Last time I went on vacation, I asked for your thoughts as I filled out a Variety poll on the best TV shows, actors and actresses of the last decade. That seemed to go over well, so let’s try something similar this week. This time, though, I’m going to ask your favorites in some less-traditional categories. Starting with: who’s your all-time favorite character actor on TV?
It’s a vague term, I know, and I’ll let you define it however you want, but let’s say in general we’re talking about actors/actresses who do great work in a variety of non-TV-star-type roles. I mentioned earlier that Ed O’Neill is probably my favorite character actor on TV. Now he starred for years in Married With Children and, later, Big Apple and L.A. Dragnet. But more recently he’s played supporting roles in John from Cincinnati (astonishing work) and the upcoming sitcom Modern Family, and, well, I say he counts.
You could go with a George Wendt type. You could go with a Donal Logue or a Tyler Labine (they’ve both played lead roles, but who are we kidding?). You could also choose an actress—Julie Kavner, anybody? Jessica Walter?—even though my previous examples have all hewed to the traditional definition of “non-conventionally-attractive man.”
What are you waiting for? Show me your character!