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How about a section devoted to British Character Actors?

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11:40 pm
January 7, 2012


Ealing Studios


posts 2

Firstly, I love your FilmNav web site.  I think the site theme is very creative and the navigation simple and intuitive. I am sure you will apply the same care and attention to building up a massive archive of news and original content that will become THE unique source for British film researchers and contributors.

With that in mind, and seeing that you already have profile pages for most of the big stars of feature films, I wondered if there might be room for a section devoted to British character actors? These journeymen are the mainstays of British – and often Hollywood – feature film-making. The better ones have a filmography as long as your arm. We all recognise them instantly but rarely know their names. They specialise in certain character-types, like upper-class, aristocratic twits or slimy Whitehall civil servants or librarians, petty officials and vicars. They usually didn't have the good looks or physiques to make it as stars but some had the talent, which they put to good effect in the smaller roles for which they were suited.

I imagine they made or make a reasonable living and I am sure they all had fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories about the big stars of our time. Therefore, I thought FilmNav might be the perfect place to recognise their contribution, both in the past and for those who do so now.  Rather than listing them by name, which many of us would not know, how about classifying them according to their typical roles and then naming them?  For current character actors it could be a perfect exposure opportunity, especially if a casting director is looking for a ruddy-fasced acerbic publican or an Irish Mother Superior type. And it could be fun to put together!

This Guardian article touches on the subject and lists ten good examples.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-a…..38;index=0

I am thinking of my personal favourites like Herbert Mundin, who appeared in many historical dramas including the original Mutiny on the Bounty and Michael Ripper, with his bulging eyes, who regularly popped up in working-class roles in '70s horror films with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Joyce Carey, who was the no-nonsense manageress of the station cafe in Brief Encounter  and who was said to have had a "personal relationship"(!) with Noel Coward. Or Megs Jenkins, the nurse in-the-know in Green for Danger and many other supporting roles .

As the Guardian put it, these are the "unsung heroes" of British film production and it would be marvellous if you could devote a bit of space to their most memorable performances.

Keep up the good work! clap

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