Do you have a foreign guy in your script? If so, then Armand Assante is your man. No matter which country the character is from, Assante will bring foreignness to the role. He's played his share of red-meat eating, quick-fisted New York tough guys, but such roles have either been forgotten (Mike Hammer in I, The Jury) or execrable (Rico in Judge Dredd).
Charles Bronson was the ultimate badass. Apparently, this extended to his offscreen life, too: he was a coal miner at the age of 10. In The Magnificent Seven, Bronson splits wood onscreen, with an axe and everything, like his character's Seven Samurai counterpart Heihachi. Not only is this physically demanding, requiring good coordination, it's so dangerous that no insurance company is likely to ever let a name star do that again.
James "Jimmy" Cagney, far down on the list, but among the first and most severe cases of typecasting in early Hollywood. Since smashing a grapefruit in Mae Clarke's face in The Public Enemy (1931), he will be forever known as the hardass gangster, complete with his own Beam Me Up, Scotty!, "You dirty rat..." Cagney started his career as a "hoofer" or dancer in stage musicals, was a teetotaler, spoke fluent yiddish (though a gentile), and was no slouch at judo (put to great use in Blood on the Sun (1945), with one of the most brutal fights ever filmed). Yet none of this erased the tough guy persona he was famous for, even after winning an Oscar for the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Part of the problem was that Cagney couldn't flash a smile that didn't imply Godless bloodlust. (He turned down Humphrey Bogart's Star-Making Role in High Sierra in order to get away from the typecasting).
Bruce Campbell has played so many jerks spouting one-liners that most fans don't know what to think when he tries something new.
According to Jackson, this is self-imposed; he's a semi-retired news anchor with no background in acting, and his first "acting" role was largely gained through a fluke. Even today, he doesn't think of himself as an actor; his real passion is jazz music.
John Candy always tended to play well-meaning but bumbling types. The Bumbling Dad, the Cool Uncle, the semi-ineffectual cop with a heart of gold. Interesting enough, the role most people say was his best was a corrupt, and utterly unpleasant and unlikeably, southern lawyer in JFK.
A large number of Gary Chalk's live action roles has him working for the government. These includes jobs in politics, S.H.I.E.L.D., military and most frequently, a police officer.
Jackie Chan was typecast as a "nice guy" for decades, partly because Jackie aspired to be a positive role model for children. Until 2006's "Rob B Hood", Jackie hadn't played a negative character in over 30 years.
Roy Cheung plays a lot of psychotic Triad gangsters and other villains in Hong Kong movies, to the point that when he played a Shaolin monk in Infernal Affairs, it was seen as Playing Against Type.
Chow Yun-fat is good at playing tragic heroes in Hong Kong action movies. Since his work with John Woo, nearly every gunplay role he plays has him using two guns at least once in the movie.
The popularity of Steptoe and Son ruined the careers of its stars, Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell. Corbett in particular suffered, having achieved acclaim as a Shakespearean actor before accepting his role in the show, and frequently being described as "Britain's Marlon Brando" early in his career.
Peter Coyote is habitually an asshole authority figure, but with a certain grace and style. Even when the role offers him little to do but whinge about protocol, you can keenly understand why he's in command.
And with his Mission: Impossible Film Series rebounding in popularity, you can also find the Cruiser putting the action in action hero, doing his own running, climbing, shooting, running, fighting, running, driving and running...
Even stage actors aren't immune to this. Look at John Cullum, playing a cynical, worldwise, southerner and/or father, in Shenandoah (original cast and revival), 1776 (movie), Urinetown, and 110 in the Shade. Ironically, he initially turned down the role of Rutledge because he did not want to play a southerner.
