Let’s just be honest: there are some ugly actors in Hollywood who have made it quite big – bigger, in fact, than their more physically appealing contemporaries. Now, lest you think we are being unduly cruel, we should remind you that we’re only doing this to prove a point: that ugly actors (or actors who aren’t conventionally good-looking) can make it in the entertainment business. We’re sure there are many actors and actresses out there that we don’t necessarily find physically appealing that others might (and vice versa), but for what it’s worth, let’s take a look at some Hollywood’s most successful ugly actors.
Paul Giamatti is one of our favorite actors in Hollywood – he just isn’t conventionally handsome, so to speak. But that certainly hasn’t stopped him from landing some of the biggest films and giving some of the best performances in recent memory. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama where he studied and acted alongside fellow thespians Ron Livingston and Edward Norton, Giamatti first worked in theatrical productions and won a few small television roles early in his career. By the late 1990s, he began to win supporting parts in major motion pictures, including Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, The Truman Show, Big Momma’s House, Man on the Moon and Planet of the Apes. His breakthrough role, however, was that of the depressed writer in the 2004 romantic drama Sideways, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. There’s been no looking back for Giamatti ever since: he’s featured in many of the most popular films and acclaimed movies of the last few years, including Cinderella Man, The Nanny Diaries, Fred Claus, John Adams and The Last Station.
It pains us to say it, but Ron Perlman has a face only a mother could love. This fact is certainly reflected in the roles he has played over the course of his career, including the beastly Vincent in the television series Beauty and the Beast as well as the title character in the Hellboy film series. To be sure, there is certainly something attractive and charming about the way he carries himself: with confidence and an aura that he knows his talent is more than skin deep. Audiences have certainly warmed up to him over the years, appreciating his work in film such as Blade II, Star Trek Nemesis and The Devil’s Tomb. Perlman also has a long history doing voice over work for both animated series and video games. You can hear him in games such as Lord Terrence Hood, Fallout, and both Halo 2 and Halo 3.
Clint Howard is an actor you probably think you’ve seen before but aren’t completely sure where. His claim to fame extends beyond his own list of credits: he is best known for being the younger brother of actor-turned-director Ron Howard. In fact, most of his screen credits have been appearances in his brother’s films, including Backdraft, Parenthood, Coccon, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and EDtv. Though he’s a slightly recognizable quantity in Hollywood, the majority of the media tends to have fun with his unconventional appearance. The Phoenix newspaper honored him with the 22nd spot on their list of the 100 Unsexiest Men in the World. We hate to put a damper on anyone’s opinion, but we think Howard’s wife might protest just a little bit.
Though he is no longer with us, we would like to pay tribute to the legacy of Vincent Schiavelli, also known as “the man with the sad eyes”. A native of Brooklyn, Schiavelli studied acting at New York University and then began performing on stage in the 1960s. He won a movie role in Milos Forman’s Taking Off, which in turn led to many more roles in Forman’s films, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Valmont and Man on the Moon. Many fans also remember him fondly for his performance as the subway spirit in the blockbuster Ghost starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. He also notably played a Bond villain in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. Sadly, Vincent succumbed to lung cancer in 2005. He is one character actor, who no matter how he looked, we will never forget.