A tricky letter, as not that many acting surnames start with ‘O’. I will limit myself to just three selections, to give some scope for your own choices.
A British stage, film, and television actor, Clive Owen is well known on both sides of The Atlantic. Rising to stardom on British TV in ‘The Chancer’, following an early stage career at The Young Vic, in London. Critical acclaim followed a lead role in Stephen Poliakoff’s film, ‘Close My Eyes’ (1991), and he went on to make an impact in ‘Gosford Park’ (2001). More mainstream roles followed, including parts in ‘The Bourne Identity’ (2002), and ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ (2003). Since then, his career has been on a roll, starring in ‘King Arthur’ (2004), ‘Closer’ (2004), ‘Sin City’ (2005), and ‘Inside man’ (2006). That same year, he received great reviews for his role in ‘Children of Men’, and the following year, starred in both ‘Shoot Em Up’, and ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’. Since then, he has made 18 more films, with the most recent due to be released in 2019.
Irish-born actress Maureen O’Hara started out as a singer and amateur actress, in her home city of Dublin. In 1937, she was offered a contract by a production company headed by Charles Laughton, and embarked on a film and television career that lasted until 2010. As well as working with Laughton in ‘The Hunchback Of Notre Dame’ (1939), she also made five films for John Ford, including ‘How Green Was My Valley’ (1941), and ‘The Quiet Man’ (1952), starring opposite John Wayne. Other successes included the pirate epic, ‘The Black Swan’ (1942), ‘Miracle On 34th Street’ (1947), and ‘Our Man In Havana’ (1959). She died in 2015, aged 95.
My last choice today, is Londoner Gary Oldman. He has worked on stage, screen and TV since 1979, getting his film break in Mike Leigh’s ‘Meantime’, in 1983. He continued to work with The Royal Shakespeare Company, but got additional attention for his film roles in ‘Sid And Nancy’ (1986), and ‘Prick Up Your Ears (1987), a biopic of playwright Joe Orton. He made the transition to playing American characters, with a role in ‘State Of Grace’ (1990), followed by his outstanding performance as Lee Harvey Oswald, in Oliver Stone’s film, ‘JFK’ (1991). Villainous roles suit him well too, and he played the bad guy in ‘True Romance’ (1993), ‘Leon’ (1994), and ‘The Fifth Element’ (1997). As well as roles in the Harry Potter films, and The Dark Knight Batman films, he most recently won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, in ‘The Darkest Hour’ (2017).