John de Lancie usually finds himself in roles that can be best summed up as "annoying guy that is a pain in the neck to the protagonist(s)". Examples are in Star Trek The Next Generation where he took the role of Q, an all-powerful being that usually likes to mess around with the crew of the Enterprise much to their annoyance, and in My Little Pony where he does largely the same thing except this time as Discord. Star Gate also features him as Frank Simmons, a guy with an agenda that usually causes him to butt heads with Stargate Command.
Robert De Niro almost always plays tough, confident and aggressive types with a blue collar or lower-class background. In the last decade, he's become more and more prone to Adam Westing his badass image than playing straight examples.
The only constant between Johnny Depp's roles is that, with the exception of Pirates of the Caribbean (being a sequel), he hasn't done the same kind of character twice. And in that strange way, audiences have come to expect him to just be that kind of quirky, offbeat character.
Frequently pairing up with Tim Burton tends to do that.
He's done plenty of quirky man-child characters, though the quirks tend to shift quite a bit from movie to movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio is an interesting example. After his Star-Making Role in Titanic (1997), media pundits almost unanimously predicted that Leo would be another flash-in-the pan celebrity, typecast as a Bishōnenteenage heart-throb before forever vanishing from the limelight after hitting 35. Unusually, he was smart enough to move away from pretty boy roles into something grittier and started a very fruitful creative partnership with Martin Scorsese. Ironically, this led DiCaprio to being typecast in crime and/or business dramas, Scorsese's signature genre, where he usually plays intense, morally ambiguous types. Leo's lead role as Dominic Cobb in Inception was seen as an attempt at broadening his acting range... right until it turned out he was playing an intense, morally ambiguous mind thief.
A truly extreme and bizarre example is East German actor Fritz Diez (1901 -1979). He played the same character over and over in about two dozen films, TV features, and stage plays. And the character was... Adolf Hitler.
Vin Diesel is the tough action hero who, appropriately, has something to do with big hulking machines.
In the 1960s and 70s there was the great Anton Diffring, who became the archetypal sinister German officer. For a period during the 1960s no self-respecting WWII film was complete without an icy glare or cold and calculating remark courtesy of Herr Diffring (Operation Crossbow and Where Eagles Dare being two notable examples). He even played bigwigs like Reinhard Heydrich in Operation Daybreak and Joachim Von Ribbentrop in The Winds of War.
Jason Dolley, a member of the Disney Channel repertoire, is typecast as two different types of characters: Either an unlucky, unappreciated loser who gets the girl in the end (in his three Disney Channel original movies: Read It and Weep, Minutemen, and Hatching Pete): or a moronic, slacker musician (in his two Disney Channel sitcoms, Cory in the House and Good Luck Charlie).
He's finally due to play a moronic, slacker musician in a DCOM for a change, when the Good Luck Charlie movie is released.
(Local prostitutes are giggling while being "examined" by the doctor.)
Doc Cochran: When you laugh, you leak piss.
His typecasting is Lampshaded in Urban Legend, where he plays a scary, stuttering gas station attendant. He runs up to a girl getting gas trying to yell something, but he Can't Spit It Out. She shakes him off and drives away in her car, assuming he was trying to attack and/or rape her. After she's out of earshot, he finally manages to shout "SOMEONE'S IN THE BACK SEAT!" Much later in the movie, he's mentioned on the news as a suspect in the murders.
He also cast himself in Unforgiven, where he plays an older version of his tough cowboy character. Clint likes to do this - and he knows what he's doing.
Now he's just known for playing "the character with the gravely voice".
Possibly the only exception is Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel Any Which Way You Can, which were off-beat comedies. Though even then his character was a tough guy trucker who dabbles in bare-knuckle fighting.
Ermey plays a very racist police officer in the movie Life.
R. Lee Ermey was a Drill Sergeant Nasty during the Vietnam war. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is only a slight exaggeration of the way he, and most other drill sergeants, actually behaved at that time. Modern drill instructors are much less over-the-top than back then.
Ermey has played an evangelist at least twice: once in Fletch Lives, and again in an episode of The X-Files.
