10 Famous TV and Film Actors We May Have Forgotten
1. Charles Bronson – Born Charles Buchinsky to Lithuanian parents on 3 November 1921, Charles Bronson was raised in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania. Bronson started his first film in 1951 but gained recognition in the 60s onwards. Such classics as The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, Once Upon A Time in the West gained him further recognition. With more than 80 films to his credit, His most prized roles were as a cop and as a vigilante in the Death Wish film series he started in 1974 and ended with the 5th sequel in 1994 (Death Wish V: The Face of Death). Bronson died of pneumonia at 81 on 30 August 2003.
2. Roy Scheider – Famous for early films like The French Connection he co-starred with Gene Hackman and was famous for playing police chief Martin Brody in Jaws and Jaws 2, Scheider was born 10 November 1932. His TV appearance as Captain Nathan Bridger in the sci-fi series Sea Quest DSV with Jonathan Brandis also earned recognition. In 1983 he also played the lead role of Officer Frank Murphy in Blue Thunder. As pilot of a police air unit helicopter, he got hold of the prototype of the world’s most advanced helicopter before it could be utilized by lawless elements in committing crimes. Scheider had more than 70 films to his credit, the last of which was Iron Cross released in December 2009. Found to have multiple myeloma Scheider had a bone marrow transplant to treat the cancer but died 10 February 2008.
3. Richard Chamberlain – Famous as Allan Quatermain in the “Indiana Jones” style of film King Solomon’s Mines (1985) and Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987), Chamberlain was born George Richard Chamberlain on 31 March 1934 in Beverly Hills, California. His career started in 1950s but he gained recognition in the TV series Dr. Kildare a decade later. More film appearances includes The Towering Inferno (1974), The Man in the Iron Mask (1977), Strength and Honour (2006) among others. Famous TV roles includes Shogun(1980), The Thorn Birds (1983) and Blackbeard (2006). He was outed by French magazine Nous Deux in 1989 but confessed to his sexual orientation only in his autobiography in 2003.
4. Burt Reynolds – Born Burton Leon Reynolds on 11 February 1936, Burt as he was popularly known on screen started odd jobs as a waiter, dishwasher, delivery truck driver, bouncer and dockworker before he was offered a $150 job to jump through a glass window in a live TV show. Angel Baby (1961) started as Burt’s first debut film and following advice from Clint Eastwood, he secured roles in low budgeted Spaghetti Western foreign films which earned him a name in which film like Navajo Joe started. Deliverance (1972) was his most notable role after the Spaghetti Westerns which established his credibility as an actor. Famous for his appearances in movies like the Cannonball Run film series, Striptease (1996) and End Game (2006) he has his latest film Catch .44 in pre-production stage.
5. Lee Majors - The original plot of half man, half machine had been explored by the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man which was aired in 1974 to 1978. Then came The Fall Guy aired in 1981 to 1986. Born Harvey Lee Yeary on 23 April, 1939 Majors took the role of Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man and Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy. He was married 4 times the most famous of which was to Farrah Fawcett who died in June 2009 of cancer. He is living with his 4th wife, Faith Majors, an actress and model.
6. Jan Michael Vincent – Best remembered for his role as Stringfellow Hawke in the 1980s famous TV series Airwolf, Vincent was born in Denver, Colorado on 15 July 1944 before his family moved to Hanford, California during his teens. His first movie appearance was in the 1967 film The Bandits which he co-starred with Robert Conrad followed by a string of movie offers. His famous role of course came in 1983 as helicopter pilot on a state of the art helicopter in Airwolf playing alongside Ernest Borgnine for which he was rumoured to have been paid $200,000 per episode. Life after Airwolf proved less challenging with low budget film offers. He was figured in a serious vehicular accident in 1996 which affected his voice after breaking 3 vertebrae in his neck. He lately had another auto accident in 2008 and presently lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
7. Tom Selleck – Best known for his role as Thomas Magnum on the 1980s TV series Magnum P.I. , Selleck was born 29 January 1945 in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He started with his acting career in 1965 which spanned to more than 30 TV series and nearly 30 films to his credit. His famous films includes High Road to China (1983), Runaway (1984), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992), Killers (2010) and his TV appearances aside from Magnum P.I. includes Las Vegas (2007-2008), Jesse Stone (2005-2010) and Blue Blood (ongoing) among others. He used to serve with the 160th infantry of the California Army National Guard and was married twice.
8. Lou Ferrigno – Best remembered as the painted green monster in The Incredible Hulk TV series, Ferrigno may have actually limited exercise of his memory memorizing scripts simply confined to roar in doing his performances and donning the ragged blown up clothing he wears in each Hulk episode. Bill Bixby who portrayed Dr. David Banner in his normal self may have deserved all the story line credits and his appearance to culminate the end of each episode a mere complement. Born Louis Jude Ferrigno on 9 November 1951 in Brooklyn, New York he won his major titles in bodybuilding after graduating from high school in 1969. In 1977 he signed up with Universal Studios for the role in The Incredible Hulk beating Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard “Jaws” Kiel for the part.
9. Sam J. Jones – Made famous for his role as Flash Gordon in the film of same title and as The Highwayman in the TV series where his name wasn’t revealed, Jones was born 12 August 1954 and grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. His first film appearance was with Bo Derek in the 1979 film “10”. Flash Gordon became his most notable film followed by low budget TV appearances and film offers. He was a former US Marine and was married twice.
10. Ralph Macchio - Made famous for his role as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid film series, Macchio was born 4 November 1961 in Huntington, Long Island and had his first break at doing TV commercials for Bubble yum and Dr. Pepper soft drinks. Before Michael J. Fox landed the role as Marty McFly in the film Back to the Future series, he was the first one to get the offer but turned it down. His famous TV series appearances were Eight is Enough, The Outsiders and Ugly Betty among others. Aside from The Karate Kid he made appearances in films like Crossroads (1986), My Cousin Vinny (1992) and his latest in Rosencrantz and Guidenstem Are Undead (2009).