An A-Z of Actors: T

Sorry to have dragged this one out for so long. Now up to ‘T’, and lots to choose from. I will try to avoid the most obvious choices, as usual.

Rita Tushingham has had a long career. The British actress started out in Stage School, but she soon had a starring role in the film ‘A Taste Of Honey’ (1961), when still in her teens. She went on to appear in ‘The Leather Boys’ (1964), whilst also working regularly on television here. In 1965, she appeared in David Lean’s epic, ‘Doctor Zhivago’, as well as the ‘Swinging Sixties’ comedy ‘The Knack’, with Michael Crawford. Following that, she continued to appear in mainly British productions, occasionally working on international films, including ‘Being Julia’ (2004). Now aged 76, she is still active, most recently in TV drama.

One of my favourite actresses, Kristin Scott Thomas has won numerous awards, and was made a Dame, in 2015. After going to work as an Au Pair in Paris in her teens, she later studied acting there, and speaks fluent French. This has enabled her to appear in many outstanding modern French films. Her award winning debut was in the film ‘A Handful Of Dust’ (1988), followed some years later by her BAFTA-winning role in the highly successful ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral'(1994). In 1996 she received no less than seven nominations for her role in ‘The English Patient’, and further critical acclaim for ‘Gosford Park’ (2001). If you have never seen her act in French, then I recommend the outstanding ‘I Have Loved You So Long’, another award-winning performance, from 2008. Since then, she has been in twenty-four other films, as well as acting on the stage in Britain, France, and America. Still only 58 years old, I am sure we will see much more of her in the future.

John Turturro is an American actor with distinctive looks, and an acting style that matches them. He has appeared in more than sixty films, and worked with some of the most famous modern film-makers, including collaborations with The Coen Brothers, and Spike Lee. Although best known for film roles, the New Yorker has also worked on stage, and in various television shows. His credits include some of the most popular modern films ever made, beginning in 1980 with a role as an extra in ‘Raging Bull’, through to ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ (1985), and ‘Hannah And Her Sisters’ (1996). In 1989, he stood out in ‘Do The Right Thing’, and received praise for ‘Miller’s Crossing’ (1990). The following year he won Best Actor awards for ‘Barton Fink’, and then more nominations for ‘Quiz Show’, in 1994. More Coen Brothers films continued, with ‘The Big Lebowski’ (1998), and ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’ (2000). He has been in many other films since then, and his latest one is awaiting release.

A French actor next, and the star of one of my personal top ten films, Jean-Louis Trintignant. Now 87 years old, and still working, he made his stage debut in 1951, before I was born. He has made films in French, Italian, and English, and has worked with many of the leading directors too, from the French New Wave, to the films of Krzysztof Kieล›lowski. With such a huge body of work behind him, I will not even try to list all of his most famous films, but here are a few of them. ‘A Man And A Woman’ (1966), ‘Les Biches’ (1968), ‘The Conformist’ (1970), and ‘Confidentially Yours’ (1983). Later films include ‘Three Colours: Red’ (1994), ‘Fiesta’ (1995), and ‘Amour’ (2012), for which he won three Best Actor awards.

Last today is another American, Billy Bob Thornton. As well as acting, he writes and directs films too, including two of his best, ‘One False Move’ (1992), and the marvellous ‘Sling Blade’ (1996). A talented actor who has taken on everything from crime to comedy, even the space adventure ‘Armageddon’ (1998), and has also released four albums of music. You are sure to have seen him in something, even if you don’t know his name. ‘Tombstone’ (1993), ‘U-Turn’ (1997), and ‘Pushing Tin’ (1997). Then came ‘Monster’s Ball’ (2001), ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’ (2001), and ‘Bad Santa’ (2003). The following year, he played Davy Crockett, in the remake of ‘The Alamo’, and was in ‘Eagle Eye’ in 2008. As well as appearing in the TV series of ‘Fargo’, he continues to make films, with his most recent released in 2018.

50 thoughts on “An A-Z of Actors: T

  1. Pete, I am offering up Lily Tomlin, who got her start in the US on the TV show “Laugh In” but proved herself a versatile talent over the decades to follow…she currently stars in a TV series with Jane Fonda here in the US, and got lots of attention for a film called “Grandma” two years ago…but I will always love her subtle, nuanced performance in “The Late Show” with Art Carney…a great LA film noir about an aging Detective who tries to help a new age woman find her cat! Yes, they uncover much, much more…here’s a look for anyone who hasn’t seen it –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with By Hook Or By Book. I was thinking about the book and movie, Heidi jus the other day and the scene where Shirly Temple is secreting away soft white bread for her grandmother. Now, I am going back well over 70 years for that story and memory.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great choices all of them. Kristin Scott Thomas is also one of my favourite actresses, and I am meaning to review I’ve Loved You so Long for ages now. I also admire John Turturro very much. Talking about British actresses, Emma Thompson also comes to mind. I am very much looking forward seeing her in the upcoming The Children Act. I have read the book and it really impressed me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, DB. You wouldn’t know, but I am famously not a fan of Emma Thompson. (Or her mother) As we say (in London at least), I feel that she is ‘up herself’, and it always shows in her performances.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots of my choices have already been mentioned but I have to add Jacques Tati, who is actually the first T actor who came to mind. Such a wonderful actor and filmmaker. I remember seeing a marathon of his movies about 40 years ago in, of all places, Nairobi, Kenya.