Name a Dennis Farina role that wasn't a cop or a mobster. We're waiting. (Justified in that, as an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Farina knows what he's doing in those roles.)
He played a soldier in Saving Private Ryan. Granted, it was a very brief role, and wasn't particularly different from his cop roles.
Kicking And Screaming also doesn't quite count. He was a meek but otherwise well-adjusted man with father issues. Of course, those father issues caused him to go both "Idiotic Manchild" and "Arrogant Buffoon" over the course of the movie, getting way too invested in peewee soccer for the sake of one-upping his old man.
If your film needs a Jerkass villain, Ralph Fiennes is your man. He's either that or an introverted, brooding hero. Or an introverted, brooding villain, like he was in Red Dragon.
Before his recent Oscar nominatedrolesColin Firth every role the poor guy got since Pride and Prejudice has just been a role saying "hey look, this guy was Mr Darcy! Look at him be Mr. Darcy!" Bridget Jones turned this up to eleven, by actually basing his character on Mr. Darcy. In universe, Bridget Jones is a fan of Colin Firth and of his portrayal of Mr Darcy.
Harrison Ford is the badass everyman. As he's gotten older, more and more Papa Wolf has slipped into his roles.
A cartoon titled "Rare Movies Festival" had on its programming for one of the days: "Harrison Ford movies where he doesn't run".
Morgan Freeman currently provides the image for the Typecasting index page. He's often (though not always) a wise oldblack man, usually some sort of authority figure; and he's famous for his smoothly deep voice, which is considered awesome enough that he's often played a narrator role (especially in documentaries). Though at least he's not known only for being Easy Reader.
Dwight Frye, the man that played the first Igor-like character Fritz in Frankenstein (1931) was well as doing a very good Renfield in Dracula (1931) ended up hating the fact he always ended up playing as "...idiots, half-wits and lunatics on the talking screen!"
Guillermo Francella always does comedies, and he's always either the goofy lovable horndog, the irresponsible parent who has a change of heart at the end of the movie, or both.
He has done a couple more serious roles lately (even losing his signature mustache), but even then his characters are always fans of Racing Club of Avellaneda, just like he is in real life.
Dennis Franz is a cop who gets naked.
Has Martin Freeman ever played a major role in which he isn't playing a slightly grumpy, plain, occasionally humorous everyman character? It's all he ever seems to be cast as.
In Wild Target he played a suave assassin with frighteningly white teeth. Bit of a break from tradition.
The Hobbit may or may not change this. The above character traits kind of fit Bilbo as well, though.
Subverted by his turn in Fargo; he plays an American doormatish everyman character who almost immediately becomes a wife-murdering scumbag.
Stephen Fry is often described to have been typecast as Stephen Fry, the charmingly quintessential Englishman who is probably smarter than you but too polite to say so.
French actor Jean Gabin was famous for playing all roles alike, be it as a policeman, gangster, scientist or anything else: the old-school, patronizing and somewhat short-tempered patriarch - to the point that his roles hardly needed to be given names, since people would refer to them as "Chief Gabin" or "Professor Gabin".
He somewhat breaks this type in his role as Ray on Bored to Death, as he often plays the snarky voice of reason to the bumbling main character. He does occasionally show poor judgement and a bit of emotional immaturity though, leaning back into his wheelhouse a little and handing off the Sanity Ball to Jonathan.
Cracked: Grammer holds the distinction of being the only actor ever to win three Golden Globes for the same role. Sounds great, until you realize he has three statues at home reminding him every day that, as they lower him into the ground, there's a good chance the priest will accidentally refer to him as "the departed Dr. Crane."
Armie Hammer has portrayed at least three closeted queer characters in period pieces, with two of them based on real people: Clyde Tolson in J. Edgar, James Lord in Final Portrait, and Oliver in Call Me by Your Name.
