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Mike

Type casting

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So, we all know the rule in films and TV. If you are great, I mean GREAT at your character, you will be forever remembered as THAT character and unemployable as others.

Case in point.

Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates.

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Christopher Lloyd as the Rev. Jim Ignatowski on Taxi, I remember going to the theater to see Star Trek - Search for Spock, and the minute, the minute Chris came on screen as Klingon Kruge, the theater bust out laughing. It was NOT a comedic role...at all.

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Alec Guinness, Obi-Wan Kenobi. He hated Star Wars because he became solidified as Obi-Wan.

For me, Guinness was forever George Smiley of the John Le Carre novels/TV movies even though he had a glorious, distinguished career.

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for me Jack Nicholson was two characters (that are maybe pretty similar):

Jack Torrance (The Shining)

and Randle Patrick McMurphy (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

I love these movies :)

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Ted. Keanu Reeves. 'Nuff said.

He was a grumpier version of Ted when he was in Much Ado About Nothing. He was Ted in a leather coat in The Matrix movies.

Christopher Walken in just about anything. He's always Christopher Walken.

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- Al Pacino from Dog Day Afternoon and Scarface. Ever since then, he's been doing that schtick: One moment he's carrying on a normal conversation and the next he's screaming like some crazed, out-of-control lunatic.

- Woody Allen played the same neurotic, sexually-charged cerebrotonic for a bunch of his films. Wouldn't have the guy any other way.

- James Cagney will be known for all the two-bit goon roles he had in gangster films of the 30s. Sure, he did other starring performances, but who can name of his comedies?

- Bela Lugosi was never anyone else other than Dracula.

- Boris Karloff was never anyone else other than Frankenstein.

- Peter Lorre will always be known as the "creepy" guy. He came from the silent era of film-making, so he used his features a lot to his advantage in a field renown for placing beauty in top roles.

- Robert Mitchum was a kind of "fall-guy" in film noirs: The bad guy who has a change of heart at the last moment and does something good. His characters had the sort of human depth in an age where movies were still about simple good and evil, right and wrong - his characters were double-sided.

- Rodney Dangerfield will always be the wise guy.

- W.C. Fields is the king of wise guys.

- Charlie Chaplin was much better at silent slapstick (can anyone name talkies other than The Great Dictator?). Same goes for Buster Keaton.

- Lucille Ball will always be "Lucy" even if she starred in a lot of films.

- The first actor I thought of as the quintessential typecast is Edward G. Robinson: Usually the head of a bootlegging gang. Sometimes, he'd play the inspector, but even Warner Brother cartoons put him as the gangster.

e-robinson.jpg

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I feel like John Malkovich always plays somekind of psychotic homiciadal maniac, or just a crazy person.

Also, Dustin Diamond and Gelele (?) White were never able to shed their geek image and can't land any serious roles because of it.

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Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebben or Frank Drebbenesqe characters.

George Reeves as Superman. Some people speculate that it was his typecasting as Superman that led to his suicide (if indeed it was a suicide).

Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett. (Although he did have a reasonably successful career as a song and dance man before he took on the role that made him famous.)

Barbara Eden as Jeannie.

Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington.

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Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett. (Although he did have a reasonably successful career as a song and dance man before he took on the role that made him famous.)

For me he was always Andy Russel, Davey Crockett's sidekick.

Alan Alda will forever be Hawkeye Pierce.

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Clint Eastwood took years to wash away his cowboy film persona. Even when he played Lt. "Dirty" Harry Callahan he still played that kind of rogue. This might be one of the reasons he took on directing more films starring himself and how we ended up with The Bridges Of Madison County...

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Jimmy Stewart, everytime I see him in ANY film, he's still good ol' small town banker George Bailey.

"look daddy, teacher says everytime a bell rings an angel get's it's wings" .. "that's right, that's right, atta a boy Clarence"

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