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    1. I recall seeing ‘Mr Hulot’s Holiday’ when I started to study French, in 1963. Tati was a master indeed, and when Rowan Atkinson began to make the ‘Mr Bean’ series, I rushed around telling everyone, “He’s just copying Jaques Tati”.
      Thanks for picking him, Peggy.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ Where to begin? Everybody you mentioned here I am a huge fan of. Speaking of The Knack, did you know that its director Richard Lester was an American, but relocated to the UK when he was either a late teen or early adult? Interesting isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ Jean-Louis Trintignant was also in a great Spaghetti western directed by Sergio Corbucci called The Great Silence? Check it out. British filmmaker Alex Cox (like myself) is a huge fan of it. Anyway, keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great choices Pete. I would add Stanley Tucci to that list. He was uncomfortably pathetic and chilling as the serial killer in Lovely Bones, wonderful as a crusading lawyer in Spotlight, and spot on disgusting as Adolf Eichman in Conspiracy. I also love Lili Taylor. She was fantastic in I Shot Andy Warhol and Dog Fight. She’s been very good in everything she’s been it though some of the material hasn’t warranted her talent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG you actually heard and seen the 2001 HBO film Conspiracy? I thought I was the only one who heard of that. It has been a long time since I saw it, but he made a terrifying Adolf Eichmann. Anyway, great to see you here ๐Ÿ™‚

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    2. I haven’t seen much of Tucci’s recent work, but admire him a great deal, especially for the wonderful ‘Big Night’ (1996). And he made a suitably oily Warner in ‘Feud’, though perhaps more ‘Stanley’ than ‘Jack’. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for your choices, Pam.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good choices, Pete! I think the only film I have on DVD in which Billy Bob Thornton stars is one of my favorite comedies, “Intolerable Cruelty,” which also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney. But I’ve seen him in other films.

    You’re not a fan of Emma Thompson, but I enjoy her in “Dead Again” and especially in “Much Ado About Nothing,” both of which (not surprisingly) also star Kenneth Branagh.

    I also like Audrey Tautou (“Amรฉlie” / “A Very Long Engagement”), Charlize Theron (“The Devil’s Advocate” / “ร†on Flux”), Gene Tierney (“The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” / “Leave Her to Heaven”), and Elizabeth Taylor (“National Velvet” / “Cleopatra” / “The Taming of the Shrew”) .

    I don’t mind mentioning Sharon Tate (“The Fearless Vampire Killers”), Jennifer Tilly (“Bound”), and Jeanne Tripplehorn (“Basic Instinct”).

    But my number one choice for actress is Kathleen Turner, who, incidentally, was born the same year as me (1954), and in the same town (Springfield, Missouri). She’s in several films on my DVD shelf, including: “Body Heat” (1981) / “Romancing the Stone” (1984) / “Crimes of Passion” (1984) / “Prizzi’s Honor” (1985) / “The Jewel of the Nile” (1985). She provided the sexy voice for Jessica Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988), and starred in “The War of the Roses” (1989) and “Serial Mom” (1994), all three of which I saw at the movie theater. I really should have these on DVD. I’m embarrassed to say I have yet to see “Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986).

    I could only think of two favorite male actors whose last name starts with T. First, I thought of Spencer Tracy: “Libeled Lady” (1936) / “Adam’s Rib” (1949) / “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963). Then I remembered Dub Taylor: “Spencer’s Mountain” (1963) / “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) / “The Wild Bunch” (1969) / “Support Your Local Gunfighter” (1971) “The Getaway” (1972) / “Used Cars” (1980). Dub Taylor also appeared in countless TV episodes. I can’t choose between these two actors, so it’s a tie!

    Finally, I’d like to mention Franรงois Truffaut. Known mainly as a French film director, he also had acting roles in a few films like “L’Histoire d’Adรจle H.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

    *I only provided dates for films in which my winners starred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dub Taylor was a great character actor, and suitably devious as the father of C.J. Moss.
      Kathleen Turner is an excellent choice, but thanks for mentioning the delicious Jennifer Tilly as well. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Although I know it wasn’t her real name, I suggest Shirley Temple. For unknown reasons, I loved her when I was a kid; my daughter loved her when she was a kid; and now my granddaughter loves her. So she had something indefinable.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been sluggish today, so this post caught me off-guard. I’ve only thought of Jessica Tandy, Kathleen Turner and Liz Taylor.
    Here’s hoping your other readers are more hip today than I am!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not surprised you chose the delightful Kristen Scott Thomas and was surprised you chose Billy Bob Thorton. I watched a recent series on Netflix where he plays a lawyer. It was entertaining. It’s called ‘Goliath’. You might like it.
    As for the letter T — I’ll pick Emma Thompson although I know you aren’t a fan of hers. I like Marisa Tomei, Gene Tierney, and John Travolta. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, for your picks, Cindy, even if one is Emma Thompson. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Surprised I picked Billy Bob? ‘Sling Blade’ is outstanding, one of the best modern films. And he was equally outstanding with his measured performance in ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’. I like him a lot.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great choice on Billy Bob Thornton and even better mentioning Slingblade. That was such an amazing movie.
    One actress I love to add to the list is Charlize Theron. She is amazing and can take on so many different roles. Truly a very impressive woman ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

      1. She was almost completely unrecognisable in that role. But she played her role so well: and that’s why I really like her so much. She can play almost any type of character. I also loved her Furiosa part in the new Mad Max film.
        As for Slingblade: completely agree, a little known, but absolute hidden gem. Terrific film ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

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