Tom Hanks doesn't always play a man who is personally decent and professionally reliable, but it's the way to bet. To the point that the reveal of him playing Mister Rogers in a Biopic was met with such an onslaught of "Of course he fucking is!" from the Internet that it turned into a mini-meme.
Take the Italian duo of actors, better known with the Stage Names of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, made famous by spaghetti-westerns and Bash Brothers movies. While the former has found some variation in his career, like playing a live-action Lucky Luke and, currently, a detective priest in a Italian TV Series, the latter was still anchored to the characters he did in his movies until just before his passing — see this commercial.
James Hong, professional cranky old Asian guy. He's played the same role for over three decades, and it seems like he was never actually young.
Incidentally, Samuel L. Jackson apparently had trouble not cursing for one movie that was trying to keep a PG-13 rating. They were talking about it in the extras on the DVD.
Far more than the swearing alone, Samuel L. Jackson has simply been typecast ever since Pulp Fiction as a badass Motherfucker. Before that movie, he played a variety of small roles. Variety as in actually varied.
Samuel L. Jackson is so considered a badass that when it came time to give the Ultimate Universe version of Nick Fury (the most badass secret agent this side of James Bond) a new look, he was made to look like... Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson agreed to let them use his likeness on condition of getting to play Fury in the movies.
Ken Jeong as the "obnoxious Asian dude who thinks he's a badass".
Royce Johnson regularly gets cast as police officers, with Brett Mahoney in Daredevil (2015) being the most notable of them.
Embraced by German-born actor Udo Kier, who often plays villains, vampires, or villainous vampires. He states that he loves playing such roles and keeps choosing them for that reason.
Klaus Kinski was mostly cast for choleric and psychotic characters. Furthermore he was also showing similar traits in real life.
German actor Thomas Kretschmann seems to be hopelessly typecast in Nazi roles. He has played a German officer or soldier in 11 unrelated works so far: The Pianist, Valkyrie, Downfall, Eichmann, the 1993 German film Stalingrad, U571, the Norwegian film Warrior's Heart, Head in the Clouds, In Enemy Hands, The Sinking of the Laconia, and the Russian 2013 film Stalingrad, and he's been cast as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in Avengers: Age of Ultron. On the plus side, he's usually a sympathetic Nazi. On the Jimmy Kimmel Show he stated he's been typecast more as a Captain than a Nazi (though this is probably due to him playing quite a number of Nazi Captains).
This is further added by the fact that after being known for playing the role of Hermann Fegelein in Der Untergang, YouTube users would sometimes make references to his character ("FEGELEIN FEGELEIN FEGELEIN!!!") on almost every video that he appeared on.
It seems as though Kevin James is turning to filling the "sweet natured, but slightly clumsy obese guy" void left by Chris Farley.
Christopher Lee's sepulchral tones had made him a career out of playing villains. Though to be fair, he's well-suited for it, with his razor-thin build, dark eyes, towering height, and powerful deep voice.
Somewhat going against type, he plays Death in the TV adaptation of the first two Discworld novels.
Ray Liotta found himself seriously pigeonholed by Goodfellas. Even in sci-fi thrillers (No Escape), he's still playing an ex-con of some sort. Interestingly, he played a cop in Narc, and his performance was much-acclaimed.
This trope was the bane of Bela Lugosi's life, poor guy. Most of his roles were somewhat Dracula-like villains, even when a film wasn't supernatural. This was so much the case that his few good guy roles seem to have been intended in part to surprise the viewers in movies such as The Black Cat (1934). His favorite role was in Ninotchka, where he finally had a romantic role.
Michael Madsen (aka Mr. Blonde) as the ultimate gangster/psycho/both (well, except in Free Willy...). Or downplaying the first, a cop\tough guy. Interestingly this is used by filmmakers either to create a certain feeling (in Donnie Brasco, I'm not sure we'd be so reluctant to trust Sonny Black in the first half of the movie if he was played by someone else) or to confound our expectations (in Kill Bill, the assassin played by Michael Madsen actually turns out to be a repentant, down-and-out Punch-Clock Villain who gets Eviler Than Thoued by Elle Driver.
