Theater Personalities

Setting up a theatrical play involves weeks, or even months of hard work and coordination among the various professionals involved in the production of the play. A stage play is not just about the actors—though their roles should never be undermined—it is also about the other parties who put in tremendous amounts of work backstage to bring out the desired effects of the play. Highly creative teams of professionals collaborate to convert a vision into a stage production that is presented to the audience. Theater personnel include art directions, action directors, choreographers, and music directors in addition to set designers, costume designer and the stage crew. The theatrical performers are known as stage actors, and the art of acting on stage is different from acting in a film owing to the innate differences between films and stage. Stage performers need to have a more prominent voice, and have to deliver their performances forcefully in order to make an impact on the audience. Further they need to be more creative and confident in performing in front of a live audience. Read on to learn more about your favorite theater personalities through this collection of biographies which include timelines, information on their professional lives and some trivia.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: February 27, 2015
Three-time Emmy nominee Leonard Nimoy is best known for playing the iconic character Spock in the Star Trek franchise, for almost 50 years. Spock became a cult, and even Nimoy’s autobiographies were named after the character. He also appeared in Zombies of the Stratosphere and hosted a documentary series.

 2 John Cleese

John Cleese
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.
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 3 Alice Eve

Alice Eve
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 6, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Alice Eve is best known as Molly McCleish from She's Out of My League and as Sophia from the series Entourage. She has also been seen in the series Black Mirror and The Raven. Due to a rare condition, her right eye is green and her left eye is blue.

 4 Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Matthew Goode is an English actor who played an important role in the success of the TV show A Discovery of Witches, which is an adaptation of Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy. During its initial run, the series performed consistently as Sky One network's most-watched show, thanks to Goode's portrayal of a molecular biologist and vampire named Matthew Clairmont.

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 5 Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish, British

Actor Michael Gambon is best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in the popular Harry Potter movie series. Not surprisingly, Gambon is one of the most recognized faces in the world and a favorite actor among Harry Potter fans. Ranked 28th in Ireland's greatest film actors list published by The Irish Times, Gambon was knighted for hisservices to drama, in 1998.

 6 Andrew Lincoln

Andrew Lincoln
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Andrew Lincoln is best known for his Saturn Award-winning role of Rick Grimes in the horror series The Walking Dead. He has also played significant roles in the series This Life, Teachers, and Afterlife, and the movie Love Actually, and has appeared in plays such as A Christmas Carol.
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 7 Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 11, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American, Russian
Died: October 10, 1985

Regarded as one of the first American movie stars, Yul Brynner became known for his performance as King Mongkut in the musical The King and I. He became identified with the role, so much so that he continued shaving his head after having shaved it for the role. A statue of Brynner was unveiled at Yul Brynner Park in 2012.

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 8 David Thewlis

David Thewlis
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
David Thewlis gained fame with his role in Naked, a film that won him a Cannes Film Festival Award. Fans loved him as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film franchise and Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares in Wonder Woman. He has also written a novel and directed a BAFTA-nominated short film. 
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 9 Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 27, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Scottish

Alan Cumming is a Scottish-American actor, filmmaker, comedian, and singer. A Tony Award winner, Cumming has contributed immensely to the development of the Scottish Youth Theatre, of which he is a patron. An openly bisexual actor, Cumming's work as an LGBT rights activist has earned him several awards, including the Vito Russo Award and HRC's Humanitarian Award.

 10 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

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 11 Richard Burton

Richard Burton
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Welsh
Died: August 5, 1984
Richard Burton is remembered for his tumultuous affair with Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married and divorced twice. The Burton-Taylor duo is also known for their hits Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? A seasoned Shakespearean actor, Burton was known for his baritone voice. He became an alcoholic later.

 12 Richard C Armitage

Richard C Armitage
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Richard Crispin Armitage is an English actor whose portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit film series earned him international recognition and a Saturn Award. Well-known for his baritone voice, Richard Armitage has also recorded many audiobooks; in 2014, he won an Audiobook of the Year award for his work on Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.

 13 Peter O'Toole

Peter Seamus O'Toole
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 2, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: December 14, 2013

Peter O'Toole was a British actor who became popular as a Shakespearean actor with the English Stage Company and at the Bristol Old Vic. O'Toole, who holds the record for receiving the most number of Oscar nominations for acting without a win, has appeared on several greatest actors list in England and Ireland.

 14 Anna Friel

Anna Friel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Anna Friel is a British actress who gained international recognition after portraying Charlotte "Chuck" Charles on the popular American fantasy mystery TV series Pushing Daisies. After starting her professional acting career at the age of 13, Friel went on to establish herself as a successful adult actress. Friel also serves as an ambassador for The World Wide Fund for Nature.

 15 Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American, Serbian

Active in Hollywood for over two decades, actress Sasha Alexander began her career in theater. Soon, she moved on to TV and appeared in a few shows before gaining popularity. She has also acted in many short films and feature films and is the winner of one People's Choice Award. One interesting fact about her is that she is multilingual.

