Larson in The Killing (2011-2012). Having played many powerful and strong women roles, Forbes landed Orphan Black (2014), The Returned (2015), and Powers (2015-2016) right before Berlin Station. Somewhere else you might remember seeing her is in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015). Having worked both in the UK and US, Forbes continues to win awards for select roles in her career. Forbes is also the voice in some video games, and continues to stay active and a positive role model for young women.
4 Nestor Serrano
This guy… This guy… Seriously, everywhere as either a mob-banger, a police officer, a kidnapper, a killer, he has been everyone in everything and yet, this is the first time I am reading his name for myself. A man of diverse characterization and 118 credits to his name, Nestor Serrano is quite the man to read the long list of credits of. He got his start in a short film called Ringers (1982) and The Money Pit (1986). He, then, launched his television career in Hunter (1988), and continued onto many big shows in countless recurring roles. Of course, he landed on 24 (2005) for a period before heading off to many law and action TV shows and movies. He not only was in adult shows, he also landed roles on 90210 (2010-2011), Dexter (2012), and quite a few other large titles in films and TV series. From teen dramas to adult dramas, Serrano has taken up roles that added impact to the screens. Oddly enough, Serrano was a computer operator before an actor. Most recently, he was featured in Clinical (2017), a feature starring Vinessa Shaw and Kevin Rahm.
3 Francois Chau
Oddly enough, he’s the most familiar face I don’t remember recognizing in several films. I can’t even imagine his accent. Francois Chau is a Cambodian actor with 117 credits! To kick off his career, he was featured as Quick Kick in the TV series G. I. Joe (1985). In a number of action flicks, he eventually continued his career into more popular series and films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze as Shredder in 1991, ER (1996-1997), JAG (2000-2001), and then a long line of police and action series including Alias (2004), 24 (2005), and Gemini Division (2008). Perhaps, a bit more for the younger generation, Chau was Dr. Pierre Chang on Lost (2005-2010), K.C. Undercover (2015-2017) on the Disney Channel, and The Expanse (2015-2017). Most recently, Chau has joined the cast of the new TV series Adults Only (2017). It is obvious that Chau is a chameleon with the abilities to go for roles in multiple genres; from action to comedy, he can do it all.
2 Michael Gaston
Of all the 106 credits to Michael Gaston and I don’t remember ever seeing him in anything. Most recently in The Leftovers (2014-2017) as Dean, Gaston has a long list of credits that blows away most actors. Starting as the Justice of the Peace in The Wedding Banquet (1993), Gaston jumps into TV in The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1993). Before the 21st century, Gaston takes on guest appearances in many shows of many different genres. It isn’t until the late 90’s he develops a personality that is more geared towards the different sides of the law. Gaston lands a recurring role in JAG (1999-2004) and then, a few titles later, multiple roles in Law & Order (1994-2009). Gaston nabbed the role of Sanford Harris on Fringe (2009) and then 24 (2010), Damages (2007-2012), and then as Burt Peterson on Mad Men (2009-2013). Most of what he does after are guest appearances in bigger named shows and then, in 2017, he landed recurring roles in Power, Madam Secretary, and The Leftovers. With The Land of Steady Habits still to come out in theaters, First Reformed is slated to premiere in 2018. He is a busy man, but I still don’t remember his name when I see his face.
1 Omid Abtahi
Getting his start in theater and being featured in many performances, Omid Abtahi first guest starred in JAG (2005) as the start of his film and television career. He landed multiple recurring roles in a large number of the shows he was featured on like Over There (2005) and Sleeper Cell (2006). Of course, a man of his talents landed on 24 (2005-2009), Homeland (2011), Better Call Saul (2015) and most recently, Damien (2016). Working hard, this year, he is featured in American Gods and Madam Secretary. Not only is he featured in TV series and movies, and films, he also does voice over for animations like Window Horses (2016) and video games like Titanfall 2 (2016). Abtahi completed his education before pursuing his entertainment career. Most of the younger generation know him as Homes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015). Abtahi has a bright future in front of him having credits from The Blacklist (2015) and Castle (2013), and film credits from Argo (2012) and voiceover talents in many animations, Abtahi seems to be able to do it all, which is why he will be around for a very long time.