Typecasting has been around since the beginning of film. Whether it's the fault of the studio, the audience or the actor, certain stars get stuck in the same roles throughout much of their careers. Sometimes it's the studios that create the cycle, refusing to try new things with actors who became famous or well-known for a certain role, using the classic, "if it ain't broke, don’t fix it" mentality. Other times it's the fans, who have become so accustomed to seeing an actor as a specific character or profession that they refuse to accept them as anything else. And finally, sometimes it's the actor's fault. It might be their look or their mannerisms, their persona or their voice that makes them fit so well in a specific role. One thing we should mention here is that we're not just looking at general typecasting. It's easy to say "this dude plays a good guy" in all his films. We're trying to look at specifics, like actual professions. The narrower we can get and the more ridiculous the similarities between characters, the better.
We've seen it time and time again, from the cast of Star Trek to Superman, comedians to foreign actors. It's an accepted reality in the film industry that certain actors will struggle to break free from being typecast. Some actors turn down iconic roles specifically because of their fears of being typecast in the future. Sometimes actors defy the odds. Who would've thunk that Daniel Radcliffe could become anything other than Harry Potter or David Tennant anyone else but the Doctor? Perhaps it's a testament to the actor's ability or maybe it's just good luck and better timing that not everyone gets pigeonholed in one role. Still, many do, and that's what we've all come together to observe. Here is Typecast: 15 Stars Who Have Played the Same Role Over and Over Again.
15 Bruce Willis – Aging Cop
14 Dean Norris – Cop
13 Bela Lugosi – Vampire
12 Christopher Lee – Count Dracula
11 Jennifer Connelly – Woman on a Pier
10 Ray Liotta – Ex-Con or Corrupt Cop
9 John Wayne – Cowboy
8 James Marsden – Second Best Love Interest
7 Brian Cox – The Man Behind Amnesiac Human Weapons
6 Danny Trejo – Gang Member
5 Octavia Spencer – Nurse
Thinking about Octavia Spencer, you're going to think about The Help and maybe Snowpiercer, but you probably aren’t thinking that she's been typecast in her career. She has. She knows it too. Hell, Spencer was a casting director before she was an actor, so she knows damn well what's happened to her. Speaking to Stephen Colbert, the actress said, "My first job, I got cast as a nurse and I became the eventual nurse all the time…apparently, I have a sweet face."
4 Jay Jackson – News Anchor/Newscaster/Reporter
3 Thomas Kretschmann – Nazi
2 R. Lee Ermey – Military Man/Drill Sargent
1 Fritz Diez – Hitler
You may not know the actor Fritz Diez, but his typecasting might be the most unfortunate that we've ever seen. In 1955, Diez was cast in the role of Adolf Hitler in Ernst Thälmann - Führer seiner Klasse. Little did he know then that this would be the role that defined him as an actor. Eight more times in his career, Diez was cast as Hitler. In 9 films and TV series total, unconnected and not part of a franchise, he had to play one of the most despicable people ever. Several of the TV series had him play the part in multiple episodes, making him the most Hitlerized actor of all time. When asked about the role, Diez called it the "ungrateful role which always seemed to pursue me." Seeing what typecasting brought Diez should quiet some of the complaints coming from other actors who find themselves in similar positions.
Sources: Wikpedia; IMDB; Complex
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