 16 Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

A Tony Award recipient, Ralph Fiennes is one of the most respected English actors of the current generation. He is known for playing important roles in notable films, such as the Harry Potter and James Bond film series. A Stanislavsky Award recipient, he is also known for his work behind the camera.

 17 Lee Pace

Lee Pace
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 25, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Lee Pace is best known for his Emmy-nominated role in Pushing Daisies and his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Soldier's Girl. Fans also loved him as Garrett in the Twilight franchise and as Thranduil in The Hobbit trilogy. The queer actor has won the Berlinale Silver Bear for The Good Shepherd

 18 Jack Nicholson

jack nicholson
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Famous As: Actor, Filmmaker
Birthdate: April 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

From being a stage and B movie actor, Jack Nicholson went on to become one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors and a huge star. The three time Academy award winning legendary actor has, in his six decades career, delivered performances that have become iconic. His notable performances include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and As Good as It Gets.

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 19 Bob Hope

Bob Hope
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 29, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: July 27, 2003
Bob Hope began his career with vaudeville and Broadway, before plunging into radio and films. He is remembered for his comedy timing and trademark self-deprecating humor. He hosted the Academy Awards 19 times and authored 14 books, apart from performing for the U.S. military in 57 USO tours.

 20 Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Considered a British cultural icon, Ian McKellen is one of the most respected and decorated actors of all time. An openly gay actor, his work as an LGBT activist has been as impressive as his illustrious acting career. At the 1991 New Year Honours, he was knighted for services to performing arts.

 21 Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch (Jane Marie Lynch)
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Best known for her Emmy-winning performance as Sue Sylvester in Glee, Jane Lynch has also played major roles in the series Two and a Half Men and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She has also voiced characters in animated films such as Wreck-It Ralph

 22 Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

American actress, Marisa Tomei, gained fame when she starred in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film. She was also appreciated for in the movies In the Bedroom and The Wrestler. What Women Want, Anger Management, The Ides of March, Cyrus, The Big Short and Avengers: Endgame are some of her other notable films.

 23 Maggie Siff

Maggie Siff
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Maggie Siff is best known as Tara Knowles from Sons of Anarchy and Rachel Katz from Mad Men. She was also part of the film The 5th Wave and the series Billions. She has promoted Betterment, a robo-advising service, and was part of the podcast You Must Remember This.

 24 Albert Finney

Albert Finney
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: February 8, 2019

Albert Finney was an English actor known for his contribution across all the three major acting mediums: films, television and theatre. A recipient of Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, Albert Finney also received nominations for prestigious awards, such as the Academy Award and Tony Award

 25 Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Emily Mortimer is an English-American screenwriter and actress. Mortimer, who started her acting career in stage productions, went on to establish herself as a bankable actress in the British film and TV industry. In 2010, she became an American citizen and has since been playing important roles in American films.

 26 Skylar Astin

Skylar Astin
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 23, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

Skylar Astin Lipstein is a sort of ‘pitch-perfect’ combination of acting and singing skills. He caught the attention of movie lovers with his success in the comedy film Pitch Perfect and its sequel Pitch Perfect 2, followed by 21 and Over. He also acted in a number of television series and featured in panel game show Match Game.

 27 Vanessa Marcil

Vanessa Marcil
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Vanessa Marcil is an American actress. Over the years, Vanessa Marcil has contributed to the success of TV series, such as Beverly Hills, 90210, Las Vegas, and General Hospital. Also known for her good looks, Vanessa Marcil has been honored with awards, such as the Hottest Female Star award at Soap Opera Digest Awards.

 28 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Kenyan, Mexican

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 29 Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 17, 2016

Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Doris Roberts is best remembered as Marie Barone from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mildred Krebs from Remington Steele. She also appeared on various talk/game shows and in films such as The Honeymoon Killers. She was a prominent animal rights activist, too.

 30 Indira Varma

Indira Varma
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Famous As: British Actress
Birthdate: September 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

British actress and narrator Indira Varma became a sensation with her debut film, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, she is a trained method actress. Besides films and TV shows, she has acted in many theater productions and is the winner of an Olivier Award.

 31 Iain Glen

Iain Glen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
One of the British theatre's preeminent men, Iain Glen is best-known for featuring in Resident Evil film series and Game of Thrones. Though he has a catalogue of splendid work but his works flew under the radar. He bagged in a Silver Bear for Best Actor for his phenomenal performance in Silent Screen at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.

 32 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Cybill Shepherd is best known for her roles in films such as The Heartbreak Kid, Taxi Driver, and Alice. Fans also loved her for her Golden Globe-winning portrayals of Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes in the series Moonlighting and Cybill Sheridan in the sitcom Cybill. She is a follower of goddess-worshipping Paganism.

 33 Frances Fisher

Frances Fisher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 11, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Frances Fisher began as a theater actor before gaining fame with her portrayal of Deborah 'Red' Saxon in the soap The Edge of Night. She has played significant roles in movies such as Titanic, The Host, and True Crime, and has also starred in the series Resurrection and Watchmen.