Actually used amusingly in the War of the Worlds parody bits of the Scary Movie franchise. When the guy offering the heroines shelter pulls down his hood and reveals his face, you know he's a nutcase before he's done anything because it's Michael Madsen.
In recent years, he's been playing American generals and agents in crappy Russian action movies. Why, would you ask?
Miyavi's first blockbuster role as an actor was as the villain Mutshuhiro Watanabe (aka, "The Bird")—a cruel Soft-Spoken Sadist Sergeant of the Japanese Imperial Army that was in charge of the Omori POW camp in Tokyo during WWII—in Unbroken. His next role was as Gunpei Ikari in Kong: Skull Island...as a fighter pilot in the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII.
Huge exception for Gary Oldman: the adorably clueless Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Considering the fact that both lead actors tend to be typecast as creepy villains, the following exchange from said movie becomes particularly awesome:
Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman): I want to go home now.
Guildenstern (Tim Roth): Don't let them confuse you...
"It may sound strange, but I think it's because I'm pale and thin. [...] Me, I look like a malnourished urchin, and there aren't too many of us around. I'm healthy, but I've never been a big guy, which is unusual for a Scottish actor [...]. I'm just a little, skinny, weak guy, and always have been."
Dylan Moran became famous for playing the misanthropic alcoholic Bernard Black in Black Books, and has been playing similar characters ever since.
Rick Moranis has been known for being cast as hyperactive fast-talkers, Deadpan Snarker types, and dweeby guys. According to some sources, he got tired of being typecast as the last of these, which is why he's been on hiatus since 1997 (his primary reason was because he needed to raise his kids).
Joel David Moore has been oddly pigeonholed as "That Weirdo Lab Assistant Guy;" he's been on Bones, Forever, and Avatar basically playing the same character.
Look at Glenn Morshower's filmography. Almost all of his characters have a military rank.
John Moschitta Jr, the world's fastest talker was always typecast as men who can talk very fast. Probably the reason we haven't seen him in anything lately.
An in-universe example for Mr. Potato Head and Baloney in The Mr. Potato Head Show: PH is invariably The Hero and Baloney is invariably his Sidekick. The other characters aren't nearly as typecasted, however; Queenie and Johnny have played both villains and allies, for instance.
Mostly because that's how they are. Both are known for their huge amounts of Improv and most of their roles are just a long Throw It In!.
Liam Neeson plays the aged badass with a haunted face and a certain chance of getting killed in his movies. If he doesn't die, he makes other people die in his place. (The last bit can either be about Darkman or Batman Begins)
Leslie Nielsen is an interesting case in that his style never changed, but his image did a 180 degree turn: Pre-Airplane! he was the stern authority figure, but post-Airplane!: bumbling slapstick idiot. This because the latter always hinged on him delivering completely, outrageously absurd dialogue with a perfectly straight face. Subverted with Creepshow, where he just plays an evil bastard... although it is over the top.
The last guy that tried to type cast Chuck Norris- oh, well, never mind.
Ever since Profit, Adrian Pasdar has frequently been cast as wealthy and powerful corporate or government authority figures.
Dirch Passer ran into this trope hard. A Danish stage and screen actor renowned for his comedy performances, he became so associated with humor that audiences rejected his occasional stabs at dramatic roles. Late in his career, Passer took the lead in a stage drama and the audience started laughing during his first scene, unable to take him seriously. Passer was humiliated by the experience and never again tried to play a serious part.
Michael Pate, a white Australian actor, had the odd distinction being typecast as Native Americans in Hollywood Westerns like Hondo, Major Dundee and McLintock!. His only Hollywood role as an Australian came in the John F. Kennedy biopic PT-109.
