Oh, hey, it’s THAT guy!

Frankly, character/guest/whateveryouwannacallums actors do not get enough credit. I don’t mean the people who start out as minor characters but then end up with recurring/regular roles (we’ll call these the CSI Techs of the world). Nor do I mean the people who jump around to various shows but who are always recognizable and memorable and eventually wind up with several semi-regular gigs (we’ll call these the Emmanuelle Vaugiers of the world). I’m talking about those people who you see in a million in a half different things and vaguely recognize, but don’t really remember. You don’t know their names, you don’t know anything but that you sorta kinda recognize them.

So here I am doing my part and giving you the names/faces/brief resumes of five of them in the hopes they’ll stick in your minds from now on.
(Note: pictures link to imdb)

Patrick Fabian

Selected Appearances:
Rizzoli & Isles “Boston Strangler Redux” as Nate (2010)
Big Love [multiple episodes] as Ted Price (2009-2010)
Life “Mirror Ball” as Dr. Stanton (2009)
Burn Notice “Trust Me” as Zeke (2008)
NCIS “Corporal Punishment” as Ray Vincent (2007)
Bones “Boy in the Time Capsule” as Terry Stinson (2007)
Pushing Daisies “Dummy” as Mark Chase (2007)
Veronica Mars [multiple episodes] as Professor Hank Landry

Now that he’s a bonafide movie star (and by that I mean he’s the star of The Last Exorcism), maybe this list isn’t really the place for him. The fact remains, though, that he’s done lots of excellent TV work and has made appearances on many of my favorite shows. The characters he usually plays are a mix of charming, sleazy, slick, and occasionally kind of pathetic. But always entertaining!

Jon Sklaroff

Selected Apperances:
Lie to Me “Darkness and Light” as Larry (2010)
The Good Guys “Broken Door Theory” as Gemeni (2010)
24 [multiple episodes] as Ziya Dakhilov (2010)
Life [multiple episodes] as Arthur Tims (2007-2008)
Bones “The Boy in the Shroud” as Kevin Duncan (2006)
NCIS “Bikini Wax” as Jonathan Redding (2005)

His characters are grade-A creepers. No exception. And not even “slightly misunderstood but harmless” creepers. We’re talking murderous pedophile stalker child-killer manipulative criminal freak creepers. Not usually all at the same time, but generally at least two of those traits per characters. He’s damn good at freaking the crap out of me. His range is limited, but it’s okay – he does just look sort of creepy, and he’s so good at it and there’s an unending need for characters of that variety.

Erick Avari

Selected Appearances:
Human Target “Victoria” as Gerard (2010)
Castle “Wrapped Up in Death” as Rupert Bentley (2010)
Life “Hit Me Baby” as Edward Zakaria (2009)
Leverage “The Second David Job” as Doctor Lloyd (2009)
Heroes [multiple episodes] as Chandra Suresh (2006)
Star Trek Enterprise “Terra Nova” as Jamin (2001)
Stargate SG-1 [multiple episodes] as Kasuf (1998-2001)

You’d be hard pressed to go six months without seeing this guy at least once in some movie or television series. He is everywhere, and he plays a wide range of characters. Oftentimes his characters are some variety of medical professional or scientist or researcher – they can be of the mad scientist persuasion or not. Comedic relief is usually his purpose and he does it well, but his career has been long and varied and shows every one of his myriad abilities. (Oh, and you can find him in several Adam Sandler movies as well.)

Scottie Thompson

Selected Appearances:
Rizzoli & Isles “I’m Your Boogie Man” as Lola (2010)
Trauma [multiple episodes] as Diana Van Dine (2009-2010)
Bones “The Critic in the Cabernet” as Kim Mortensen (2009)
NCIS [multiple episodes] as Jeanne Benoit (2006-2008)
CSI: NY “Buzzkill” as Lia Ramsey (2007)

Compared to the others on this list, she’s a newcomer. But she’s left a mark in multiple places, while still managing to remain a versatile actor rather than an immediately recognizable name. She’s been a murderer more often than not (which is a natural consequence of appearing on crime-centric shows, to be fair). But she’s also been a semi-innocent love interest type when called on.

Tracy Middendorf

Selected Appearances:
Bones “The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken” as Gaynor Rabin (2009)
– CSI “Working Stiffs” (2009) and “Lucky Strike” (2003) [different characters]
Lost [multiple episodes] as Bonnie (2007)
House “Cursed” as Sarah Reilich (2005)
Alias [multiple episodes] as Elsa Kaplan (2003)
24 [multiple episodes] as Carla Matheson (2002)
The X-Files “Signs & Wonders” as Gracie O’Connor (2000)
Angel “City Of…” as Tina (1999)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “For the Cause” as Ziyal (1996)
Beverly Hills, 90210 [multiple episodes] as Laura Kingman (1993-1994)

She’s been in pretty much every type of show and played pretty much every type of character over the past couple decades. Hers is a familiar face to the more rabid fans of certain cult hits mentioned in the list above. And yet, the average viewer would be hard put to remember her name. Which is unfair, considering she is not only gorgeous but also rather quite talented.


..and as I think of/see more people who belong on this list, I will post installments of this list.

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  • Lena  On September 3, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    I remember you talking on here about that one guy who is basically the only Middle Eastern actor regularly employed on television- he could go on here?

  • Boycool  On September 4, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    This is largely irrelevent, but do you remember what Mama Rizzoli’s job was?

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