An A-Z of Actors: V

I will only add three names this time, as ‘V’ can be a bit tricky. But that should leave you plenty of scope to add your own favourites in the comments.
My selections are not that well-known.

American actor John Vemtimiglia had enjoyed a successful career in films and on television, most notably in the long running series ‘The Sopranos’. Films include ‘Cop Land’ (1997), ‘The Iceman’ (2012), and ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’ (1999). He is one of those rare character actors who always leaves his mark on the smallest role, making me want to find out more about him.

An unusual choice, and another star of The Sopranos, Steven Van Zandt was perhaps never meant to be an actor. In fact, he was a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street band, and well-known as a musician. In 1999, he decided to audition for a role in ‘The Sopranos’, despite having no acting experience. He was given the role of Silvio, one of the main characters, and brought him to life on the screen. Then in 2011, he co-wrote and produced the Norwegian/English mini-series, ‘Lillyhammer’, playing a New York gangster in hiding in Norway, with often hilarious results. He is still working in television and radio, as well as continuing to perform and record music.

My last offering today is another American, the Oscar-nominated Brenda Vaccaro. She has had a distinguished career on stage, in films, and on television that has lasted for more than fifty years. Winning awards for her theatre work as well as screen roles, her list of film credits includes some very famous films indeed. ‘Midnight Cowboy’ (1969), ‘Going Home’ (1972), ‘Once Is Not Enough’ (1975), and ‘Capricorn One’ (1977). Later films included ‘Supergirl’ (1994), and ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’ (1996). Now 78, she is still working, and known for supplying voices to various animated characters.

44 thoughts on “An A-Z of Actors: V

  1. Here are two: Jean-Claude Van Damme….don’t laugh, he was so bad he was great – the “Muscles from Brussels” did a great job in a film where he plays himself as an Actor past his prime – see it here:

    https://johnrieber.com/2014/01/11/jean-claudes-amazing-car-ad-jcvd-movie-rocks-hanging-in-cannes-with-van-damme/

    And as mentioned, Jan-Michael Vincent…from the biggest new star of the 70’s to a man with one leg…here is that tragic tale…

    https://johnrieber.com/2015/08/31/jan-michael-vincent-from-70s-sexiest-man-to-a-true-hollywood-tragedy/

    Oh, forgot: Jon Voight in the only X-rated film to ever with the Oscar for Best Picture! Check it out:

    https://johnrieber.com/2018/03/04/oscars-x-rated-past-the-13-academy-award-nominations-for-x-rated-films-with-an-awards-edge/

    Talk about abusing your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went for some obscure ones (unless you have seen The Sopranos) to allow others to choose the better-known in ‘V’. But I am surprised how few people know Brenda Vaccaro, as she was around a great deal at one time, and won awards too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Okay, I’ve got a couple for you Pete–Jan-Michael Vincent; he played opposite of Charles Bronson in The Mechanic and he was in Buster and Billie one of my obscure favorites. I had a huge crush on him back in the day. Then Frank Vincent since I know you’re a big Sopranos fan. He played Phil Leotardo. He also played Billy Batts (the guy that gets stabbed in the trunk) in Goodfellas. He’s played multiple gangster roles. Great actor. Died a few years ago, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for those, Pam. I recall the square -jawed Jan-Michael of course, and I know the characters played by Frank, but didn’t know his name. Many thanks for enlightening me on that. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Growing up canoeing on Missouri and Arkansas streams, one of my favorite expressions was, “Shoot the V!” This refers to the narrowing of the stream, where the water is channeled through boulders that otherwise obstruct passage. The V promises deeper water, and is also fun to navigate because the water runs much faster. What does this have to do with your post? My first reaction to having to come up with actors whose last name starts with V was, “Shoot the V!” As in, pull the trigger and blow that letter off the map!

    Okay, I’m just kidding. Anyway, I found some actors. So it’s water under the bridge now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are right, this letter is tricky. In fact the only one that I could think up at this moment anyway was Vince Vaughn. Though he is no way someone that I would call one of my favorite actors, I was impressed by his performance in Hacksaw Ridge, where he had quite a memorable role 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The only one you mention whose name I know is Brenda Vaccaro. I’ve never seen “The Sopranos.”

    i came up with five names, three of which qualify by virtue of Van:
    Lee Van Cleef (“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” / “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”)
    Dick Van Dyke (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” / “Mary Poppins”)
    Casper Van Dien (“Starship Troopers” / “Sleepy Hollow”)
    Jon Voight (“Deliverance” / “Anaconda” / “Mission: Impossible”)
    Robert Vaughn (“The Magnificent Seven” / “Bullitt” / “The Towering Inferno”)

    Although I love Dick Van Dyke (mainly for his classic TV sitcom), and Lee Van Cleef is awesome, my first choice goes to Jon Voight. If you’re anything other than an anaconda, that might be hard to swallow, but he is, nevertheless, my choice!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, I mainly chose Dick Van Dyke for his TV sitcom. I’ve actually never seen anything other than a clip or two from the films I mentioned, even though they are the films for which he is most famous. I figure you are mainly dealing with movie roles, so I included them. Normally, I only name films I’ve actually seen or own. I’ve seen Dick Van Dyke in a couple of films, but didn’t think “Dick Tracy” and the three “Night at the Museum” films would be very representative of his work.

        Ironically, in the detective novel I finished writing back in December, I make a reference to “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” But the reference is to the vehicle itself, not to the film or its actors.

        Liked by 1 person

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