When Josh Peck was still fat, he was known for playing the nerdy, socially akward goofball kid role.
Ron Perlman is usually cast as Man in a Really Good Monster Costume With None of His Lines Dubbed Over.
Which is a damned shame as his role as Vincent demonstrated that he is more than capable of expressing subtle emotions and doesn't need to always be The Heavy.
Even as the Heavy, his performance as One showed subtle emotions with no monster costume and none of his lines dubbed over even though he doesn't speak French.
It wasn't until Hellboy that he was able to play a lead character in a major movie, usually he is a smaller character and under so much makeup you almost can't recognize him. He's one of those actors that everyone respects, at least those who have heard of him.
Joe Pesci. Loud, angry, streetwise gangster-type from New York with a Hair-Trigger Temper who may or may not be an Ax-Crazy psychopath. He's currently retired from acting, perhaps to avoid doing such roles forever. Although he averted this in With Honors as the still crazy, but charismatic and educated bum Simon B. Wilder. His performance as Vinny in My Cousin Vinny where he was he wasn't crazy. Though he was still a snarky smart ass in both films.
Jeremy Piven is always the talkative jerk/drunk who spouts off asshole lines for no good reason.
Favio Posca as "the family-friendly version of Fernando Peña."
Wolfgang Preiss bests even Anton Diffring as a go-to Nazi. Name a WWII movie from the '60s and '70s and he's probably in it: The Longest Day, The Train, Is Paris Burning?, Von Ryan's Express, A Bridge Too Far, even The Boys from Brazil. Additionally, Preiss portrayed a staggering five German field marshals: Erwin Rommel, Albert Kesselring, Alfred Jodl, Gerd Von Rundstedt and Walter von Brauchtisch. When Preiss wasn't a Nazi, he was Dr. Mabuse. Ironically, Preiss made his breakthrough playing Claus Von Stauffenberg in the German film Der 20 Juli - a heroic variant on his later typecasting.
Otto Preminger preferred directing to acting, especially after going bald at an early age. He did appear in several productions, almost always in the role of a Nazi. It's ironic that this helped restart his career during World War II, given that he was an Austrian Jew.
When Elvis Presley appeared in movies throughout the 50's and 60's most of them were as the happy-go-lucky guy in musical comedies such as Live A Little, Love A LittleKissin' Cousins and Stay Away Joe. Although he did play against type in a Clint Eastwood-style western called Charro!.
According to rumor, he gained a role in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity but his part was cut back when audiences, associating him with Superman, chuckled whenever he appeared on-screen. However Fred Zinnemann, the director, insisted that this was not true.
In his own words: "I don't play villains. I play very interesting people."
Eric Roberts really lends himself well to playing Smug Snake villains (quite literally in Doctor Who). Nathan Rabineven said Roberts didn't help by being so good in Star 80 "it became hard to buy him as anything but the kind of violent lunatic who might torture and kill a woman."
His career started out promising enough, described by one magazine as having a profile so handsome "it could be struck on a Roman coin." But his serious roles went unregarded, so he willingly became typecast to keep working.
"Ill do anything as long as theres one good thing about it. It can be a good co-star, a good director, a really great wardrobe. As long as its fun, I'll do it."
His sister's shadow still looms large (and his daughter is quickly catching up), but as a positive, he's proven an acquired taste among critics who grew up watching his schlock. Where once casting Eric Roberts was a sign of full-tilt laziness, the irony meter has gone full circle to where letting Roberts run wild will produce the best scenes in the film.
Andrew Robinson made his film debut as the baby-faced serial killer Scorpio in Dirty Harry. He was so associated with the role that, despite winning an Emmy as the lead on Ryan's Hope, he was recast after 2 seasons because they didn't want someone noted for playing a serial killer as a sympathetic lead. He went on to play a whole string of psychotic killers in films like Hellraiser and Child's Play 3, until he finally got to play one of the good guys: former assassin and torturer Elim Garak in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Edward G. Robinson, before he was known as the vocal inspiration for The Simpsons character Chief Wiggum, was famous for playing gangster Rico in the unflinchingly violent Little Caesar (1931). In his private life, Robinson was an enthusiastic art collector who hated guns — in fact, when firing blanks on the movie set, he had to tape his eyes open to keep from blinking in horror.