 34 Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Stockard Channing is an American actress best known for playing Abbey Bartlet on the political drama TV series The West Wing. Over the years, Channing has been contributing to the success of many TV series as an actress, for which she has received 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. A seven-time Tony Award nominee, Channing is also an important stage actress.

 35 David Hyde Pierce

David Hyde Pierce
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Actor David Hyde Pierce is best known for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane in the NBC sitcom Frasier, for which he received four Primetime Emmy Awards. Active in the entertainment industry for almost four decades, he has acted in many stage productions, TV shows, and films. He is openly gay and is married to producer Brian Hargrove.

 36 Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 17, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: July 23, 1966

Montgomery Clift was an American actor whose decision not to sign a contract in Hollywood for the first couple of films went on to help establish the structure of the star-studio relationship from the 1950s to the '80s. One of the original American method actors, Clift was the subject of a documentary named Making Montgomery Clift, which released in 2018.

 37 Bob Fosse

Bob Fosse
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: June 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: September 23, 1987
Legendary dancer, choreographer, and director Bob Fosse is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning direction in the musical film Cabaret. Renowned for his signature “jazz hands” style, he also earned the Palme D'Or for All That Jazz and nine Tony Awards for various stage productions, eight of them for choreography. 

 38 Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey Jones
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 28, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Jeffrey Jones is an American actor known for his deadpan portrayal of film characters, often to comic effect. For an actor who claims to value anonymity, Jeffrey Jones has attracted unnecessary public attention as a sex offender. In 2002, he was arrested for possessing child pornography and was subsequently accused by an underage boy of solicitation to pose nude.

 39 Michael Ealy

Michael Ealy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Actor, Michael Ealy, is best known for his role in the drama film, For Colored Girls. An alumnus of the University of Maryland, he began his acting career in the late 1990s. Initially, he appeared in many off-Broadway stage productions. He transitioned to films soon and didn’t take long to establish himself as a sought-out actor.

 40 Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Actor Morris Chestnut is best known for his role in the film Boyz n the Hood. Beginning his career as a young man, he appeared in a few TV shows before venturing into films. He steadily evolved as an actor and went on to co-star alongside major actors in big-budget films. He has co-authored a book on health and fitness.

 41 John Astin

John Astin
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
John Astin is best known as Gomez Addams from the 1960s’ series The Addams Family. He was a known face in movies of the horror-comedy/parody genre, such as the Killer Tomatoes films. Some of his other notable films were West Side Story, Freaky Friday, and National Lampoon's European Vacation.

 42 Titus Welliver

Titus Welliver
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Titus Welliver, son of painter Neil Welliver, is best known for his roles of Jimmy O’Phelan in Sons of Anarchy, Silas Adams in Deadwood, and Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch in Bosch. He has also appeared in films such as Argo and Transformers: Age of Extinction and has narrated several audiobooks.  

 43 Jessie Buckley

Jessie Buckley
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 28, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Irish

One of the most popular actresses from Ireland, Jessie Buckley was ranked 38th on Ireland's greatest film actors list published by The Irish Times in 2020. Also known for her singing abilities, Jessie Buckley is a member of the Tipperary Millennium Orchestra. She can also play the piano, clarinet, and harp.

 44 Cara Buono

Cara Buono
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Cara Buono is best known for her Emmy-nominated role of Faye Miller in Mad Men and as Karen Wheeler from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Fans also loved her as Kelli Moltisanti in The Sopranos. She has also appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway productions and in movies such as Let Me In.

 45 Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Valerie Harper is best remembered as Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda, with the role winning her four Emmys. She also hosted Nova and was seen as Valerie Hogan in the sitcom Valerie. She also earned a Tony nomination for the play Looped.

 46 Samantha Mathis

Samantha Mathis
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Samantha Mathis, VP of SAG-AFTRA, is best known for Young Artist Award-nominated role in This Is My Life and her Saturn Award-nominated performance in Salem's Lot. Fans also loved her in Broken Arrow and American Psycho. She dated actor River Phoenix before he died of a drug overdose.

 47 Rajkumar

Rajkumar
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 24, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: April 12, 2006

 48 Rhea Seehorn

Rhea Seehorn
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
First seen in independent comedy films, Rhea Seehorn gained prominence with her performance in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Her works also include a number of supporting roles and short-lived comedy series. 

 49 Chris Sarandon

Chris Sarandon
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Chris Sarandon is an American actor best known for voicing the popular Disney character Jack Skellington in the film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Apart from voicing the character in the movie, Sarandon has also voiced Skellington for many Disneyland Halloween attractions, such as Halloween Screams and Haunted Mansion Holiday. He has also voiced Skellington in many video games.

 50 Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Richard Thomas is best known for his Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of John-Boy Walton in The Waltons. He also played significant roles in the 1990s’ miniseries It and the spy thriller series The Americans. A talented stage actor, he played Ebenezer Scrooge in A Musical Christmas Carol.
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