Julian Sands is...Julian Sands. No other way to put it, really. He was typecast as a good guy, before Warlock, when he auditioned for the heroic Ferne. After that, it was all comic book villainy for JS.
He did play Superman's father, Jor-El, in the Smallville continuity. (You may have noticed Hollywood 'bad guys' tend to play Jor-El on television: Terrence Stamp, David Warner, Christoper Mcdonald.)
Andy Serkis is the go to guy for Motion Capture performances. However this enables to play many different roles. Since playing Gollum in Lord of the Rings, he's played King Kong, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise, and Captain Haddock in Tintin The Secret Of The Unicorn. His role in The Force Awakens is also a motion capture performance. That said he does have roles outside Motion Capture such as Nikola Tesla's assistant in The Prestige, and Albert Einstein in Einstein and Eddington, but it's his motion capture roles that get the most attention. Like many a British actor he also plays villains like Rigaud in the BBC's 2008 adaption of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit and was the voice of Screwtape in Focus on the Family's radio play of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters.
Tim Roth usually plays thugs/murderers/convicts/all of the above at the same time. And he tends to die violent deaths.
He's playing a rare good guy (and television role) in Lie to Me.
Mickey Rourke plays criminals. Thuggish criminals, insane criminals, diabolical criminal masterminds; In the twilight of his career, he's defied convention by appearing as...retired criminals. No wonder he briefly retired to take up boxing.
Adam Sandler frequently plays the Jerk with a Heart of Gold, is Jewish, just like him. He rarely even changes his hair. He also likes to have weird vocal quirks and act like a social retard, yet somehow get the hot female lead.
Sadly, Jerry Seinfeld will never, ever, ever be able to act in any live-action role whatsoever. At least, not until he is past the age of 70. Fortunately, the fact that he is one of the greatest comedy icons of The '90s doesn't seem to have penetrated his mind, so for ten years he was happy just being a stand-up comedian, as he was before (and within) his prime-time reign.
John Simm is the man to go to when you want angst. Up until his late thirties, practically all the roles he played were those of cocky, broody, bratty young men (The Lakes, Human Traffic, Cracker). When he isn't playing angsty Northeners (most notably in Life On Mars), he's playing angsty 17th century mercenaries (The Devil's Whore) or angsty 19th century Russian axe murderers (Crime and Punishment) or angsty Danish princes (Hamlet) or angsty reporters (State of Play, Sex Traffic). He only breaks out of the angst if he gets to play an over-the-top villain (Caligula, The Master). Fitting for a guy who's frighteningly convincing when he cries.
Edward Van Sloan plays the same vaguely Germanic, gentlemanly, all-knowing doctor who is willing to take on the supernatural in Dracula (1931, as Dr. Van Helsing), Frankenstein (1931, as Dr. Waldman), and The Mummy (1932, as Dr. Müller).
Since Boston Legal wrapped up in 2008, he has diversified somewhat by continuing to play Alan Shore. (On The Office (US) and in David Mamet's Race.) He went further from the sex freak part on The Blacklist.
Ray Stevenson seems to be starting to get stuck in a typecast as a hedonistic, laid-back, but still formidable warrior type; In Rome he was Titus Pullo, in Thor he portrayed Volstagg, and in The Three Musketeers, he's the type-codifying Porthos.
Omar Sy often plays in An Immigrant's Tale. His background (born in France from Mauritanian and Senegalese immigrants) kind of helps.
One could summarize Danny Trejo's start in acting thusly: He was training another actor how to fight after having networked his way onto the film in prison, when someone says, "You look like an ex-con! Come over here and play and ex-con." And now, he gets a film showcasing his talents.
It looks like Michael Trucco is being typecast as "the other side of the love triangle". He played that role to Starbuck and Apollo (sort of; their relationship is more complicated), to Leonard and Penny (contributing in their getting together), to Beckett and Castle, and, briefly to Barney and Robin.
Speaking of Psycho, the original Norman Bates - Anthony Perkins - faced typecasting twice. Prior to Psycho, Perkins seemed to be making a career playing the tall-and-gangly, boyishly charming male ingenue-like characters. After Psycho, he ended up playing creepy weirdos/psychopaths a majority of the time.
Italian actor Paolo Villaggio had a huge success in his home country with the Fantozzi series of dark comedies, starring him as an incredibly unlucky, awkward, servile and frustrated office clerk. So much so that he later starred in a lot of movies where he was Fantozzi in all but name and tend to be confused with those other films by unattentive viewers. He played some dramatic parts, but the audience didn't care, so he continued to be typecast as bumbling, goofy schmucks.
This was taken Up to Eleven for the Dutch actor Bram van der Vlugt, who went from performing Sinterklaas (the Dutch equivalent to Santa Claus) to being his official performer for TV events and films for 30+ years until he left the role in 2011 and handed it over to Stefan de Walle.
Whenever Tom Waits appears in a movie, he's usually crazy and/or magical. The crazy magical hobo schtick is actually a large part of his musical persona too.
David Bowie is a similar case of musical and movie personas overlapping as he is usually cast in roles that take advantage of what the trailer for his movie The Hunger (in which he played a vampire) called his "cruel elegance"; whether his character is good or evil, he usually has a mysterious, cool aura. This has served him well in a colorfulvarietyof rolesovertime. He also isn't afraid to play it for comedy or just play against type on occasion — in the Short FilmJazzin' for Blue Jean he gets to do both!
The late, great Eli Wallach always played villains of some sort, from conflicted Bitchin Sheeps ClothingGuido to goofy, likable Anti-VillainTuco. In fact, after Tuco, Wallach was typecast a couple of times as the schlubby, off-the-wall bandito. In his old age, however, he played more mellow and kind-hearted roles such as in The Holiday.
Bruce Willis tends to play soft-spoken tough guys - usually some sort of law enforcement, government agent, soldier or a hitman. This is due to the influence of Die Hard. Before that film, Willis was strictly a comedic actor. Apart from that he is always the badass everyman, and is known for being the king of the heroic comeback, getting beaten to shit by the bad guys and then coming back to win out. Unless we are talking about The Sixth Sense. Or The Siege where he plays a rare villainous part. Or In Country (embittered Vietnam veteran), or Death Becomes Her (a nebbishy doctor), or Mortal Thoughts, or Unbreakable, or...
Sin City put on a small spin: he killed himself, despite winning in the end.
Every role of Henry Winkler aka "Fonzie these days seems to be as an outrageously incompetent lawyer in various sitcoms and movies.
All through The '80s, Michael Winslow tended to be The Guy Who Makes Noises. In fact, his entire career is built on being The Guy Who Makes Noises. He even admits this.
That's who he is in real life. Though he was a voice in Gremlins.
Elijah Wood is usually typecast as the wide-eyed innocent charming boy, ten years before playing Frodo from The Lord of the Rings. But since LOTR he's been desperately trying to avoid typecasting as, well, Frodo (wide-eyed innocent + Messianic Archetype). In fact, he was cast as a tough vandal in Green Street (also known as Hooligans) because he represented corrupted innocence.
He then completely reverses the ship by playing twisted serial killer Kevin in Sin City.
... A Half-Human Hybrid created by the villains to join up with the heroes and bring them down from within, but eventually changes sides through The Power of Love and plays a pivotal role in defeating his creators.